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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Long Update 09/23/2016

It has been quite some time since I wrote a blog, to be honest I just haven’t taken the time and I didn’t feel like there was much to say, but today I will remedy that.
I believe the last time I wrote anything was the last of July. So here goes.

Sarah and I had lunch with John and Cindi, we worked with these folks our first year in Mesa. It is always great seeing them, Cindi is great and John is ornery. We always have a good time with them.

Sarah’s brother Bill and his wife Mable came to visit for a couple of days. They flew into Omaha on their way to the Cain reunion in Mitchell, SD. Amy, Sarah’s niece, put together the reunion, not many came but a great time was had by all. Cynthia drove Bill and Mable to the reunion and then to a couple of Mable’s family members. They all returned to Omaha and Bill and Mable flew home from here. It was great visiting with them. Bill, also, introduced me to a new wine I had never heard of, I believe it was called Reid, it is a Merlot and very good.

August fifth Sarah and I headed to Beloit, WI to visit Robert, Sarah, Mason and Madyson. Mason had baseball games on Saturday and Sunday, I wanted to see them all. There were four games, two each day, and they were all good games. Mason’s team came in third out of six teams and the teams they played were the twelve-year-old group, Mason is on the eleven-year-old team. It was a great weekend.

August 9 we started with a Cancer Support Group at the VA. There are only five of us in the group, two of us have our spouses with us. It is interesting from the stand point that I haven’t heard some of the things they are talking about and other topics I am familiar with but this reinforces the ideas with me. We went around the room and told our story. In my narrative I said that in Vietnam I drove an ambulance, we would take the wounded off of a plane and transport them to the Navy hospital or the Marine hospital. One of our members is a retired Navy corpsman and got on me about calling the Marine base hospital a Marine hospital, she said there are no such thing as a Marine hospital it is a Navy hospital. Technically she is correct, but we called it the Marine hospital for clarification of where the wounded were going. She understands but still insists we should have called a Navy hospital.

Met with my new primary care provider, PCP, Dr Berry. Nice young man, most everyone is younger than me anymore, we had a nice visit. He is the fourth or fifth PCP I have had since going to the Omaha VA. Only two have left the VA and the others have taken other positions within the Omaha VA. As one of the ER nurses told me, once you start at the VA you don’t leave.

Speaking of the ER, these are the nicest folks ever. They will do whatever it takes to make your visit as hassle free as possible. I have yet to meet a person at the VA here who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. I have yet to have a bad experience.

Carl and Merilee had to bring their new motorhome to Camping World in Council Bluffs for some warranty work. They stayed with us for a few days until it was done. We always enjoy their company.

August 31 I got my monthly treatment of Zometa, this for my bone cancer, and a couple liters of fluids. It seems I need fluids about every 10 to 14 days, I am told I get dehydrated from the cancer.

September 1 we headed out for Burlington with a lunch stop at Mt Pleasant to see Dave and Shari. I don’t remember the name of the place we had lunch, it is on the Skunk river south of Mt Pleasant. Anyway the food is fabulous and very reasonable. I had a tenderloin, one of my favorites, who am I trying to kid, food is one of my favorites. Dave and I had pie for dessert and it was great, of course we had ice cream on it. It was good to see Dave and Shari.
We were headed to Burlington for my aunt Marcella’s 90 birthday party on Sunday. The event was held in the community room of the village cooperative of Burlington my brother and wife live in. It was the perfect place to have the party, plenty of room and lots of parking outside. There were approximately fifty people who came to see me aunt in addition to relatives. In fact, there were a couple people who showed up that I had not seen in 40 plus years. It was a great time.

My doctor has always told me if I felt good go do something. So Sarah and I took off on the 9th for Carl and Merilee’s in Mitchell, SD for a trip to Door County, for you that don’t know Door County is in Wisconsin. We left Saturday morning in their new motorhome and were gone for ten days.

We spent the first night in West Salem, WI at a campground, I don’t remember the name, a nice campground but a bit pricey. We were going to go to church at 7 pm but when we go there no one was there, I guess they haven’t updated their website. So we decided to get something to eat. As we were driving through Bangor, where the church was, we spotted the Village Inn, a local bar and restaurant. I had prime rib, not too bad, I have had better but still this was good. I always ask for REAL horseradish not this creamy stuff they normally serve, usually I get it. I have had one restaurant where I couldn’t get the real stuff because they didn’t have any. For shame on them.

Sunday we went to church and then headed out for Oshkosh, WI and the EAA Museum. We stayed two nights at the Hickory Oaks campground in Oshkosh. We ate at the Dockside restaurant that night and you can skip this one if you are ever in Oshkosh, not very good.

If you have never been to the EAA Museum, it is a must see. (A side note. We lived in Wisconsin for twelve years and didn’t go to the museum. Our boys accuse us of never taking them anywhere when we lived there. My response is, I didn’t want to deprive them of the pleasure of seeing all this with their own kids. That didn’t go over too good with them.) We spent several hours in the museum, if you want to read all the descriptions of all the items it would take a couple days to get through all of it.

We had a late lunch at Friar Tuck’s, this is a great restaurant we all liked the food here.

Merilee and I like lighthouses. In fact, back in 2001 we all went to Hawaii for our twenty fifth anniversaries. While on the big island of Hawaii we had a rental car and were going to go see a macadamia nut factory but when we got there it was closed, it was January 1, 2001, New Year’s Day, I didn’t even give it a thought the place would be closed. So we saw on the map that there was lighthouse a few miles away. We headed toward it not knowing we were going to go through an area where the local volcano had erupted a few years ago and the lava flow went right through this area. But we were determined to see the lighthouse so we continue on not worrying about the road condition because we had a rental car. When we finally got to the light house it was a big disappointment. It was nothing but a steel structure like the windmill towers you see on farms in the Midwest, except instead of blades on top this one had a light, bummer.

Anyway, Oshkosh had two lighthouses listed on their map, we headed off to find them. The first one, Bray’s Point Lighthouse, we found, it wasn’t very big and was nothing to speak of and it was located in someone’s yard, with no good way to get to it. Merilee got a picture of it, I never did. The second one, Asylum Point Lighthouse, we also found but never go to see it. It seems it is on the grounds of the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. We tried to drive back to the lighthouse but couldn’t find any road that led to it. So we gave up on trying to see it.

Tuesday morning, we were up and headed for Door County. Our first stomp was at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI, https://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Good_Help. Instead of trying to explain what this site is and the history of it I will let you go to the two links above. You will want to click on the Peshtigo fire link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshtigo_Fire in the Wikipedia article to get the total story behind the shrine.

After a couple hours at the shrine we continue our journey to Bailey’s Harbor campground in Bailey’s Harbor, WI. We got the camper set up, I wasn’t much help but I did help where I could and stayed out of the way otherwise. For lunch we went to Bailey’s Cornerstone Pub I believe that is the name. I had their clam chowder which was very good. Merilee had some walleye and it didn’t sit very well with her. So we didn’t go back there again.

That afternoon we drove up to Northport, WI, I wanted to show everyone the ferry, http://www.doorcounty.com/business-directory/washington-island-ferry-line/, that takes people to Washington Island, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Island_(Wisconsin).

Wednesday we were looking for some place for breakfast and one of the Workamper at the campground, who Carl knew from Whirlpool, it is a small world, said to go to the Sandpiper restaurant, http://www.maxweltonbraes.com/. Great food and plenty of it.

Then it was off to find the Bailey’s Harbor Lighthouse, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baileys_Harbor_Light, not a very good one.
The second one, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cana_Island_Light, was much better. There were 97 steps to get to the top of the lighthouse, I didn’t even attempt it but Sarah, Carl and Merilee did as shown in this picture.

I bought a book so I could say I was there. An interesting tidbit, I read the lighthouse keeper was paid $600 per year and the assistant was paid $300, this wage was unchanged for 30 years, I hope they didn’t have to buy their own food.

That afternoon we took a boat ride on Lake Michigan to see some more lighthouses and a sunken ship, http://shorelinecharters.net/gillsrock.html. As far as the lighthouses go it was a bust, we weren’t able to tour any of them but it was neat to see the different types and the sunken ship was a ship that sank just after the civil war, so there wasn’t much left of it. I enjoyed the boat ride but I really enjoyed the narrative by the captain. The boat was not very big twelve passengers and I was sitting up front so I could hear his explanations and ask questions. It was a good experience.

One of the interesting things the captain said was the state of Wisconsin won’t approve any more permits to build boat docks. So if you buy or build with water access you won’t be able to build a boat dock. I looked it up and here is the story on it, http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/html/stories/2000/jun00/pier.htm.

That night we wanted pizza and someone told us about Joe Jo’s Pizza and Gelato, http://www.doorcountypizza.com/, so off we went in search of this place. Now something happened there that I have never experienced before. I wear a Vietnam Veterans hat a lot and I had it on that day. When we went into the restaurant I had it on, but I took it off when we sat down at the table. We had been there for fifteen minutes or so and the couple sitting behind us got up to leave and the one lady came over and asked if I was a Vietnam Veteran, I said yes, and she gave me money to buy a Gelato. I said that wasn’t necessary but she insisted and so I said thank you. I admit one of the reasons I wear the hat is so people won’t forget the Vietnam Veterans, a lot of them didn’t get a very nice welcome when they returned to the states, I don’t wear it so people buy me meals or deserts. However, when that happens, if it happens again, I will politely say it isn’t necessary but I will not argue with the person either. I do get a thank you for your service now and then and I find it is mostly people under fifty who say that. Regardless of the reason or circumstances the acknowledgment is greatly appreciated and I say that for ALL veterans.

Thursday Sarah Ann’s, Robert’s wife’s, parents, Dick and Terry, met us in Egg Harbor for lunch and then we went shopping. After a bit we headed for Fish Harbor for more shopping. Fish Harbor has a main street that is maybe two or three blocks long with nothing but shops all of which are unique to the area. Dick and Terry left a little after five, they had to pick up their dog by six or so.

For dinner we went to PC Junction, Bailey’s Harbor, WI, http://www.pcjunctiondoorcounty.com/. This place has a train that delivers your meal, if you are seated at the bar. I understand in the summer time it is near impossible to get a seat at the bar. The food was good and I did buy a shirt.

The next day Friday it was time to pack up and move on. We were headed to Beloit. Our original plans had us being in Manitowoc, WI to see the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, http://www.wisconsinmaritime.org/index.php. They have a WWII submarine there which you can take a tour of, but we decided to stay another day in Bailey’s Harbor and skip the museum, it turned out to be a good decision.

We were able to get into Pearl Lake campground, http://www.pearllake.com/. This campground does not allow visitors; I don’t understand that but that is their rule. If you are a scuba diver or want to be this is the place to go, the lake has an airplane and other various items in it for divers to dive on.

That night Mason’s football team was running onto the field at the varsity football game. We went to watch and I was surprised the varsity team let the younger ones run onto the field in front of them. The cost to get in to the game was $1.00 for old people like me and $3.00 for others. They had a pretty good crowd but I understand the home team lost.

Saturday we went to watch Mason plan football, he is the center and defensive guard. It was fun to watch him and to see how much better he is from a couple years ago.

After lunch with the kids at Noodle and Company, http://order.noodles.com/menu/noodles-beloit. Not a lot of variety, noodles and different toppings etc. but good. We headed for Spring Green, WI.

We couldn’t get into the only full hookup campground I could find in Spring Green so we went to Lone Rock, WI and the Fireside Campground, http://firesidecampground.com/index.html. Not a bad campground, the owners are new. The campground is over two hundred acres and there looks to be a lot of potential.

Went to church that night in Avoca, WI, at St Joseph Catholic Church. After church we were hungry so on our way back to the campground we found The Woods, a bar/restaurant in Lone Rock, WI, http://www.woods-bar-grill-the.hub.biz/. I had prime rib and it was good, but not the best I have ever had.

Our reason for being in the area was to see The House on the Rock, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_on_the_Rock. I had been there in the 1970’s but no one else had been there so we went to see it. It has expanded greatly since I last saw it and they have added a couple new features to the house. It took us over five house to tour the place, I was beat by the end of the day. I did buy two books, one is a picture book of what you see throughout the place and the other is about the original owner and how the house built and the collection of items you see.

After walking all day, I was beat. I said I wanted two drinks with my dinner. We stopped at Arthur’s Supper Club, http://www.woods-bar-grill-the.hub.biz/. I had the special, a Turkey dinner with the trimmings. I also ordered a whiskey old fashion, it was very good. So I ordered another one. The server brought the second drink and a few minutes later a third drink. She said they made two by mistake, I got three for the price of two, not a bad ending to a tiring day.

Monday we got up and headed for Mitchell. We got there around seven, unloaded the camper, ordered pizza for dinner and went to bed.

Tuesday, Amy and son Jasper came to the house and we all loaded into her van to go to breakfast. We went to the American Legion. They have a big building, with dart tournaments and bingo, looks to be a very active group.
Thank you Merilee and Carl for the great time traveling with you.

Sarah and I headed for Omaha about ten and got home by two thirty.

Yesterday was Eli’s sixth birthday so we went to lunch with them at the Red Robyn, it was a good time.

Without going into a lot of detail we are going to Mesa, AZ for January and February 2017. I have a few things to work out with the VA here and in Phoenix but the oncology case manager said it is all doable, so we are going for it. We have rented a place at Good Life RV Resort in Mesa and we hope to see a lot of the people we knew when we were there before.

I guess I have rambled on for too long, that is what happens when I don’t write for such a long time.

One commercial, please ask you friends and acquaintances to donate to my GoFundMe account so we can buy some more t-shirts for the veterans undergoing chemotherapy here at the Omaha VA, https://www.gofundme.com/db7q945h. Thank you.

Thank you for all the prayers and support you have given me in the past and I ask for your continued prayers.

Until later, take care and safe travels.

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