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Archive for February, 2013

I can’t believe it’s the end of February already.  I have been a busy woman – the tomato and pepper seeds are planted & sprouting.  The garden plan is drawn up and the hoop house is ready to go.  I was in full garden mode and fully focused on my gardening mission when BAM! in the middle of everything I got a phone call from a man I had never met…

“I hear you restore old campers…”  He started.

“Yes?”  I answered wondering what kind of weirdo made crank calls like this.

“It’s free if you’ll drag it away…”

Not every woman would fall for a line like that.  But I did. 

Apparently, this very nice man had purchased a house and property on the outskirts of Newcastle last April and was ‘blessed’ with the old camper that had been a permanent feature for some time.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure he realized it was part of the deal when he signed the papers.  Now, after nearly a year of looking at the old beast he had decided it was time for it to go – one way or another.  Of course I offered to stop after work the next night to check it out. 

When I first saw it – I gagged.

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NO WAY!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

This thing is huge – 24 feet long!  I want cute, little campers not carefree mobile home living!  Besides, the thing fairly screamed “Drag me to the junk yard!”  

I considered turning around and quietly driving away at a high rate of speed but I had told him I would stop so I did even though I had already made up my mind.

The very nice man who now owned this treasure met me at the door.  (I didn’t even have time to knock).  He knew nothing of its origins but had already offered it to several people.  From what he said I got the impression that every single one of them had run screaming into the woods!  Obviously I’m a little dumber than the rest as I was still standing there.  

One or two of them had actually stopped long enough to inquire about striping out the ‘good stuff’ before they high-tailed it down the driveway but no one was insane enough to consider taking it home.

I was desperately trying to think up an excuse to leave.   

Good Grief – I haven’t even finished the two trailers I have and you know, Hubby would probably divorce me if I drug that thing home. 

But I should at least look inside – just to be polite.

So I stepped through the only door that would open – did you notice it has two?  I walked past the rotted wood on the inside of the door and the one single board that was all that remained of the screen door.  I was trying to remember when I’d gotten my last tetanus shot when I stepped onto a solid floor!  

No Way!  I bounced on the threashold then I bounced my way around the room and down the hall (I’m pretty sure the very nice man thought I was nuts).  The floor was solid.  This thing has been open to the elements for roughly 15 years and the floor is still good?  That can’t be.

The arctic winds whistled through the trailer like a wind tunnel at an airplane test sight, chilling me to the bone as I bounced past the bathroom.  OK – that’s scary but at least there wasn’t the smell of rot and decay or mold and mildew or the stench of mice poop rotting in the corners.  The old girl was as fresh as the great outdoors.  Of course she had been airing out for 15 years.

So she’s solid underneath and smells good but I still shook my head –  No Way! 

Then I noticed she was actually pretty clean inside.  No rubbish piled up – no junk stored inside – no furniture or mouse infested upholstery to deal with.  Considering the winds in Wyoming everything had probably blown out and across the pasture years ago.

We moved to the kitchen – me, still bouncing on the floor.  He looked at me – a glimmer of hope in his eyes that he could pawn this thing off on the crazy lady but I stuck to my guns.

 “I’m sorry, but this job is way beyond my skill level.  I don’t think……I can……..Ahwwww.”

I looked up…  my jaw hung open, slack and agape.  I’m sure he could see every filling in my mouth.

Above me was the most beautiful ceiling of honey-gold birch I have ever seen in a camper.  It glowed like the setting sun.  It’s warmth filled the room.  I fell to my knees to worship at the Holy Shrine of Heavenly Birch.  How could this be?  Her roof was still sealed.  Through the tears in my eyes I could see there was very little water damage.  The worst of it – an area about 2″ square on the corner of one ceiling vent.  In hushed reverence, I reached up with a trembling hand and closed the vent.  Really? 

The freaking vent was open!!!

I took a deep breath.   The very nice man drooled in anticipation.

“Well, she’s got potential but – no.”  I shook my head…

And then I saw the kitchen cabinets – honey gold birch radiated a soft glow, gleaming in the light from the busted window.  Rounded corners and classic details from the 50’s.  Original appliances – the stove and fridge were both clean inside and in good shape protected by a layer of dust.

I smiled and heaved a weary sigh. 

“No, sorry…  I can’t”

I got in my pickup and drove away…

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You should be proud of me…  Hubby was…

 

I went home ate supper and tried to sleep that night. 

But she wouldn’t let me.

I spent the next two days trying to talk myself out of it. 

But she wouldn’t leave me alone.

For 3 nights I didn’t sleep because that nasty old camper wouldn’t stop whispering to me!

She crept into my thoughts – at night, at work, at all hours of the day. 

‘Pearl’ haunted me.

I should never have given her a name.

Dopey from lack of sleep I finally gave in.  I called the very nice man – the offer still stands. 

Now she’s mine. 

The very nice man thinks I’m totally nuts. 

Of course, Hubby has known that for years.

I spent $40.00 on used tires to fit her rims and another $40.00 on duct tape and silicone.  With the old sheet of plastic from the greenhouse I should be able to seal up the windows till I can get them fixed but first we have to get her home without a major mishap…

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Heaven help me!

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Morgan came home last weekend.

It was great to see him – even though it was a really quick visit.

I love my baby and I would do anything for him but when he left he took something.

Something that Hubby and I have grown quite fond of.

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He took Steve the Wonder Dog!!!

We packed some dog food and his stuffed chicken squeeky toy and he was gone.

Morgan said he’s really missed him.

And from the looks of things it appears Steve has missed him too.

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Awwwwww!

See you both in a couple of days!

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I bet you think we never have problems with traffic jams around here. 

Just for a minute, consider the odds of it happening where I live.  In a big city like New York you probably would see more cars in one day then we actually have in the whole state of South Dakota.  But believe it or not traffic can get a little messed up here too.

I admit it is a rare occasion when traffic slows to a crawl and rarer yet when it comes to a complete stand-still but I am here to tell you it did come to a screeching halt last week as I came home from work.  I ran into one of the worst traffic jams I have ever seen in all my years. 

Oh the horror…

I came flying around a corner to find that the road completely blocked, gravel and snow flying, babies bawling and the horns!  I don’t even want to think about the horns!!!  And to make matters worse the roads were snow packed and slippery.  We were all having trouble on the ice.  Slipping and sliding.  Skidding and swerving.  Trying not to run into each other.  It wasn’t pretty, obscene jesters, foul language, tempers flared. 

To tell the truth I was afraid to step out of my pickup. 

And talk about spectators – it felt like all eyes were glued on me – as if I was the one to blame for this mess! 

But it wasn’t my fault – No Siree!

I swerved to the side of the road and slid to a stop well short of the carnage.  Then quickly snapped photos with my phone – you know – for insurance purposes (just in case the need arose) and also to prove that we do run into our share of  inconsiderate road hogs even way out here in the West.

Just see for yourself…

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OK (I roll my eyes) so their not technically road ‘hogs’ but just look at those crazed, glassy-eyed stares.  especially those two on the left – gang members if I ever saw them – complete with tattoos, brands and body piercings.

Tell me, is that the crazed look of road rage?

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 OK – so it’s hard to tell with cows…

Especially when they’re the neighbors cows…

I don’t really know them that well and yes, I admit it – those babies are just about as cute as they can be!  So maybe they’re not quite as bad as they seemed at first.

Maybe they just want to look in the back of the pickup for something to eat.

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Well, they can’t be all bad – at least they weren’t speeding.

OK – I’ll go get some sleep now – I’m not sure but I think I might need it.

Have a great weekend – I’ll be curling with my Sister (Wonder Woman) and The Amazing Wanda – two women who are so good they could probably curl competitively. 

Yes, I know – sleep…

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Mom…

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I have written. 

When I started this blog I swore I would never write those words but my mother passed away January 7th and I suppose in my warped and twisted mind I felt that seeing it in print would make it more ‘true’.   That could explain why I purchased all the local news papers but still haven’t opened one up to read the obituary. 

My Mom, Ellen was a beautiful lady.  She had a wonderful singing voice (1st soprano in the All State Choir) and was usually singing or humming. 

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She was an artist that loved oil painting, was very active in the church and raised 3 wild and crazy kids.  She was a great mom with a sense of humor who lead us on adventures and made holidays and birthdays special.  She gardened and loved to travel and was always ready to jump in the plane and go.

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She was only 72 years old but she has suffered from strokes for many years.  Her first stroke was while I was still in school.  She bounced back from that one but the next one she had, in the spring of 1985 left her unable to deal with numbers.  Then the strokes, the dementia and finally Alzheimer’s slowly took her from us, a little at a time. 

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Even though we’ve been saying goodbye for 25 years I don’t think any of us were ready when it happened.  But it did and we miss her.

*******

I sing because I’m happy.

I sing because I’m free.

For his eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me.

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