Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Desert Holiday Season

OK, so it’s still cold(ish) in Quartzite. The nights are low 30s, frost warnings most mornings. At least nothing frozen & white has fallen from the sky nor accumulated. My furnace keeps us toasty all night tho. I’ve been starting the generator in the morning (as suggested by several guys) to top off the batteries so the solar panels can keep them charged during the day. In all honesty tho, I don’t quite understand straining the generator to fully charge the batteries early when I’m not using much power during the day. And if the solar panels get the batteries pretty well charged up, then finishing up (or super charging) the batteries in late afternoon/early evening should need less generator time & have the batteries ready for hours of TV time. Dunno, I just can’t wrap my mind around some things.

Four-legged Word

Christmas Eve day was BAD. There were no invitations to go out to eat or visit, so it was just me & the critters. My family always did the present-opening thing on Christmas Eve so it’s always been an emotional time for me. When my family moved from Wichita KS back to my home town, my dad & grandpa spent all summer building two bedrooms on to the old 4-room farm house, & my brother & I slept in our NEW rooms for the first time on Christmas Eve. Until I was 29 years old, stationed in Guam, I never missed sleeping in MY room on Christmas Eve. That left Christmas Day to go visit inlaws. It worked great.

I’ve heard the first holiday season after loosing someone is the hardest. This one definitely hit that mark. But it wasn’t just about being without Jeff, it was A LOT of memories from past Christmases. Dinners at my parents with grandparents, aunts & uncles, & cousins. Spending that first Christmas Eve in Guam working, then having a few too many rum & cokes (Not my choice, but that’s all that was left after everyone in the barracks had been partying for hours before I got off work), & shuffling between my bunk & the bathroom most of Christmas Day. I hiked into the protected water shed forest behind my base on Oahu one Christmas Day. I cried a lot Christmas Eve, on & off all day, from all the memories – good & bad. Just had a big pity party. Christmas Day was a relief actually. . .except for that raging headache left over from all the crying. Sheesh!! I really hope I’m over the hump of this grieving thing. I’ve tried to stay occupied with day to day survival, included some fun activities, meeting new people, & basically just sucked it up. Jeff’s gone – & can’t ever come back. I’m thankful he was in my life, but now he’s not. And life goes on to different things. I don’t ever want to forget my decades with Jeff – but I can’t spend my present wallowing in the past. It won’t change a thing. And for the most part, I’m enjoying being single. I love the freedom to make choices without consulting anyone else (except maybe Kira). And when I have questions or problems, there always seems to be someone around in person or available by fon to ask for help. I have plenty of friends & acquaintenances to talk to (by fon or in person) & places to go when I get restless. Jeff showed me how life should be an adventure, so I feel like I’m honoring him by continuing that journey.

The day after Christmas was also BAD. . .in another way tho. THE WIND!! OMG, it was bad enough to blow freckles off your nose. Although it was predicted, it was still a hard day. Somehow staying inside due to uncomfortable weather outside is much different than just choosing to hang out inside. The blowing sand was so bad I couldn’t see any of the mountains ringing Quartzsite by afternoon. And since the trailer nose is pointed west, that north gale pounded on the door side of the trailer. Kira didn’t get her walk that day.

The Monday after Christmas was a good time to make a Wally World run . . . AND . . . AND . . . AND . . . (finally) to treat myself to the new Star Wars movie. It was the happiest most enjoyable day I’ve since. . .can’t remember when. Since I’d already been up to Parker & that Walmart is a little on the small side, I decided to check out Yuma. It has been two years since being there, so off I went at 8am with 34° temp. Had to fill up with gasoline first & I was half way to Yuma before my hands finally thawed out. (Now where did I put my gloves?) The navigator lady on Google maps on my phone lead me right to the movie theater. Lots of parking room close by the entrance to the theater that early, so that was easy. Walked in, bought my senior ticket for $8, & had plenty of seats to choose from. Only 5 other people attended that 10:00 am showing with me. This was the first 3D movie I’ve ever seen, & those glasses gave me a touch of vertigo the first few minutes.

OMG! OMG! OMG! I nearly cried a couple of times when the original actors (much older versions now) appeared cause it was like seeing good friends after a very long time. I love sci-fi, & the whole “force” thing has always resonated with me. I do believe everyone & everything vibrates at an energy frequency, & that whole positive thinking thing is about not only expecting good things to happen but vibrating at the same frequency to attrack those positive things. I know it sounds strange, but I believe it works – at least for me (most of the time). Anyway, I had an absolutely perfect day taking myself to the movies. Couldn’t have been more perfect since everything happened just as I’d planned & wanted.

I got an email from a fellow fiberglass owner (Don, who owns a Scamp & fulltimes) who heard about my blog from another Scamper we met three years ago at the Fiberglass Rally here in Quartzsite – Kamper Bob (of Recreation Engineer). We talked on the phone & agreed to meet in Quartzsite for lunch on Tuesday. Super nice guy with a sweetheart dog (who doesn’t take well to other dogs tho). After lunch, he followed me back to my trailer & talked a lot with my neighbor Jon about his Escape trailer. Don is camped out near Bouse on BLM but didn’t realize the $180 for a long-term permit was for up to 7 months, not monthly. Since it includes free water, dump, & trash bins, it works out to barely over $1/day, depending on how many weeks/months you stay here. I really love not having to move every 14 days.

In fact, I haven’t moved the trailer since arriving 12/2/15. Why is it a propane tank ALWAYS runs out after dark? At least I remembered the other tongue propane tank was full, so switching the lever was easy, even in the dark. After refilling 2 propane tanks, I dumped my black & gray water tanks again into the grayboy using the macerator pump. However, I had a serious brain fart & couldn’t get the pickup hood to open. Dah – I was pushing the release lever the wrong direction. I hooked the pump to the trailer battery but it wasn’t as strong as from the pickup battery. Anyway, got the grayboy dumped & washed out, & put water in the bladder riding on the pickup cab. I still can’t judge how much water I’m putting in the bladder, so I got a little less than ¾ of a tank of fresh water this time. Apparently it was one of those days tho when my brain short circuits because seemed like every connection I needed to make (attaching this, screwing that in or off) was a struggle. So I KNOW you turn right to tighten & left to loosen (except propane which is opposite) – but those directions only work when you’re looking at the connection from the correct side. See what I mean? I know, I know – it’s all a learning curve. It’ll get easier.

My cousin (Larry) & his wife (Sherry) from Phoenix drove over Wednesday to check it out. They’re bringing their motorhome to Quartzsite in a few weeks to visit with Sherry’s family & just wanted to get a feel for the area. Larry is not what you’d call a happy camper trying to herd that big thing around. I’m looking forward to visiting with them when they come back.

My neighbor Jon & I have another neighbor – Rudy in a big 5th wheel parked near. He’s Canadian, but grew up in Brazille with Dutch parents. He has quite the accent. He invited Jon & I over for a little New Year’s Eve get-together. We had a few drinks & talked for several hours, but I was soundly asleep long before midnight got close. Boy, I love knowing that event has an auto-pilot.

WIN_20160102_13_07_56_ProSo 2016 is here . . . with some major changes from last year for me. But spending the winter in AZ in my Casita with Kira & the cats is what & where I want. I have to remind myself that when times are BAD, it means they can ONLY get better. And I feel they are.

Oh, I mosied around the vendor area last week, not looking for anything in particular, just looking. I ended up getting this sign. Didn’t NEED it, just seemed like a fun idea.


  1. Glenda, just stopping by to say howdy and wish you a 2016 filled with love, laughter, no wind (I can so relate to that!), adventures and peace. Hang in there, girlfriend. You're doing just fine!

  2. Hope you continue moving upwards; it can only get better. We also found the first Christmas hard after our oldest son died last spring. He was a water bomber pilot fighting fires in northern Alberta. It can only get better here too.

  3. Sorry that you are experiencing some rough days. Some days all that matters is just getting through. Here's wishing you better days and growing peace in the New Year!

  4. Glenda, I am not a regular follower, but do check in fairly frequently. I have never commented as I could not figure out how the publish thing worked without and of the profiles listed. I now have a Google acount to hopefully this will publish now.

    First off I wanted to say how sorry I was to here of Jeff's passing. I also know how hard it is during the holidays as my dad passed 2 days before Thanksgiving and we buried him the day after on my brother's birthday. Very sad indeed.
    On the positive side, I'm glad to see you are proceeding with your dreams of traveling and that Jeff gave you the confidence to not only do this, but taught how to take care of the necessary duties to maintain the Casita and the truck.
    I wish you the best and will keep following along. I do enjoy your posts, but run out of time with my own household responsibilities. I'm caregiver to my DH, have a dog that needs walking and playtime, work from home, as well as the normal chores to be done with a s & b home. Sure gets tiring at times.


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