Nick’s Blog

It’s Official

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 182014
 

When I was a teenager a friend told me that I was never a kid, that I was born old. Looking back, he may have been right because many of my friends were adults even back then. (As opposed to now, when so many of my friends seem to be in their second childhood. Smile) Can you be born an old fart? Maybe so.

Whatever the case, it’s official now. I’m a card carrying codger. Yes, I have reached that milestone we all look forward from the first time we get a paycheck and see how much money Uncle Sam took out. It’s payback time, baby! I got my first Social Security deposit yesterday. It’s not much, because I was self-employed for most of my working life, but I’m sure I can figure out something to do with it.

As low as diesel prices are right now, I might even be able to afford to fill my Winnebago’s tank twice. Of course, we’re not going to need fuel again until we start heading west in late January, and if history holds true, fuel prices should shoot back up the day before we leave. It’s my way of stimulating the economy.

Originally, we had planned to stay in Florida until about the first of February before we began our westward trek, but we stirred the Jello all fulltime RVers set their schedules in and pushed things up a week or so. The VA hospital in Tucson has me scheduled for lab work on Friday, February 27th, and my annual checkup is on Tuesday, March 3rd. The Escapees RV Club Escapade starts on the 8th so we’ll have a few days to decompress from the trip and the medical stuff beforehand.

We plan to spend about a month making the trip. In the past our travel mode was to cross the country from Florida to Arizona in a few days, traveling ten or more hours a day, making quick overnight stops, and doing it all again the next morning. But like I said, I’m an old fart now, and we’re slowing down.

And though the most direct route is to get on Interstate 10 and take it all the way to Tucson, a distance of 1975 miles, what fun would that be? Instead, we’ll stop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see my son Travis and his pretty wife Geli. From there we may go to Livingston, Texas for a couple of days. My buddies Greg White and Ron Speidel say I can’t have a boat, but Charles Yust has a nice 22-foot Mako sitting in his carport that I want to drool over. Who knows? If I win the lottery someday I may get a boat no matter what Greg and Ron say. Or at least one of those fancy skipper’s hats.

Then we might stop in the Rockport/Aransas Pass area for a few days. It’s one of our favorite places in the Lone Star State. Out next stop will be my least favorite place in Texas - Mission. But it’s been too long since we’ve seen our dear friends Ron and Brenda Speidel, and my buddy Jim Lewis recently moved there from our old hometown in Arizona. Our final stop in Texas will be the Escapees Lone Star Corral in Hondo to see two other dear friends, Mike and Elaine Loscher. They worked endlessly to help make our Gypsy Journal rallies a success and we’re way overdue for a visit.

Following this route will add almost 700 miles to the trip. But why have wheels under your house if you can’t make them roll now and then?

Tucson trip

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review the book just received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

Another good read is Chris Ward’s Tube Riders science fiction series, and for a limited time Chris is offering the Trilogy Boxed Set on sale for just 99¢. That’s right, three e-books for under a buck. How can you beat a deal like that? You can’t, so order it today!

Thought For The Day – There is no greater treasure than a good friend!

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Back At It

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 172014
 

After a month away from it between being sick, replacing the refrigerator, and then putting the new issue of the Gypsy Journal together, I finally got back to my new book yesterday and managed to knock out close to 2,500 words. Things are moving right along and it feels good to be back in Big [...]

Dec 162014
 

Did I ever tell you that I’m married to the most beautiful, talented, and wonderful woman in the world? Yes, I’m a very lucky man. But I’m not the only lucky person around. Look at this beautiful shawl that Miss Terry just finished. This wasn’t as complicated as some of the patterns Terry has created, [...]

That’s 94!

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 152014
 

Much of the last week has been spent getting the new issue of the Gypsy Journal ready to go to press. I finished it yesterday afternoon and then Terry spent several hours proofing it before I uploaded it to our printer’s web server. It always feels good to get another issue behind us. This is [...]

Change Is A Constant

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 142014
 

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus got it right when he said, “Change is the only constant in life.” And nobody knows that better than RVers. Everywhere we go there are new places to explore, new people to meet, and new foods to discover. Even chain stores are different from one place to another. For example, some [...]

Seat Heat

 Posted by at 12:13 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 132014
 

We were here at the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve a few yeas ago when we bought our Ford Explorer. It came with every option available the year it was built, and driving back to the campground I was playing with all the buttons and gizmos to see what they did. After I while I realized [...]

Samsung’s First Trip

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 122014
 

With our month at Pleasant Lake RV Resort in Bradenton finished, yesterday it was time to hit the road. We were up by 7:30 and puttered around the motorhome for a little bit before getting things ready to go. Whenever we’re going to be traveling, Terry puts the passenger and driver’s seats in the proper [...]

Dec 112014
 

I’m not sure how it happens, but it does. We can arrive at a campground and Miss Terry can back me into our RV site on the first try and it goes smooth as silk… if nobody is there to see it. But let there be half a dozen people standing around watching, and it [...]

Anchors Aweigh

 Posted by at 12:16 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 102014
 

With our new Samsung refrigerator installed, the final step was to anchor it so it would not move while we are on the road. An RV is subjected to earthquake forces every time you drive it, and the last thing you want is something as big as a refrigerator moving around, or the doors opening [...]

Dec 092014
 

We had so many things we had hoped to do while we were here at Pleasant Lake RV Resort in Bradenton. We wanted to visit the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. We wanted to go to Myakka State Park for the airboat tour. We wanted to go to the beach and fly our kites. We wanted [...]