Hartford Evergreen’s Installation 2014

Collage (Medium)One of the prime reason for our winter trip to Connecticut was the I had been asked to serve as ‘Installing Master’ at Hartford Evergreen Lodge #88.  This was my Father’s lodge and I served as Master in 2002 & 2006.  We had the Lodge room full and a great time was had by all.

I Installed Bro. Dwayne L. Clarke as Master, I initiated him in 2006.  We were honored in that Worshipful Brother Thomas Maxwell, Grand Master of Masons, Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. was present.  A nice lunch was provided by the Lodge and all went home in near 60° temperatures.10406681_10152993632104533_1619201750724289553_n (Medium)

A native of Texas, M.W.B. Maxwell was very kind in his closing remarks.  He was surprised and pleased the the gavel I presented was made by a Freemason in Round Rock, TX.

 

 

A tip of the hat to K & G Superstore in Manchester.  They were able to sell and alter a Tux for me in 2 hours after mine failed to make the trip from Austin.  The black Western hat did make the trip with us.10309499_10152993632369533_8015256723537666156_n (Medium)

About 10 years ago there was doubt that this Lodge would exist more than a few years, about 5 Brothers rotated going thru the chairs.  Now there are no Past Masters in the ascending chairs, a remarkable reversal.

 

Worshipful Brother Clarke and his familyIMG_1332 (Medium)My sad news this week was that Brother My My Sad news is that Bro. Tom Harrison passed on to ‘that place on known in the heavens, on touched by human hands’  We were close to Tom & Loraine as they were charter Members of our church and very supportive of all our fraternal doings.

Some would say Tom was lucky as his melanoma was discovered about 4 weeks ago and was unusually aggressive in taking him.  I am comforted in that we were able to visit him while he was well, he shared some of his wonderful dry humor and I will be able to bid him fare well at his Masonic Service on Friday next.

Would You Like to Escape? 2014

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We will leave for Tucson, AZ on January 4th, assuming the weather hold until then.  We will be keeping all eyes on the long term weather reports.  If threatened, we will leave on a minutes notice as out timetable in Arizona has very little flexibility.

 

Christmas Dinner 2014a

We had our Christmas Dinner at our Daughter Kelly Mattesen’s home.  She made a Crown Roast of Pork that was perfect!  Added to that were a bunch of great side dishes and deserts the were over the top.  In our circle of friends, Anne-Marie is noted as a fine cook & hostess.  Her 2 girls didn’t fall far from the tree!

 

Some of our best friends are fulltime RV’ers.  You might be one of them if you relate to this:

1) Your GPS is your best friend!

2) You NEVER know where items are in the grocery store.

3) You dump your own sewage and it is no big deal.

4) Your family has to ask you where you are when they call.

5) You keep both winter and summer wardrobes because you don’t know where you will end up.

6) You know what snowbirds are and have seen them in their natural habitat.

7) Your HOME has wheels.

8) You blog so that YOU will remember where you have been!

9) You look in your pantry and see that you have cereal from New Jersey, pasta from Texas, canned goods from Alabama and crackers from California.

10) You are always the new guy in town

11) You know where to find the best, most reliable internet.

12) You own very little and are proud of that!

13) You follow the warm weather.

14) You hang pictures and decoration on the wall with velcro.

15) You don’t own any figurines or other cutesy stuff that sits on countertops.

16) You have often slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

17) You meet up with a family in Virginia that you met in California!

18) Your kids remember friends by what state they met them in!

19) You grocery shop every three days because your refrigerator is so small.

20) You have been to more museums, aquariums, national parks, monuments and zoos than you can remember.

21) You have ever “pulled chocks”.

22) You look confused when someone asks you “where are you from?”

23) You get your mail 2-3 months late regularly from your mail forwarding service.

24) You have witnessed your toilet “burping” at you.

25) You crave adventure and can not wait to see what is around the next corner!

To our all our friends friends, I will be installing Master at Hartford Evergreen Lodge #88 on Saturday at 11:00am, all would be welcome!

Christmas, He is coming! 2014

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We were very pleased last Sunday to find the Mexican Nativity scene at the alter of our church, Christ the King in Windsor CT.  We found is during our 1st trip to Mexico on our 25th wedding anniversary.  I had it packaged and carried it back a hand luggage.  We gifted it to the former Pastor who must have seen fit to leave it at the church.  Thanks, Pastor Doug!

Sunday afternoon we traveled to Meridan (40miles) where our family helped with the annual dinner the Rainbow girls put on for the local Homeless Shelter.  The girls (with ‘help’ of their Advisors) put on a huge turkey dinner.  Santa shows up and  lots of personal gifts are handed out.

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Last Saturday, our local chapter of The National Camping Travelers (A Masonic Camping Club) had it’s annual holiday ‘camp-out at the Dakota Steakhouse. In addition to over eating, our members continued with our tradition of stuffing a State Police Cruiser with toys for the children in our local social programs.  In fact, we stuffed a cruiser and a 3/4 ton pick-up truck thanks to the Dakota staff and management teaming up with us.

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In closing, Anne-Marie and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  We are pleased and honored to do that as  a result of the wonderful country we are all privileged to live in.

  

We’ve Arrived 2014

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We checked in at The Baymont Inn in Manchester, it will suit our needs I’m sure.  Hard to be the amount of stuff it takes to move 2 old folks 3,500 miles.  This is the first of our 2 wagon loads that moved to the 3rd floor.

The hotel couldn’t accommodate a 1 day early arrival so we stayed in Southington last night.  This worked for us as we were treated to dinner at our friends, the Kaminsky’s .

 

Tom Harrison

We stopped and visited with Tom Harrison at Manchester Memorial Hospital.  He is a devoted Brother Mason {Washington Lodge #70} and a valued member of our church, we wish him well and will remember him on bended knee.  I took this picture of Tom & Lorraine while was recuperating form knee surgery.

It’s Tuesday, We’re almost here 2014

Almost here alludes to our being in Manchester, CT for family visit and some business.  We’ve learned on this road trip theDSCN0792 (Medium) the best way to get a deal is to walk in with no reservation and use the coupon books available at all rest areas.  Discount is often 70% off rack rate.  Something to be aware of, if the parking lot and lobby of you hotel in cluttered with construction material the motel may have been sold and is remodeling.  I think we were the last guests in the Double Suites Inn!

There was a neat restaurant nearby with a train motif.DSCN0791 (Medium)

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Go East Young Man! 2014

DSCN0785 (Medium)We are 1,757 miles into our trip, we have about 900 to go.  We can slow down a bit as we are not due in Manchester, CT until Tuesday.  Most of our weather has been clear to date, I suspect that will change.  All of our heavy clothing is safely ensconced in Austin, TX storage area.  Today we will do some shopping.

How about these fuel prices?  We’re loving them, our little car get 27mpg at 75 mph cruising.  Let’s see that would be 2,700/27 mpg = 100 gallons at about $2.35/gallon.  I can live with that!

DSCN0787 (Medium)You’ve got to be careful where you step when you in the Southwest, our friend Lynne Waited ran into a small rattler that put  him in the hospital for 2 days.

Reservations for our “Mexican Connection” rally to be held in February are trickling in.  Perceptions of Safety Issues and Ultra Low Sulfur availability are issues that have folks nervous.

We are at spot #5 below.

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I’m an Elk 2014

 

BOF for BPOE (Medium)Having reached a favorable opinion of the fraternity,  I’ve joined The Elks.  Many of the The Elks Lodge’s have RV parking spaces, some with full hook-ups.  They also have an active chapter in the Escapee’s with several nice events.

I went up on the roof yesterday to do my semi-annual maintenance of caulking.  While I was there I removed the vent cover remains that we lost in New Mexico on route to the Balloon Fiesta.

Reservations for our Kino Bay Rally are coming in at a trickle.  This is up setting to us do to all the work we’ve put into it.  The major road blocks seem to be the perception of out of control violence and modern diesel fuel availability.  The violence is directly attributed to The Mexican Drug War, and I have friends that say drug use is a ‘victimless crime’.  The fuel issue is the bureaucratic folly of Pemex, the state owned fuel system.

All of a sudden, I cannot download photos from my Samsung phone.  This is a bummer as we went to a party last evening with live music.  About 50 folks and we all had a great time.