Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas/New Year 2016

December 16, 2016.
It rained all night. At 5:30 AM there was a little pause.
I moved the motorhome and attached the car. Since I was up already I decided to leave. It started to rain again and it rained until I was over the mountains on Interstate 8. On top of the mountains I also encountered fog and a terrible wind. I had to slow down. The motorhome was moving sideways.
As soon as I came down the mountains the sun was shining. It had not much rained in the desert.
I stopped at the Rest Area neat El Centro and ate breakfast and I shaved. Because of the fog I missed the Rest Area in the mountains.
I stopped at the Q Casino west of Yuma. After I set up the motorhome I drove to the Escapee RV Park in Yuma and visited Bob and Donna. I had not seen them for a while. They both are doing fine. Bob showed me some of his new toys.

December 17, 2016.
I usually sleep through storms, falling trees in the street and other big noises. Last night I woke up at 1:00 AM.
The motorhome was shaking and one solar panel was making a big noise. The wind lifted it 3/8 of an inch and let it go again constantly for almost two hours.
I did not feel like moving the motorhome into the wind; I just waited it out.
The latch on the solar panel has to be moved to avoid this happening again. One of my neighbors lost his big awning. He had it closed but the wind lifted the drum and unfurled the awning and tore the brackets out of the wall of the motorhome. The drum ended up on the roof and the neighbor had to use a knife and cut the awning from the drum, because it acted like a sail and did damage on the motorhome.
The wind stopped in the morning and we had blue skies and the temperature was about 70 degrees F.
Early afternoon I drove to the Foothills library and from there to the VFW. Only two WINs are there now.

December 18, 2016.
Today I went to Fry’s and bought some groceries. I bought the specials, like red, seedless grapes for 99 cents a pound.
From there I drove to the Arizona Markets.
There are rows of stalls with vendors who sell all kind of items for the snow birds.

At the food court is also entertainment.

I bought kettle corn and some small items for the motorhome, and twelve dozen socks.
The temperature dropped today. It was 60 degrees F. only. The rest of the country wishes they had that temperature. It is super cold in Chicago.
Gasoline costs $ 2.01 here in Yuma.

December 19, 2016.
This morning I went to McDonalds and did my computer work. The library is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Then I got propane and went to the Post Office. My mail has not arrived yet.
Since I was near the VFW I went there and checked who has arrived already. A lot of WINs are there now.

December 20, 2016.
I moved this morning to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) Lodge. Behind the lodge is BLM land where we can park for fourteen days.

Today is the official start of the WIN Yuma Christmas outing.
At 2:00 PM some of us went dancing at the lodge. They have a band every day, except Wednesday.
Dancing is from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Besides the WINs there were only three couples. This is unusual, normally the place is filled with dancers. 

I got gasoline for the motorhome and paid $ 1.96 per gallon. I had given the clerk $ 120.00. When I was done I got back $ 36.00. I was still calculating with the price of $ 2.65 per gallon.

December 21, 2016.
On my morning walk I took a picture of our motorhomes and trailers at the VFW. There are a few non WINs also.

In the evening some of the group went dancing at the beautiful, large Golden Roadrunner Ballroom. The music was great and we had a lot of fun.

December 23, 2016.
I went dancing from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the VFW. We cannot dance until 5:00 PM because of our 4:00 PM circle meeting.
I also danced from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Moose Lodge. Staying until 10:00 PM would have been too much.
The rest of the day I spent with shopping for a one dollar gift and a ten dollar gift for our group activities.
I also went to the library and the post office. My mail finally arrived and I was able to send the payment for my new prescription drug plan.
A large group went to Algodones, Mexico for margaritas, lunch,  massages, and one member saw a Chiropractor.  I went two years ago and had a lot of fun. Getting my mail was very important; I did not want to miss that.

December 24, 2016.
Yesterday we had a wonderful sunrise.

This morning it started to rain and did not stop until noon. We went dancing for a while and after the 4:00 PM meeting we put our one dollar gifts in a large bag and received a playing card.
When the card was called we could pick up a gift out of the bag. We had to unwrap the gift and show it.
The next person or the people after that person were able to get a gift out of the bag or take away a gift from people who had received one already. Gifts could change owners three times. Candy was the favorite to get. It was a lot of fun.

After the game we had finger food.

Then we sat around the fire and listened to Christmas music and had conversations.

We used a bush as a Christmas tree.

Because of the rain and very little sun today it was a bit cool.

December 25, 2016.
It was a cold night since there was no cloud cover. It was a beautiful, sunny day though.
After the 9:00 AM Hugs and Mugs meeting we had the ten dollar gift game. It was with the same rules as yesterdays game but a lot funnier because the gifts were a lot better.
I had my eyes on a two pound fancy box with German cookies. Alan, the person who picked it up from the table, had several gifts stolen from him before. I knew when my term came I would steal it from him.
He still had it when my card was called, and it went to me.
Unfortunately I had it only for a short time, and then stole a box of liquor cookies from somebody.
The game lasted 90 minutes and it was a lot of fun.
After we were done I was able to exchange my box of liquor cookies with the person who had the box of German cookies.

At 1:00 PM we went for the Christmas dinner at the VFW lodge. Most of us brought side dishes and people who did not bring a dish paid five dollars.
The main dish was ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and peas. There was also roast beef and a ton of salads and other side dishes.

After the meal we danced until 5:00 PM. Once in a while there is a line dance. Some men seem to enjoy it too.

Many former WINs came to the Christmas dinner. It was wonderful to see some of those old travel companions again. They spend about six months of the year in Yuma. Some of them bought houses.
This was a wonderful day.

December 26, 2016.
In the morning I drove to the Refuse Collection Center. I had to get rid of some garbage. The place is in the country side. Here are giant farms which grow vegetables.
 I stopped at a red cabbage field. The field is very large. The harvesting is done like in a factory. A tractor pulls a wide machine were about six people are lying on their stomach and cutting off the heads of the cabbage. The heads go on a conveyor to people who put the produce in a box and from there the boxes go on a truck which follows the machine.

At noon I went Down Town Yuma to the Lutes Casino, which is not a casino anymore, just a famous Yuma restaurant.

I met a large group of the WINs there. We had lunch.

When we came back to the motorhomes we went dancing at the VFW.

December 27, 2016.
After Hugs and Mugs we spread out and cleaned the area. There was litter under the bushes and along the highway.
We like to leave an area cleaner than we found it. Margret’s pick- up truck was filled with trash bags.

During the day a group went to the Visitor Center and to the Yuma Territorial Prison, which is a museum now.
In the evening we went to the 55th Street Christmas Lights. Homeowners of a section of 55th Street decorate their houses and gardens really elaborately.

December 29, 2016.
Yesterday a group of WINs went to the Imperial Date Gardens for a tour. Since I have been in Yuma many times I have been at most tourist places.
In the evening we went dancing at the Golden Roadrunner Ballroom.
Today a group went for a long hike. I did not go because I had my motorhome washed and the rubber roof recoated. The roof is finished but the sides of the motorhome have to be sanded and a new gell coat applied. I had hoped that a power buff would improve the finish on the fiber glass, but it did not work.
The workers will return on Saturday and work on the sides.

In the afternoon we danced again at the VFW.

In the evening we danced at the Moose Lodge.  

December 31, 2016.
This is the last day of 2016. It was a strange year. My life changed and so did the political landscape.
I tried to stay away from political discussions. The little people argue about things they cannot change and the big people in Washington argue one moment and the next moment they go together to parties and social gatherings.
Yesterday we danced at the VFW. As soon as we started to dance the rain came down and the sun screen over the dance area is not waterproof. The outdoor dance floor was wet and slippery. A lot of people left and the inside dance floor was then large enough to accommodate us.
Today only a few people came to dance at the VFW. There are a lot of New Years parties in town and everybody is busy preparing for that. I danced for an hour.
In the evening fifty six WINs went dancing at the Golden Roadrunner Ballroom. We started out with a meal consisting of a large backed potato, chili, green beans and a salad. Dessert was served at 10:00 PM. It was cake and ice cream.
The food was served at 6:00 PM and dancing started at 8:00 PM. Most of us lasted until 11:00 PM.
It was a wonderful way to end the year.

One group redecorated the table. The women gave it their own touch.

Donna is my major dance partner. She knows my moves and it is easy to dance with her. She is trying to teach me the cha cha.    

January 1, 2017.
I woke up this morning and noticed that the motorhome was not level. I had leveled it when I came here.
I should have gone outside and checked the hydraulic jacks, instead I tried to readjust them. When I came to the end of the piston stroke nothing had changed.
It had rained really heavy last night. I was so tired that I slept through the storm.  My motorhome was sitting in a river, which made the soil soft and the front wheels of the motorhome had sunk seven inches into that muddy mess. The jacks could not work because they were in the mud too.
My neighbor Diane had just left our area and I was able to take her spot, which was on higher ground.
After the 9:00 AM meeting I went and did two loads of laundry and did my computer work at Burger King. A whopper meal helped me to get strong and go back to the VFW and dance for two hours.
I danced a lot lately and my knees are letting me know. After Yuma we will be dancing less, perhaps once or twice a week. Here in Yuma one can dance every day or twice a day.. 

January 3, 2017.
I moved today to the Paradise Casino. Most of the group moved to Martinez Lake, the next stop on the winter circuit. They want to go kayaking.
I moved to the casino with the hope that the people who washed the motorhome and recoated the roof will come here and sand the sides of the motorhome and put on a new jell coat.
The promised me to come here tomorrow.
I could not stay at the VFW because my two weeks were up.
It is not easy to park here at the casino. The rains have softened the soil and it is difficult to level the motorhome. I drove to several spots until I found level ground. The casino does not let us park on asphalt, that parking lot is reserved for the gamblers.
When I set up the motorhome I noticed that there was no propane coming to the motorhome. I shut off the auxiliary tank and used the main tank. I bought a new hose and was able to use the BBQ tank again. The hose must have a blockage.
I visited Vicky today. She and her husband arrived a few days ago from Idaho. They will stay for a month at a RV Park in Winterhaven.
Yesterday I went shopping and dancing.

January 5, 2017.
Yesterday morning I walked from the parking lot to the park along the west side of the Colorado River.
I do not know whether the sign is misspelled. I think it should be Park.

On one side I could see the motorhomes and on the other side the Yuma Territorial Prison.

This morning I tried to walk to the prison but I could not cross the railroad. There were fences on one side of the rails.
 I walked up to the church which replaced the Mission La Purisima Conception. The Mission was destroyed by the Indians after they were mistreated by the Friars and soldiers.

I walked over the Ocean to Ocean Bridge. One has a good view of the Colorado River from the bridge.

I went dancing at the VFW from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM and then drove to Mittry Lake where some of the WINs are staying.

Jeanne Fox had a little birthday celebration and there was cake and ice cream.

It was getting dark but two anglers were still trying to catch fish.

Richard caught a large cat fish yesterday and the little group had a fish fry with hush puppies and other food items.
This was a perfect day. The sky was blue and the temperature was 70 degrees F.
One of the people from Robert’s Motorhome Cleaning came to the motorhome and sanded a two feet square area of the side of the motorhome and covered it with a clear coating. It looks very good and on Monday they are going to start the work. It will take two days and I have to move to the company owners property.     

January 7, 2017.
There is not much news in the last two days. Yesterday I went dancing in the afternoon at the VFW and at night at the Moose Lodge.
Today I went to the VFW to dance but there were only couples. I stayed only fifteen minutes.  
I did some shopping and then went back to the motorhome.
At 4:00 PM we gathered at Carolyn’s motorhome and talked. We are now eight WINs at the casino.
I will leave tomorrow morning and go to Robert’s house. He called me this afternoon. They are going to start working on my motorhome tomorrow morning.

January 8, 2017.
I arrived near Robert’s house thirty minutes early. I had passed the house since I did not see a house number.
He lives in a rural area where people have large properties. I called Robert and he sent an employee to guide me to his house. I parked the motorhome in the back of the house where his six company vans are parked.
The person who is doing the work brought his brother and both started sanding the passenger side of the motorhome.
I went to Walgreens to arrange to have my medication transferred to them from Costco. Then I drove to Home Depot to buy stainless steel screws for the compartment door retainers. I had removed the retainers and all the screws were totally destroyed by rust. I was lucky they did not break while I removed them.
After doing my computer work at Burger King I went to the VFW. I was early and did not feel like waiting. I drove back to the motorhome.
The worker was putting the clear coat on and it looked very good. The front of the motorhome looks almost like new.
Tomorrow he will do the back and driver side.

January 9, 2017.
This morning the two guys worked on the driver side of the motorhome and the back. Those two sides came out almost perfect.
They were done at noon.
I will never again see the motorhome that clean and shiny.
A paint job would have cost $ 8,000.00. The sanding and applying a jell coat cost only $ 900.00. Cleaning the rubber roof and applying a coat of sealant, and a coat of rubberized material cost $ 550.00.

Since I am waiting for a call from Walgreen’s I cannot go to Martinez Lake, so I went back to the casino.
Then I went dancing at the VFW.  

January 10, 2017.
I did a long morning walk. Several days ago I tried to walk to the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park and a fence next to the railroad was in my way.
Today I walked to the Gateway Park and from there under the Ocean to Ocean Highway Bridge and the railroad bridge.

A trail goes to the prison.

From the prison one has a good view of the casino and the motorhomes.

On the way back through the park I saw those women doing exercises.

Locomotive number 2521 is located in the park.

In the afternoon I went to the VFW but I did not dance. There were only couples. I left right away and picked up my medication at Walgreen’s.
I will leave Yuma tomorrow morning.

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