Archive for the ‘camping’ Category

Duck statue – Sept 5, 2005

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


Here’s Shannon with her creation, appropriately named The Duck Statue. When we went to visit this river at Worlds End State Park, we discovered that people were piling up stones and making cool little statues. Some examples:


Shannon thought that was pretty cool, so she decided to make one too. We all agreed hers looked like a duck. Great Art courtesy of my old Minolta camera, taken at Worlds End State Park in Pennsylvania, and part of my famous Shannon, Statue, Hiking, Camping, and Vacation series.

She was such a creative, gentle, beautiful person. Oh, how I miss her.

Got a few things done today. I went to the bank to have all our accounts transferred solely into my name. Unpleasant, but necessary, I’m led to believe. I also went to the post office and mailed a box to Sandy. It contains a few items of Shannon’s clothes that Sandy and Julie plan to turn into a quilt for me. I’m really touched they would do that. No hurry, Sandy and Julie! But I’m really excited to have it.

Then I went to lunch with my friends Jim and Kathy McClure. They live in Manteca and were in town for a meeting and to go to tonight’s Donny and Marie show at the Flamingo. It was nice of them to think of me. We spent a couple hours talking and enjoyed it. Afterwards, I worked for pretty much the rest of the day on paying bills and providing a bunch of medical information to the life insurance people. Since Shannon died less than two years after our insurance went into effect, they want us to prove we didn’t know she was sick before the policy went into effect. I think we have a very strong case for that. She had her annual checkup in December 2012 and an insurance physical in January 2013. Nothing out of the ordinary was discovered in either of those visits and she felt just fine until just a couple weeks before she went into the hospital. It was coincidental that she got sick right after we moved and we certainly didn’t defraud those people. I hope they give me no additional hassles over it.

Not a lot more to tell about today. I stayed busy and when I’m busy, I’m happy. I need to work some tomorrow and then there are my taxes. Lots to do.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this combination food violence and exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity:¬†Egg salad sandwich, cat and dog caused monkey attack!


Worlds End – Sept 3, 2005

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


Here are Shannon and Mark at one of the many scenic spots in Worlds End State Park in Pennsylvania. That was a really memorable camping trip. The park was nothing short of spectacular, from its endless forests to its huge rock formations. Highly recommended. Great Art courtesy of my old Minolta camera and part of my famous Shannon, Vacation, and Camping series.

Well, the cruise is over. I really had a nice time and met some very pleasant folks. Let’s see if I can remember what happened on Friday. First, it cooled off quite a bit. I wasn’t able to spend time either on the promenade deck or on my balcony. It was cold and the water got just a bit rough. The ship rolled a bit – still nothing like the worst we saw on previous cruises, fortunately – and the wind was pretty strong. So I stayed indoors. I happened to pass the gay ladies I went to the beach with at Cabo and they invited me to sit with them and a couple other friends and play some of the trivia games. Passed an enjoyable hour or so with them. When we were going our separate ways, they made me promise to come to a cocktail party they were having a couple hours before dinner. I said I’d be delighted to attend. It turns out the party was for a couple of guys who got married at the beginning of the cruise. Juanita, one of the ladies, is the travel agent who made all the arrangements for the wedding and other events on the cruise. I felt just a little out of place at the party, since I didn’t know any of the family members there – just their travel agent – but they were very kind to me and I had a nice time meeting them and spending an hour together.

Retired to my cabin pretty much immediately after dinner to pack and relax, which I did. The ship rolled possibly a little more overnight than it had during the day, but my gift of sleep served me well and I had a very good night’s sleep indeed.

I awoke early on Saturday and watched through my window as the ship came into port and docked by the Queen Mary. Then I got up, got cleaned up and dressed, and went to breakfast, never to return to my lovely cabin. I found a comfortable sofa to read and wait for my turn to get off the ship. My turn came after a while and I disembarked, made my way through the Customs line, got in my beloved pickup, and drove home. Uneventful and easy, just like I like it.

Mark and I spent the weekend quietly at home and enjoyed being together again. The house was in excellent shape when I got home and everything that needed to be done had been done. No worries, no troubles.

Mark’s looking into starting back up in college in the fall. He’s leaning towards UNLV and has started the application process. I’m really excited for him and am sure it will be a worthwhile endeavor. He’s not sure whether to major in Computer Science or IT. I don’t think he can go wrong with either.

The health insurance people from Lockheed Martin had called me while I was gone, so I returned their call today. They told me I can change insurance plans and who is covered, so I did that. I went to the higher-deductible plan and dropped coverage for Mark and Andy. Andy’s covered by his new employer and it was so expensive to keep Mark on that we’re going to try to get him enrolled in an Obamacare plan. We have until the end of this month to make that happen. It’ll save a lot of money and hopefully be good insurance as well.

With the adjustment to my retirement pay due to Shannon’s death and the change in my health insurance, I’ve gotten a large increase in my take-home pay. In fact, it’s pretty much doubled. That’s good. I can use more money. Money is good.

Feeling lonesome today. ¬†There are lots of reminders of my old life and I’m still tending to indulge myself in them. It’s so comforting, but it also makes me feel such a loss. Things are getting better, though. Slowly but surely.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: traffic-jam-creating beaver!

See you tomorrow.

Rainy hike – May 25, 2003

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014


Here are Shannon, Mark, Andy, and Belle out for a walk during one of our fun, fun campouts somewhere in Virginia. Or possibly somewhere else, like Pennsylvania. I don’t remember much about that walk other than that it was kind of muddy and absolutely beautiful. Also that it was part of a beautiful, fun campout. Great Art courtesy of my good old Minolta camera and part of my famous Shannon and Camping series

We had another pleasant day. My mom and I went to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory at about noon, for a walk through their cactus garden and a self-guided tour through the chocolate factory. They weren’t making any chocolates right at the moment, but we did get to watch a few people packing candy. We had a nice time.

Otherwise another quiet day. In fact, I can’t quite remember what we did. Oh, we went to Pei Wei for dinner tonight. Really enjoyed it, as usual. And now we’re watching an old episode of The Big Bang Theory. Fun!

No new insights today. I posted a notice to the Book Nook blog telling of Shannon’s loss, dedicating the blog to her memory, and announcing that Katy will be posting in the future. I included one of my favorite pictures of Shannon, which I just got printed at Costco and now have in a frame on my bookshelf. I also posted the same content to the Book Nook Facebook page. There have been lots of Likes and a few nice comments. She was really loved.

Don’t yet know exactly what we’ll do tomorrow. It’s my mom’s last day in Las Vegas. We are going for a brief visit in Boulder City. Otherwise, the plans are up in the air. She returns home on Friday. I need to have her at the airport by around noon that day.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: gelatin heist!

See you tomorrow.

Reading camper – Sept 6, 2002

Friday, February 14th, 2014


Here’s Shannon doing what she perhaps most loved to do during a campout – reading. Great Art courtesy of my old SiPix camera, taken at Jellystone Park Resort near Luray, Virginia, and featuring my dear wife Shannon.

That was a fun campout. It was one of the few times we stayed at a commercial campground. Fortunately, this one wasn’t just a big RV parking lot like so many other commercial places. This one had some open space (see the background of this photo, for example), some trees (ditto!), and a pool with a nice, big waterslide.

Another quiet day. Mark started working today on the Android class I’ve been taking. I put it on hold after week one because of Shannon’s death, but it’s time to start it back up. I’m excited we’re going to be doing it together.

My mom and I made a quick trip to Costco today, just to get out of the house. I found a couple things I would like to have, including a TV wall mounting bracket and . . . umm . . . something else I can’t remember right now. We also looked at a whole bunch of food items but didn’t buy anything. The lines were just too long to buy nothing but milk and bread. So we went to (shudder) Walmart for milk and bread. Otherwise, we pretty much watched TV all day.

Starting tomorrow, we’re going to pick something to do every day and go do it. I know my mom wanted to go explore the strip & downtown a bit and so do I. So we need to just go do it. Mark will be invited too, of course. We’ll find some other things too.

I opened the valentine from Shannon this morning. It was beautiful and had a sweet message. I want to share it here:

“Will you be my valentine? I love you!

“Thanks for hanging in there with me right to the end. I couldn’t have done any of this without you!

“I’m going to miss you so much.

“All of my love, Shannon”

Not a huge treatise, but it’s precious to me. It’s her last message to me. A week or so ago, I found myself wondering whether she misses me. I miss her so much. I won’t know the answer to that question for the rest of my life, but I will choose to believe she misses me and continues to love me. I think I need that.

I made this year’s Valentine’s Day cherry cheesecake. It’s not as good as the ones Shannon made for me these past many years, but it’s good. It both comforted me and made me sad. That’s been a recurring theme lately.

And that’s it for tonight. See you on Monday.

Camping lunch – June 13, 2002

Thursday, February 13th, 2014


Here’s Shannon having lunch with Andy and Mark, somewhere in the woods a few steps away from our camping trailer. It’s pretty clear from this picture that we were in a beautiful park somewhere on the east coast. Man, did I love those campouts. We did a ton of exploring, spent plenty of time in our campsite reading and relaxing, and just about always had lunch at the campsite picnic table. Great Art courtesy of my old SiPix camera, taken somewhere in the woods of Virginia (probably), and featuring my beloved wife Shannon and our two youngest children.

Just to prove this was a camping lunch, here’s the same meal from another angle:


The first picture’s a whole lot more picturesque, no?

Pretty good day today. My mom and I went to Walmart for a few groceries, a new hose-end sprayer, and a new phone for Mom. Her old one’s earpiece wasn’t working very well anymore. We didn’t get anything fancy, but it works great and it just what she wanted.

Really nothing else to tell about today. We stopped at Panera for lunch after the Walmart trip was done. I had never eaten there before and I quite enjoyed it. Otherwise, we had dinner at home and spent the evening watching TV and trying (mostly unsuccessfully for her) not to fall asleep.

My heart is maintaining today. Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. I’ll be opening my final message from Shannon – the valentine she gave Katie for me. I’m excited to see what she wrote to me although I expect some tears. As Katie mentioned in her comment on yesterday’s post, it’s very hard to believe she’s really gone. I’ve been expecting the reality of her loss to hit me sometime in the near future. Right now, I’m hoping it takes as long as possible. I still feel Shannon’s presence and influence very strongly and I really want that to continue. Is that a mistake, Loyal Readers?

That’s it for tonight. See you tomorrow.