Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Is it the people?


It's been a full and relaxing couple of days since I last wrote to you.

I was going to write to you yesterday morning, but the power was out.  Really, it was out for some tree-cutting work.  This is not one of those, "the dog ate my homework" excuses, really. 

The power folks told us the power was going to come back on at 10 a.m.  Of course it was at least an hour later, by then I was hungry for lunch.  Then it was time to explore and then it was time to visit with folks. 

So, let me fill you in on what I have been up to doing.

As you recall I spent the night at Evergreen Club hosts in Greenville, North Carolina.  They had a nice place and they were interesting.

Their profile said they were active in the church.  We talked about the devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian.  They said they do mission work with their church going in after a disaster like this one, removing mud, removing wet dry-wall, helping with the clean-up.

I asked where they stay when they go.  They said they stay on the floors of churches.  I asked if they bring supplies because I remember talking with a survivor of Homestead, Florida when it was wiped out.  She said she had resented the rescue workers coming in and using up the scarce food and water supplies that they had.  I can imagine she was feeling pretty scared about not having enough.

My host said that they try to bring more than enough, but it is hard to bring enough to help plus enough for the army of workers.

He said that they will most likely help those affected on the coast of South and North Carolina this time instead of trying to get supplies and help to the islands.  That makes sense, help closer to home.

The organization I just joined, Sisters on the Fly, has a Sister Corp that does rescue/recovery work I think.  I want to check that out, but with my hip giving me trouble I wonder if the days of physical work are behind me. 

My friend Debra told me that our friends Jennifer and Dave that are biking friends that live 1/2 the year in Nova Scotia were preparing for Dorian to hit them.  It is hard to believe the storm would still be strong all the way up the coast.

In the morning I was up and traveling early.  My hosts were up getting ready to go to church.  I left by 7 a.m.  My host had told me a neat place to ride is the Greenville end of the Swamp Rabbit.  I drove down to the zoo and parked where he suggested I park.  I didn't ride, I walked.

I put my phone into the hole to take a picture to see if there was anything down there of interest.

The picture didn't turn out and it is probably because I was too scared to stick my hands in far enough to get a good picture.

I came to a Y in the trail.  Of course the branch I took ended at a dead end.  I retraced my steps and took the other branch.

It went by a memorial of a pilot that flew a lot of times during the Korean war and then was a casualty of the Bay of Pigs during the cold war.

Further down the trail it got really pretty with lovely water fall.  I wanted to walk further but my hip and leg started to hurt.

 I would rest, and stretch, go a quarter mile, and have to rest and stretch again.

I sat by this lovely sculpture and was calmed by the lovely face of the child.

I am fortunate that my hip doesn't hurt much when I am sitting.  So once I got to the car I was fine.

I was going today to go visit my good friends, Regis and Cindy.  We have been friends for 10 years.  They have been trying out work camping (volunteer work that includes a free camp site).  This year they are helping out at a historical site, the Cradle of Forestry near Asheville, North Carolina.

It was  a lovely winding ride up the mountain.  I slowed down behind a bicyclists until I could safely pass.  In the mean time several cars lined up behind me.  So later, when I saw a place I could pull out off the road, I did.  And it turned out to be a scenic overlook, a rock dome covered with graffiti.  

 Regis calls it modern day hieroglyphics.

There was also some places where fires had been lit and cans had been tossed.  Sigh.

 I got a text from Cindy asking me where I was.  I told her I had stopped in Brevard for lunch.  They were going for a hike.  I realized after I parked the car that I had forgotten to get ICE for the cooler!  I had better do that or my food would spoil.  But I had paid $9 for my parking spot.  So I walked about 7 blocks to get the ice and back.

I ended up at a mexican restaurant.  Just as I got a table I got a text from Cindy and Regis.  They would come join me for lunch!


It was great seeing them again.  They seem to like their volunteer gig, but miss bicycling.  They didn't bring their dirt bikes, and even so, the mountain biking here is real mountain biking.

After lunch I followed them to Osker Blues Brewery.  

There were a LOT of dirt bicyclists there with their bikes.  Some of them got up and danced with the band.  I wish I would have taken a picture of them with their muscular legs jumping up and down.

I followed Regis and Cindy again on our way to the Cradle of Forestry.  He has a few stickers on the back of his van.

Regis kindly pulled over at a water fall.

I could not resist getting closer.  Regis took my phone and took some pictures.  It was so invigorating, I didn't want to leave.  I wanted to walk up and stand under the cascade.   The cold water was not only blasting a mist, but a cool wind.  After 90 degree days, it was so wonderful.   My first exposure to the coolness that is to come on this trip.

Their is a small army of work-campers staying in the private campground at the Cradle of Forestry.  Regis and Cindy have full hookup sites.  They work 3 days a week, cleaning up the grounds, doing maintenance, working at the front gate or the gift shop or at the information desk.  The volunteers and small staff keep the place going. 

It is surprisingly busy with school groups and tourists.

They have a club house with kitchen and showers and laundry facility and internet.  It was a really nice place.  And when the leaves turn colors this fall it will turn into one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Years ago, when George and I visited the Pisgah forest and the Pisgah Lodge.  We learned that the reservations for the lodge were fully booked three years in advance for the fall when the leaves change colors.

Cindy made us a wonderful salad and pasta-dish for dinner.  Thank you Cindy!  And thanks to Regis for doing the after-dinner cleanup and the dishes.

As we sat around chatting in the evening, a fellow work-camper and new friend of Cindy and Regis came and sat and chatted with us. 

Her name is Connie and she lives in her 19 foot van full time.  I enjoyed meeting her and hearing the places she has been.  I had lots of questions about how she decided, what she did with her stuff from her house, where she has volunteered. 

She doesn't have a hip problem.  She easily walks 11 miles a day.   She loves hiking.

At one point I had to go get my jacket and put it on!  The temperature dropped.

I slept well in my tent-cot with a sleeping bag and a blanket to keep me warm.


The Book Blurb

I got an email from a reader of this blog.  Jan Smith provided me a revision to the blurb for the first book.  I made a few minor changes to her version. 

What do you think?  I have not uploaded it this change yet. 

I am happy to see I have started to get some sales on Amazon from my Amazon advertisements!

If you think life if over after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis...

then you should read this book. 

This story gives the reader a surprisingly uplifting experience.

Travel along with Susan and George as they go exploring in their van and riding their three-wheel recumbent trikes. You will be pulled into their story, as you go with them across the United State experiencing the joys of new discoveries and the day-by-day adjustments to George’s dementia symptoms.

Start the journey today!

You will learn along with Susan some ways of helping your loved one cope with this disease. This book provides the reader a guide to remain positive in spite of losses, to be respectful of a loved one as you experience this journey together.

The reader is given a front row seat on their remarkable journey.  The book comes packed with photos that takes the reader from diagnosis to discovery in the 10,000 miles.

Do you need some inspiration?

So many of us are, or know someone who is, a caregiver.  Caregivers are trying to cope with this illness, and they are looking for a ray of hope.  Give them a copy of Alzheimer’s Trippin’ With George today.

Susan and George’s story will bring out the smiles and make the burden a tiny bit lighter.


Monday, September 9, 2019

We knew they were going to turn the power off at 6 a.m.  So we set the alarm in time to make coffee before they shut the power off.   Regis and Cindy didn't have to work until the power came back on.  So we sat and chatted a while and Cindy took me on a walk on one of the Cradle of Forestry Trails. 

The trails were quite diverse.  I had expected to see all pine trees planted in a row.

Cindy and Regis had not brought their recumbent trikes with them, so they only rode these paved trails once on their two-wheel recumbents.  It was kind of precarious and they have not done it again.   I did not pull my trike out because I wanted to get some things done (like this blog updated) as soon as the power went back on.

So after our walk, I took laundry, my computer and a print book I am reading to the club house.  I read and waited for power.

Time for the power to go on came and went.  No power.  Regis and Cindy returned from work and said they were to return to work at 1:00.  The power should be on then. 

I had lunch and Cindy and I went on another walk, this time with the dogs.

Then the power was on.  I checked email, did laundry, and now it is 3:00 and I really need to see this Cradle of Forestry while I am here! 

So off I went to the visitor's center where Cindy greeted me, "Hello, Mam, welcome to the Cradle of Forestry.  The movie is about to begin, would you like to see it?"

The movie was interesting.  How Vanderbuilt bought up a lot of land around Ashville, North Carolina, and had a HUGE mansion build.  Then he hired some men to develop a way to profit from sustainable forestry.  Within a few years a school was built to teach forestry to young men.  This historical site is the site of that school and the support buildings.   I know I don't have the whole story, you have to see it for yourself, or read about it.

I loved walking around and seeing the old buildings on this last loop walk that I did at the Cradle of Foresty.

I am ashamed to say, I don't know how the thing above was used.  Something to do with laundry or making lye.

The recipe for lye soap is below... I don't know why the blog wants to turn this picture sideways.  Good luck reading it.  I think they rinse ash from the fire place and the stuff without the chunks is the lye?

I love this moss growing on a tree trunk.

I had met Bart and Glenda earlier as Cindy's camp neighbor.  Now I got to see them in costume and in action.  They did a great job explaining the folks that did the cooking for the Forestry students and operated the General Store for the area.

But my hip started hurting.  REAL bad.  Stretch, sit, walk to the next bench, sit, stretch... it took a long time to get back to the visitors center. 

I don't like this one bit!  Feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Fortunately I was able to make it back to camp and cook supper for Regis and Cindy and I.

In the evening Connie came by again and I got to see her rig.

When we got back, Regis surprised me by bringing out his guitar and singing a couple of fun songs.

Thank you Regis and Cindy for a great time!

Again I slept well in my tent-cot.

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