Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Downtime

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

Since this is mainly a travel blog, I don't post very often during downtime at home, mainly because we don't do all that much that we think would be of interest to anyone. 

Part of our current hiatus has been spent with both of us snorting and sniffling with colds, so that took up a good bit of time when I didn't feel like doing anything, much less blogging. I think it was from Sandy's side of the family I heard the old bromide that says a cold is "three days coming, three days here and three days going." That has proven to be about right, I think.

The other distraction--and one much more pleasant--was a visit by daughter Mindy and her husband, Tyler and grandsons Mason and Pryce and Sandy's sister, Brenda, over Thanksgiving. Sorry, but you will be forced to view these family photos; we are, after all, grandparents, and that is our right and privilege. So there.

Sandy, Pryce, Brenda, Mason and Mindy

Tyler finally got in the photo. A good guy; you'd like him.

Mason and Pryce; easily the smartest and best looking grandkids on the planet. Dissent will not be tolerated.
We treated the kids and their parents to three nights at the Great Wolf Lodge and its indoor water park in Grapevine, and did they ever have a great time! Mason declared his experience there as the "best time of my entire (five-year) life." I must say, this place was a wonder to behold. Brenda characterized it best, calling it Las Vegas for kids, an entirely apt description.

Since the Great Wolf experience occupied much of Mindy's family's time, she suggested that we do something radical this year and eat Thanksgiving dinner out! In our family--especially in earlier years when so many more of our extended family members were still living--this would have been the equivalent of blasphemy! But the more we thought about it, we decided it was really a good idea to suspend the many days and hours of preparation and cleanup, leaving those chores to someone else while we just enjoyed each other's company. And so we did. We had a nice dinner with all the trimmings at a local restaurant, where they did all the work and we did all the laughing and carrying on. Afterward, while the restaurant help did the dishes, we were taking a nap! While we love traditions, we must admit that this was a nice diversion that we will keep in mind for possible future use.

Pryce discovered sweet potato casserole. Not much question about whether he likes it or not!

We are usually not idle during downtime between travels. In fact, we had always heard retired people wonder aloud how they ever had time to work, and the same is true for us! There are always chores that involve the upkeep of the house and vehicles, as well as church-related activities when we're in town. We just finished three performances of "Believe Again," a Christmas special featuring Stephen Curtis Chapman, a popular Christian recording artist, at the First Baptist Church of Dallas. As members of the 250-voice choir, supported by a 40-piece orchestra, we got an extra helping of real Christmas spirit, along with the nearly sold-out crowds.

First Baptist Dallas Worship Center
Downtime is also an opportunity to take care of any motorhome issues that may have cropped up. For some time, I have wanted to upgrade Phannie's dashboard radio, an old Pioneer model that is now dinosaur-like in technology years, plus it recently developed an annoying loose connection somewhere that would cause it to operate only intermittently. Now I have the good fortune of having at my beckon call Russ Clark of Clark's Mobile Installation Service, who is a friendly genius in all things related to tv, radio, satellites and the like. He's the kind of smart guy who doesn't make the technology-challenged among us feel bad about being dumb. I had him install a fancy new Kenwood system, and I am very pleased with it. He also cured the loose connection, so he is my new hero. If you are ever in the DFW area and need help with this kind of issue, Russ is your guy. You can call him at 817-336-8329.

This is Russ Clark, local entertainment system genius.

We will be loading Phannie over the next couple of days for a trip to Houston and Christmas with Tyler and Mindy and their kids. More later; merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Mike,

    I assume that Mr. Tiffin warned you that his coaches begin to rot if they sit in one place too long! Put some of this cheap fuel in her tanks, and head to Quartzsite this January!

    I enjoy your writing in the blog, but it is more humorous when you are disappointed in your restaurant visits!

    Merry Christmas to you and Sandy,

  2. How awesome Thanksgiving was!! Great wolf lodge truly was Vegas for kids! We are so blessed to have such fun memories and experiences with y'all and we are so happy to have you here for Christmas :) Love the pics!


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