Thursday, October 22, 2009

Musings on Our Lifestyle and Back in Illinois

We arrived back in Rochester on Friday, Oct. 16. It is really interesting to see how some things have stayed the same and others have changed after having been gone for several months. There was extensive road work being down on East Lake Drive, the main road we take to get to Springfield, when we left in June. Most of the time the road was one lane during the road work. It was heavily traveled, thus the need to widen it; but it seemed like it was taking forever to finish the work. The work is all completed, with turn lanes, a traffic signal, new grass on either side and one of the smoothest surfaces we've ever seen. And a hike and bike trail. I hope the people who use it every day appreciate all the work that went into it.

Our neighborhood looks about the same. The house looks just like it did when we left (in need of getting the remodeling done). Our neighbor has kept the yard mowed and checked inside occasionally. After getting the motorhome parked and hooked up (we have 50amp and water on one end of the house and access to a sewer drain in the basement to dump the tanks via our macerator pump, we talked a little about our emotions and feelings of coming back to this house. We concluded that we really don't have any feeling one way or another, except the need to get this remodeling done so we can turn the key over to the realtor!! We raised our family in this house. Dan built the house the spring of 1978 after Sarah was born, and all our children graduated from the Rochester Schools. We have LOTS of memories of kids over to visit, birthday parties with grandparents included, Easter egg hunts in the back yard, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners around our big Amish built dining room table (with card tables added as a daughter-in-law and sons-in-law were added, and then grandchildren). Other memories of each child learning to drive, working at the local grocery store, library and restaurant and then leaving for college or the military, or just to "find themselves". At one time both parents and two children were all in college at the same time. Dan built a house for my parents just one block away so they could be closer to us as they were becoming less independent.

But time marches on and children establish their own homes in 5 different states, our parents do not live forever and our own needs and wants change. I'm not sure our needs and wants change as much as our sense that we now have the freedom and abilities to pursue some of our dreams which may have been put on the back burner. We neither one have a sense of "coming home" to this house.

We so enjoyed our three months in Seattle. Dash Point State Park is actually located on Puget Sound in Federal Way, just south of Seattle; about 25 miles from Gretchen's house. We were maintenance volunteers at the park. Our campsite certainly didn't have the "it" factor as we were parked across from the office and maintenance buildings. But we did have a nice big grassy yard and met and worked with a fabulous group of park rangers and park staff. And we were able to set our own hours independent of the campground hosts, so we could come and go as we pleased. This was especially helpful as Gretchen needed quite a bit of help after Edie was born. Our previous visits to Seattle with the motorhome we had parked in Gretchen and Rodney's back yard in West Seattle, and that was beginning to feel like "home." I'm sure if we volunteer at Dash Point again, we'll feel right at home.

Here are some pictures of our site at Dash Point.

This is the entrance sign on the beach side of the park. Our site was about 400 ft to the right of this sign.

The entrance booth to the beach and day use area looking toward out campsite.  This was my work station on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons as I passed out trail maps, answered questions, gave directions, and reminded visitors of the donation box.  Dash Point SP is supported by the state, but all donations are used for improvements and projects at the park that are not covered in the regular budget.  The 400 acre park is located within the city of Federal Way, and is heavily used by the local neighborhood families. 

Our motorhome is visible in the background.  You can see, I didn't have far to walk to work, and Dan just walked across the street to the maintenance area where he repaired and revamped all the old wooden picnic tables.  He recycled the usable wood and bolts and used other recycled wood that was leftover from other projects. 

Lucy and Grandpa blowing bubbles in our
yard next to the motorhome.

Just relaxing.  Notice Grandpa and Lucy's legs.  The office is in the background just across the street from our campsite.
This is Edie and her mom.  Edie was asleep in the motorhome when the other pictures were taken.
As I said before, we felt right at home at Dash Point and look forward to returning in the future.  And we get to see spend more time with our granddaughters and their mom and dad also.

We left Seatle and headed toward Colorado to visit our grandsons in Carbondale, CO.  How about this scene as we approach Redstone Campground in the White River National Forest just 13 miles south of Carbondale?  That's Mt Sopris.  It never fails to invoke a sense of awe in me.  Mt. Sopris is on the northern edge of the Elk Range and its twin summits are 12, 935 ft tall.  It sits at the confluence of the Crystal River and Roaring Fork River, both noted for their trout fishing.  The Crystal River flows right by Redstone Campground.

One of our favorite campsites at Redstone Campground.  And since it is a National Forest Campground we're able to use our Federal Senior Discount Pass and cut the fee by 1/2.  There is a $5/day charge for electricity which is not discounted. 

We really do feel like we've come home when we pull into Redstone. 

And here are Isaac and Elijah

So, even though we no longer live in a "sticks & brick", and we hope to be rid of it very soon; we make each place we stay our home.  Some are more special than others, but we feel very comfortable in our home on wheels.  We have everything we need with us and have found that we just don't have the "wants" that we used to.  Our biggest "want" is that our kids didn't live so far apart (diesel fuel isn't inexpensive), but I can't think of a better way to see this wonderful country, meet new people every day, and spend as much time as we want in various parts of the country. 

More about what we're doing this fall in a later post. 

Till the next time..........


sarah said...

Hey Mom & Dad! That was such a nice post! I just got quite teary eyed reading about the house....I'm sure you're shocked by that!

Can't wait to see you!

Love and hugs,

Debbie Goode said...

Sounds like you have had a great few months of traveling and the photos. We feel the same about our house...although we spent most of our married life there and have lots of is time to move on. I didn't think we would ever get done with the updating, but we did and you will and then.....Let the rv games begin!!