2017 September part 2

Rudolf the Red Nosed Pickup

Friday 8th We were back on our regular schedule of coffee at the cafe and games and lunch at the senior center. After lunch we went to our storage trailer and brought home more things from there. Tom spent the afternoon rearranging things in our storage shed and getting the patio area clean and neat for tomorrows Williams Family Reunion.

Most of the activities will take place at the Lodge on Cutty’s Main Street. However, we wanted to be prepared for house guests also.

Ella spent the day preparing the salads for the reunion’s potluck.

We managed to get in a short nap before going to the Adult Center for Card Jackpot. Both Ella and Tom won two rounds. That means that we came home with a whopping $2.90 more than we started with. Yep, Card Jackpot is cheap thrills for sure.

It was about 8:30 when we finished playing cards and were surprised to see that the cafe was still open (everything is going to shorter hours now that the camping season is winding down) so we went in and got a couple of ice cream cones. We took them out under the pavilion on Main Street and sat and ate them while talking with friends. It was a great night for sitting outside.

On a more serious note: I received this email for my daughter in South Miami where they are hunkering down to await the arrival of Irma (the most powerful hurricane to hit the USA).

“We will be as prepared as possible before Irma arrives. We have food, water, propane, flashlights, batteries, a radio, candles, cash and gas in both cars. Andres is putting the shutters up right now while I get everything outdoors put away in the shed and playhouse. The girls are getting clothes and dishes washed in case we lose electricity and or water.

When we bought the house, we buried our power lines so we are less susceptible to power outages at the local level, of course wide-scale outages could still occur. Our house is elevated about 2 and a half feet so that helps with flooding. 

The addition has impact windows, but I’m planning to put heavy furniture in front of the windows and the two exterior doors anyway. 

If and when it comes to the worst of the storm, we will be in the interior hallway without windows. We have mattresses and sleeping bags at the ready to put down. 

We are fortunate that this is a natural disaster that we have time to prepare for.”


I have been writing about the supports that I’m adding under the slide-out rooms in our Sierra. Here is a photo to show how I’m bracing them. Keep in mind that this RV may never be moved again. The slides will be left out all the time. So giving them added support seems like a good way to save wear and tear on the RV framework.
You have to be up before dawn to see skies like this.

Saturday 9th was the day of the Williams Family Reunion. Tom and Ella started some things in crock-pots in the morning. We then packed somethings into Rudolf the Red Nosed Pickup that will need to be taken to the Cutty’s Lodge for the party.

We went for breakfast at Village Inn. It was a buy one get one deal. Besides Ella and I there were, Tom and Sue, Sandy and Francis, Francis and Sharon.
Sue, Sharon, Sandy, Ella
Tom, Francis, Francis, Tom
2017 sept 9 8 am
Randy & Linda Cook, Kara Devilbiss, Jay Cook,  Stevie, Shane, Shawn, Shyan Dunaway, Kirk & Rita Williams, Morgan Hart, Mark Christopher, Madden Strand, Dawn Cook Gloege, Cash, Krista & Russ Pape, Jay Cook, Kerei Nelson and more that did not sign the guest book.


The reunion went off very well. Lots fun was had be all. After we’d emptied and cleaned the Lodge, most of us went back to our site. We had a nice day to sit out under the patio awning and just visit. We were somewhat in awe that all those people were able to gather comfortable on the patio and everyone had a place to sit. The 5 folding camp-chairs weren’t even needed.

Sunday 10th The first thing on our agenda was to check the reports on hurricane Irma. It appears that it veered to the west and is going up the gulf side of Florida. With all that was being said about Storm Surge we feared the flooding most of all because they live so near the cost. Because our family is in South Miami, we could breathe a little easier. We are still praying for them as well as those in the future and past path of this storm. This is the message we received from Amber, “The eye is over the Keys right now. By late afternoon/early evening we will have passed through the hurricane strength winds. We are fine. Lots of wind and rain over night but no flooding evening the street and mostly minor tree debris down.”  Thank you, God!

For breakfast we ate the other half of Tom’s Village Inn breakfast from yesterday. We added a couple more scrambled eggs and a little cheese and had three meals out of one breakfast. It was so nice outside that we decided to eat breakfast on the patio.

What a treat! Since we are no longer holding worship services at Cutty’s, we were able to attend service at our home church, Union Park UMC. It was nice to reconnect with old friends that we seldom see anymore.

One of our members has a ministry where he goes to local grocery stores and picks up day old bread and produce that has reached its “sell by” date. He then distributes it to various places … including our church. Our church members, as well as neighborhood folks can come and take whatever they can use. This time there were salads and fruit so, after the service, we made a lunch of them while continuing to visit.

Plus we were there for a special conference after the service. Our friend and pastor Lee Webb will be retiring. The conference was about funding a two year revenue stream for a full time pastor. The church’s congregation is technically too small for the Iowa United Methodist Conference to assign a full time pastor. The were questions about setting a limit and about paying the church’s apportionment that were brought up. However, in the end, the original proposal was accepted 47 to 3.

When Tom turned his phone on after the service there was an update from Amber in Miami, “We are still getting occasional bursts of 80-100 mph winds but the rain had let up. No flooding at all. I love my street! Just a few more hours.”


We came home and just relaxed for the rest of our Sabbath. As a matter of fact, we were supposed to go to an Employee Appreciation Dinner in the evening … and we forgot all about it.

Monday 11th (Patriots’ Day) Tom awoke early … as usual … and checked for messages from Miami, but found none. The last we had heard was that everything was okay and that it was about over with.

Since Ella wasn’t up yet, Tom started gathering information for next year’s worship services at Cutty’s.  He’s not doing anything too in depth, just finding scripture readings from the lectionary and finding a few hymns to go along with their theme.

After Ella was up, we had breakfast on the patio. 2017-09-11_10.04.41Then it was to the Cafe for coffee with Tom, Sue, Keith, and Dixie. Ella made double use of this time by doing laundry at the laudromat on Main Street while we visited.

Tom worked 11-7. This was his last day of work for the season. While he worked, Ella went to the Senior Center in Grimes. When she came home, she began packing clothes, meds, and so forth for our trip to Santa University. We just received our agenda for the school. It looks like Tom will be busy in school while Ella and the other Mrs. Claus are taking tours of museums and such. One of the items in the agenda was a dress code for one day … black slacks and a long sleeve red shirt. The only long sleeve red shirt that Tom had has frayed cuffs. So after work, we went to Walmart and purchased a shirt.


Wednesday the 20th. We finished unloading the truck with the things taken to and brought back from Santa U. We then went to the Cafe for coffee with friends (back to the usual schedule). Lunch at the Grimes Senior Center and pie in the evening with friends. Later we played Train Dominoes at Cutty’s Adult Center.

Thursday 21st Tom checked his INR and glucose readings. They were both in the “Okay” range. Better than he’d expected concedering his diet in the past week.

It was Amber’s birthday so we sent greetings to her also. Everything else proceeded as normal until the afternoon when we started bringing things home from the storage trailer.

Friday 22 normal morning activities with more moving of things out of the storage trailer. We played Card Jackpot in the evening and brought home more money than we’d taken with us. Play costs .05 for ten rounds and .25 for the last round. If you win, the amount of money that you collect depends on how many are playing. We normally have 4-6 tables of 4 persons.

Saturday 23 

Sunday 24 We attended services at our Iowa home Church, Union Park United Methodist Church. Tom went to Sunday School with the Valkommen Class while Ella had coffee and visited with friends until time for worship to start.

Monday 25

These are pictures of clouds before the rain rolled in. 2017-09-25_21.20.09We had 4 3/4″ of rain in our gauge when it was all over. Our lake at Cutty’s Campground  flooded over the road. Fortunately it went down nearly as fast as it went up.

If you’ve been following this blog then you know that we have been in the process of moving our things between 3 trailers all summer long. Well we’ve also been emptying a storage trailer also. Because of that there has been a constant amount of boxes, books and things stacked in the living area. Ella was moving some things, caught her foot in the straps of a purse on the floor. She fell face first into the edge of the table. 0925172054_HDRThis gave her a “fat lip” and an amazing bruise inside and outside of her mouth and down her chin. We loaded into the truck and drove to the emergency room at Methodist West. It was raining so hard and the windshield kept fogging over that I had trouble seeing. Because of this, I decided to stay off of the interstates and take back roads. There was water so deep on the roads that, even though I was going very slowly, the water sprayed out from under the truck a lot. It was also difficult to not hydroplane.

We were at the emergency room for around three hours … most of the time waiting to be seen. Ella was examined and x-rayed and nothing was broken. Thank God!

It had stopped raining when we left the hospital but started up again before we got home. We were both soaked to the skin … even with the umbrella.

Tuesday 262017-09-26_17.24.052017-09-26_19.14.41










Wednesday 27 Coffee, as usual in the morning. However this time we also had a breakfast pizza. We arrived at the Senior Center in time to help setup the tables (placemats, table decorations, napkins, straws and plastic “silverware”.  Then we played   games until  lunch.

We needed a new house battery for the Excel. We stopped at Interstate Batteries and got information on price and discharge time. From there we went across the street to Walmart and found a similar battery for about $30 less. I also purchased a new sewer hose (the one we have for the Excel is a little too short for the site we are in).

When we returned to the campground, I extend our stay until Monday, October 2nd.

After installing the house battery, the slide out would still not extend. Ella called the campground maintenance person (Travis). With his and Tom’s added muscle power, the slide out went out. After it was started, it continued out on it’s own.  I’ll need to add som silicone spray to the slide out rams.

Nap time arrived shortly after getting some things in the Excel organized, Then it was time to head to Village Inn for pie. When we arrived, Kara, our niece was there waiting for us. Sandy and Frances as well as Tom and Sue also joined us.

In the evening, we played  dominoes at the Adult center.

Thursday 28 /we

Friday 29

Saturday 302017-09-30_18.38.31 (1)FB_IMG_1506855181413FB_IMG_1506855198635pencil_sketch_1506816352195





Published by Tom

husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and Santa

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