Friday, November 30, 2007

Progress report

· Finished loading up the car with garbage bags.
· Final check of the house
· Forgot to empty carton of soy milk in refrig
· Headed out and began the drive south
· Forgot cell phone 10 miles back at house
· Drive back to house
· Wander around house finding other stuff ‘we needed’
· Forgot to empty carton of soy milk in refrig
· Headed out and began the drive south
· Decided we needed the road atlas
· Stopped at RV storage place and searched RV for atlas with no luck
· Continued drive south until we got to Gettysburg and stopped to buy an atlas.
· Remainder of day was uneventful
The car has behaved just fine and apparently hasn’t found a place it wants to retire to…yet.
A belated Happy Birthday to my mother who turned one year younger yesterday.
Thanks for the call Jeff and thanks to Mark and Annette for the Happy Anniversary greetings.
We made about 550 miles today and are a bit over half way , staying in Fayettsville, NC. Our anniversary dinner was a Wendy’s Taco Salad…….perfect.!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ready, Set, Go

Trash? No just creative packing. With the Explorer getting filled with bikes, golf clubs, a printer and assorted necessities, the room left for the really important things had dwindled. Ordinary luggage just wasn’t going to fit so ingenuity took over. Our clothes pack very nicely in the bags and they kindly shape to fit the space. I’m just wondering what the Florida neighbors will think when we pull up and start hauling in garbage.
We will try and leave early on Friday but I suspect we’ll have enough last minute ‘to do’s’ that it might be closer to noon. It’s 1065 miles according to mapquest. Over to Harrisburg, turn left, wander towards Baltimore and then south on I-95. Or we could stay on I 81 which is much prettier, less traffic and follows the Shenadoah Valley. I have expressed some concerns about the 2000 Ford Explorer being physically fit for this trip. It’s been going strong for over 100,000 miles so I hope it has a few more left. Paul’s theory is that if it quits on the way down, that is where we will retire. I guess it’s as good as any way to pick a new place to live. I just hope it’s someplace warm ……..
Friday we will celebrate 44 years of togetherness. From the very beginning, I knew that we were meant to be together and 2 years ago, when our world was turned upside down, I felt deep within that we would not be separated.
We'll update as we travel, providing we have internet at the hotel tomorrow.....otherwise, we'll talk on Saturday or Sunday. from The Villages in the land of sunshine and oranges.and grey hair.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Counting down with elves

Busy day. Suddenly there are only 5 days before we leave. I have won awards in procrastination and managed miracles in last minute accomplishments, so I am not worried.

Paul returned to Miami today to finish up one aspect of the simulator training. He is doing part-time work for North American Airlines as a sim instructor in the 757/767 simulators. He says part of the reason was just to see if his brain still worked (it does) but mostly I think its just to get back to flying, even if it is a box and to tip a few with a bunch of the NARPA guys(North American Retired Pilots Association). He'll be back on Thurs.

On Tuesday, I will make the long drive back to Connecticut to visit the dentist. We've been going to her for over 20 years and hope to continue for as long as we still have our teeth. I usually combine the trip with a visit with friends plus some shopping at old favorite places but this time it will be over and back. It's over 2 1/2 hours each way.

While I write this I am watching "Dancing With The Stars"..... wow, I love that show.

This posting is lacking in pictures. I had planned to show off a finished knitting project but can't find the pictures. I downloaded them yesterday then erased them off the camera and now they are nonexistent. I'm sure it wasn't anything that I did.

So in lieu of a picture, I offer this Thanks to Jenna who had nothing better to do with her morning.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Packing and Decorating

The days are drawing near when we will pack up the old Explorer and head South. Come December 1st, our new address will be The Villages, Florida. Lest you think that Paul has actually agreed to selling the homestead and moving on, I will add that this is just a temporary relocation. We will be renting a lovely home for December and January. Don't you just love those palm trees and note the golf cart garage door on the right.

In the past year, we’ve known that our time in the Pocono’s was limited. Jon and MaryBeth have made plans to return to Connecticut where she will join an OB/GYN practice and Jon can still fly out of Newark. We haven’t developed enough roots in this area to want to stay here after they leave. So the world became a potential home for us. With few limitations, we began auditioning locations. We looked in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and California. I spent hours reading publications on the “BEST” places to retire and doing more research online. Each place had its appeal, some way more than others. Having friends in some of these places really helped. Years ago, I had been very opinionated (who me?) about never wanting to live in Florida. Suffice to say, it involved too many old people , too much humidity, bugs and no mountains. But times and situations change and all of a sudden, old people don’t look so old, humidity is better than desert air on the skin, I’m about ready to put away the skiis and ……well, bugs are bugs and still something to be considered.

So we have decided to give The Villages a try. It is VERY large and located between Ocala and Orlando, in the hill country of Florida. It is in horse country and looks very much like Lexington. We have friends there( Hi Ernie and Barbara) and when we went to check it out in July, we met many friendly , happy couples. The climate is much more temperate than farther south. We will need jackets and sweaters . We will use this blog to share the good, the bad and hopefully, there is no ugly. ( unless you consider our golf game)

So we are trying to get the house in order up here. We went ahead and put up a few paltry decorations on the outside so as not to look like the black hole in this overly decorated neighborhood. Most years we do it up proud but I do not miss freezing my fingers trying to hang lights in 30 degrees. And I hadn’t even considered doing anything down there until Deb, who owns the rental, wanted to know if we were bringing decorations with us or did we want to borrow some from her. And here I thought I was going to get away easy this year.
Well, its not the greatest shot but we have candles in the windows and a wreath on the door and on the upper bedroom window. I'm done with the decorating for this year.!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just Rambling Thoughts on Day Two

One thing about writing a blog is that it causes you to think about it a lot. It’s not a bad thing, but does cause one to view daily living in a slightly different way. Take for instance, breakfast…….if I decided to blog about breakfast, with pictures and maybe even a video, breakfast would have to take on a new look. No more cold cereal in the chipped hand-me-down brown bowl, big enough for the whole box and a quart of milk. No, no, no, it would require a setting right out of Martha’s kitchen;, fresh fruit, cloth napkin and a healthy egg-beaters omelet with plenty of veggies. And it would need to include the recipe for the homemade muffin filled with organic raisins. And then there's the “so what did we do today section”. Do you really want to know about the hours I spend knitting, reading, laundry and oh yeah, there’s the shopping? Probably not. You’d rather hear about our hike along the Appalachian trail, a bike ride on the Rail Trails or a synopsis and critique of the latest Broadway Show. Followed by the dinner party for 8 that utilized the hand carved salad spoons that Paul made. So, when you look and enjoy and envy our lifestyle, just remember not to believe everything you read!!!!!

I'd like to thank ALL of you that responded to our blog. We received at least 324 emails......or maybe it was 2. But we know you're out there just waiting for the next installment.

Black Friday: I’m not sure about the name, but the thought of shopping with the masses is not my idea of fun. In previous years, I shopped via the Internet and found it very convenient. This year, I’m giving in to conventional shopping and hoping to accomplish the task in a week. For a brief minute, P said that he needed to go to Walmart. Then we both looked at each other and laughed. Walmart is NOT on our list of approved big box stores, especially on the busiest day of the year. The one in our area has been the scene of mayhem and violence and is not the place to be any time of the day and especially not at night. But on our travels in the motorhome, we have actually parked overnight in the parking lot. Walmart allows such things and assumes that you will shop for supplies while camping there. The only time we tried it was this fall, returning from a trip to Asheville, NC, and all campgrounds in the area were full. We were among about 15 other Rver’s plus a few tractor trailers. Obviously , we skipped the campfire and the s’mores.

Some days, I really want a puppy. Oh wait, that’s what Andy says. Actually, he wants a puppy and an RV for Christmas and a Frisbee . But every now and then, I think having a dog would be a good addition to our lives. And then I realize that we don’t lead the kind of lifestyle that a dog fits well in. Maybe we could share one with Andy.

I'm ending today with one of the last pictures taken of my Dad. He died in October of Alzheimers.

He will be remembered for his commitment to excellence and detail , his beautiful carvings of carousel animals and his delight in babies and children. He was honored with a full military burial for service in Okinawa and China.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're Back.....

Due to unprecedented popular demand, phone calls in the night and extreme withdrawal symptoms by most of you, The Miller Blog has returned. But where's the "Roadblock" you might ask.? We opted to go to a different format in order not to be limited by sharing only travels. Now all of you get to peek in on our daily life, from the thrilling(??) to the mundane.

Why blog? Why put ourselves out there for all to see.? Why show how really boring we are? Why reveal our gray hair , our wrinkles and our bulging midlines? After returning from our travels last year, the "Moving Roadblock" journals afforded us a detailed look at our daily life, complete with pictures. We found it to be a good memory jogger of places and people and happenings. I thought about keeping an online journal, unpublished, but then realized how truly selfish that was. I just knew that ALL of you wanted that voyeuristic view of Paul and Sue as we really are.

This is what a forecast of " chance of flurries" looks like. We ended up with over 7" of the pretty white stuff. It was perfect for snowmen and little boys. I tried to upload pictures of Andy and Mason in the snow and a crooked snowman but couldn't get it off of Jon's Flickr page . Blogger has improved since last year and is much more user friendly but I still have a fairly long learning curve to become proficient.

Thanksgiving this year was celebrated on the 21st, combined with Mason's 2nd birthday so that Jon could join us before flying the friendly Continental skies. Then on the actual Thanksgiving day, we celebrated again with those tasty leftovers in whatever form we each preferred. I feel like we've been eating/cooking for two days. Mason enjoyed all his carefully chosen birthday gifts and even shared with Andy.

We have so much to be Thankful for and we are truly grateful for our wonderful family.

Addendum: Blogger has a few quirky features and one is that the date of the blog is when you actually started it and not when it was actually published. I have read complaints about this but no this blog took two days of frustration and is actually being published on Friday, Nov. 23rd.