Are Expiration Dates Real?

Typically, I look at expiration dates on food with a skeptical eye. It’s always been my opinion that these dates are determined by a person with very thick glasses who toils in a the basement of some government building in Salem. Or maybe Portland. There’s no science involved, just a guess based on this person’s current state of mind.

Complicating these dates is the fact that my bride, Diane, is famous for saving money at the store by frequenting what she calls the Ding and Dent aisle. Each kind of food has it’s own area for Ding and Dent sales. She gets Ding and Dent cake, Ding and Dent steaks, and Ding and Dent Half & Half, to name just a few. Sometimes she gets Ding and Dent vegetables, too.

Ding and Dent items are generally placed on sale because their Expiration Date is getting close, or has already passed. Since most of the Ding and Dent food gets cooked, there’s no danger of catching some catastrophic ailment by ignoring that date.

Until now …

I ran out of Half & Half a couple of weeks ago so I put it on the shopping list. I find it necessary to put a lot of H&H in my morning coffee to make it taste better. This is necessary to help erase the memory of many days aboard ships and various military bases where I didn’t have time to doctor the brew, drinking it black. I kept my cup topped off all day long. It kind of leaves an after taste that last for years.

The next trip to the store Diane found this…

She bought 4 of them. Little tiny pints for 50% off making them cost a paltry 25 cents after using a few coupons she normally has in her purse. Although the stamped date is labeled “Sell By”, it’s really an Expiration Date.

The photo is of the 4th pint as I drained the other 3. Number 4 was opened this morning and I poured a little of it into my cup in a dimly lit kitchen so as not to wake anyone. I drank that cup of coffee with no concern and it seemed to be fine.

When I got around to pouring my second cup it was full daylight and adding the H&H to my cup made the lumpy mess exiting the container quite apparent. To confirm my suspicion, I poured the remainder into the kitchen sink and saw that it was indeed lumpy. I did that because Diane was watching and would have objected had I capped it and put it back in the fridge. But it didn’t really smell bad so I figured that had I shaken the container it would have been just fine. The Expiration Date was only 8 days prior, right?

So, as I sit here waiting for my bowels to go on alert to explosively expel my first cup of coffee, which probably won’t happen until we’re in church, the “Lesson Learned” from this is that I should shake the heck out of these things before opening them, and prior to each use, to liquify those lumps and integrate them into the surrounding fluid thereby eliminating the threat of gastric issues. I’m pretty sure it was OK and I’m a little worry that I poured it out. It just looked really bad and we all know looks can be deceiving.

dot dot dot dot

It’s much later now and I can share that I safely made it all the way through church, retaining that first cup of tainted coffee. All I have now is the memory of the lumpy mess glopping out of that container. Perhaps I’ll just start drinking my coffee black again.

Maryssa & Matt 7.24.2021

There was a wedding. I was there with my very own lovely bride, Diane. So were my Brother’s, Jim & Jack and their brides, Donna & Wynette. It was a family affair. The bride was my Niece Steffani’s Daughter.

The trip to Nampa, Idaho was uneventful unless you consider how difficult it is for someone my age to drive a motorhome long distances without an occasional rest stop. I’m sure you’ve seen old folks bopping along the freeway in these huge rigs, wondering, as do I, how they manage to keep those things on the road. If you happen to be at an RV park when they arrive the mystery deepens when the drivers exit their vehicle and immediately grab onto their walker which their wives conveniently place at the bottom of the stairs. Watching some of them hobble around their rigs makes it a little frightening to know they were recently going 70 mph down a freeway in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that could cause untold amounts of damage should the drive become deceased while changing lanes.

But, that’s a story for another day. This day is about a wedding.

Maryssa and Matt have known each other since they were about 3-7 years old. I’m obviously guessing at their ages because I truly don’t know. I just know it’s been a long time even though I don’t know how old they are at this moment in time. Old enough to drink beer, I’m pretty sure. Not that they do, of course. Although, Maryssa is a teacher and I’m pretty sure most teachers drink beer. Or wine. It’s necessary.

Jennifer Walking up the Aisle

The wedding took place at a very stunning outdoor venue that was created just for this purpose. Not just this wedding, but anyone who wants a wedding in a stunning venue. The date was chosen based on weather predictions about when the hottest day of the year was likely to descend on Nampa. I must say, they nailed it. It was very hot. Thankfully, there was a little hand fan on each chair to help with the heat. Daniel, brother of the bride, escaped to the shade of a tree and kept his tiny little daughter (Edith) cool with a battery powered fan. Everyone else just had to sit there and sweat.

Since the bride and groom waited so long to get married there were no small children in either family available to serve as flower girls or ring bearers. So, the Best Man filled in by taking charge of the rings and Maryssa’s Grandmothers (Donna & Mary) were the Flower Girls. It was pretty awesome watching them walk down the aisle tossing rose petals all over the place. It was evident they were having a good time.

The only downside was that brother Jim, one of the Flower Girl’s husbands, had to wear a nice white shirt with a tie. It was only a downside for him. He looked quite nice. My other brother, Jack, and I wore more comfy attire.

Then came the bride.

She was stunning, of course, and it was evident that the Groom, Matt, was on the verge of losing it from the moment he saw her coming at him. Many of those in attendance had the same problem. Either that, or they had sweat running in their eyes like I did, which stings a lot, making it necessary to wipe them with anything handy.

Here’s a look at the whole group …

The Girl’s Side

The Boy’s Side
Sealed the Deal

The service was great, the knot was tied, and we adjourned to the adjacent patio, table 3, where we sat with Jim, Donna, Jack, Wynette, Jennifer, and Lydia. There was a place for Ruth, too, but she couldn’t make it. Too much turmoil in the country for a trip from Connecticut. But, she was there in spirit, I’m sure.

The food was provided by a Pizza Truck. It had it’s own wood fired pizza oven which produced some pretty darn good pizza. There was salad, too. Simple fare, but totally appropriate for this group.

The wedding cake was small, perfect for the bride and groom, and everyone else ate the many cupcakes scattered around their big cake. From a food perspective, it was totally unique in my experience and seemed to be just perfect for those involved. The result was a very relaxed reception.

There was open bar, too. The most popular item was Moscato wine. By the time the bar ran out of that, those who drank it weren’t very picky about what to replace it with. My favorite thing in the bar area was a neverending supply of popcorn. I just love that stuff.

A tradition at weddings is for all married couples to dance. As the dance progresses, the DJ announces that those who have been married less than 5 hours should leave the dance floor. This progresses as the numbers increase and the number of couples on the floor quickly dwindles until there are just a few left. In this case, the last three couples standing were my brothers, me, and our wives. Of those three, Diane and I left first at 53. Jack and Wynette held out until he got to 58, then Jim and Donna won with 62. Between us, that’s 173 years of wedded bliss. Kinda cool.

Diane and I were eliminated

Jack did a great job of swing dancing with Maryssa, for a long time, and I danced with Diane as often as something came up on the play list that was danceable.

Our Girls displaying their rings – Jennifer on the left, Lydia on the right

I also danced with our daughter, Jennifer, and granddaughter, Lydia, neither of whom I’ve had the honor of dancing with previously. It was really nice. Diane and I waited a long time for a good song to play so we could do our fast dance, but the music just kept getting louder meant for a younger crowd. So, we made our departure, wishing the newlyweds the best of luck.

The next day, Steffani, mother of the bride, had a brunch for everyone who attended the wedding. After eating we all watched Mr. and Mrs. Prosser open their wedding gifts. At the appropriate time, we left and went to Jim and Donna’s to have some brother/sister time before parting ways. We don’t often have the opportunity to visit as a group any more so that time is precious.

The next morning Diane and I departed Nampa, heading west. Destination, Home, with an overnight stop in Boardman.

It was a good trip.

My Friend Junior

Junior and his brother, Doug, have been my golf partners for a lot of years. We golfed in every kind of weather you can imagine and it was always a beautiful day. Junior told me many times that golfing was what kept him going. So, we golfed as often as possible. Diane supported this need and deemed it a requirement for me to participate with her blessing. He was grateful for that.

Sadly, in the early morning hours of June 29th, 2021 Junior slipped away from us. His departure from this plane of existence ended the severe pain he suffered for many years but it left a hole in my heart.

I’ll miss his humor, his good nature, and his willingness to share a never ending supply of handy tips he learned from the Golf Channel. Doug and I plan to continue this golf tradition and dedicate every trip to a golf course to him.

You have the honors, JP, so tee up and knock it a mile.

It’s really, really hot here.

Maybe you’ve noticed on the news that the Pacific NW is dealing with some pretty hot weather. So hot, as a matter of fact, that Portland, Oregon was the hottest city in the world for a little while. Really. That’s true. As for those of us who live a bit north of Portland, the temperature was even warmer. Diane told me that it was 117 in the shade at home. Finding that hard to believe, I took a picture of the thermometer on our little shed and it actually looks like it’s between 117 and 118. What do you think?

This was in the shade.

That was yesterday. Today is a completely different story as the marine air from the west is pushing the hot stuff away from us.

Not knowing we were going to be roasted we drove the motorhome to the Bremerton, WA Elks Lodge (1181) for the week. It was just as hot there as anywhere else within a 600-700 miles radius. That’s a guess, but I suspect it’s not far off. It was hot. Hotter than any time in recorded history for many locations, Portland included. We persevered, however, and enjoyed our visit with the Winnebago People (CarolAnn, Terry, Sofie, Les, Susie, Cliff, John, & Susan). They all, in pairs, drive Winnebagos and we’re included in the group because we used to drive one for a while. We’re all fairly old and have a lot of fun just sitting around talking. Being fairly old, that’s what we do best.

One of the benefits of being fairly old is that we cumulatively have a stunning variety of skills that have been honed to a fine edge of the centuries. You name it and it’s a rare event if one of us can’t figure out hot to do it. My skills are minimal, limited to administrative stuff like alphabitizing things, typing, and computer related things. Those suit me best because I can do them sitting down. All the other guys are sources of knowledge for anything mechanical which is really handy when traveling in the complicated rigs we drive.

We drove home yesterday, in the heat of the day, the hottest one for this heat-stroke episode. Traveling on such a day seemed appropriate. Diane and I were looking forward to getting home to a functioning A/C. The ones in our rig didn’t seem to be coping with the extreme heat as well as we’d’ve liked. We found that laying on our respective couches, remaining very still, watching silly movies, made the heat tolerable, so that’s what we did most.

We made it home safely to discover the A/C thermostat set to 68 while the inside temperature was hanging around 80+. We suspect the difficulty for our A/C is that our home is brick and all that absorbed heat was just too much for the upstairs. It was just fine in the basement but it was actually cold down there so we we just toughed it out by reclining in our respective chairs while watching silly TV shows. This morning, as previously mentioned, was a tremendous change with cool air in the high 60’s. Then the sun came out.

It was hot again, but not too hot to accomplish some needed work. It was all in the shade so Diane let me work on it. First was the sprinkler manifold I made for our in ground sprinkler system. One of the lines developed a serious leak on the input to it’s timer, so I turned it off before leaving on our adventure. It had to be fixed but, first, I had to get access to the unit without being mauled by the encroaching Rhododendron.

In order to gain free access to the sprinkler manifold, I cashed in on Diane’s desire to reduce the impact our rhododendrons have on the sidewalk leading to our front door. They looked really nice when they were smaller but have grown to be a menace.

So, she said I could trim them. Which I did … right down to parade rest.

The side behind me looked similar but shows more of the devastation I created with my little chainsaw. I don’t get to use it very often so it was fun.

Then I stuffed both of them in my trailer and hauled them to the burn pile which won’t be used until the fall so everything should be nice ande dry by then.

To fix the manifold I removed the ACE timers from their respective lines and set them aside. You can actually see that in the first photo, but I failed to take one before their removal which ruined my ability to capture a true chronological photo journey for you and I’m sorry about that. The next photo puts us back on track.

This one shows a better view of the manifold and the four zones. You can see that I’ve attached a garden hose to ZONE 2 which is the one about which Diane was most concerned. It’s for the plants and bushes next to the house. Removing the two Rhoddies will reduce the amount of water needed to ensure everything gets a good drink.

I haven’t figured out what’s actually broken, but the water was coming out of the supply side (next to the house) of Zone 1. Now that I look at this, I’ll have to go outside in the heat, once more, to find out what the problem is even though I already have a solution. I can fix it with four short hoses and three hose splitters.

Or, I can just build a new supply side. Yes! That’s what I’ll do. It’s been a few days since I’ve been to ACE and the last 2 times I didn’t have a valid reason for the trip which made Diane a little suspicious. She knows “stuff” so I have to be careful.

Wish me luck.

Jerrie isn’t Happy

Normally I’m a happy guy. Just ask my wife. She’ll tell you that I’m happy pretty much all the time, but not today.

Now, I’m not overly unhappy right now, just a tad bit frustrated with CenturyLink. Have you heard of them? I have no idea how far their tentacles stretch, but they are certainly here in the Great NW.

My frustration is caused by their willingness to schedule an install appointment for a reasonable time, then not show up with no explanation. The arrival time for the tech was pushed out about every half hour giving me hope that at some point someone would show up. I spent most of my day watching this happen until the arrival time was pushed beyond their 5 pm limit.


The only way to share my frustration with them is by texting someone who can’t share a reason for the delay. I’m sure they don’t know the reason, but they also don’t seem inclined to bring it to the attention of someone who can.

Here’s my last chat session:

Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:50:18 PM): All technical support chats may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. Thank you for contacting CenturyLink.

You are speaking with Shadab, please give me a moment to review the information you provided.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:50:20 PM): Hi, Thank you for contacting Century link, While I am pulling your account, please provide your Alternate call back number.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:51:00 PM): ***REDACTED – they always ask for this, but never use it***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:03 PM): Thank you for the confirmation. Please help me with your billing address and Email ID.

Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:51:37 PM): ***REDACTED BY Jerrie***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:52 PM): Thank you for the confirmation.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:51:58 PM): Could you please help me what is the issue you are facing?
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:54:52 PM): A CenturyLink tech was scheduled to do work at the house this morning beginning around 9:30. The time was moved out about every 15 minutes until it was finally scheduled for 5:15pm to 7:15 pm. Apparently there is something wrong with the install but that info wasn’t shared and I have no way to contact the tech. I don’t even know if a tech was ever assigned.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:54:53 PM): ARe we connected? ***Shadab was on the verge of disconnecting me***
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:55:37 PM): A i chcked there 2 ticketbin your account the tech will be visiting on21 st June for both the ticket.

Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:55:46 PM): I’m a bit frustrated from spending a large part of my day waiting for someone to show up and no one had the courtesy to call me and let me know what is going on.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:56:49 PM): I rescheduled today’s visit to the 21st because it was evident no one as going to show up today.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:56:57 PM): I apologies for th eissue you are facing with
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:57:22 PM): Please till monday the Tech will visit and help you your issue,
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:57:35 PM): I’m wondering if I’ll be blessed with the same kind of service on Monday the 21st.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:58:13 PM): I would like someone to tell me NOW what the hold up is.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:58:26 PM): the tech will edefinetly visit on momda and help you with issue.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:58:53 PM): Why didn’t he visit me today during his scheduled visit?
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:59:38 PM): It would have been a kind thing to do.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 2:59:46 PM): I apologies fo th eissue you are faing with
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 2:59:54 PM): Not your fault.

Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:00:02 PM): Ther tech will be visiting on both the cfor monday.ases
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 3:01:03 PM): Your link didn’t work. This is a scheduling problem and I’d like to communicate with that department.
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:01:13 PM): I asorry for the inconvenicne
Shadab S (6/19/2021, 3:01:23 PM): Thank you for Contacting Century link, Have a Nice day.
Jerrie (6/19/2021, 3:01:44 PM): Seriously! You just blew me off. Wonderful customer service

Anyone else find themselves having fun this way?

Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

Solar Energy Alert

It has come to my attention, from an unknown source, that the use of solar energy has vastly exceeded expectations reported by the Solar Energy Expert Panel (SEEP). This group is composed of seven scientific solar experts from the enormous high desert surrounding Burns, Oregon. It’s rumored that they meet in an abandoned farm house located in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a little east of Mud Lake in Oregon, which is just a tad south of Burns. The confusion about the location is related to the similarity of the village names (Bern vs. Burns) and the fact that this author has absolutely no idea about that which he writes. Truly, it’s not relevant anyway. So, lets say it’s Burns, Oregon, just for fun.

The end result is that solar energy will be in short supply by the end of 2021, and totally unavailable by 2025.

Warn your neighbors.


Diane and I have both received our COVID shots and survived.

Diane had the cataract removed from her right eye and can see perfect without her glasses with that eye. It’s a strange thing for her because she’s worn specs since she was 5-years-old. She’s also amazed that colors can be so bright. I’ve speculated that once she’s had both eyes done her difficulty with blue and brown socks will be history. Not knowing when that will happen, I’ve encouraged her to dump her sock drawer on the bed and sort her socks. I’m curious, aren’t you?

My dermatologist carved a couple of iffy spots off my body and sent them away for biopsy. They were both benign. Now I have two more spots on my body that will never tan. I’m a very blotchy person in my old age.

Ruth had her birthday on Diane’s and My anniversary. She’s 80, now, which means she was only 27 when Diane and I got married. We didn’t plan our wedding to intentionally be on Ruth’s birthday, but it’s OK. More reason to celebrate.

Our Pastor got a new knee. She’s been wanting one of those for a while. Around the same time, another friend got a new hip. Diane needs a new knee but won’t get one. She’s happy with the new eyeball she got and isn’t interested in a knee.

I started construction of the window frames for our new windows. Takes me lots of time to trick my mind into thinking I can cut the pieces correctly so they will fit properly. Yes I measured twice before cutting. Matter of fact, I measured dozens of times before cutting. It took me 3 days to cut the first board. It’s a very tiring process. So far I’ve got most of the pieces cut for 3 windows. Each window requires eight pieces to make them pretty. In a couple of weeks I plan to see if they fit. Until then, I’ll just pretend everything is just fine. I’ll take a photo one of these days to show you.

I’ve been involved in a long delay, ending just now, trying to get my laptop to recognize my phone so it will allow me to transfer new photos to share. I’d like to share because a lot has happened recently that was documented with my camera by Diane. Since the photos aren’t working now, I’ll just explain them to you.

First off, Diane and I left home last Tuesday, headed for Bend, Oregon. On the way we traversed Highway 22 from Salem to Tumalo State Park near Bend. Much of the landscape we travelled through was severely burned recently. A number of small towns along the route were totally destroyed. Pretty sad. Detroit Lake was one of the most notable for us because we stayed at the park there not long ago. All of the structures along the highway are now gone. Destroyed homes and vehicles, including fire trucks, litter the route. Even with all that destructions, people are rebuilding, reclaiming their land. I only took a few photos of that aspect of our trip.

We made it to Bend unscathed. The road was nice and wide and I didn’t run off the road even once. Diane was pleased. We got eveything set up by 4 pm or so, and called it a day, hooked up the TV and watched it until we both woke up and went to bed.

The next day, Wednesday, we made a valiant effort to go see Tumalo Falls in person. We only had to drive 15-20 miles, or so, to tiny parking lot next to a locked gate. Turns out to see the falls in person one must hike 2.5 miles down a rocky road. We made it out about 1 mile before deciding that looking up photos of the falls on the internet was a better use of our time. We exited the road and followed small deer trails along the Tumalo River back to the tiny parking lot.

I think it was the Tumalo River. It was coming from the direction of the falls. Had to’ve been the Tumalo River. Even though it looked more like a creek.

OK, I actually looked it up and it IS a creek! Go figure. Tumalo Creek! It empties into the Deschutes River which actually runs next to Tumalo State Park. I think I read that somewhere.

On Thursday we thought we’d find some Mexican food for lunch. We were hungry. I searched the internet for nearby Mexican themed food truck, because we like food trucks, and found one at a place on Purcell Drive call River Place. I don’t know why they call it River Place because I never once saw a river. Anyway, we found the food truck we were looking for and it was closed. Being hungry we took a look at the other 3 food trucks. Actually, I looked at the other 3 trucks because Diane stated she didn’t care what I got. She just wanted me to go out there and make a decision. So, I opted for a very busy roast beef sandwich from Hogan’s Hoagies. It had things in there I’ve never seen before, but it was really good. They had tables spread out on a patio but we opted to test fate and eat our sandwich in the car with flimsy paper the only thing keeping whatever was in the sandwich off our clothes.

It was delicious! Highly recommended, and it was only $11. Fed both of us easily.

Since Pilot Butte State Park was right in front of us as we left the food truck parking lot, we decided to visit it. Another state park we can check off the list. Turns out Pilot Butte is a very prominent hill of prominence in the Bend area. You may want to look it up and check it out. Or, you can just click HERE without searching. That works. Just checked it. It’s a stunning view.

From there we ventured to the Humane Society thrift store. While Diane looked at interesting stuff, I checked the shoe supply, looking for something in an 8.5 for Lydia. Saw some interesting footwear but none the right size. Then we went to Goodwill seeking other treasures. I didn’t find any, but Diane did. She always finds nifty stuff.

On the way home Diane went through a DQ drive thru by mistake and we wound up with a chocolate malt for me and a cherry slushi for Diane. I had mine gone within a block of leaving DQ but Diane held on to hears, taking only little sips as she drove, then finally mixing it with a glass of moscato back at the RV. It was a very pretty drink.

Today, Friday, we paid a visit to a Hobby Lobby we spied a day or two ago. Turns out that the road that runs past our park kinda terminates in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. Pretty handy. The store’s name was very misleading to me because it doesn’t really have the kind of hobbies I was thinking of. It was pretty much all girly stuff. But, I went up and down every isle and looked at every bit of it while Diane lagged about 1/4 mile behind looking at everything 2, 3 times. It’s a really big store, so I got a lot walking in for this trip.

I cooked dinner tonight. Simple fare of omelettes, bacon, hash browns and toast. Comfort food.

Now we relax until morning when we unhook from the park facilities and head back to St. Helens.

Another adventure.

April 20th

Once again we enter a special time of year that reminds me I’m the luckiest guy in the world. On this day, in 2021, a very special Lady will have allowed me to bask in the glow of her presence for the past 53 years.

There were moments when we didn’t see eye to eye, but we’ve always seen heart to heart. Without a doubt.

This was taken on Okinawa in 1968, not long after she joined me on the island. From what you see in the photo, you might suspect that our life was not an easy one to start, but we actually didn’t realize then that life could be better. We had each other and we were together.

That’s all that mattered back then.

That’s still what matters today.

Thank you for all those wonderful years, My Love.

Let me bask a while longer.

I Love You!

Getting Older & Losing my Mind

It’s been a while since I’ve been here so please have patience with me as i teach my old arthritic fingers to flitter around on my keyboard like they used to. Yeah, they actually flittered. So fast, sometimes, that they had no clue what they were doing. Those are the posts I should have edited, but didn’t.

Let’s see what I can remember since March 16th …

Hmmmmmmm. Apparently not much … I’ve been sitting here for about 15 minutes wracking my shriveling brain and staring at my calendar for clues but nothing is happening. That leads me to believe that one of two things has happened: 1) My short term memory has finally bit the dust completely, or; 2) Absolutely nothing happened.

Since #2 is unlikely, I’ll go with #1 which opens up a wide range of possibilities since I can just make stuff up, not caring about whether or not what I’m sharing is true. That being said, let’s pretend I know what I’m doing here…

Yesterday was an astoundingly beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. So beautiful that I was compelled to fire up my new-to-me lawnmower and see what kind of damage i could do to the grass that was growing wile pretty much everywhere. Actually, that was the second time I’ve mowed it since acquiring my new-to-me mower.

About that – it’s an X304 John Deere all wheel steering rig that was kind of freaky to drive the first time I used it. I got it from Diane’s Mom’s Sister whose Husband, Bill, recently passed away leaving the mower stranded in his garage. It needed attention which I was happy to give it.

Jeff helped me get it home by renting a trailer from Don’s Rental. I would have hauled it in my old pickup truck but it went to a new home where someone could take better care of it. So, you might say I’m pickupless. That could be a word. I’ve ordered a trailer hitch for the Equinox so I can drag a trailer around if necessary but it won’t be here until next week sometime.

I also ordered hitch a mounted motorcycle carrier to tote my scooter around. I believe I mentioned it previously. One of these days I’ll have a photo to share, but can’t find one right now that can be saved in this post. I don’t know why.

In reference to the title, it’s true. I’m reminded of both those events on a regular basis throughout my day. In my typical fashion, I ignore those little jabs because I’ve earned every one of them.

Today it was 70 degrees outside so I went out and tussled with our blackberry vines for a while. It seems to be a neighborhood thing now, kinda like a competition. Our neighbor is winning but they’re cheating by using a hedge trimmer. It’s an electric one. I’m going to get a Stihl gas-powered one tomorrow. That will surely show them.

Just finished watching Gonzaga squeek by the UCLA Bruins in the 2nd game of the final four. What a game it was. I normally cheer for the Zags but no matter who won it, it would be a west coast team. I’ve followed the lady basketballers, too, and the west coast did well. Actually, the Pac-12 did well because the two teams playing for the championship (Arizona & Stanford) are Pac-12 teams. Pretty snazzy.

Now I must go find a squeegie and scrap the dried sweat off my body so I don’t mess up the sheets. It’s time for bed.

“Camping at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park”

Here we are, tethered to slot #8 at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park campground. Finally!

This is a park Diane has been wanting to visit for a long time but circumstances didn’t work out until recently. She was a little giddy when she made the reservations. It’s really good to see her so happy like that. Makes me happy, too.

Getting here was an unexpected challenge that nearly destroyed our RV and the tow car and it was all because of our decision to take the road less travelled. The reason for that, we discovered, was because it was pretty narrow in spots making it difficult to keep the rig in the lane without going over the center line. Early on, during this route, the right front wheel leaned a little too far right, going over the white line designating the bike lane, you’d think, but it was only about 6″ wide. Consequently, the tire made it all the way off the asphalt, causing a lot of jittering and a bit of fear as I worked to get it back on the road. Which I did. Diane was in the back cooking something, I think, or getting something from the fridge, so wasn’t looking out the windshield to see what was going on. That was a good thing. She would have absolutely freaked out! Really! I can say that with confidence because she was in the navigator’s chair the next time it happened and she was praising Jesus to save us all.

The same kind of thing happened but the bike lane wasn’t even 6″ wide as the asphalt terminated at the outer edge of the white line. So, technically, there was no bike lane at all. It was just a white line, then nothing. This particular event happened as the road curved to the right a little with traffic coming at me from every which direction. The right front made it off the road, then the right back tire went off, then the tow car went entirely into the ditch. I learned that from the guy who was behind us watching the entire show.

I felt the car pull the RV’s back end around about the time I got the front wheels on the asphalt then the RV’s back tires miraculously also grabbed a little asphalt giving me some traction to work with. At that time I was heading across the road with my front wheels turned to the right, then the car must have left the ditch and started the old wobbly back and forth that I’ve experienced before which seems to be a “thing” with the Equinox.

I was able to get the RV back into my lane while slowing down as much as possible. By this time I was probably going about 15 mph, but all that stuff going on behind me made it all pretty exciting.

I got the wobbly to stop, turned a corner onto a major road then pulled over and stopped to see what the damage was. At this time I was still unaware that the tow car had been in the ditch. The guy behind me also pulled over and stopped in front of me and told me he thought the car was going to roll over as it was entirely in the ditch and he wasn’t really sure how I managed to get it all back together.

The entire event probably took 15 seconds, start to stop, and Diane was making sure Jesus was paying attention. I’m pretty sure he was because other than a little mud splattered all over Diane’s white car, there was no apparent damage. So, we buckled up and continued on our way. There were no more experiences like that for the remainder of the trip.

Then we exited Highway 101 in Winchester Bay following the GPS directions, looking for Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The GPS took us past at least 7 nice RV parks and led us out into the middle of a parking lot where folks who ride quads in the sand gather to unload their equipment. There was no park in site. Just this huge parking lot surrounded by sand. I found a gentleman and asked for directions which his wife gave as she knew what we were looking for. All we had to do was go back the way we came and go past the first 3 campgrounds and turn right on Lighthouse Road. We did that and drove past the Umpqua lighthouse, around a few corners then back out to Highway 101. Nowhere was there any evidence of a campground. So, we went around again and stopped in the parking lot near the lighthouse and I walked back to what appeared to be an occupied 5th wheel nearby.

I knocked on their door and caused a dog to light up the surrounding area with a serious round of barking. Finally, the door was opened and I explained my dilemma. The lady of the house ensured me that we were very close to our destination then gave me some very detailed directions on how to get there.

Without going into more detail, we were able to reach our objective and get connected to power and water before darkness claimed the day. For once in my life I was thankful for daylight saving time. We would have never found this place in the dark.

The problem is, you see, that the GPS made us turn on the wrong road, leading us around to the back of the park. Then, going up Lighthouse Road from where we were wasn’t useful because the sign for the park can only be seen coming from the other direction. Pretty handy, right?

We got settled, had dinner, read our books for a while, went to bed and I slept for almost 9 hours. That’s totally unlike my bladder to allow me to do that. I was amazed. Pleased, but amazed.

Then I went outside to have another look at the car. Although it started pouring rain about the time we settled down, the car was still dirty. But, all the parts seemed to be there and nothing was dented.

After breakfast we decided to take a ride and check out our surroundings. Shortly into the trip it was obvious that things were different as there was an odd odor creeping into the car, and something was dragging on the pavement. A quick look under the hood solve the odor – it was debris from the ditch that had been tossed all over the engine that was being heated by the engine. The item dragging on the pavement was a piece of the right front fender well that had come unsnapped from whatever kept it in place. Not in the mood to give it a lot of attention, I just bent it up away from the road and called it good.

The scraping sound went away and after about 10 miles so did the odor.

Considering all of the possibilities for what could have happened to us we could only look at each other and know, for sure, that we were blessed. Apparently we both have more to do in this world and apparently we’ll need the RV and tow car to do it.

Thank you Jesus!