Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

All Work and No Play

Since we are still attempting to regroup from our journey across country and our schedules are a bit wacky, we are not doing much sightseeing around here.  We have taken a few bike rides in the area and have found some good and then not so good roads to bike on.

Something happened along the way to us living this lifestyle that we are currently not too content with.  Somewhere in the middle of this 10 year journey we were adventurous and we loved our lives, but now we fear…we fear the weather…we fear running out of money…we fear we won’t find work that pays us enough to continue…we fear our health.  We need to find our way back to those middle years that we so enjoyed our lives instead of fearing everything.

What we need to do is to live in this moment and stop reliving the past or trying to predict the future.  Today, right now is all we have and if we do not live it to the best of our abilities then this moment will soon become a memory, a bad memory at that.

Life doesn’t always give us what we dream and work towards, we know this from experience.  We have worked hard to get our lives on the right path but we always seem to fall short of how we would like it to be and instead get something that is not even close to how we thought it would be but we continue to dream and build from that point.

Looking at others it seems as if they live the lives we would like to live.  Not in an envious way but in a curious way.  We look at them in hope to find the answers to help us to get closer to that dream lifestyle we can see in our hearts but have yet to be able to bring out to make it our reality.

Fighting the demons within is a hard path to pave and it seems we are no closer than we were 20 years ago.  We have not truly lived the life we have wanted and we do all we can to change it but we always seem to fall flat.  Even though we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back in the race to fight another day we are getting tired and discouraged that our lives will ever be the way we have dreamed about.

That is when we wonder if we hold higher expectations than we should be holding?  But isn’t that how we are supposed to get to the higher lifestyle is by first seeing it, then believing it, and then going for it?

We are 56 years old and we are tired…tired of struggling…we just want to be able to live an easier life where we are not constantly making our decisions by how much money we have at that moment.  We thought we had made it through that part of our life lessons but it seems life has more for us to learn about being broke all the time.  Even if we wanted to, we could not move on at this point and that is a feeling we do not like to have forced on us.  We think we are going to like working here this summer and checking out all the areas that we have dreamed about but we do not like being in the situation that we are stuck here at this point until the work checks begin to come in weekly. 

Our plan was to visit the areas during this off season time when we are not working 40 hour weeks but we ran out of money during our trip across country so now we are still barely getting by with what is coming in.  Once the season begins we will have many, many more hours and the checks will be substantially higher but we will not have the time off to visit these areas, plus the area will be much more crowded than it is now.

We both know that it could be worse and we really shouldn’t be whining about this little stuff because there are many others who have it so much worse than we do but at the same time there are many others who have it so much better than we do too!  We just would like to know how the other side of being broke lives and we would just like to be able to live it for what is left of our lives.

We played the Maine Lottery because we have heard from a few different folks around here that they have hit it big recently and we would like to be one of them that can say the same.  It feels at times that hitting the lottery is the only way for us to get out and stay out of being broke because working and traveling the way we do is not bringing us any closer to making a comfortable living.  We wonder at times how we even are able to make it at all with the small amount that comes in but we always seem to manage to make it work for us but the struggles are back and we want to be back on the gravy train of our lives as we had been for the most part in the past few years.

Okay, there was the whining and now we both know the next step is to stop concentrating on our lack and be grateful for all the great and wonderful things that are right in our lives.  By doing this it opens up avenues that we could not see with all the fog in our minds but clearly we are very blessed to have each found the love of our lives, our health with just a few aches and pains and we are so grateful for having Maggie who holds herself together through some really trying times.

There are so many more things that we have to be thankful for and it really feels good to be back on the path of being grateful instead of focusing on the lack.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Phill Cook’s Passing

A very dear friend of ours passed away last week and we would just like to say a few words about him.

He gave me away at our wedding because I had no family and he was the closest thing I ever had to a father.

They called him the Silver Fox and that is what the name of his bar was that I was Assistant Manager and bartended and where I ultimately met the man of my dreams, Jerry!

He also was one of our first customers when we began our tile business and sent us loads of customers.  If it was not for him we can honestly say that we would not have met, married or had such a successful business.

We thank him for all the wonderful times we can reminisce about and we know that his presence in this world will be sadly missed.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Fun is on its Way!

Since we were over a week late to Bayley’s our work shifts began the day after our arrival.  There have been a few changes in our expected scheduling but we are hopeful that it will still work for us.  First, right now Jerry is not just cooking but he is doing some maintenance chores while they are still opening the campground.  It is open for business but there are several projects and he is assisting with them since the restaurant is only open the weekends until after Memorial Weekend.  My change is that I will not be working in the bakery the entire time.  The person that was not going to return changed her mind and she will be working in the bakery full time while I fill in on her days off and my other days and or nights will be working the register in the restaurant.  It gives us both a variety of things while we are here as long as they will make sure we both have the same hours and days off which is what really matters to us.

Since the restaurant is closed most of the week, Jerry is helping with maintenance and our days off will be Wednesday and Thursday and we plan to do some exploring on our bikes.  We are less than a mile from the ocean and we have not seen much of the area and there are so many things for us to do that are close by until we take Maggie for a ride in a few weeks.

For now we are allowing Maggie to dry up which is a bit difficult since it has been raining every day.  The floor under our bed that made it all the way out into the kitchen area from the way we were sitting in the junk yard is dry but we can really feel the squishiness in several areas that we will need to investigate before we take her out for a ride anywhere. 

We have several major decisions to make but we feel at this moment we have time to make them.  We will be settled in here for a few months and in the meantime we will work through all the issues that came up during our 3 month journey across the country.  For now we will just relax and try to enjoy our time here and possibly learn to get back on the positive ride that we have held onto for most of our lives.  It’s going to take us some time to get back into believing and holding on, we know we will get there but it just seems as if it will take longer than it usually does since this was a major hit on us. 

Our two days off we took bike rides, first to Walmart where halfway back Jerry got a flat and he had to walk it the rest of the way.  I went ahead of him to get the pump but there was a nail puncture in the tire so we inflated and he rode it a bit, we inflated and he rode it a bit until finally we made it home.

Our next day off together we rode our bikes down to Old Orchard Beach to check out the local excitement.  Now not so much since it’s still chilly up here and the season has not even started but once it does it will surely be much busier.  More than half of the stores and restaurants are not even open yet but it was a nice ride and we did pick up a great Maine pin for our map.

Amazingly we have been in Maine now for over a week and we have yet to taste any lobstah!  That will soon change…

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Our Arrival to Scarborough Almost Didn’t Happen…

We got so busy with working, traveling and going into a deep depression because of the terrible circumstances that we encountered that we have not kept up on our blogging.  We will begin where we last left off…

The Mustang 50th Auto Show was not as busy and we had a rainy day but it was fun working with Sandi, David, and Tim and as usual working with Scootaround.  This show was a bit disorganized than the Auto Fairs we usually do at the Charlotte Motor Speedway but we did what we could to keep our sanity.

Once that show ended we had laundry, shopping, and had to travel 500 miles to Carlisle so we split it in two days which works for us.  The drive was very scenic even though it was all Interstates.  We headed north on I-77 to I-81N.  A few areas were rough but for the most part they were smooth.

We made it to Carlisle on Tuesday afternoon, just in time for a good wind, rain, thunder and lightning storm.  The wind was ferocious our entire time there and we have layers of dirt everywhere in our home and every morning our eyes woke with sand in them.  We also had another rain storm come in on Friday about 4:30pm, we close at 5pm.  If only that rain would have held off until then we would have been fine but instead we got wet, the scooters got wet and the customers were wet too. 

Why do so many people think that during a heavy rain storm as Jerry and I are struggling to get the scooters under cover and to get their id’s back that they feel is the best time to hang out under our tent and try to converse with us?  We had to tell several of them that we would love to chit chat with them but we have work to do and if they would kindly step out of the way and out of our tent we would appreciate it.

With only 500 miles left until we arrived in Scarborough, Maine we hoped all the bad stuff that had been following us since February was over but we were so wrong, the worst was yet to happen.

They say, “Life never gives you more than you can handle.”  We disagree.  With everything that had been going on for us since we decided to make this trek across country back in February we were already at the end of our rope and had tied a knot at the end of it several times already but life had much more for us to contend with and life finally broke our spirits.

We left Carlisle on Monday and planned to stay ahead of the rains that were coming so we would take 300 miles the first day to get to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut for a play night before heading into Scarborough on Tuesday.

The roads were so filled with potholes and were the roughest we had ever been on and we have been on plenty of bad roads.  Then, about 55 miles from our destination while driving on I-95N and about to hit a construction zone where there were no shoulders, Maggie began to shake uncontrollably and we heard a loud noise from under her and then Jerry did all he could to get her pulled off to the little bit of shoulder that was left.  She finally stopped a few feet from the barricades but we were not out of danger yet.  She was barely off the lane and even though it was feet from the construction zone where speed limit was supposed to be 45, the cars, trucks and semis were zipping by us so hard and making us rock so violently that it felt we were going to tip over.  It was so frightening!

Jerry got out to assess the damage and seen our drive shaft about a hundred feet behind us on the shoulder and went to retrieve it.  In the meantime I was on the line with Good Sam Road Service to get someone out there to get us off the highway.  They suggested we dial 911 to get assistance since we did not feel safe at all and Jerry called while I stayed on the line with Good Sam.  The initial call to Good Sam was at 1:30pm and 1:34pm to 911.  The State Trooper was there within minutes with lights blaring which slowed down the traffic tremendously.  I had been on the line with Good Sam several times trying to get some sort of ETA and they claimed they were having a hard time finding anyone in the area to assist us.  After about 45 minutes they said they found a repair shop finally and would then now start looking for a tow truck to get us off the highway.  Seriously?  I thought they were kidding.  I was shocked that they had not even begun to find a tow truck to get us off the highway by this time.  After 30 more minutes they advised us they finally found a tow truck and that they would be there in about 90 minutes.  Again, we were amazed in the incompetence and unwillingness of them to understand the tremendous danger we were in and for them not to step it up to get us out of it.  The State Trooper had been there for over an hour at this time and advised us that they would have to leave shortly.  I then started calling tow trucks in the area and on the 2nd call they said they were on their way, something we had wanted Good Sam to do a long time before.  Moments later a regular tow truck stopped and said he would at least get us off the highway by tugging Maggie.  We were not thrilled with this idea but we had no other choice since the Trooper was getting ready to leave and we would not be safe at all.  

Tony, the owner of Tony’s Long Wharf Transport said he passed us earlier and noticed we were NOT in a very safe place but assumed we would be taken care of soon.  On his way back out again he seen we were still there and decided to stop and assist and when we then told him where our Good Sam Road Service was sending us over 5 miles away he advised us that it was a Lube & Oil shop, nothing more.  By this time we were fed up with Good Sam Roadside Service and were overwhelmed so we allowed Tony to tug Maggie to his shop/junk yard and have them work on her.  Longest mile in our lives.  Maggie was not strapped in just barely hanging on with all the turns to get us to his location.  Tony was calm and had been doing this for years and was making conversation the entire trip and for the life of me I could not tell you anything he said or that we replied back to him.  Jerry and I were both dazed, numb and terrified and felt as if we were in a nightmare and just wanted to wake up.

Once we arrived safely and while they assessed the damage, I called Good Sam to cancel.  Now remind you, this is well over 2 hours from our initial call to them.  Before I could get a word in they wanted to advise me of the name of the tow truck service that would be there within the next 90 minutes.  I lost it…told them to cancel and hung up and then cried.

After they checked Maggie out, we were given the good and bad news.  The good news was that we retrieved the drive shaft and it was in good shape and that the really expensive part was still intact but we would need to replace two of our U-Joints AGAIN and then the yoke.  Bad news was that the yoke was no longer an item they could get from the dealer since it was obsolete and no longer made but they were searching but that we would have to spend the night in the yard. 

We were not in the best of neighborhoods and were advised NOT to venture out past the Popeye’s or McDonald’s right next door.  But at the same time they advised us that the yard was under 24 hour surveillance and somebody would always be on property.

On Tuesday we found out that the yoke was not available locally but would be overnighted by 10am on Wednesday and they would be able to assemble it when it arrives.

Now try to picture this…we are in a junk yard with our generator not cooperating but finally offered us us some 110 power…thank goodness.  But now we are running low on food where we can just eat without cooking or BBQing which neither were options since we were packed in like a sardine in a can.  Then we realized we had no toilet paper or wine…we thought we could survive using tissues but nothing to replace for wine.  This was not going to be fun!  Then the rain began and the frigid temps came in and we had no heat since our space heater would not work on the limited power source.  We tried everything to keep strong but we were falling apart and no matter how hard we tried we could not find the good within this situation at all and it just kept getting worse.

Wednesday we woke with hope that was soon shattered when 10am rolled around and no delivery of our part.  They called UPS for the status and were told that they would return their call…nothing until finally at 12:30 they were advised that the part had been delivered at 9am but to the wrong address.  It was shipped to the local part place that was 26 miles away and it could be reshipped the next day…seriously?  Jerry lost it…  

After a short time, the girl in the office volunteered to drive and pick it up and the mechanic said as soon as it got there he would get right on assembling it.  The final cost was $200 over the original verbal estimate so we had no recourse but to pay what they asked which drained us almost totally.  At 4:30pm we drove out in the wind and rain but we were free. 

Unable to find any campground in the area, we drove the 55 miles to the Mohegan Sun to boondock in the lot with no generator but we were safe.  We wanted to check out the casino since we had heard so much about it and it was as big as we had heard it was.  We decided we would take $20 and play, on our first $5 we hit 2 jackpots totaling $300…we took it and had a nice dinner at Johnny Rockets for $20 and then went back to our rig and slept as it rained hard all through night.

The rain finally stopped at about 7am and there was a clearing for our 200 mile drive.  We stopped at the Walmart near our destination and picked up a few essentials we needed until we get our first paychecks.  We then drove the last 11 miles to our summer destination in Scarborough, Maine and before we could get out and get registered we both looked at one another and cried.

It was a relief cry…we lost a lot of our hope, faith, belief and trust that good things will ever come to us and that we will eventually live our dream life and all those other clichĂ©s that have been driving us all of our lives.  This 3 month journey was finally over and we believe that there will come a day that we look back at this it and smile and maybe even laugh but we know that day is not today…

NOTE:  Letters will be going out to Good Sam Roadside Service as well as to Mead Automotive and RV Repair shop in Blythe, California who replaced our UJoints less than 90 days ago.  Somebody will be held accountable for all that we have gone through with this very dangerous experience.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Mohegan Sun Casino – Boondocking

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.
Uncasville, CT  06382

This place caters to RVers and even though the weather was terrible and we were coming off of a very long and eventful journey we had a great time here and plan to return soon.

As you enter the RV hill there is a sign with the Security phone number on it to call them to check in.  They arrive within a few moments and get your license information and give you a slip to put in your window.  It seemed as if you can stay as long as you like, they even give you information of a local company who will come and pump you out, for a charge.

The grounds are wide and you will need to take the shuttle to and from the boondocking area to the Mall.  They have 3 different locations of casino gaming amongst many shopping and restaurant places.  We got lost and turned around several times.  One of the buffets were on the high end, they wanted $25 per person which is way too high for just a buffet so we chose to eat at Johnny Rockets and got a good meal for around $20.

We plan to revisit this place again when we have more time, a working generator and funds so we can really enjoy it and we would highly recommend it to others for an overnight or extended stay.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.