Sunday, October 22, 2017

Room Without A View

It's been more than a month since I last posted, so I thought I'd better check in to let you know I'm still alive. All is well here at the Green Acres Garage. The camping season is right around the corner, and I'm getting more and more excited with every passing day. I'll sure be glad when Dodge and I are hitched up and heading down the highway. It seems like this summer has been longer than any I've ever lived through. While I do basically nothing around here, my buddy Gary does more than enough for both of us. I can't imagine being so old and working so hard. It's pretty amazing. One of his many projects was setting up some new shelves here in the garage. I think I mentioned them awhile back, but I didn't have any pictures to show you. The shelves are in the spot where my little sister Poppy used to be. These shelves were originally built for use in the front room of the house, and were relocated to the garage and modified to fit the space. A deck was added on the top for additional storage. The 2x4 railing around three sides of the deck was my idea. Having stuff up there that could potentially fall on me (or Gary's head) was more than a little scary, so the simple railing was attached. For years, it was nice to look over and see Poppy sitting there. After she was gone, I was able to see the side roll-up garage door for a little while. Well, my view now is totally blocked by boxes filled with junk that Gary somehow "just can't live without", as he says. He has "junkitis" worse than anyone I've ever met. Not sure why, but buying all this stuff seems to make him happy. If this is the worst thing he does, then I guess it's not too bad. At least he's not a trailer abuser or something equally evil. So, the Green Acres Garage continues to get more crowded. But, as long as I can still get in and out of the front roll-up door, that means that I can still go camping, and that's what I LIVE for!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Hurricane Irma Aftermath

We survived the wrath of Hurricane Irma. It was scary at times with the intense wind and rain pounding the Green Acres Garage, but we thankfully made it through unscathed. Irma brought us two things we definitely didn't want. The first bad thing was a total power outage at 1:15 AM, on Monday, September 11th. The second thing was the flooding of our yard. We didn't know how bad that was until daylight. The water was extremely close to getting inside the garage and the storage container. Luckily, the rain stopped in the nick of time. The house and shed are high enough up that there wasn't any danger of them getting flooded. Rampart and Holmes (the two parts vans), and Henry the utility trailer weren't so lucky. They are in the lowest part of the yard, and the water rose to well above their axles. My sisters, Bernadette, Caroline, and Jackie, got wet too, but at least they didn't get hit by any falling debris. It's still ridiculously hot here in Florida, and my buddy Gary doesn't do too well in the heat. We went through a couple of nights with none of the amenities we are so used to. No air conditioning, no TV, no lights, no running water. Gary took baths out of the buckets of water he stockpiled in the house before the storm hit. I'm more used to roughing it than Gary is, and even I was miserable. By Tuesday, some of the stores in town re-opened. Gary spent several hours at Lowe's, waiting on a bench in the returns department, hoping that someone would return a generator they didn't need. Just when he was thinking of leaving and coming back the next day, a generator was returned by someone who was lucky enough to not lose power. Needless to say, he was hauling that beautiful piece of machinery home within minutes. He fueled it up on the way home, and worked in the dark to get it set up and ready to run. So, about 44 hours after losing power, we were back enjoying the things we missed. Hello air conditioning, fans, TV, lights, internet modem, computer, fridge, freezer, etc. It was WONDERFUL!!! By Thursday, the water in the yard had subsided considerably. Gary got to ditch his rubber wading boots in favor of a pair of Crocs. On Friday around noon, while Gary was out getting more fuel for the generator, our power was restored . A crew from Oklahoma Gas & Electric got the job done, and Gary was so thrilled that he called their corporate office in Oklahoma City to express his gratitude. He let the generator run until it ran out of gas, and found a spot for it here in the garage. We LOVE our generator (I named it "Stormy"), and we will never be without one ever again. Yesterday (Saturday), the front yard had dried out enough for clean-up to begin. All of the larger branches were piled on the driveway to be cut up at a later time. Then the raking began. Gary got the ditch area out by the road totally cleaned up, and raked half of the front yard, filling all eight of his 50-gallon garbage cans in the process. Once the cans are emptied during the Monday morning pickup, he will continue his project. As for Gary's house over in St. Petersburg, it too survived the storm without any damage. Power was out there for several days as well, but his tenant has a small generator and was reasonably comfortable. We hope we never have to go through another hurricane, but we learned a lot with this one, and now we have "Stormy" in case we lose power. We were lucky for sure. Many others didn't fare so well, and we wish them the best in their efforts to recover from the storm. So, it's back to life as normal for the Green Acres Gang. It's been a hot and stressful summer, and we can't wait for camping season to begin. Lot's to do before then. I'll be in touch.