Forgot to say goodbye

Ha, on the way out of Berrien Springs this past Sunday we stopped for yummy Roma’s pizza, and ate it while overlooking Lake Chapin.

Took this photo. Forgot to post it.

Getting coach work in Bremen. Made an improvement in the heating system for our basement that will pretty well ensure our water tanks never freeze! Also added a major electrical appliance that protects us from not only spikes but also drops in voltage that can damage our systems….a fairly frequent risk at the various old and new campgrounds we encounter, usually due to heavy demand in summer.

Tomorrow….we begin the modifications to the shower stall that will accomodate the structure being built for us that will allow the boys to sit….and soak….in a tub while retaining the shower feature.

We expect this to be a Big Deal. Partly, it risks diminishing the effect of the present structure, but it will certainly increase the boys’ enjoyment of their home.

Tear out some stuff tomorrow, then expect to add new stuff on Friday at another shop. Holding our breaths!

Back to work

Well, you know how we do it….others work and we play!

Drove down to Elkhart last night so we’d be in place this morning for a shop to replace a valve on one of our leveling jacks. Done in a hour or so, but we need to hang around so as to test the fix overnight.

Had to finish getting the transmission filled with fluid since the shop here in Elkhart that changed the fluid last week failed to realize which transmission we have, and shorted us by 20 quarts!

Once all that was out of the way, there was a good half day for us to spend getting exercise and catching rays! We found a really lovely park just a couple miles from the day’s work, and set up camp there. Cool bowl used for tobagganing; the boys had fun walking down and up its hills. Lots of crunchy leaves. Fabulous swings and playground.

Ross gets such fun out of swinging high…he never lets go of his handfuls of blocks, so reaches around the chains on the swings and grips with his wrists or forearms!

Ryan cannot simply climb up and walk around….he must go backwards down steps, or stand on the top step while s-l-i-d-i-n-g his hands down the railing until he is nearly standing on his nose! As thrilling as he is to watch, there is never any reason to get panicked, because he is always aware of gravity and his ability to to maintain control. He’s not really a daredevil….well, maybe a little.

Tomorrow….we leave for Wakarusa….for the first look at what should become a bathtub for Ross and Ryan. We might get lucky and it will be installed and functional tomorrow! It’s a big deal.

Reunion weekend, cont

The Andrews Academy Alumni Weekend always includes a Saturday night flag football game between the school varsity teams (male and female) against get-up teams from the alumni. I missed the report about the running record for these challenges, perhaps mercifully.

We went to the field a bit early to scout a spot for the Taxi, and found ourselves invited to park on the field in order to make it possible for Ross and Ryan to enjoy the game on a cold night from inside the coach! Check out the picture….you couldn’t sit as close in the bleachers!

We opened the windows for sound, cranked up the heater for warmth, and blew the air horns each time an alumni team scored!

Worked for the female team….they won! Apparently not loud enough for the male team.

What a great time!

Once again these sweet little burdens….who triggered this whole Big Taxi odyssey….were the reason we were handed the keys to the city!

Then Sunday morning we met Robyn’s classmates for brunch. A slightly different group of people attended, so we share the picture here.

It was great to connect! There were many others we hugged, talked to, and ate with. Living in the parking lot made for great convenience and some added conversation! We appreciate the school’s great kindness to allow us parking space and use of their water and RV dump station.

The real class of ’72….

Robyn has been having fun connecting with a number of her high school classmates from more than 40 years ago! I attended the same school, so it’s my reunion as well, just that hers is an “honored class” and so many more are here.

Still in the midst of the weekend. We boys are resting in the Taxi in a parking lot of the lovely Andrews University campus where I grew up. Robyn’s “doing history” with her gang, and I hope planning something fun and tasty for this evening. And tomorrow for brunch.

We have arrived

What a journey: more than 40 years after Robyn and I started dating while she was in high school here, we have returned for alumni weekend.

We arranged to park the Taxi beside the academy building. Good heavens, we will be staying at the school for the entire weekend! Can’t even imagine wanting to do that “back in the day.”

Just this trip to get here has been invigorating.

We left Grandma Fell in good health in Kokomo, in order to stop by the shop that does our coach work. Some little things for them to think about before work next week. But the biggest was to broach the topic of an alteration to our glorious shower stall….to enhance Ross and Ryan’s enjoyment of it.

They both love the sensation of sitting and lying in a pool of water. Ross is completely nuts about it, and frequently expresses his frustration about the lack of even a puddle in the shower stall. Robyn has been tireless in her effort to improve the situation, and has even been using a small inflatable pool in the shower…to the boys’ great delight.

Oh happy day, our friends at Precision Painting put us in touch with the man whose shop produced the original base of our shower! His business still does the same work, and it was located on our route from Precision up to Andrews University.

With a phone call of introduction, we stopped by his shop on Tuesday. He proposed simply removing the curved shower doors, adding 10 inches of height to the front lip of the shower stall base, and using a shower curtain. Presto! A lovely permanent shallow tub, while preserving our granite shower stall.

He’ll have it made next week and will install it when we drive through Wakarusa on our way back to Precision!

So we journeyed on to Elkhart for a morning of major fluid service. We needed oil or fluid changed on our generator engine, coach engine, and the transmission. At least 7 filters to change, and more than 22 gallons of oil or ATF. Crucial, expensive pieces of equipment that need periodic attention, and then they’ll patiently go about their business for another year (or three, in the case of the transmission) without complaint or further attention.

Ahh, the bill….whew, glad the transmission’s expensive fluid doesn’t have to be changed for at least another four years, just filters in 36 months!

We happily left the shop and motored toward Andrews, about 45 miles away.

Made it to Mishawaka, where we had the BBQ mentioned below. Came out to the Taxi to find a small pool of diesel fuel on the parking lot beneath a new fuel filter. Oops, wrong filter.

Motored 15 miles back to the shop. Right filter not in town; gotta stay overnight in their lot so the filter can arrive in the morning….

So here we are, finally.

We expect to have some very significant reflections on life’s history this weekend, with a lot of laughs, raised eyebrows, and hugs all around!

Rain today, no pictures. Tomorrow, maybe I can get you some photos of all the old people who show up for
Robyn’s reunion…..