Sunday, July 22, 2012

We picked the hottest month in the history of the world to camp at Spaulding for the month. The heat has kept us inside in order to take advantage of the AC. It’s really not what we had in mind. The temperatures have bounced between 98 and 101!

Of course what would be a Doyle camping adventure without a repair issue coming into play. No, it wasn’t a tire issue, but rather a holding tank issue. It seems the tank came loose from the brackets that hold it in place. Only one side of the tank dropped, but in the process the pipe that connects to the sewer hose was bent and developed a leak. Hard as it was for me to believe, we had difficulty finding a service person that would do an onsite repair. I thought we lived in the RV capital of the world, and yet repair services seem to be limited. We finally found this clown who agreed to come to the campground. I say “clown” only because he was totally unprepared. For example he hadn’t charged any of his batteries for his drill. He needed a rubber mallet that I had to supply. The same was true of duck tape. I thought everybody in the world had duck tape. Anyhow, he did manage to get the tank rebolted. It no longer leaked. However, attaching the tank cover was a whole other problem. He duck taped the cover in place. Two days later the cover came loose and is now laying on the ground!
I paid $210 for his service. I told him the job he did was unacceptable. He is scheduled to return this afternoon. Hopefully he’ll bring a few tools.

It’s now Sunday, July 22nd and I can tell you that the repairman did return and completed the job. Hopefully it will hold together when we next move the trailer. Speaking of our travel trailer, we have decided we will sell the five year old Sunset Trail. We had mixed emotions about selling it, but believe the time has come. It’s becoming more and more difficult for me to do the work necessary to maintain, set up, tear down and haul it. When it becomes too much work for the return on the effort invested, it’s probably time to move on. So if any of you know anyone who might be interested in a five year old thirty foot travel trailer, let us know. I should add that it will not be available until September 18th.

We now have all heard and seen the details of the mass murder in Colorado. A mass murder that makes utterly no sense. What has caused the rise of mass murders, killings, and bizarre behavior in the United States? I believe it’s the gradual change in our culture over the past fifty years. It has been so gradual we haven’t even noticed. I’m sure many of you have heard about the frog and the kettle of boiling water. Scientists found that if you throw a frog into boiling water he will immediately jump out. However, if you place the frog in cold water and gradually get the water to the boiling point the frog will stay in the water and eventually die. I believe that is what has happened to our country. There is no longer any accountability on the part of individuals, corporations, and most of all the government. No one is responsible. There is an excuse for everything. We bend over backwards trying to find a reason why people do what they do. What we should be doing is letting them know what the consequences of their actions will render them. Don’t you just love it when the mass murder is constantly referred to as a “suspect”. I’m surprised he isn’t being labeled ‘a person of interest’. I believe the decline in our cultural morals began with the decision to remove prayer from our schools. I’m fine with a small percentage of students not taking part in prayer. I’m NOT fine with that same small percentage dictating to the vast majority of us because of some morons (mostly liberal courts) concern that we might offend someone. This excuse for any and all types of behavior makes me want to puke. We’re moving closer and closer to replicating the Roman Empire. Glenn Beck said it best a few days ago. He said “our country has a hole in its soul”. Bill Cosby wrote a piece in which he lamented all the various actions and behaviors he is tired of hearing and seeing. Lastly he said he is glad to “be on his way out rather than being on his way in”. I feel exactly the same way. I only hope our country will change course for the sake of our grandkids and their kids. It’s now up to them to turn this culture around.  


Sunday, July 1, 2012

My wife spotted a yard sign that simply said, “Vote for the Mormon, not the MORON”! Kinda says it all. If you don’t intend to vote for Romney, do us a favor and don’t vote. We can’t take four more years of this dictator. Day by day we’re looking and sounding more like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Syria and so many more delightful places where people have lost all of their rights and freedom. If you intend to vote for Barack, you may want to consider relocating to one of the aforementioned vacation spots (prior to casting your vote of course). One way tickets are very afordable. Enough bitterness already.

Today the temperature hit 92 degrees. That’s bad enough, but the weather gurus are telling me it will hit 100 on Thursday, followed by several more days in the 90’s. What are you people doing. Your carbon footprint is a size 14 and growing! You’re destroying the planet. And, you are doing this with impunity. Oh wait a minute. If King Barack is re-elected, forget the impuniy. You will be punished. Count on it.

Oh I forgot, I was going to lay off the bitterness. The older I get the more difficult it is for me to curb my "cyn i cal ity" (this is a word we didn’t have until now); accent on "cal" You can thank me at your leisure.

We’ve been quite busy since returning from FL. We traveled to Greenwich CT for Cameron’s 1st Communion. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. We were able to get a deal there. If you stayed two weekend nights, the third night was free. This was the only reason we could afford the Hyatt. Beautiful place and only a mile from my son and families’ home. On our way back we spent a few nights at my sister-in-law’s home in Stow, OH. We were able to visit with my sister in Akron, OH. Both are doing well.

A couple weeks later we drove to Nauvoo, IL. Nauvoo is a Hebrew word meaning beautiful place, and it is. The main reason for our visit was to see my good friend Steve McBride and his wife Darcy. We hadn’t seen them in 20 years. They live in Salt Lake City, but are spending 18 months in Nauvoo on a mission. They conduct tours through the historic sites. In the evening they take part in the entertainment. The music and singing was great. We got to see the BYU top rated dance troop. They were outstanding.

From Nauvoo we travelled to Quincy, IL to visit our friends Diane and Jeff Bloss. We’ve spent 5 winters at Emerald Beach RV Resort in Navarre, FL with them. Jeff has 3 working Jukeboxes that Jeff completely reconditioned. He also has a collection of radios (about 600 of them and 90% of them work). What a talented guy. We had a wonderful visit.

Next on the agenda is a month at Spaulding campground in Niles, MI. We’ve stayed there a number of times. We pull our travel trailer out of storage on July 1st. We are only 30 minutes from home, so we will be back and fourth several times during the month. It’s like having a summer cottage on the lake. A change of scenery in a very quiet setting.

The week of September 10th we’ll be meeting up with our Florida gang at Indian Lakes, a campground just south of Shipshewana, IN. There will be 14 of us taking over Indian Lakes. Should be a blast. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Back Home Again in Indiana

After spending a night with son Dan and family, we had brunch with son Mark in the morning and arrived in Elkhart on the 10th of April, only to be greeted with 35 mile an hour winds and snow! Since then its been several trips to the storage area to gather more items that needed to come to our apartment. I think we’ve finally gotten halfway back to normal. It’s amazing how 3 months away left us confused as to where things were in the apartment. Notice how I attributed the confusion to our 3 months away and not to our aging dementia.

It’s really great to be home, but we’ve already started a box for items we will need in our condo next year. Even though the condo is competely furnished and equippecd, there are things like office supplies, printer, CD’s, trash bags and files that we will need. It goes without saying, we are looking forward to the Navarre vacation with the Gulf of Mexico just 20 steps away from our back door. Of course there is also the benefit of great gas mileage next year since we won’t be dragging the Sunset Trail behind my gas guzzling truck. We’ll be driving Mary Ellen’s little PT Cruiser.

Our agenda over the next two months requires a few road trips. In May we’re going to CT for my youngest grandson’s First Communion, On our way back we’ll be stopping in Stow, OH at Mary Ellen’s sister’s and visiting my sister in Akron. In June we’ll be going to Nauvoo, IL to meet up with my good friend Steve McBride. Its been about 20 years since I’ve seen Steve. We both were employed at Bayer Diagnostics. Steve lives in Salt Lake City, but he and his wife, Darcy, are spending a year in Nauvoo on a
Morman Mission. When we leave Nauvoo we’ll travel to Quincy, IL and spend a couple weeks with our friends Diane and Jeff Bloss. Now that Jeff has gotten up off the floor, I should  confess I made up the part about a couple weeks. Ten days should be plenty of time to get reaquainted!! We didn’t see much of Jeff and Diane at Emerald Beach RV park in Navarre. Jeff and Diane moved to the high rent district of the park. Jeff made the lame excuse that he needed more space for their new travel trailer. We saw right through that one. They simply wanted a change of scenery if you know what I mean! Ten days in Quincy should more than make up for that!

In July we will take the Sunset Trail out of storage and set up camp at Spaulding Campground in Niles, MI. Since Spaulding is only 25 miles from home, I’m sure we’ll be back and forth a few times during the month. Lastly, our summer reunion with the Emerald Beach gang is scheduled for September. This year we’ll be setting up camp in Indiana. The site hasn’t been finalized as yet, but it looks like it’ll be Bass Lake Beach in Knox, IN. Mary Ellen and I will check out the place in May to see if it meets our very high standards!

I should mention that our trip home from Florida almost came off without a problem. The brakes on the truck worked well and the tires on the trailer ran smoothly. The one problem occurred at our last campground before Indy. We were staying at the Louisville South KOA. The morning prior to leaving for Indy I planned to flush the black water tank. I opened the valve to drain it and nothing happened. After spending an hour applying my vast amount of knowledge in an attempt to solve the problem, I resigned myself to spending some $$$ and having a real expert solve the problem. However, the ever crafty Mary Ellen approached Rex, the work camper, and used her best “poor female in distress” approach. Rex fell for it and told her he thought he might be able to help. He brought his magic wand with hose attached and after about 20 minutes he broke up the log jam and the draining began! I would recommend the KOA south in Louisville if your in the neighborhood. Tell Rex ‘thanks again’.


Sunday, March 25, 2012


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. I believe this quote sums up our winter of 2012.

I felt as though we were wintering in Minnesota.  The weather was a little better than Rochester, MN, but the number of hospital and doctor visits had me thinking of the Mayo Clinic. Normally one doesn’t plan their vacation around medical issues, but this winter was just that. It started the first two weeks we were here. For some still unknown reason I was running a low grade fever each and every day. No other symptoms, just that dragged out feeling you get when running an elevated temperature. A doctor visit, an antibiotic, and things returned to normal after two weeks.

But the real medical focus was Mary Ellen. It started with mid-sternum pressure. But when Mary Ellen said she thought maybe she should see a doctor, I knew it must hurt more than she was letting on to me. When she first saw the internist, he immediately sent her to the ER at Baptist in Gulf Breeze.

This Tuesday will be her third and hopefully final hospitalization. The right leg femoral artery is the one in need of stents. Doctor Carter, who specializes in problematic leg blockage will be doing this surgery.

Until this month, the weather has been atypical as well. We’ve had several days where Elkhart, IN had higher temperatures than Navarre, FL. January and February were disappointing weather wise. One water line freeze and plenty of fog and moisture made for a few ‘cabin fever’ days. I don’t want to give the impression that winter 2012 was all about negatives. There were plenty of positives as well.

The crew that changed all four tires on our camper comes to mind at the top of the list. Jim Murdy, Jeff Bloss, and John Pratt handled most of the labor. They did a super job in record time with nary a vulgar word spoken. Jim also provided knowledge and the tools to help me construct a guttering system for my sewer line. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “didn’t you do anything”? Let me think about that one...I guess not!

I did manage to have a two day battle with an upset stomach that brought on nausea and unpredictable vomiting The most memorable sudden onset nausea occurred at Walgreens. I did manage to get out to the truck where I proceeded to puke on one of my tires!

I’m still trying to fully recover from what I assume is a pulled muscle in my back. I’d say I’m 87% cured. In the past it has usually taken a couple weeks and that’s just about what its been. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Certainly in the realm of the atypical was a five day trip to Ohio for my sister's funeral in Akron. In my last blog I talked about the funeral, but I don't believe I mentioned that the wind and cold at the cemetery was very close to unbearable for the six of us who carried the coffin to her final resting place. 

We have had some memorable get togethers and will most likely have a few more. My total focus now is getting Mary Ellen “fixed” and back home. There’s probably a better word than “fixed”, but you get the idea.

We’re looking forward to 2013 and a reversal of fortunes. Say a prayer for my wonderful wife.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Saint Paddy's Day

Shortly after my last blog, and one day before Mary Ellen’s leg surgery, my 93 year old sister died. We left for Ohio the next morning. We got back to Akron in  record time (for me) of two days. My niece, Mary, did a wonderful job of planning the funeral. Everything came off exactly as my sister would have wanted it.

Mary Ellen’s surgery has been rescheduled for this Wednesday, March 21st at 1 p.m. The surgery is called an aorta gram with stent placement. The problem is in the right leg which is 90% blocked. If all goes as planned, she’ll stay overnight and be discharged Thursday morning.  Doctor Razek told her she will be a new woman and I’ll never be able to keep up with her. I think she’s looking forward to this. Maybe a little more than I’d like!

Last night the “bumpity bumpity gang” and friends held a carry in down at the newly erected ‘gazebo’. It doesn’t really look like a gazebo. I like to call it the ‘outer deck’. The outer deck is on the sand closer to Santa Rosa Sound. That would make the ‘inner deck’ the one attached to the pavilion. We had twenty four people and I think everyone had plenty to eat and drink. The ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ decks is my way of differentiating the two decks. Any of you who cares is certainly welcome to use this copyrighted nomenclature.

This evening about thirty of us met at the Cactus Flower restaurant to wish two of our camp workers well. Leon and Lillian are moving to Cherokee, NC. They will both be missed.  

Tomorrow is Saint Paddy’s day. We are planning on meeting some friends at the Beach Monkey on Navarre Beach on the Gulf. The Beach Monkey has a huge deck. Tomorrow they will have a DJ and I’m sure some unplanned entertainment. Should be a fun afternoon.

Happy Saint Patrick’s day.

Monday, March 5, 2012



Of late we’ve had a paucity of sunshine and a plethora of rain. On Saturday it rained for 18 hours straight. I had intended to complain about the lousy weather in Navarre this year (for all the good that would do), but after hearing about the 39 people who died due to a different kind of weather I decided my minor complaint paled by comparison. It reminded me of the quote, “I cried because I had no shoes, and then I met a man who had no feet”.

As you know, Mary Ellen is scheduled for surgery this Wednesday at Pensacola Baptist Hospital. We’re hoping she won’t have to cancel. The reason the aortagram is questionable at this time is the deteriorating condition of my 94 year old sister. She could die anytime in the next week or so. Of course nobody can predict these things with surety. Whenever her death occurs, we’ll be heading to Akron, Ohio for the funeral. If it happens before Wednesday, Mary Ellen will have to reschedule the surgery. If you’re so inclined, please say a prayer.

Sunday and today were lovely. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I guess the skies totally dryed after the 18 hours of rain. There was nothing left for the clouds to do except to rest.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the letter “G” has made a curtain call. Actually it was far less dramatic. I bought an auxillary keyboard. To replace the keyboard on my MacBook would have cost $200 +. Since my MacBook is 4 years old I may buy a new one next year. In the meantime I’ll make do with a $20 keyboard.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

My laptop won’t type a “_”. Obviously, you don’t know what letter I’m talkin_ about, since my laptop won’t type it. Here’s a clue. It’s the letter after F and followed by H. Mary Ellen su__ested that I clean the key. Oops. She was thinkin_ of my IBM Selectric back in the sixties. I’ll probably take it to the “_eek” down the street. I have no idea what mi_ht cause such a malfunction. All of you are probably sittin_ there with “worms in your mouth”, a.k.a “with baited breath”, waitin_ to find out.

My new set of 4 tires are now on the Sunset Trail (S.T.) and ready to roll. They are a _oodyear heavy duty tire “D” rated. They looked so _ood that I _ot new black wheel covers for them. I have to thank 2 Jim’s and a Jeff for doin_ all the heavy liftin_. All I did was transport the tires from the _oodyear store. The way the “Pit Crew” did it was to jack up one side and remove the 2 old tires. I took them to the tire store where they mounted the new ones. When I arrived back the crew put these on the S.T. and moved the jack to the other side. The process was repeated and before you knew it I had 4 new tires on the S.T. The _oodyear store is only a mile up the road. The entire process took  just under two hours.

As for my brakes, I’d like you to ima_ine each and every part that is involved in stoppin_ your vehicle, and than ima_ine replacin all of these! Than, ima_ine what that mi_ht cost. Than ima_ine passin_ out. The rotors, pads, calipers and a bunch of other stuff had to be replaced.

In my last Blo_ I told you about Mary Ellen’s cardiac cath. It went so well she decided to have Dr. Razek do a little more ‘stentin’. That’s ri_ht, she’s _oin_ to have her ri_ht le_ fixed so she’s able to walk without pain for the first time in a couple years. She’ll have the Aorta_ram done this Wednesday the 7th at Pensacola Baptist hospital. If all _oes accordin_ to plan she will stay overnite and be dischar_ed on the 8th. Say a prayer that all _oes as well as it did on her last visit to Baptist Hospital. I’ll let you know.