Jan 1, 2011

A New Year

Well, it's a new year and it is time to get back to blogging.  The last month and a half have been a blur.  We finished up the Christmas season by staying a week at Camp Lord Willing RV Park in Monroe, the only campground open year round in Southeast Michigan.  With temps hovering in the low teens it was a battle to stay warm.  We spent the week driving back and forth to St. Clair Shores where daughter Melissa and family live.  Although it was a 50 minute drive to their house, we had dry roads and light traffic during our visit.

We did the usual last minute shopping, going out to eat a couple of times, seeing a movie, and even had Emma and Ella spend an overnight on the RV.  We had fun on Christmas day watching the kids open presents and Christmas afternoon we were joined by our son Jonathan, his wife Laura, and our newest grandson Harrison. We had our Christmas feast and watched a movie on tv before heading back to the motorhome.  

On Tuesday the 28th it was time to begin our trip south to warmer weather.  After weeks of not being able to leave water and sewer hoses hooked up we were looking forward to warmer weather.  It was 17 degrees outside when we hit the road that morning.  When it is that cold, the leveling jacks don't want to retract all the way up. They were up far enough to travel, but we had to listen to the alarm for the first couple of hours until everything warmed up.  While we were at Spartan Chassis recently we asked them about this, and they assured us everything was okay, just too cold.  Tuesday night we stayed at Willow Meadow RV Park in Berea, Ky. At the Passport America rate of $12, it was a good deal but still too cold to keep the hoses hooked up over night.

Wednesday morning we hit the road again and almost made it to Savannah.  I say almost because when we joined the mass exodus on I-95 everything came to a crawl.  Most of the license plates were from New York or Ontario and I can't say I blame them. Since it was getting dark we stopped for the night in Walterboro, S.C. and were finally able to leave the sewer and water hoses hooked up.  Judy even got a couple of loads of laundry done.  Thursday morning we didn't pull out of the park until almost noon since we only had 50 miles to go to our destination for New Years weekend.  Traffic was still very heavy and it took us almost 2 hours to get to our campground.  We are staying at the Hardeeville RV Park in Hardeeville, SC, another Passport America park about 10 miles north of Savannah.  It seems that most of our neighbors here are from Canada.  

Yesterday it was sunny and 70 degrees outside.  Judy thought this was an excellent time to get all the salt and grime off the motorhome and the Explorer.  So we got out the hoses and brushes and washed the motorhome and I took the car to a carwash. I think Judy has spring fever since she also did some cleaning and vacuuming inside as well. It's nice to be able to have the windows open and air things out. It's hard to believe that just 4 days ago we were in snow, ice, and 17 degrees.  We plan to stay here until Monday when we will move on to a state park in Northern Florida.  

I also want to write about a few personal things.  The passing of our dear friend Teresa affected us more than we would have imagined.  This is not the first time we have been through this, but somehow it seemed different.  In fact several years ago we lost 3 of our parents within a 3 month span.  But seeing someone still in their 40's taken, leaving behind a husband and young daughter, was very painful. Maybe it was the reminder that our time here is limited, and we don't make the rules.  I don't think we will ever be able to visit the central coast of California again without thinking of her.  

We also experienced the difficult task of trying to fit in to our "other" life.  We still own a business, and we were back there during it's busy season.  But it's hard to plug in when you are only back for a short time. For the first time I don't know everyone who works there.  I'm sure there were some new employees that wondered who that old man with the white beard was, and why he was wandering around.  We are so blessed to have Stan and Kathleen who are managing the business for us. I started the business 30 years ago but now have no day to day responsibilities, yet we need to stay involved because it is our nest egg and retirement annuity.  We plan to be back in the spring to keep an eye on things while Stan and Kathleen take a long overdue and much deserved vacation.  

I am going to wind up with a report on weight loss.  I wish I could tell you that I exceeded my goal.  But the truth is, I fell short.   By eight pounds. So I can only report that I lost 42 pounds for the year. I started the year at 305 pounds and ended at 263.   I failed for one simple reason.  I lost focus.  I could make all kinds of excuses about being with family, friends, stress, etc.  But the fact is I lost my focus.  So, not one to give up, I start a new year.  In addition to our normal daily activities, I have only two objectives for this year.  To work on my photography and enter a photograph in an upcoming competition, and to lose another 50 pounds.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  In fact charting my loss and reporting it was a real motivation for me.  It was when I quit charting and blogging that I struggled the most.  Thank you for all your kind comments and words of encouragement. In the business world we say that it's hard to change what you don't measure.  So back to charting and blogging.   It worked before, and it will work again.  

Until later.


michelle said...

Really happy for you two in the pursuit of balmy weather...it is so refreshing! Also really proud of you, dad, in setting those measurable goals. Real life does make for some interesting (and painful) twists and turns, but I believe that is truly how growth takes place. A couple years ago, I picked a "word of the year", and I kept it as a reference of focus. I did the same last year (even had a necklace made with the word engraved on it), and I love thinking back to how it affected me and the things I was thankful for. This year's word: serve. Not sure exactly where it will take me, but it keeps popping up in my head and leaves me feeling nervous and curious...two big ingredients for growth I'd have to say!

Happy New Year, Mom and Dad!

Ali Workentin said...

John and Judy so glad to get caught up with you. Life was crazy for us as we sold Christmas trees and then traveled to Post Falls, Id and then Lewiston, ID to spend time with our son and his family.

So sorry to hear about Teresa...I know she was a special and dear friend. We will continue to keep Chris and his daughter along with the two of you as your mourn her passing. Glad to hear your daughter's emergency surgery and recovery is on the back burner.

Good luck with your continued weight loss. We need to get back into doing our walking and back to better eating habits.

Happy New Year!

Carol K said...

Your new year is off to a good start now that you are warm and cozy inside your RV.

Good luck with your continued weight loss. It sounds like you did pretty well in that regard in 2010, especially under the circumstances. Keeping the weight off is almost as hard as losing the weight!

Along the Way with JnK said...

Absolutely love your writing style!

We are currently in Arizona on our way to Miami, Florida and plan to be in Florida for about 6 weeks. We have a few jobs lined up and plenty of sight seeing scheduled, the Keys, Disney World and so many other places.

Keep blogging so we can keep up with your travels and possibly meet up if we are passing by one another.

Gail Houle said...

So glad to see you back in blog land.
After a difficult few months you deserve the comfort of some warmer days, both physically and mentally.

And, don't be so hard on yourself re:the weight loss. 42 lbs is nothing to sneeze at! This is another year. You will be successful :)

Happy 2011 to you both.