Until last Wednesday, the RV was in storage and we were living in our Salt Lake City home. As I write, however, we are in Kennewick, Washington. It’s been a long time since we last posted. I’ll break down what we did while home under a few headings.
Family: Daughter Ash, SIL Shad and kids Mia and Marshall lived in our house for 4 1/2 years while we were on the road, and we lived together whenever we stopped in Salt Lake. At Christmastime they moved to a great home they continue to remodel in nearby Cottonwood Heights. Sharing a house worked out well, but everyone was ready to get back into homes of their own. Daughter Season, SIL Lee, and grandsons Owen and Connor live near Salem, Oregon, and spent Thanksgiving with us. Son Paul is living in San Luis Obispo with his girlfriend Kat. I got to twice visit my Mom in Ohio; during one of the visits both my brothers and their spouses were there, too.
House: Once Ash and fam moved out, we started remodeling. Some of the work, in all honesty, should have been done before we hit the road. We got a new fence (the old one built in the mid 1960s was no longer keeping anything in or out), new kitchen counters and backsplash (“amethyst” colored formica circa 1992 had done its duty), windows, paint, electrical, yard work, three dead trees removed, you name it. Other than a laundry and a bathroom remodel, there will be no more home-related decisions until a-date-to-be-determined-much-much later.
Dogs: Jim’s beloved healer mix, Cooper, who was with us on all our RV adventures, died in February. Cooper was the reason we came back home to Salt Lake last October because he was too sick to travel. Jim took amazing care of his cantankerous best buddy of 16 years.
Prior to Cooper’s passing we’d talked about getting “an emergency back up dog,” as Jim called it. I found her in November. She’s Maddie, a small (for us anyway - 40 pounds) brindle Shepherd mix. We were told she is a Dutch Shepherd and Maddie does look like photos we’ve seen of short-haired Dutch Shepherds. When we got Maddie’s vaccination records, however, the paperwork listed Maddie and several other dogs. “Dutch Shepherd” was written next to Maddie’s name. Next to another dog’s name was written “Wynona Judd.” So were not putting a lot of faith in the original breed determination techniques.
When Cooper died, Jim wanted to donate Coop’s unused food and meds to the dog rescue organization where we got Maddie; they suggested we bring the items to an upcoming adoption event. We walked into the adoption event with Cooper's meds and came out with Arlo, a doggie with hound head and what looks like Cooper’s body. Maddie and Arlo get along well, but Arlo is a handful who always has his nose in your face or closest body cavity.
Etcetera: Lots more happened in the year we were off the road. Right now, the dogs need attention and we have an appointment with a mobile RV repair service-- apparently, as one camping neighbor told us "motor homes don't like being left alone." Nothing we can't work around, but we need to get it fixed. More about that later.