Can you believe 2008 is now history! We parked at “Camp Carr” (our nickname for Pat and Yvette’s backyard), through the entire month of December. We’ll tell you about some of what we did during the month but won’t bore you with too many details.
We passed our annual physicals and made multiple trips to the dentist and dermatologist. Finding new medical and dental providers in a new city is always a bit of a challenge, but we are very pleased with our family practice physician and our dentist.
And we know our dentist (Dr. Julie Howard of the Pooler Family Dental Clinic) is very happy with us – between the two of us, we needed three crowns this year. Thank goodness we have dental insurance but we still had to pay 50% out of our pockets. Dr. Howard and her staff made us feel very welcome and took the pain (other than to our wallets) out of our visits.
A word to the wise – if you don’t already get an annual body check for suspicious lumps, bumps and spots, please consider doing so. We’ve both been doing this for several years and twice our doctors have determined suspicious spots to be skin cancers. Luckily, in both our cases, skin cancer was diagnosed early enough. Treatment involved removing the offending spot with no follow-up action necessary other than continuing annual body checks.
Lucille spent some time researching new prescription drug plans for her parents. Their Humana premiums were going to increase over 100% for 2009, so it was time to use Medicare’s website to find a more affordable plan. Their website has a neat searching wizard to locate drug plans in your zip code, with your preferred pharmacy, customized to your own drug list. You can see what your estimated annual out-of-pocket costs will be with the premiums and co-pays. The plans are also rated as to customer service and other criteria. Once you select a plan, you can proceed to sign up online. The process is a little time consuming but it helps make the process of choosing one plan out of hundreds much less confusing.
During our stay here in Rincon, we attended the Rincon United Methodist Church and were made to feel very welcome by Pastor Larry Bird, his wife Sunshine, and the congregation. Their Christmas Cantata was awesome. It was music director’s Ralph Long’s first cantata – he, the choir, the soloists, musicians and narrators did a fabulous job presenting “An Old Fashioned Christmas.”
Earlier in the year, we offered to paint Pat and Yvette’s living room, hall and foyer walls, to help ‘pay’ for our stay in their backyard. After looking at several color samples, we selected two pretty shades of green and got started. We used the expertise we gained earlier this year when we painted the common areas at Magnolia Manor over a three-week period. (See our February 2008 travels.) We were all pleased with how nice the green was but the color differentiations are hard to determine – not quite enough contrast. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was all the same shade of green.
Larry kept his painting skills current later in the month by painting the walls in the chancel area at Rincon United Methodist Church, much appreciated by both the pastor and the music director. The ‘one hour’ project took almost eight hours – there was a lot of prep time and not much room to maneuver around in that area.
We did a few geocaches in the area, leaving the rubber chicken travel bug we’d acquired at a cache in Huntsville, Alabama, in one of them. There are two caches at Veterans Memorial Park, one of which was easy to locate. The other was challenging – you had to determine the coordinates by counting the flags, pedestals, names on the walls, etc…We got stumped with the last coordinate but got close enough to find the cache from the rest of the hints.
Springfield, just a few miles up from where we are parked, is a small town with a few fast food restaurants and Kelley’s Tavern, known for its open-faced Reuben sandwich. We liked the food at Kelley’s so much we’ve been back several times. Lucille is always looking for good patty melts – the ones at Kelley’s are quite good. And their Reuben is not only very good, it’s huge – half of the sandwich came home for a meal later.
Pat and Yvette hosted the Christmas dinner. As always, it was a feast. Pat’s brother Wayne deep-fried a turkey; sister Patricia prepared a baked ham as well as several desserts; his daughter Malinda brought some wonderful dishes. We’ve determined that everyone in Pat’s family is a great cook! We drove down to Richmond Hill to get Lucille’s parents who enjoyed the holiday meal with us.
The day after Christmas, we did something we don’t do too often – we separated for a couple of weeks. Larry flew home to Connecticut to spend time with his family and to play in the snow while he’s there. New England has gotten quite a bit of snow, before and after Christmas. His brother Brian and wife Bonnie graciously offered him a place to stay. He tried to show them he couldn’t remember how to shovel snow but no one bought his story.
After we dropped Larry off at the airport, Lucille and her sister Yvette had a gal’s weekend getaway to Florida. Yvette used her travel agent discount to obtain a bargain rate at the Fairfield Inn in Melbourne, near where we used to own a home. During our lightning trip to Florida, we visited with friend Dianne, whom we’d last seen in Arkansas, enjoying dinner at her place. On Saturday, we made a day trip to Tamarac to visit with aunts there. On Sunday, after attending the early service at Fellowship United Methodist Church and a quick visit with Pastor Shirley and her husband Rod, we met cousins Diane, Susan and her husband Ken, and our aunt, Eugenie, for lunch at Harbor City Diner.
We hit the road after lunch, with a quick stop to visit Yvette’s friend Paula at Amelia Island, arriving back home around 8 pm. It was great seeing our Florida family during that quick trip. Shelley spent her weekend in the kennel at Webb Animal Clinic, and was quite glad to come home herself.
Before we knew it, New Year’s Eve was here. Larry saw 2009 arrive in Connecticut; Lucille in Georgia.
A quick recap of our year: Enjoying being snowbirds with friends in Palmdale, Florida; working our first NOMADS project in Richmond Hill, Georgia; sightseeing a bit in South Carolina; a quick trip to help relatives in Tamarac, Florida; meeting back up with Karen and Galen in New England, spending three months touring the Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland), making new friends along the way; the infamous stolen truck episode outside of Montreal, Quebec early September; back on the road under our own steam in October for a month of enjoying music and friends in Mountain View, Arkansas; a little sightseeing in the Marietta and Unadilla areas of Georgia before settling in at “Camp Carr” in Rincon through the end of the year. Lots of memories – most of which are wonderful and even the one bad memory doesn’t overshadow the great time we’re having as we go into our sixth year of fulltime RVing – what a fabulous lifestyle!
Coming up: Brunswick, Georgia, middle of January, where we’ll help build a home or two with Habitat for Humanity; a quick stop in Jacksonville, Florida, to get routine maintenance done on the RV; visiting Art and Suzan who are volunteering at Wakulla Springs State Park, south of Tallahassee; a few days at the Escapees Park in Summerdale, Alabama; Livingston, San Antonio, and McCamey, Texas.