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I lost my MoJo…

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I am not sure when it started, but my verve and zest have left…fishing rodWhen Lucy and I moved here to Fort Myers, in 1999, we were always happiest when we were doing something. Staying home was boring…

Port side

We sold our farm, bought our fifty-seven foot Chris Craft “Constellation” and moved aboard. From our home port in the Fort Myers Yacht Basin we enjoyed traveling to many new locations and participated in lots of great adventures…. That’s Lucy on the “Tide-Ride” boarding ladder. She had just returned from her gig as a guide at the Edison Ford Estate. Lucy really enjoyed that job and the visitors loved her. She even got to dress up in period costume as “Mrs. Clara Ford”. The marina was close enough to the attraction that she was able to commute by bicycle…

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A couple of years living aboard was enough. We sold “Southern Cross” and drove to Fort Valley, Georgia to buy our next unconventional home – a Bluebird “Wanderlodge”. This big, luxurious Motorcoach served as a wonderful rolling home to Lucy and I and our youngest daughter Aimee. We called it home for three years and enjoyed every minute. We had our 1972 vintage Airstream “Overland” stored nearby. We towed the Airstream to many, many campgrounds around the sate of Florida and had a ball…

IMG_3658Our current pool home here on Fort Myers Beach is where I started to “Lose it”. I haven’t been on my bicycles – mountain or road in two years…

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Bicycles (and people) start to decay if they aren’t used. For some reason I just can’t get my energy up to swing my leg over the saddle and hit the rail. I don’t know why…

1052228_10203935608939634_9070195427082874003_oLucy and I have been avid kayakers since 1976. We have paddled thousands of miles in our pointy boats, but in the last two years they have only been in the water one time…

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Yes, this is my last “Lost MoJo expedition”. I just wanted to see if I could still sit in it without capsizing. we can launch right here from our dock, drive two miles to Lover’s Key to launch or trailer to any number of streams, creeks or rivers – but we haven’t. Why why why?

IMG_3485The view from our beach house is incredibly beautiful. The big house is nicely furnished, air-conditioned and has a big two car “Workshop” for all my pending projects… I just never feel like leaving…

421832_10200725603211497_1930133870_nLucy – my much younger spouse – still rides her bike quite frequently and always asks me to accompany her. I don’t. Why? No MOJO. It’s ridiculous….

IMG_3621Lately, I have become expert at: Napping, Cooking, Baking, Floating in our pool, Watching hours of Netflix, amazon and YouTube on our big flat screen TV. I am getting NO EXERCISE, NO ADVENTURE and NO MOJO…

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I have stage four CKD and two symptoms are “Muscle Wasting” and “Fatigue”. I am seventy years old and I have lived a very busy life – until now. Lucy loves me – June first was our forty-eighth anniversary – and she wants me to “Live long and prosper”.

If you have any suggestions to help me rekindle or reignite my MOJO, please post up. If you are feeling the same as I am, please share. If you think I am a big, whiney baby, who just needs to suck it up and get a life – tell me that too… Well I have to sign off. It’s time for my nap and I have to go in the kitchen and check my soup…

Stealth camping in our Roadtrek…

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We spent the entire day at “Sanibel Island Causeway Park” and since we knew there would soon be a gorgeous sunset, followed by a stunning full-moon rise we decided not to leave. “We” was Lucy and me and our friend from Canada, Ross Fish. Ross was in his self-contained Class-B “Pleasureway” accompanied by his beautiful Brittany Spaniel “Barney”…

Barney was one of the most awesome companions I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Barney was one of the most awesome companions I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, Florida has long been one of our favorite; bicycling, fishing, kayaking, beach combing, kite flying destinations.. We have spent many, many, days parked under the beautiful long-leaf pine trees that shade the waterfront. We have never attempted to “stay all night”, due to the signs posted all over the park “No Overnight Camping”. We decided that we weren’t going to be camping we were going to be “Fishing“. We set up a couple of rod-holders on the beach and settled in for the night…

When we arrived, we parked on the west side to take advantage of the shade and sunset…

east side causeway

We arrived early to some very low temperatures… We were the only ones on the beach.

The west side of the causeway is the best side to see the sunset and a nice view of the Gulf of Mexico. We brewed a pot of coffee and relaxed. Barney loved walking the beach and chasing the wading birds…

Lee County provides some very nice picnic tables and spotlessly clean rest rooms...

Lee County provides some very nice picnic tables and spotlessly clean rest rooms…

We all enjoy each others company and we took advantage of Ross’s visit to catch up on all the news that he had to share since his last Florida visit. Ross travels for a month in the winter and then another month in the spring. The stories he tells keep us laughing. We brought simple foods to keep meal prep to a minimum. Lots of healthy snack-food, and no heavy dinners.

Lucy wore her hoodie to ward of the chill of the strong sea-breeze...

Lucy wore her hoodie to ward of the chill of the strong sea-breeze…

We stayed on the west side of the span until the sunset was over. Packed up and drove to the east side to enjoy the full-moon rising over the water…

As the sunset ended we loaded up and headed to the east side of the causeway to watch the full-moon rise.

As the sunset ended we loaded up and headed to the east side of the causeway to watch the full-moon rise.

When we arrived on the other side Sanibel Lighthouse was flashing its cheery light through the gathering darkness… There is a museum and gift shop located at its base…

Sanibel Lighthouse welcomed us with its warm cheery glow.

Sanibel Lighthouse welcomed us with its warm cheery glow.

We had a marvelous night. We sat up visiting and sipping adult beverages until the wee hours and fell asleep with the balmy breeze rustling the curtains that covered our windows. It was truly magical waking up on the island. No traffic going by and no other people…

It was a perfect place to camp. No I meant "fish".

It was a perfect place to camp. No. I meant “fish”.

It just a few minutes the Kelly Kettle was boiling and we were enjoying steaming mugs of coffee brewed in our aero-Press. It was a glorious time to be alive. Total cost: ZERO

Just a few twigs picked up from under the gorgeous Long-Leaf Pines and the water was on-the-boil...

Just a few twigs picked up from under the gorgeous Long-Leaf Pines and the water was on-the-boil…

Maybe it is being with people you love. Maybe it is being on the beach with the smell of the salt water and the soothing sounds of the surf. All I know is our fresh ground, Aero-Press brewed coffee, always tastes better in the great outdoors…

I was up early and had the coffee makins on standby. As soon as I heard Lucy stirring I fired up the Kelly Kettle. Nothing beats coffee brewed in an Aero-Press...

I was up early and had the coffee makins on standby. As soon as I heard Lucy stirring I fired up the Kelly Kettle. Nothing beats coffee brewed in an Aero-Press…

I spent an enjoyable hour wade fishing, but had no luck. I did meet a few other long-time causeway fishermen who were putting a few Speckled Trout in their ice-chest. It just wasn’t my turn…

The fish just were not hungry for what I offered. That's why they call it "fishing" and not "catching"...

The fish just were not hungry for what I offered. That’s why they call it “fishing” and not “catching”…

… If we were camping it was wonderful. Fishing, not so much. I tried live-shrimp, assorted plugs and spinners and finally some Greenbacks that I caught in my cast-net. I never got bit, but I had a marvelous time…

Two men and a dog... Good times (Oh yes. Lucy was still fast asleep)

Two men and a dog… Good times (Oh yes. Lucy was still fast asleep)

Our overnight on Sanibel was another fantastic outing. I think the fact that we might have been awakened by a deputy and asked to leave, made it even more exciting. No one bothered us and we bothered no one else. Just a fabulous “Fishing Trip”…

 

Fruit Tree Rescue

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For everything there is a season…

Our lawnmower stopped running, for the third time, about two months ago. Yes, that is the time when the grass grows fastest in South Florida. I made a few half-hearted attempts to repair it and then just said “The heck with it.” It was too hot to mow anyway. Turned out that was not a good idea. Mower is now running, but the grass has become an almost impenetrable jungle. We also let the garden “go by”… as it is too hot to grow much of anything. We should have turned it over and mulched it heavily to discourage weed growth during the summer. Sometimes we have to “relearn” the hard way… It has been a real chore turning this weed-filled patch back into a viable growing plot…

Hot, sweaty, hard work, but Lucy did it with pleasure

Hot, sweaty, hard work, but Lucy did it with pleasure

This morning, while I was having my new patient orientation meeting with the Veterans Administration Clinic staff, Lucy got busy and grubbed out another ten feet of bed. Hot, dirty work and she loves it. In the morning, I will haul enough mulch from the front yard stockpile, to cover the entire area to a depth of ten inches. The thick wood-chip mulch will; foil weeds, cool the soil and help retain moisture. As it breaks down it will encourage the growth of organics in the sandy soil.

Just a little bit of work with the soil, pays huge rewards…

We already have baby okra making an appearance and the squash are blooming. A few hungry caterpillars have been removed by hand and sent to bug Heaven. The only control we use is a bit of Neem oil spray and organic soad for aphids. We don’t want to make our hard-working honeybees sick.

Healthy baby Okra. Yummy.

Healthy baby Okra. Yummy.

We have managed to actually get a few things planted and a bunch more ground cleared to plant…

Now we can easily access "Starclucks"

Now we can easily access “Starclucks”

Since the mower was still running I started “hacking out” the area around “STARCLUCKS” our hen house. Since Aimee and her daughters are living here at O.O.C. now, we will be buying a new flock of hens. Nothing beats fresh squeezed cackle-berries. The girls will be around to tend the flock while Lucy and I are traveling and vice versa…

I can’t stand to see plants suffer

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Time for a “Plant Rescue”

Tuesday, I had to pick up a few things from my local farm supply store (name omitted). I noticed, sitting out in the direct sun, a bunch of very nearly dead fruit trees. They were badly root bound and looked as if they hadn’t seen a watering can in a long, long, time. I grabbed one of the clerks and inquired “Are you just going to let all the trees die, or will you mark them down and let a customer try to save them?” She explained that she was powerless. Said the corporate office said “No markdown.” She went a step further and told me the store manager would be in the next morning. I went back, met with the manager and cut a deal to try to save seven of the trees. Two “Red Skin” peaches, one “Moorpark” apricot, two “Brown Turkey” figs and two “Golden Dorsett” apples. I am going to return on Monday and see if I can rescue the balance… I hate to see animals, people, or plants suffer.

We Triaged the trees and began treatment STAT…

Already starting to leaf out

Already starting to leaf out

After only three days in our plant ICU the Brown Turkey figs have begun to leaf-out and produce buds. It makes us so happy to see the improvement. Soon as they are deemed healthy enough to travel, they will be transported to a place of honor in our O.O.C. Orchard. Instead of being thrown into a land-fill they will be producing; shade, oxygen and delicious fruit for our family. I hope I can afford to bring the rest of them home to our fine plant rehab facility. A little love goes a long, long, way…

even the delicate Golden Dorsett apples have responded to our "CPR" (Careful Plant Revival)

even the delicate Golden Dorsett apples have responded to our “CPR” (Careful Plant Revival)

Every day Lucy and I thank GOD for our little piece of the earth. We feel very blessed to be caretakers. We also know we need to do a much better job…

Cheers, “Spokesman” Dave

 

The evils of “WEED”

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I don’t know why, but during the summer Lucy and I let the weeds take over our garden spot.

I am sure it was a combination of; “dangerously high-temps, too much rain and very few vegetables will make it through the summer heat.” So, now it’s time (actually a little past time) to plant our Fall garden…

First step was to set up an oasis in the backyard.

At age 67, with several annoying health issues, I have to take it somewhat “Slow and Easy“. Having a place to get out of the sun for a breather and a drink of water, is a must. My EZ-UP shelter, folding camp table and plastic chair worked great. Of course, I have NPR playing on my radio. My even older friend “Sahadeo” from Guyana always says “Don’t fatigue head.” Even at 78 he is a very hard worker.

The grapes of wrath…

One end of our garden has two struggling grape vines. It was hard to see them because they were completely hidden by the much more aggressive weeds. I had to be very careful to prevent injuring them as I dug up the “bad plants”. Of course there really aren’t any “bad plants” just some that pop-up in the wrong location…

Our honeybees are just as excited by the pollen and nectar from a weed as they are about an ornamental…..

The next step will be to set up string lines to define the garden borders. Once borders are up, will remove all invasive species and begin to mulch and amend the dry, sandy soil. We use a ton of natural mulch in the form of chips from the utility crew shredders. Sometimes we get lucky and they will dump the entire load in our yard…..

We will do a little each morning and a little each evening. Mid-day temperatures are just too hot to work in. We will post follow up blogs as the garden comes together.

Thank you for looking, “Spokesman” Dave

What does OOC Mean?

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I want to tell you a little bit about O.O.C.

My Love for the outdoors and everything related to camping under the stars, began at the age of thirteen when I joined the Boy Scouts. Even as a young lad, I took comfort in the quiet of the woods. I learned to appreciate the solitude and the mystery. I continually sought the quiet that could only be found deep in the woods of central Florida. Accompanied by my fellow scouts, I learned the benefits and values of sharing these special adventures with close friends.

It was wonderful to discover, shortly after our marriage, that my spouse also loved nature and the great outdoors.  As each of our four daughters was born, our camping equipment increased, as did our joy of spending family time together. It was wonderful sharing the activity we loved and seeing the contentment that our daughters found as well…

Fast forward almost fifty years…

Our Airstream doing what it does best.

Our Airstream doing what it does best.

We are now “camping” full time.  Seems as if our love for small spaces never changes. We are currently living in our twenty-seven foot, nineteen seventy-two, Airstream “Overlander”. There is no inconvenience, there is no lack of space and there are seldom any occasions when Lucy and I rub elbows – unless we want to. The intimacy of sharing a small space is a perfect foil for the love we feel for each other. We move about like honeybees in a hive. It is a symbiotic relationship. Our decision to move into the Airstream was predicated on the fact that our youngest daughter, Aimee, wished to return to Florida and had no immediate plans for a domicile. We asked her (actually begged her) to move into our comfortable home and allow us to enjoy her family while we lived in the backyard. We call it our “Old Folks Home”. Initially, Aimee was reluctant. She felt bad to see her parents move out of their home and into the tiny enclosure, under the big shade tree. Little did she know, the pleasure of having her family here with us, far outweighed the imagined inconvenience.

Back to the question “What does O.O.C. mean?”

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“Back To Eden Garden”

It means land that is zoned for agricultural use. It means that we can raise honeybees, vegetables, fruit and nuts – exactly as we want to. There is no conflict with our neighbors, or with the regulations of the County. Every since we first arrived, we began enriching our surroundings by planting new living things. We took care to preserve the beautiful citrus trees that were already on our property. There are five different types of oranges, two types of grapefruit, two types of lemons and we have our first lime tree. It is three years old and will be bearing soon. We planted an “Eden Style” garden last year and found it perfectly suited to our needs. This year, we have been somewhat lazy about getting the seeds in the ground in a timely fashion. Perhaps, along with our increased “laziness” we were also hampered to a degree, by constant rain and frequent needs to be somewhere else. It is always more fun to go on a road trip in “Voyageur’, or one of our Land Rovers. Visiting with family always takes precedence over working in the ground.

"Bora Beans" reaching for the arbor, Butternut squas growing up.

“Bora Beans” reaching for the arbor, Butternut squash growing up.

This is not necessarily the proper way to run a farm, but it makes us happy…

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“It’s easy being green”

All the plants that live here are just as happy in their surroundings as we are. They are all lush and verdant and often remind Lucy and I of what it might have been like in the Garden of Eden. Honeybees are allowed to roam freely. Beneficial insects are not killed and only reluctantly do we ever dispatch the occasional cockroach that invades one of the structures. The benefits far outweigh the harm. I wish we had more birds at OOC. Lucy says they will return this winter

Kale Kale the Gangs all Here…

Kale is an amazing green. The nutritional benefit is of the chart

Kale is an amazing green. The nutritional benefit is of the chart

We have learned a lot about what will grow and flourish here. We can’t grow all of the varieties we would like, so we make the best possible use of the ones that joy it here. Kale has proven to be a bountiful provider. The more we study about this valuable green, the more we learn about its many beneficial properties. The last planting provided food for us for more than eight months. The fact that it tastes delicious no matter how it is prepared, makes it a big favorite with the O.O.C. Saff and visitors…

We have learned that most plants are not picky about the home they live in…

These "Maters" are happy in their cast-off buckets

These “Maters” are happy in their cast-off buckets

All they need to flourish is ample water, a generous amount of sunshine and an occasional healthy snack. Our tomato plants are doing fine in the cast-off five gallon buckets that we get from our neighbor, Dave the Painter. We do water them twice a day and watch them closely for any sign of insect infestation. We find that the old fashioned “10-10-10” fertilizer meets the nutritional requirements for almost everything that grows here at OOC

OOC is also a wonderful campground…

 

RV there yet?

RV there yet?

We have always enjoyed the atmosphere that we find in an isolated campground. The proximity of happy people makes all the time we spend camping just that much better. We have always enjoyed looking out our windows to discover who is camped in the campsite next to ours. Many of the friendship’s formed have lasted for many years. Here at O.O.C. we have ample opportunities to see several different styles of recreational vehicles. The only difference is… we own them all. Lucy often remarks that when she is sitting under the majestic Banyan tree, enjoying her fresh brewed morning coffee, she feels the same sense of joy and fulfillment here at home that she does at a distant campground.

O.O.C. is also a hideaway…

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Great place to disappear for a nice rest

I am amazed at the size and vigor of the Elephant Ears, Ginger, and Galengall plants that Lucy has planted on our property. Some plants, gifts from past visitors, seem to be doing best of all. Whatever she plants – they all seem to blossom under her loving care. I can’t begin to name all the different flowers and shrubs she has planted. I also cannot begin to name all the species of wild flowers that are allowed to grow, bloom and go to seed, here at O.O.C. We love the natural look and cannot abide the manicured look of most modern homes. It is our desire to have this property remain as close to its natural state as possible, while still allowing us to move comfortably about. We don’t nip, cut, prune, or otherwise alter the inter-plantings that have occurred naturally. We try to add our fruit and nut trees in a way that compliments the already existing flora. We focus on taking maximum advantage of sun exposure and proper drainage.

 O.O.C. is a Land Rover lover’s mecca…

Aimee loves her roomy Range Rover Classic. It is a LWB "County", perfect for her high-adventure family

Aimee loves her roomy Range Rover Classic. It is a LWB “County”, perfect for her high-adventure family

Turns out… our youngest daughter loves her vintage Range Rover classic, as much as her mother and I enjoy our Land Rover Discovery’s. We are living the life that these fine vehicles were built for. They more than meet our needs, completely satisfy our comfort requirements and in all types of terrain, provide safe, efficient, transportation…

Lucy's Land Rover Discovery II, patiently waiting for another great adventure.

Lucy’s Land Rover Discovery II, patiently waiting for another great adventure.

I will certainly admit that for me, the romance attached to the world traveling Land Rover Marque, is one of the reasons I hold them dear. There are newer vehicles with much higher mileage capability. There is however no other vehicle that would provide the same degree of personal satisfaction I feel when I’m driving a Rover. I’m so happy that Aimee and her family feel the same about their roomy, luxurious, Range Rover County. Anyone with a love for these fine British automobiles, will feel right at home here at O.O.C

OOC IS HAUNTED…

Haunted by friendly ghosts. Who ya gonna call?

Haunted by friendly ghosts. Who ya gonna call?

We never had ghosts at OOC until our granddaughters, Alexis and Olivia arrived. I’m not sure if the girls attract these filmy characters, that travel by night, or if they in fact created them, just to frighten their Poppy…

One of the most wonderful advantages of having our daughter and grandchildren living here, is the ability for us to be transported again to the happy days, when every occasion resulted in some form of bright ornamentation. No matter the occasion… Aimee and her two willful workers, create magical scenes around the property. It would make us sad, to not to be able to enjoy their presence.

So much wonder, so much love, so much laughter and an abundance of happiness is present, all the day long…

I realize that it will take more than one post to answer the question, “What does O.O.C. mean?” Please enjoy this first chapter. More, much more is on the way…

Cheers and Happy Halloween to you all,

“Spokesman” David

Living happily in one hundred seventy five square feet…

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“The more you know, the less you need.”

Lucy and I have spent a large portion of our lives living in small spaces. Perhaps one of the most bizarre was the time we both worked full-time, had four daughters in school and lived with no electricity, in a forty foot, fifth-wheel. We had purchased sixteen acres of raw land in central Georgia and planned to live in the fiver until we had dried in our new house. The land was so remote that we had no access to power-lines. As it turned out, we sold the land, bought a business and moved on. We did enjoy full-timing in the RV and the girls handled it just fine. They still speak of that brief time with fondness…

“One if by land, two if by sea”

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“Southern Cross” fifty -seven foot Chris Craft Constellation, docked Fort Myers Yacht Basin

During several other rather adventurous periods in our lives, we have lived aboard one of three different motor-yachts. In fact, for the first three years of our time in Fort Myers, we lived on our fifty-seven foot Chris Craft Constellation, “Southern Cross”. (pictured above) It was a luxurious vessel with enough space to make it feel palatial. Our youngest daughter Aimee was living with us and she really enjoyed her private cabin and head.

“We live on the water. Drop in some time.”

Aft deck

The enclosed aft-deck was a wonderful Florida room. Roomy and comfortable with a wrap-around view of the river and marina…

Aimee quickly made friends with some of the other live-aboard kids and attended a nearby high-school. Living “right down town” in the Fort Myers Yacht Basin, put her smack in the middle of all the outdoor festivals and special events. We celebrated the Millennium aboard the Cross and I will never forget the holiday spirit, crowds of very happy people and the unbelievable fireworks display that was launched right over our anchorage. It was truly amazing…

Aimee kayak

Daughter Aimee and her good friend Lizzy heading out for some time on one of the easily accessible islands. They both loved the live-aboard lifestyle…

“Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder”

Bluebird

Our very comfortable rolling home. All of the creature comforts, with no wasted space…

When we grew tired of life in the marina, we sold the Chris Craft and bought a Bluebird, “Wanderlodge”, motor-coach. We leased a site in a very nice RV resort and enjoyed the RV life, as well as all of the resort amenities. We never felt cramped for space, or lacked any of the traditional features normally found in a conventional home. As always, we spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors.

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”

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One of the benefits of returning to a conventional home and land, a fantastic vegetable garden and a bunch of beautiful hens…

Finding ourselves back in a “board & block” seemed strange at first, but we quickly came to enjoy the additional space and wide surrounding porches. Our interests swung back to our earlier “farm roots” and we soon had a yard full of brightly colored chickens and gardens overflowing with ripening vegetables, berries and nuts…

Our rolling "Chicken Tractor" was their temporary home befor I built their luxury coop called "Starclucks"...

Our rolling “Chicken Tractor” was their temporary home befor I built their luxury coop called “Starclucks”…

“No time like the present”

"O.O.C. Luxury RV Resort and Outdoor Center" also known as home sweet home...

“O.O.C. Luxury RV Resort and Outdoor Center” also known as home sweet home…

Lucy and I have often considered “selling-out” everything and moving into our Airstream. Now we enjoy the best of both worlds. Our daughter and her two sweet daughters decided to “come home” from Alabama. She wanted time to “sort things out” before moving on into the next chapter of her life. Perfect. we get to spend time with our awesome granddaughters and their mommy, we get to live in our comfy, cozy Silver Bullet, keep all of the benefits of a piece of land in the country and still travel freely in Voyageur. Fantastic!

Perfect layout for a adventuresome, loving couple celebrating their second honeymoon

Perfect layout for a adventuresome, loving couple celebrating their second honeymoon

We have everything we need and nothing we don’t. Easy to keep it clean and orderly and just a few steps for our granddaughters to come over and visit. We do spend lots of time together in the “Big House”, but when we want a little alone time, we just close the curtains, lock the door and veg out…

Fully equipped “Home Office”

There is nothing missing in our technology arsenal.

There is nothing missing in our technology arsenal.

Our new wall-mounted, bedroom, VIZIO, LED, “Smart TV”, is a wonderful outlet for watching thousands of online movies, or just keeping up with local news and weather. My dining room office is MAC equipped, roomy and comfortable. It is a great spot for updating http://www.fivespokewheel.com

In my next blog I will photograph and explain all the wonderful details of living comfortably and happily in only one hundred seventy-five feet. Please post and specific questions and Lucy and I will do our best to answer…

Namaste – Spokesman Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other woman… 1976 Fleetwood “Prowler” 19E

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Hello readers…

Lucy and I have been talking about…

…acquiring a travel trailer that would be small (light) enough to be safely towed by either of our Land Rover’s and yet still provide the type of accommodations we enjoy.

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In the past, whenever we camped with the Florida Land Rover Club , our only option was a tent. There is nothing wrong with a tent and we still enjoy sleeping under canvas (or rip-stop nylon) very much. We have camped for so many years, we have learned what we need to be very comfortable “sleeping on the ground”. The primary reasons we wanted a towable RV were: Ease of set up and break down. No worries about enduring rainy weather and putting away wet muddy gear when we break camp. Much better control over internal temperatures. Staying warm has not been a problem in the winter, but staying cool during the balmy summer nights is…

A single phone call and our desires were met…

My good friend Belinda Smith called me and said she and her husband Bryan had purchased a new camper. She said she had to get rid of the old one “NOW”. Apparently, her shiny new one was on the way. Lucy and I didn’t know a thing about her “old camper”. We didn’t know; brand, size, condition, age, color, sleeping accommodations, or even if she was sound enough to tow back to O.O.C. So what? I just said “Heck yes we want it. I will come and get it right now.” We loaded up my 12 volt air-compressor, a can of WD40, two different sizes of hitch balls and headed for Cape Coral. Turns out… little “Missy”, as Lucy named her, is exactly what we would have ordered if we had bought her brand new. We had successfully organized our first ever “menage a trois”

Our trip home came off without a hitch…

No. Wait a minute. We did use a hitch…

disco and missy

It only took us a little while to air up her rotting tires and hit the road for home. I drove very slowly and definitely felt the absence of proper trailer towing mirrors. Wider mirrors would have allowed me to keep track of following traffic. Oh yes… we also had no lights. No running lights and NO brake lights, or turn signals. Traffic was light and we just stayed in the right lane and took our ime. It was only twenty-four miles back to home base and we made it just fine. “Missy” seemed to really blossom under all of the new love and attention… We still had no idea what worked and what didn’t. We still had no idea if the roof leaked or the air-conditioner ran at all.

What sexy lady doesn’t love a nice bubble bath…

clean missy

Soon as we got her home, Lucy insisted on washing her from stem to stern… She seemed to purr under Lucy’s rubbing. (I know I do) Soon as Lucy had her outsides looking as good as possible, she grabbed our shop-vac, bucket of soapy water and headed inside. Good news – the window air-conditioner – worked just fine. Lucy spent most of the day looking into every cupboard and drawer and did a real “Snow White” clean up. Once she was satisfied with her work, she allowed me back inside. The two of us sat with a blank pad of paper and started making a “To Do” list. Of course, we prioritized every item based on: Safety – weather tightness – convenience – appearance – comfort. The list is long, but it will be a labor of love…

roomy interior

Missy’s interior is open and airy. The rather vintage colors of the “Seventies”, take me back to my younger years. The rear bath is quite spacious with a separate stall shower. There is lots of storage room in the galley, and a stainless-steel, double sink, that is large enough to actually hold a dish. A four-burner, gas, range with oven will handle the cooking chores. Those of you that know Lucy and me, know we love to cook… The dinette seats four, on very comfy benches that actually fold down to create a three-quarter width bed.

Missy’s re-tirement…

First on the safety list was a new set of tires. It was off to Pat’s Tire and Auto Service where we purchased a full set of Powerking, Towmaster, STR, E-rated, 10 ply tires. Pat’s crew mounted them just right with brand new high-pressure valve stems and then ran them up on the computer balancer until they were spot on. The trip home was marvelous. She seemed to have much less rolling resistance and definitely less sway. i will be re-packing the wheel bearings and checking the brakes…

Pats tire

Over the coming months we will attack the tasks on our “To-Do” list, in the order we believe will be the most efficent. I know there will be surprises, unavoidable delays and unexpected challenges. That won’t bother us a bit. we always have “Voyageur” to hit the road in, if the wanderlust becomes to overpowering… Look for a new installment soon.

Safe travels,

“Spokesman” Dave

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