The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Thursday, October 22, 2009

News from the Valley

As promised, I have big news. Grandpa has visited the John Knox Retirement Village here in Weslaco and loves the place. He has signed up for a medium sized one bedroom apartment. Knox is a unique type of retirement village that includes independent living facilities, such as apartments, townhomes and cottages; personal care or an assisted living wing; and a nursing facility. Once the resident buys in (prices range from $30k way up to $200K) they are assured of care until they pass on. Each unit that is part of the buy in has different monthly “fees” which cover the gamut of things such as meal(s), cable TV, all utilities except land line phone and other amenities. The main meal is dinner, actually lunch. It is the largest meal of the day and has the greatest variety. Supper is a soup and sandwich type menu, but the residents do get to enjoy a glass of wine with supper! Gene was most impressed with the ratio of ladies to men…like 5 to 1! At almost 93, he still believes he is a real Romeo. He was able to pick out his carpeting and the apartment is almost completely renovated. New wiring and light fixtures, new ceramic tile in the bath and kitchen, new appliances. He has tons of storage space and both the living room and bedroom are light and bright. The pool and Jacuzzi have just been revamped. There is a library, wood working shop, computer lab, arts and crafts room, exercise classes, dancing, cocktail parties, karaoke, and countless other activities.

We will need to get him a small microwave, he wants a lift recliner, a bed, small dresser and some end and night stand tables. He can’t decide if he just wants two recliners or a loveseat and recliner. Paul promised him a LCD wall mounted TV and he will need to pick out some curtains and a bedspread. He has plenty of towels and sheets and we can take whatever kitchen stuff he needs from the house. Yep, the mobile home is for sale. We have a potential buyer coming down from Houston on Monday, and another lady from the park looked at it. However, her husband is recovering from a serious infection that necessitated a replacement of an earlier knee replacement.  Gene still feels that he wants his car, however the Village has shopping trips to the grocery store, WalMart and other shopping places. 

Well, I am falling asleep and my mind was racing with all we have to do.  Once again we will be getting rid of personal stuff we parked down here in the house.  I believe we will need a storage space, as we have stuff that I am not ready to part with just now.  And, I just got all my cake decorating stuff purchased and organized...NOT willing to give that up yet either.Perhaps in a year we will reconsider, and maybe by then Zack will be a bit more settled and we can have him take some of our "treasures".  Needless to say, this is the best possible solution to the problems Gene faces as he becomes more dependent, and it gives us peace of mind while traveling.  We still plan to spend several months in the RGV in the winter to escape the cold, but now there won't be as much worry and guilt leaving him. 



Here are a couple of things that made me laugh...

Grandpa and I voted Paulie out of the kitchen.  He lost interest in doing decent dinners so goodby lousy chef!

gee for Jr. things never change...he said he took this picture so I could see the name of a really good beer....suuuurrrreeee Zack....

This may offend some of my readers....hmmm, and do I care?????

this is for one of my favorite sisters.....

whomever snapped this photo during last years debate should get a "gee whiz, when did this happen?" award.  I still get the giggles when I see this photo...and I really really admire Sen. McCain.  This just tickles my funny offense intended to the Honorable Senator!

Here is!
Here is!

When our son Zack was just learning to talk and put together sentences, he would respond to our asking where he was with “Here is! Here is!"

So my title today answers the question so many of you have asked. I’m here, just been off the web “grid” for awhile. Well, it’s been 10 months which is really scary that so much time has passed without posting my glib and self-centered musings.

We left the RGV mid-June, heading for St Louis, Springfield, Illinois and then Muskegon, Michigan to spend the summer months in a cooler environment. The Texas RGV is a killer in the late spring and summer with the heat and everlasting UV rays from the sun. We were escaping temps in the 95 to 105 degree range that we had borne since mid April. We spent two wonderful months in Michigan, enjoying not only Lake Michigan but the local eateries and the abundant farmers markets. From Michigan we returned to Illinois to see friends in Chicago and our remaining family there. We had a wonderful visit, having not been up north in several years! We traveled back to Central Illinois to see Mom and Cecil, and our FMCA local chapter, Cenois Prairielanders for a great rally in the Champaign area. We were also able to visit with a cousin in Danville before we were off to Celina Ohio for the Escapees Class Reunion and the Gypsy Journal Rally immediately following. Another great time, visiting friends and meeting new ones. We left a day early as we needed to hustle down to Kerrville Texas for the RV Dreams Rally, the last leg of our summer travels. We were able to visit one of Paul’s FedEx co-workers who has also retired and moved to the Austin area. Jackie was so very sweet to make us a hearty breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausages for our trip into Kerrville. The RV Dreams Rally was great…good people, good food and entertainment and the best seminars on the full-timer lifestyle. Paul went into San Antonio to have his hip rechecked at the VA as he is still experiencing some problems since his surgery at the beginning of the year. Nothing found, just to keep up walking and doing some exercise. After the rally, we stayed an extra day at the RV resort to gather our thoughts and ready ourselves for what we needed to face getting back to Weslaco and Paul’s dad.

Before anyone becomes alarmed, we just needed to visit with Grandpa and tell him our concerns about him remaining in this big home in Weslaco when he is starting to feel his age. More on that in tomorrow’s blog. Good news all around. Lots to do and lots to think about in the next few weeks.