We are in Marion, Illinois with the snow piled high. UGH! Thankfully, the last two nights the generator has started, with a little cajoling from Jim and jumping the the house batteries and we are as comfortable as we could be. All the improvements Jim has made on the bus; thermostats, heaters in every room, generator re-do (write-up still coming) have made the trip go smoothly. As Ellen Best says, there is always something to be done, but that is true in your house too.
We had a lovely visit with my cousin Gaile and her husband Ken, in New Market, Tennessee. I had not seen them for over 20 years, but we fell together and talked as though we had known each other forever. Many family idiosyncracities ironed out and more understood. New Englanders are tough cookies and don’t talk much, but thankfully Gaile is not like that and we were able to sort through a few things that I had been curious about.
We had a lovely afternoon visit in which Ken convinced Jim he need not just an iPad,. but an iPhone too. We also had a hike with Bungee, Daisy and Kissee along the trails of Symphony Hill, complete with bluebird houses, deer, and incredible vistas. Eastern Tennessee is beautiful, if not actually conducive to 40 foot buses.
When we first arrived in their vicinity, we came to a bridge that the GPS had directed us to that said 10 ton limit. Well, we are much more than that. After a phone consultation, Ken met us at a church parking lot he directed us to and showed us several options for parking, including up their very steep grade driveway. If we had made it up, it would have been perfect, but the grade was just a bit much for us newbies and air brakes so they spotted us in a local produce stand where they knew the folks. It was on Churchview Street and there were literally like 6 churches right nearby. Most of them Baptist. Right across the street from each other. A Jim said, one doesn’t allow dancing, but the one across the street allows you to tap your toes while standing up. Gaile and Ken further explained that if you wanted to join the church, you might be the only ones who weren’t kin. She is a transplanted New Englander, Vermont to be exact. They have been there over 20 years and are still learning the ropes. But they got the lingo down. As in Narrow Valley Road = Norville Rd.
After our hike, we had a delicious meal of homemade vegetable soup and tons of fresh baked homemade bread. The bread was so good and slathered with butter, of course. Jim loves bread and he was totally drooling. We all were.
And not only that, but when we left and Ken drove us back to the bus, Gaile packed up the rest of the evening bread and a whole new loaf for the road.
When we got back to the bus, Jim jumped the generator off the house batteries (even though the generator battery is brand new) and after a comfortable night, Gaile and Ken came over in the AM to tour the bus and meet the kitties. We are so thankful to have such good (and politically corect) relations.
After a semi-late start, thanks to Howard Best, we were able to make it almost 400 miles to Marion where we are eating the rest of Gaile’s bread and microwaved soup (since the propane developed a leak and we can’t use the stove).
As our next door neighbors would say, we’re just happy to be here.
We are headng for the barn tomorrow.