Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm Back Home (sort of)

After leaving my son's, Jonathan, in Kingsland GA I headed south on Tuesday.  I stopped by the Silver River State Park in Ocala for a couple of days at the womenrv forum's gtg.  I arrived on Tuesday afternoon just in time for the big storm that rolled through.  Tornado warnings were issued but we all survived in the cabin.  I didn't get pictures so I'll link you to BethLiz's , Margie's blog sites so you can see the ladies and all the fur babies.

I pulled out on Wednesday after sharing Nan's RV for the night to head back to Davenport.  I felt I needed to get back to take care of a leak in my windshield that Margie had nursed while I was gone for so long.  I stopped at the America Choice RV center in Clermont and asked the service manager, Chris, about doing the work and a rough estimate.  He said I could bring it in the next day which would have been yesterday and I'm still here.  I had a list of items to be fixed and thought as long as I'm here I'll have everything done.  The leak was the windshield instead of the top of  Somewhere, thank goodness.  I had busted my sink and my shower was leaking so kill all the birds w/all the stones.

The sealant had to dry overnight and they put me up behind the locked fence for me to stay with water/electric hook-ups.   The sink had to be found and purchased and that didn't happen until late this afternoon, the shower mechanism had to be found and that arrived this afternoon and now something else is needed for that.  Good thing they work on Saturdays b/c I am here another night.

I like this place and Chris is a nice guy so it could be worse.  There is a 2007 Itasca Sunrise on the lot w/3 slides and it's 50 amp which was very appealing.  Of course they tried to upgrade me while I was here and it was terribly tempting to just get a newer rig but I have resisted so far.  I like my Somewhere and can't see a need for something else even though I know 2003 will begin to lose value in another year or so.  I've had her since Dec 2007 and I still like her except for the dang carpet so I'll just live with that for a while longer.

Margie came over today and looked at the '07 and spent some time with me so I wouldn't be so bored.  Oh and did I mention that it was great to be back in my bed?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Tribute to My Very Best Friend, Theda Echols Young

My wonderful friend Theda passed away on Jan 3, 2011.  She was 44 years old.  Her parents are elderly and both alive.  She had two older brothers.

Theda and I became best friends in 1995.  She was a little sister that I never had.  I say she was my little sister but she ended up taking care of me more than me her.  My sister Wanda said that whenever Theda was with me during surgery they (other sister Shirley) didn't have to worry because they knew they would get information and that I would be well taken care of. Theda never said a bad word about anyone, she always saw the good in people.

I remember our first trip.  It was our first cruise for both of us.  We were hooked and we went on many more trips after that.  We went many places together like San Francisco, Destin, Key West, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, St Thomas, St Kitts, St Lucia, GA, MS, just to name a few, because we were very compatible room mates and great friends. 

There were four of us who were YaYa's.  We all had nicknames.  Lotus was Becky, Missi was Giggles, Theda was Law Dawg and I was the Queen.  Theda kept all of us straight because she was the one who kept her head on straight in every situation.  We made a great foursome.

We all met through work but our friendships were much deeper than that.  We even adopted a guy, Roy my nephew and his nickname was WahWah so it ended up being 3 YaYa's and a Wah Wah.  That's when we went to Cancun for the week and Giggles couldn't go along.

Theda loved my family.  She was such a great teacher with everyone who came to her park but especially with Taylor, my granddaughter.  She added that extra something for her.   My son, Jonathan, used to tell me that he never worried when I was with Theda.  He knew I was in good hands.

Theda loved working for TN State Parks.  She worked part-time for years and then finally was hired full-time.  She was a Ranger which meant she had to go to the Law Enforcement Academy and then was stationed at the Bicentennial Captiol Mall in downtown Nashville.  She took great pride in the opening of the "Mall" and then the subsequent tours she would provide and then the leadership when she became the Asst Park Manager.  The Mall flourished.

She later got the opportunity to manage a park of her own.  Johnsonville State Historic Area in New Johnsonville TN.  Some of you readers have read about my ventures at the JSHA.  She was thrilled that she was getting a new Visitor's Center.  She had such pride in her profession and she was smart and had more knowledge about such a variety of subjects.  She was a trained classical pianist, she played the violin.  She knew about the Civil War, birds, flowers, trees, you name it and she could tell you information on a particular topic.  She was definitely the one you would want in a trivia game.  I tried to get her to go on a game show but she never would.   She wasn't a bragadocious type person in anyway.  Wow, and they say opposites attract.

This past Christmas Theda and I got in a big discussion about religion.  I didn't want to assume I knew where she stood in her faith like I had in another instance with a friend.  We assured each other that we both know the Lord as our personal savior.  We held hands and prayed for our friend.  She said she was sure of her salvation & knew where she was going when she died.  Little did either of us know that she would be there this soon.

When I called our friend Ann to tell her what had happened she said that a song came on her radio what was something to the effect of "Mama's teaching her angel to sing."  I believe that my Mama was waiting on Theda to come join the angels.

Several of our other good friends have gone on before Theda so I'm sure that the Angel Ranger Corps of Eddie, Rick, Larry, Dean-O and Mike were there to see her too.

Thanks to everyone who sent their condolences through email and face book.  All of you who knew her were blessed and if you didn't know her, you missed a great opportunity to know someone who was a kind and gentle soul. 

It's been a few weeks out and I finished with the house, uniforms and family things and am now with my family who is helping me get through a terrible period.  Everyone says it will get easier and I'm sure with time it will but I just don't see how it will.

Theda was Mama T to Sedona.  I had given Sedona to Theda a few weeks before Christmas as most of you read.  She was now Mama to Sedona and I was Mama Carolyn because Mama C was so close to Mama T, couldn't confuse her you know.    Sedona and I called Theda every evening to make sure she was tucked in safely after locking the gate at the park.  Some days Sedona wanted to talk to Mama T and here is an example of her carrying on a conversation with her.  Sedona is doing okay in spite of what she has gone through.  Sedona was at Theda's side when her body was found and she wasn't going to let anyone get close to her.  The detective took a loop and was going to put her in the shelter but Andy (Theda's maintenance man) took Sedona home with him until I could get up there to get her.

Seems like this tribute has been rambling but it has been theraputic for me to put words down on how I feel.  Theda was my rock and I am going to miss her.

I'll always love you Theda.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Slide Show of Trip to Animal Kingdom

I was fortunate enough to be invited to go to Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista FL with Roger and Margie Woodall.  Roger is a cast member for Disney and they invited me to go along on a great Sunday outing and I accepted.  Here are some shots of our day there.  Thanks folks!

Oh, we had a great jalenpeno-cheese pretzel.  Neither Margie nor I got a picture but it was very delicious.  I highly recommend it on your next visit to a park.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year-2011

I suppose you can say I began celebrating New Year's Eve with a bus trip with my friend Margie to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.  The bus leaves Davenport around 9:45 and returns around 5:00.  It costs $25 to ride a return trip in the bus.  The casino gives $30 voucher and $5 toward the buffet and with a players card you get another $5 off the buffet which makes you pay $10 for a wonderful buffet.  Usually the fare at casino buffet's are horrible but at this casino the food was fresh and the variety was excellent.  Yummy.  I gave my usual donation to a casino and then was ready to return.

After a few hours of rest, it was time to get ready for our community party at the clubhouse.  There was a good group who showed up and the band was very good.  Man, these people around here really like to dance and that's a good thing.  I got up a couple of times and danced by myself and then asked a couple of single guys for a spin around the dance floor.  I also got to have a dance with Roger, thanks for sharing Margie.  LOL
Carolyn & Roger cutting a rug.

Carolyn & Roger slow dancing.

Carolyn, Margie & ladies doin' the chicken dance.

Margie & Roger Dancing.

Happy New Year!
 The bad thing about the dancing was the morning after.  See a couple of days ago, Margie and I were looking some Born Free motor homes and when I entered one my knee popped and it has bothered me ever since.  So I guess you could say instead of blowing out my flip flop, I blew out my knee but I didn't step on a pop top.

After the party I came home and called my bff, Becky, in Nevada.  I figured I had celebrated for the Central, Eastern time zone and needed to add the Mountain time zone too but we didn't quite make it to count down with her.  We were close though.

Today was a lazy day and then Margie & Roger invited me over for one fine steak.  I took a salad and homemade croutons.  Roger cooked the steak and it didn't take long for us to snarf down our wonderful meal of steak, baked potato, corn and salad.  Again, yummy!

We sat out by a cozy "fire", chatted and relaxed.  It should be a great year!

Our steak were cooked to perfection!

Margie's grabbing a photo for her blog.

Buddy (standing) and Anne were having fun in their playpen.

The food.

The fire

The lake from Margie's lot.
Tomorrow we are going to pay a visit to Animal Kingdom and see where Roger works and have a play day.