Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008 In Review

Today is the anniversary of the third year of having my blog and as far as I can recall I've only missed one day - the night in spent in the hospital in Cincinnati in April 2006.

Here is our 2008 in Review. I've emailed it out to people who don't read my blog regularly but thought I'd post it here as well.

We spent a mostly wonderful winter in Arizona - in Mesa for about 6 weeks, at Why, AZ for a week to see the Organ Pipe National Monument, and Tucson for the rest of the time. We really enjoyed our time there. Our RV Park, Justin’s Diamond J was a brand new park, the sites were huge and we backed right on to the desert so every day we were out hiking.

Unfortunately, Gordon contracted Valley Fever-induced pneumonia near the end of March. You get Valley Fever by breathing spores of fungus that are in the soil of the southwestern desert and with all the high winds there that blow up clouds of dust, it's difficult not to inhale the fungus at some point, especially since we spent most of our time in the desert.

A blood test had to be done to confirm the diagnosis and he was put on antifungal drugs at once and he started to feel better immediately. There was a question for a while about whether he would be able to drive us back to Ontario but we took our time and got home in two weeks.

I also managed to break my right foot just before Christmas although at the time I thought it was only a sprain. It was only when I got an x-ray when we arrived home that it was determined that I had broken it. Anyway, I limped around for a few weeks but it’s finally healing well.

The summer was spent in the Ottawa area with Gordon under the care of a Infectious Disease Specialist at the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital. The antifungal drugs are terribly expensive in Canada and we are very thankful for the Extended Health Care that I have through my Nortel retirement. We managed to get some time with Margie, John, and Danica as well as seeing Nick and Becky a couple of times. We also went to Lindsay for a month to spend some time with Betty and Garth and were there for the annual cottage weekend.

I celebrated my 60th birthday this year. I can’t believe I’m 60! Some days I feel it and others I don’t!

Gordon was taken off the antifungal medication on October 1st and both our doctor and the specialist agreed there was no problem with us leaving to go south for the winter. We were ecstatic!

The day after the Canadian Thanksgiving, we returned to Lindsay as that's where we purchase our travel medical insurance. I hadn't bought it earlier since we hadn’t been sure we'd be able to go south for the winter.

From there we spent a week at Sherkston Shores near Fort Erie and on October 26th, we crossed the US border at Buffalo, New York and headed to Ohio where we spent some time in Columbus to see Gordon's daughter and her family and then to the Dayton area to see his son and his family and welcome their new arrival, Iris who was born on August 16th this year. We now have six grandchildren. We also spent some time with Gordon's sister Carol and her husband, who was recovering from a recent heart attack.

From there we slowly continued south, spending two or three days at each place we stopped so Gordon wouldn't get too fatigued. When we left Nashville, TN we got onto the Natchez Trace Parkway. There are no commercial vehicles allowed on the parkway and it is RV friendly with lots of large pullouts. We saw some awesome autumn colours on the first leg of our trip. The first day we didn’t get very far. We spent a lot of time stopping and taking photos. This is where we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on November 5th. We almost completed the 444 miles long parkway but decided to get off at Canton, MS and take the freeway to Louisiana. We had already done the last leg of the parkway our first year out.

When we got to Louisiana, Gordon wanted to stay for a bit to photograph Lake Martin, a scenic swampy area, so we stayed for a week. We continued on and were looking for a campground near the Texas Gulf coast at Port Lavaca just for an overnight stay. We arrived at the park I had found but it wasn't to our liking although it was right across the road from the Gulf. The sites were on top of each other and it didn't look clean. Just in case, I had researched another park, the Powderhorn RV Park & Marina, so we searched it out and wound up loving it. We stayed first for a night, then for a week, then signed up for a month and we will possibly spend more time here. Right now we're here until December 28th but the site is available for us to stay longer. We're right near the water and by walking out on the pier Gordon can photograph both sunrise and sunsets over the water. There are also lots of wading and shore birds around to photograph so he's happy. I'm happy because it's quiet, the park is very reasonably priced and it's only about a 12 mile drive into town for groceries. A larger city, Victoria, TX is only about an hour away.

Our original plan was to spend the winter at Rockport, TX but this would have been our fourth time in Rockport so this is different and very enjoyable.

It looks like we might spend the remainder of the winter here. We’ve had a few cold days but also quite a few very pleasant days. We enjoyed a Christmas potluck here at the rec hall on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Stay tuned for my blog for today as well.

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