Runnin loco….I mean local

There’s a lot to see and do in the Dayton area, and we’ve seen it and done it in recent weeks….sometimes over and over!

You know, like short walks at Cox Arboretum, Lincoln Park, RiverScape, Carillon Park….not to mention special events like the 33rd annual Franklin car show with over 800 cars parked in the streets.

Yep, did them all.

Some of us are worn out….some are still grinning….


Runnin to the Windy City

We spent quite a bit of the summer parked in Kokomo, and realized Chicago wasn’t all that far away.

On a bit of a lark, we made hotel reservations up there….partly because there were no convenient places to park the coach near downtown for several nights, partly because it would cost as much in diesel fuel to drive the coach as a modest hotel, and partly because we wanted the adventure….

Oh, and check this out: we were driving a new Lil Taxi!

DSC_0733_aWe found that quiet & smooth Caddy was just a smidge tight in nearly every important dimension….and we spend much too much time in our car to put up with cramped quarters. So we swallowed hard, visited the Honda dealer near Kokomo, bit our lips, and signed the papers for this van.

Which required buying a trailer to carry it, because it can’t be towed flat behind the Big Taxi. Life is complicated, but now all our daily needs would be met in full…and in comfort!

And in Chicago!


We spent two days driving around downtown and walking along the waterfront….what a great place!

DSC_0821_aFrom probably a half-mile away, the Grant Park fountain stood tall against the backdrop of downtown. Off-shore, a specialized tour boat added drama to the view.

DSC_0768_aThe city has worked hard to preserve pedestrian access to a great deal of the shoreline, and we enjoyed much of it.

DSC_0928_aClearly there are many dedicated boat owners, because the marinas were large and full.


Runnin the wheels off

We found the best solution for Ryan’s need to always be on the go and our need to avoid walking in circles with him was to get in the car and do errands. You know, like to the Home Depot in Marietta, OH (190 miles away). Well, in that case we actually headed out to drive a stretch of road called Rim of the World, and ended up in Marietta as night fell. Ran across a cool church in town as we were leaving: DSC_1823_a I didn’t like the road noise our car generated…felt like it interfered with Ross and Ryan being able to appreciate anything else as we drove (could barely hear the satellite radio we thought they liked). And we were racking up the miles…. So we bought a new Lil Taxi. Check out how our salesman, whose first name was Michaelangelo, presented it for pickup the morning after our late-night negotiation session. 20140401_104132_aOhhhhh baby, was it quiet! And smooth…. We really started racking up miles….over 4000 a month! We traveled to all the area state parks….aaaaand to some that were a little farther away. We really covered the territory, but we stopped to smell the roses, err, thistles. DSC_1964_aDSC_2928_aDSC_2922_a


For many years, Robyn has loved to visit a nursery and garden center outside Dayton and admire its many luscious displays and floral offerings. She always came away with something to add to our yard.

This summer has provided her with several opportunities to stop by, although now she’s “just looking, thanks” because our rolling stone gathers no moss.

They offer much more than flowers and fertilizer…thought you’d be amused by some of the special visual treats they provide.

Click on any to see it in greater detail. The second one, in particular, offers a couple interesting points: first is the roof-top garden; second is the sky-high narrow walkway with fence; third is the sign. The walkway and sign involve goats that didn’t put in an appearance on this occasion….



It’s been a long road….

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Wow….when Ryan’s meds get out of adjustment, life gets real complicated real fast.

We’ve been parked outside Kokomo or Dayton for several months, because Ryan’s explosive behaviors have required doctor visits every week or three, and because traveling in the coach adds complexities that we don’t need right now.

Every day has involved constant physical contact and activity with him in an effort to avoid meltdowns that leave him bruised and us breathless. Robyn has borne nearly the entire burden of this interaction, because I don’t seem to understand how to soothe him out of these titanic events….

I tell you this to give a little view into some of the other aspects of this life we lead….living the dream.

The interruptions of Ryan’s behavior have kept us from planning any kind of contact with you and our other friends….it has interfered with my contacts with my brother here in town!

What often works is to get in the car and drive…anywhere. In the summer heat, we’ll stop at Home Depot and have the boys push shopping carts until they’ve gotten enough exercise in those wide aisles. Some days we’ll visit three different Depot or Lowe’s stores.

We stop to smell the roses as much as we can. Ryan generally does well walking for short periods in a quiet environment, and Ross is just a wonderful little man who loves riding in the car, loves pushing carts, and walks so attentively with me…and waits as I stop for a quick photo.

I’m sorry to have kept you in the dark for these months. The environment, my mood, and the constant activity have not allowed me to spend time sharing with you.

Please don’t worry that you could have done something to help us…we know how to reach out, but this one has needed every thread of Robyn’s care, creativity, and compassion to get this far, and no one else understands Ryan sufficiently to be of value for even 10 minutes.

There is light at the end of this tunnel. We have achieved some meaningful improvement. We’re beginning to look at moving on before cold and rain set in around here.

In the coming days I hope to share some of the things we’ve seen and done during the past months. Today, I leave you with some of our simple joys….