Friday, October 16, 2020

October 2020-Fall Arrives Finally

October 16, 2020                                                               Most Recent Posts
Quarantined in Virginia                                      September:  Finally the Heat Breaks
                                                                                               August 2020

After last month’s way too long post, I promised to divide October into two so here is the first installment. 

I don’t think I talked in my last post about my absolutely horrible experience of taking Winnona to Truck Enterprises in Harrisonburg to have her cleaned up.  There is no where within 60 or 70 miles of me that does anything with RVs and no RV detailers further than that.  The closest Mobile Technician has to come from 70 miles away.  I thought this might change as the numbers of RVs on the road skyrocketed but it doesn’t seem to have.

mrs-rowe-s-restaurantI spent from March to August trying to find places to get some work done on her while I was stuck here.  The only place I could find that said they could check the frame to see if all the rust created by too many weeks over 9 winters on the ocean front had weakened it and if not, remediate the rust and wash and wax her.  So on August 11 I took her up and the Body Shop manager, Frank, told me two weeks.  Fine. 

Since 1947

My friend Mary went with me and drove me back.  So nice of her since I could have towed Ruby up.  But we stopped at Mrs. Rowe’s famous restaurant in Staunton which has been there for my entire life.  This is old fashioned southern cooking with fantastic rolls, cornbread, pies and well, here’s the menu.   All the pictures in this rant are from Mrs. Rowe’s because it was a pleasant experience.

Mrs. Rowe’s cookbook is quite popular around here.

cookbookThere are no pictures of Winnona at Truck Enterprises since it is an experience I don’t want to re-visualize.  For sure, I will never return.   After two weeks I called about picking her up.  Frank said they needed a little more time.  After 3 weeks I called.  They needed a few more days.  After 4 weeks. . .you get the picture.  Finally on September 30, a full SEVEN weeks and 1 day Mary and I went up to get her.  I looked under the rig, Frank showed me two of the bins. The sides looked nice and clean.  I asked him if they had washed the roof, he assured me they had.  Everything seemed fine though it had taken over 7 weeks to do approximately 5 days of work.  I just wanted out of there so I paid the bill and put them in my rear view mirror.

Mrs Rowe insideImagine my surprise when I looked out of the windows at home where I could see the roof and it hadn’t been touched.  Any IDIOT knows that if you wash and wax an RV you do the roof first so the dirt doesn’t run all over your clean sides.  I called Frank.  I was furious.  He had specifically told me they had done the roof.  He apologized for his worker and told me to “drop it by” and they’d fix it up.  SURE.  Drop it 60 miles one way?  I don’t think so.  This resulted in my insisting that I would get someone else to do the work and he would pay for it.  He said he’d call me back.  Not likely since in 7 weeks I think he called me once.  The next day I opened two other bins to find that the weather stripping had not been reattached after they had gotten rid of the rust and painted the bins.  I called again and Frank wasn’t answering.  At this point I’ll cut to the chase.  After talking with the office manager and being even more furious, she had the general manager call me and he agreed to my demands.  I will have to drive to Richmond to get that done and new awning fabric.  What a horrid experience with Truck Enterprises and Frank.

But my wonderful friend Mary drove me up and back twice so I got to take her to lunch at Mrs. Rowe’s and didn’t get a picture.  Still, I did get to have pie at Mrs. Rowe’s twice and the second time Mary and I brought pieces home which I shared with Pam.

It continued to be hot enough the first week of October that walking for 10000 steps had to be done as the run rose


Carrie, Colin and Celia came for a visit in early October.  They stopped in Charlottesville for lunch before heading out to the farm.


They’d been in the car for nearly 3 hours so it was time for a walk before going another half hour to the final destination.  The first picture here reminds me of Goldilocks in the too big bears chairs.



Celia sleeps in her Mama’s former bedroom and it has all the toys and games on the shelves.  Hard to tell who is more excited about playing with Carrie’s old duplos.  Clearly a great product to have lasted 40 years.


Colin is sitting on Carrie’s bed with stuffed animals.  I should have taken a picture of the bed from a distance as it is an “alcove” bed, built into the wall and has a trundle bed under it for friends to visit.  When they are a bit older, they can both sleep in this room but for now, there wouldn’t be any sleeping if Colin wasn’t in a separate room.


Many homes have the TV as the focal point of the living room.  In ours it was the piano and every day of their stay they were playing it.  First day, Carrie and Celia.  Should have pulled down those window shades


Then time to get outside and do a little farming with the wheel barrow.  And off for a walk, another thing we did each day.



Second day of their stay, they are playing a duet.  HA!

And we’re out for another walk.  I love this picture.  It was beautiful weather.  My bushog man was having trouble with his equipment.  The fields need mowing.


Now that we have no horses, or burros, or chickens or anything, we walk 1/2 mile to the neighbors to visit their horses.   Celia stands back but Colin was quite interested if Nana would hold him.


One of the nice things about growing up on the farm is that Carrie went to the same school from Kindergarten through graduation.  She met Niels in the 4th grade, and they have been friends ever since.  He lives in Richmond now and is a doctoral student at VCU but came over for a visit.


Colin trades the wheelbarrow for the little red wagon.


Siblings on the porch swing.  Until I got up to take this picture I was sitting beside Colin and pushing us all with my feet.


Nana chased Celia around the house to delighted shrieks.  Then she wanted to chase me so as you can see, with my hair flying, I was running fast. HA!  Notice that we both had our socks up over our pant legs since we had just come back from a walk through the fields and woods to “picnic rock”, a favorite spot of Carrie and her friends.  I left my camera behind – darn.

More sibling piano while dinner is being made.  What a great memory for me.  Every evening Carrie would practice while I made dinner.  I really missed that when she went to college.  Notice that both of them are playing with two hands just like they saw their mommy do.

IMG_20201004_084829397Colin is in the kitchen pushing Pooh Bear in the Strawberry Shortcake stroller.  Celia and I are in the west porch stringing beads.


And too soon it’s the last day of their visit. Back to work for Carrie. Seems like the only things I took pictures of were the piano playing and the walks.  We played a lot of games, ate a lot of meals, but somehow no pictures of those.   Here Celia and I are playing together


Colin is having lunch in his mom’s wooden high chair that actually can be turned into a desk and chair very easily.  Great idea.  Don’t know why they don’t make them like that anymore. 


Last walk at the farm was a great one.  Leaves everywhere.


Ring Around the Rosie 


and then they all fall down.


Time to head back and for them to get on their way.  In today’s pictures, Carrie and I are both wearing coats of David’s that I kept.  They are way too big for us both but they keep us close to him and this place we all loved


But Colin is thinking not time to go.  He’s in his own dream world.


I persuade him to come along and catch up with Celia.  .


Celia and Carrie drop back and Carrie takes these pictures of Colin and me.  The last pictures of their visit. 


Always sad when they go.


Right after they left, a group of 4 flickers  flew into the recently mowed back yard as if to keep me company.  They were after something in the grass which I’ve never seen before.  Usually they are make a ring of holes all around the pecan and hickory trees hunting for bugs.  Look closely, there are 3 of them in the first picture but two have their heads in the ground.


Sorry the kids were not here to see them.


The next day, the flickers came back and there was activity of a different sort down by the pond.

I often wonder how they know which trees have the bugs they want. Perhaps they can hear them. 



Since I included pictures of my favorite outside sitting spots in my last post, I thought I’d include a couple of pictures of the farm house kitchen and the west porch off to the right behind the glass doors.  Celia and I were stringing beads in there in an earlier picture.

In the mornings, it is chilly enough for a wood fire but I haven’t had the chimneys cleaned, nor do I have any split firewood.  Too bad as I love love the warmth of wood heat.

The above picture is looking from the back of the woodstove toward the front of the house.  The one below is looking from in front of that same stove.  The two cupboards on the left and right are known as Hoosier Cabinets.  Most of the pictures in the article are not of original non painted oak wooden cabinets but I was shocked when I google the term to find how expensive they are to buy now.  There were ads for cabinets like ours for over $2000 and $3000.  The one on the right that you can barely see has a tin work surface and the one on the left has enamel.

Since my next blog will most likely not be posted until after the election, I’m going to show some political signs I’ve seen on my walks that made me smile.  These were all in people’s yards and posted before Mr. Trump got the corona virus.

Remember the Access Hollywood tape?

  By the ballot box




I’ll be back on the road the last week of this month and headed for Congaree National park in South Carolina.  Until then, looking forward to your comments.


  1. All the family photos are extra special, but the best is you and Collin walking away. As hard as it's been at the farmhouse it is a magnificent place filled with love and memories. Soon, you'll be on the road again.

    1. You've captured how I feel perfectly Gaelyn. Thank you.

  2. So glad you had a nice visit at the farm. Too bad it is such a long drive for Carrie. Hope to see you before you leave. We better make a plan or I'll miss you.

    1. I leave the 29th, but lunch earlier that week might work. Would love to see you again.

  3. So happy that Carrie and the kids got to visit. I know you loved it. They are so adorable. Have a really good trip. I am happy you can get back on the road. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are so right Pam. I loved it. Thank you so much for sticking with me and commenting.

  4. The farm is just soooo magical, what a wonderful place to grow up and for the grands to come visit. Hard to imagine them in the big city after seeing their joy in the country. That pic of Colin sitting in the leaves needs to be in a frame - just precious! But then all the pics are with those three :-) I'm so ready for jackets and a fire in the fireplace, still in the 80's here although our nights are lovely. That middle sign is so great :-))))

    1. Magical is the word Jodee. I do love that picture of Colin and well may frame it.

  5. So nice to have the family visit. Especially nice that you and Carrie wore David's jackets. I have a shirt of my Dad's that I wear even though it's way too big. We are going home tomorrow, be back to our house on Wednesday. We left CA on the 26th, been here since the 30th. It's time!

    1. Sounds like a nice long visit for you two. I know your family was so happy to see you. Thanks for your comment. I'll think of you now when we wear those jackets.

  6. Nice pictures of Celia and Colin. I love the ones of them walking down the driveway. It's great that you saved so many of Carrie's toys. Colin and Celia have things to do! Love the picture of the flicker on the tree. Remembering how delicious that coconut cream pie was! xxxooo

    1. I love those driveway pictures too. Mmmmmm that coconut cream pie. Wish it were closer, we could get some more. See you soon.

  7. Such fun with the grands!!! And such a wonderful place for them to have to visit!! they are growing so....

    1. Thanks for the comment Loree. It is a great place to have them.

  8. Sorry for the bad experience getting Winona cleaned up. You need to write a review of that place.
    Nice photos of the farmhouse and Carrie's visit. Your grandkids are too cute.
    Love the STD sign!

    1. Believe me, as soon as I get my check from them I'll be burning up the keyboard. Glad you liked the sign. Crossing my fingers.

  9. Lovely photographs of the visit from Carrie and the children, especially the one of Colin sitting in the leaves. And What a lovely, cosy kitchen you have!

    1. Thanks Michele. It is a wonderful cozy kitchen. We spent many meals and game nights around that big oak table.

  10. You have such a darling family.

  11. That really ticks me off that Truck Enterprises gave you such a run around and did a terrible job in Winnona. Makes you wonder how they can stay in business. I hope you gave them a bad rating with the BBB, can you give a bad rating on Yelp for a repair shop? I know I'll never darken their doors.

    Glad you did have a wonderful time with Carrie and the grands, they are so adorable. I foresee some more piano virtuosos in the future. Music is a wonderful thing for them to learn and love at a young age that will bring enjoyment for them all their lives.

    Hope you have an enjoyable time in Congaree, the weather now is just perfect for lots of hiking. :c)

    1. You can imagine how made it made me. Talk about take advantage. Watch out for them, they are a chain. I hope you are right about the piano! I'm going to scatter some of David's ashes there among the BIG trees he so loved.

  12. So sorry about your experience with the RV place. Guess they just don't think anyone will notice if they do half of what they claimed. Very cute pictures of the grands and Carrie. Also nice pictures of the house interior. Brings back fond memories.

  13. Great to hear from you Roger. Glad you liked the post. Those kids are a handful. Best to keep them busy out side if we can.

  14. Great pictures! I almost relived it. It was a very nice trip :) Those RV people. Boo on them. Hope you put a review somewhere on line or something. Too bad we missed the flickers. So neat! Love you 💞

  15. I'm so sorry you had so much trouble with the RV place, but so glad you stood up to them and didn't let them take advantage of you. Grrrr.
    I've been trying to see the photos on your post for a couple of days and can't get them to load. I think it's my computer. :-(( But I enjoyed so much reading about your time with your grandkids. And I love that the piano was the centerpiece of your home instead of a television. Hope all goes well as you pack up for your journey south!


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