Eight Years Later


Nearly eight years ago, I started a journal to celebrate my fifth decade of existence.  The theme was to create lists of fifty.  I don’t think any of them were ever completed.  

And then I remembered a fifty that has since been completed.  My wife, son and I have been to all fifty states together.  The story has been told before, but is always worth restating. 

We each served in the Air Force ~ for twenty years each  ~  until we were retirement eligible.  During those two overlapping decades, we traveled. Looking back, there were forty six states been to with four states remaining.  The four final states were Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. 

Washington and Alaska  were completed in 2009. (Due to my failure to adequately plan, we could have tagged Oregon on this trip, but it turned out better that we didn’t). 

Oregon and Hawaii were tagged in 2013 as part of our 30th anniversary travels.  That trip was two weeks of busy. Maine > Washington > day trip to and from Oregon > Kona, Hawaii > Oahu > Kaui > Phoenix > Tucson > Maine.  Bag trags, hotel rooms, rental cars, airline terminals – seemed to be alway on the move to the next space. But there were interludes of beach time, peace and quiet, relaxing serenity, joy. 

So, that is my fifty.  A list completed with many more spaces in between to go back to. And eight years later, the other fifty list journal is in the top center desk drawer. Perhaps it is time to revisit, to reflect, to scheme and remember to dream. 



Misty Sunrise

I feel overexposed. Why? Too many social media channels competing for my photo postings.  It started way back in the day with Flickr – which is now sadly ignored but still paid for.  

Along the came Twitter, Instagram, a SmugMug commercial site misadventure, and smorgasbord of Facebook channels.  And of course, this blog.  Once well intended, but never fully thought through, has become chaotic congested clutter. 

So, I’m going back to Flickr as my primary channel with Instagram as my smart device alternative.  Event albums will be created, along with blog postings, with links to Flickr. 

It’s time to return to basics.  This is only an experiential experiment. 

The RV Dinette Project & side stories

This is the standard one size/style RV dinette. Very utilitarian. There is storage under the seats and it makes into a bed. HoHum. In all the years of RVing, I can’t think of any one time when anyone slumbered there. And the under seat was unpopular. 

It was time for a new experience. The off season was spent researching, expectations clarification & sourcing. The order was replaced, delivery window was two to four weeks. Five weeks later a truck dropped off the large box.  

Taking out the old dinette took about an hour – one unscrew after another. Soon the dinette was a pile of stuff in the garage.

The pile was a perfectly good dinette kit. An ad was placed on Craigslist and the pile moved on to its next RV.
Installation was straight. Screw the left and right sides down to the subfloor and a brace between the wall.  

But a scheduled trip intervened and the table top would have to wait. We left on a Thursday for an Escapees RV Boot Camp over in Essex Junction, Vermont.  

That trip turned challenging. The coach batteries felt neglected and descended through not working very well and into not working at all. The table top would have to wait for batteries replacement.  

The new coach batteries are six volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. Hopefully good for the next several seasons or more. 

So finally, the table top is now installed and it looks great!  

It’s time to hit the road and enjoy the last half of the all to short season.  



This beast will be used to rebuild my road. This project is loonnngggg overdue.  We moved back to Maine seventeen years ago. The road was in rough shape then and suffered through decades of municipal neglect.  

But that is changing now. Our rural community now shares a professional road commissioner with a neighboring town.  The man has a plan and the future, built upon the past, will be better. 

But wait there is more.  The front porch rebuild. 

Due to best intentions, the porch failed last year from systemic failures.  Failure one, the house rim choice was used instead of a ledger board.  The duct work was installed in the attic with inadequate insulation.  This caused tremendous icicles to form, which eventually thawed fell onto the porch roof and started pushing it away from the house. 

This failure was not discovered until last fall. An insurance claim paid for repair. These funds subsidized needed complete rebuild The porch roof was taken down in early November.  Sometime soon after that, the attic insulation was upgraded from ankle to knee+ deep.  

Then the search was on for a contractor.  The first one, while verbally promising, vanished into silence. The second one has been ExcellenT to a T.   This picture was taken on Project Day Two.  Project Day Three as yesterday and included shingling the roof, replacing the posts and reinstalling the railings.  The project should be done today, but won’t be seen until Monday. We are on a scheduled RV extended weekend trip to beyond the western Maine mountains.

Rebuilding is necessary to correct oversights and neglects from the past. While no one ever intentionally neglects, malaise lingers on anyways.  The porch and the road are both being rebuilt using re-used materials. Both will be as good to if not better than before.  

What will you rebuild to improve?

Before, During & After

WARNING :  As the Safety Guy at work, I am keenly aware of the dangers of falling from any height.  The higher your feet are, the greater the consequences.  But RV roofs need at least annual cleaning then occasionally cleansing. This is a filthy roof.   It needs deep cleaning. To clean a roof, water to rinse and a soapy cleaning solution are needed. It could become desperately slippery.  So I don my rubber soled LLBean boots, grab a soft cleaning brush, and a long reach garden hose. The fear of the true meaning of the phrase, slippery when wet, is on my mind.

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