Thankfully, on Monday when I left Blue Springs, the slides both went in and all the jacks came up. But, when I started setting up at Gamble Rogers the front jacks went down but the back jacks only went part way down and quit. I spent the afternoon checking with RV Class A and Winnebago Brave Facebook groups and then called a couple of RV Techs. The only one I could get to come out within the next day or two was a smart ass braggart over the phone and if I’d had any other choice would never have made an appointment. But there was no other choice. The park said he knew his stuff. If David had been here this is something he would have been able to trouble shoot and fix I have no doubt. At least the view of the Ocean from my front window was calming.
Tim from Atlantic RV came out on Tuesday and says I need a new hydraulic motor. I can buy what he claims is a piece of junk from overseas sold by HWH for $400 and wait a week to 10 days for it to come in. Or I can buy a much better solid metal no plastic rebuilt one from him that he can bring out tomorrow. $800 for the motor and the labor. Even at $125 an hour for labor that’s nearly 4 hours of labor. I talked to Frank from HWH who has helped us with our HWH problems for 9 years. He gave me the price and time frame which was 10 days to 2 weeks. He said the $800 sounded awfully high to him and I know it is but I don’t now have a full two weeks in this site. I know Tim is taking advantage of a woman alone-shame on him- but I need it fixed now. I can’t level the coach or put the slides out until it is which means I can’t get to anything in the back bedroom.
I agree to the robbery, Tim comes out on Wednesday, sits around and directs his young nephew who does all the work at his direction. I don’t think it took them even an hour to do. They were fast and efficient and Tim definitely knows his stuff but that was wayyyy too expensive for a rebuilt motor and 90 minutes of their time.
He shows me the old motor which is definitely a mess. I suspect it’s original from 2003 when the coach was made to be sold as a 2004.
At least I know it was a necessary replacement even if the charge was outrageous. Tim checks the work before they collect my check. He does have years of experience and appears to know exactly what he’s doing. . .but still.
As of today in April, everything is still working.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. The sunrises at Gamble Rogers are fantastic but the salt damage to the rig is perhaps not worth the cost unless I can find someone to take care of it for me. Any ideas, PLEASE let me know.
Here’s dawn and sunrise over the Atlantic.
For the next few days I tried to keep busy doing some holiday shopping for my trip to visit Carrie, Matthew and the grandchildren, working on my puzzle, walking on the beach and sprinkling some of David’s ashes at the beach and in his favorite campsite here. I hope to revisit all his favorite places if I can and do this.
It is not nearly as warm as I was hoping. 40’s at night. Much colder than previous years. I spend the winter in Florida to be warm. Not so much this year.
My birthday, December 7, is the first one in over 40 years I have not spent with David. The dawn is faint.
Getting out for the dawn and sunrise is about all I do these days. It’s been ten months since David died, and I seem to be worse than in the beginning when I suppose I was taken up with all that had to be done.
It looks like the sun is rising over Manhattan but it’s just the clouds at the horizon.
Taking the sunrise always darkens the picture as the sun is so bright. How I wish the man walking down the shore were David.
Sunrise brings the birds and that does make me smile.
I’ve finished my last puzzle and started on this one of a book shop. I’ve never really been a puzzle doer but when your life totally changes, who knows what you might do. Thank you to Michaels for having so many puzzles and coupons as well.
I don’t do much of anything on my birthday. There isn’t much to celebrate. It feels sad being all alone but luckily for me my friend Pam called me twice and sent me the gift of a wonderful bird puzzle, Carrie set up a Skype session with the kids, called me back for a chat later after they went to bed and sent me a gift of Ken Burns DVD set Country Music. Both my gifts are great things for me to do in my endless hours. I got several emails, an ecard, calls from both my brother and my brother-in-law. It was so nice to be remembered and made a day that would have been nothing but sad as good as it could possibly have been. No loneliness today. Thank you all so much!!
I’ll have to finish this one before I can begin on my birds.
Because of the uncertainty of the various sources of water in campgrounds, Winnona has two water filters and we use a PUR pitcher. I mention this because the larger of the filters is cracked and I have to replace it. I spend a ridiculous amount of time looking on line for the same housing and just can’t find it so I drive to Walmart, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, Home Depot and finally find one at least the same size so it will take the same filters.
Next problem is finding the tools to install it. David has 3 bins full of various kinds of tools and tool boxes. I won’t bother with the details of how long it took me to find what I needed or to do the actual installation but it was hours. I doubt this would have taken David more than 20 minutes since he knows what he needs, where it is and how to do it. But I managed my first solo “repair”.
As a birthday present to myself, I signed up for a Friends of Gamble Rogers Kayak paddle. We launched into the basin on the river side of the campground. Went across the Halifax river into the small area of mangroves on the other side. It was nice to be on the water with a few other people. All my kayaking for a long time has been solo.
I worked on the puzzle Pam sent me and wished I’d gotten outside in time for what appeared to have been a great sunset. I could see if from Winnona but didn’t have time to hurry back over to the river side to catch it before it would be gone. Being able to walk to views of the sunrise and sunset is one of the things that keeps me returning to Gamble Rogers in spite of Winnona’s increasing rust.
Looking back at my journal for December, I find it was cool and windy most of the time. I didn’t do much and the only pictures I took were of sunrise and sunset which I was up and out for every morning and evening if it wasn’t raining. I did meet at least a blog friend for lunch, walked to the library, had dinner at Snack Jack’s but took no pictures of any of that.
In looking at my mid December sunrise pictures, they look a lot like my early December pictures with dark clouds at the horizon. But I enjoy them and they were the highlights of my stay so here are some more.
Sunrise over the Atlantic
Kind of looks like a castle there on the horizon.
Finally, here comes the sun.
Plenty of pelicans out in the morning.
Sunset from the Riverside.
Over the years our family collected a number of holiday movies that we watched every year. Originally we had A Christmas Carol, the best one with Alastair Sim, Miracle on 34th Street, with Natalie Wood, Holiday Inn, White Christmas and many more. We eventually had enough including some of the Hallmark Holiday movies, which come 4 to a CD, to watch one every night from the day after my birthday through New Year’s Eve. Pooh and I keep up the tradition eating far too many bowels of air popped Orville Redenbacher white popcorn.
As I’ve said, it is a cold, windy and rainy December, feels more like Virginia than Florida. The peak was three days in a row when the wind off the ocean was in excess of 28 mph and up to 45mph while raining off and on. I brought the slides in for the duration as the coach rocked from side to side. At 4:20am on Friday the 13th, of course, my phone alarm went off with a tornado warning very quickly followed by the loudest crack of thunder I’ve ever heard and lashing rain began and continued on for two hours. Perhaps I should have left as I learned in the morning others did in their cars. Though it turns out they drove toward the danger.
In the morning we found a tornado did hit the park but it came across the river, through 3 or 4 sites of the riverside campground, across the highway and out to the ocean. It flipped over a Tiffin Allegro the size of Winnona, threw picnic tables around and into one car windshield. It toppled two trees and destroyed 3 occupied tent sites on the back side of the campground. Amazingly no one was hurt in either the tents or the RV where everyone was in bed.
The occupants of the RV crawled out the broken front window.
The car belonged to the RV parked to the right of the Tiffin.
Two days after the tornado, my time at Gamble Rogers was over and I moved 35 miles north to Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine. More on that next post.
I’m writing this of course during my coronavirus lock down and one would think I could get caught up quickly with so much time on my hands but I find the longer I am quarantined, the less energy and motivation I seem to have. I’ll try to be back sooner to finish out December with our first Christmas without David and move on to 2020. I hope you all are well and safe. Thank you for staying with me. Sheltering in place is even more difficult and lonely when one is alone.