Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10/24/07 Again I have been negligent in updating this blog and I apologize. As usual, life has been very busy. Thanks for your patience.
We are currently at our lot at Park Sierra near Coarsegold, CA. Luckily, this is not anywhere near the fires in Southern California. Although, several weeks ago there was a fire here which came within just a few yards of some of the RV's in this park. It was fortunate that there were several other fires burning in the area so some fire fighting equipment and personnel were in the area and they put our fire out in short order. It was also a darn good thing that the volunteers in our park keep all the grass and brush cut back so that there was not a lot of fuel on the ground to enable the fire to sweep through the park.
Elaine's son, Darran, lives in San Diego and has reported that where he lives, on the beach, there is no fire danger but the sand is getting covered with soot. He is a manager for UPS and he says the drivers are returning from their routes all covered in soot, as well. Apparently not too many businesses are functioning except UPS and the hospitals. He was taking care of the cats of some friends of his who are on vacation in Cancun and when he went over there to rescue the cats from the fire, the police wouldn't let him in because the area was being evacuated. He still doesn't know if their house is destroyed or not. Other friends of ours down there are in an area that hasn't been evacuated but they are ready to go if the alarm is raised. They have already taken in their daughter-in-law whose apartment building burned on one of the first days. I'm sure there will be many sad stories for a long time to come.
The main reason that we came here at this time was to have some checkups at Kaiser and we are done with those now. We will have to leave here on Saturday, to attend the memorial service in Madera for a good friend of ours, Ray Cooper. From there we will stop in Fremont for another quick visit with Elaine's daughter, Tarra. We visited her last week but she was pretty sick most of the time we were there. This was a really a shame as Saturday was her 32nd birthday. When she was still very ill on Monday, Elaine urged her to go to the doctor and when she did, he sent her to the hospital where she has been ever since. He thought she might have spinal meningitis but they haven't confirmed that, and they have yet to determine why she is so ill and in so much pain. Hopefully, she will be starting to recover soon.
On our way back here, from Oregon, we stopped in Sparks for a visit with my daughter, Laura, who had her 35th birthday while we were there. Of course, we also got to spend a bit of time with my granddaughters, Paige (17) and Michaela (12). The next weekend, they had a swim meet in Roseville, so we got to see them again there. We were there checking out our rental house, which is due to become vacant at the end of this month. Happily, the tenants have kept it looking nice and agreed to show it to interested parties, so we have already agreed to re-rent it to another nice couple whom we have yet to meet. That will happen this coming Sunday when we are back up there to start painting the outside. Once the tenants have left and we get the inside cleaned and painted, we can turn over the keys to the new couple - by Nov. 4, we hope. Then we can start heading south for the winter.
In the Sacramento area we stayed on the property of some SKP friends of Jim and Diane FisherBaker, and they were there too, so it was a fun social time. Then, Bob and Nancy Colbert arrived, having driven all the way from Massachusetts in order to take a job in Pleasanton with John and Betsy Crawford managing a Christmas tree lot. They stayed with us for 2 nights in Sacramento and it was so great to be with them again after 2 years. They then traveled with us down to the Fremont area where we stayed at the Elks Club.
While we were in the Bay Area, we were able to visit John and Cathy Robnik, who are running a pumpkin patch in Saratoga. They have a petting zoo to take care of as well as selling LOTS of pumpkins, so they are putting in long days. It was a happy reunion with them, since we haven't seen them since last winter. The next day, Bob and Nancy, Elaine and I took BART to San Francisco so that we could have lunch with my son, Thomas, and his partner, Robert. They live in the Castro district and we found a very good Thai restaurant there. Then we all walked up a few blocks to the street that Laura and Gordon Bornkamp live on and there they were, with Diane and Jim FisherBaker, waiting to greet us on the corner. Laura and Gordon's house is old and unique and has a fabulous view over a lot of the city. Next time we go there we will no doubt take them up on their offer to stay overnight. This time, we spent the afternoon with all of them and then took the train back to Fremont. It was an absolutely beautiful day there and a fun time with old friends.
I am tacking on a few pictures so you can see what some of these people look like, in case you don't know them. Also, there have been a few questions about the last posting concerning the Nanaimo Bar recipe. The picture was of a double batch of bars. Also, custard powder is just the dry powder from a box of custard mix which you can purchase in the pudding and jello section of the supermarket. Bon appetit...

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