Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Mexico!!!!!

Hi Everyone,
The biggest  news for today is that Jim and I are now NEW MEXICANS!  However, as a local guy, Jeff DuKatt says, we're Not really NEW and we're Not really Mexican!  We went to the DMV here in Hatch, NM to get our driver's licenses, and we have registered the car here.  We have to wait on the title for the RV before we can register it.  I love the new license plate on the car.  
As you can see, it is turquoise, a favorite color of mine.  Unfortunately, I can't get the same color for the RV as they say that one has to be yellow....yuck.  Alas, it is what it is.  We hope to get the motorhome registered before long.  We requested the copy of the title last week, so it should be here soon.  We are also registered voters here in New Mexico.  YAY!  

The other news is that we will be changing our mailing address in the next few weeks, but if anyone wishes to, you can already send mail to us at this address.  Please do NOT send any more mail to the South Dakota address.  Our PHYSICAL  address here, for anyone who wants to visit us, is:  

13953 Highway 187
  Arrey, NM 87930

However, the MAILING address is slightly different, as follows:

James & Suzanne Haggerty
c/o Arrey RV Park, LLC
HC31, Box 111 Highway 187
Arrey, NM  87930

The owner/manager will be forwarding our mail to us, once a month, when we leave here.  Janice is very nice, and is a really hard worker.  She and her daughter are working long hours to clean up and fix up this park to be a really nice place to live or visit.   Last night we invited her to our home for  dinner.  It was nice to just sit and chat a while.  

Next weekend will be the Ralph Edwards Annual Fiesta with a parade on Saturday in T or C. I'm hoping to be there for the parade.  They only put out a newspaper once a week (or maybe twice).  I try to remember to pick it up on Friday to know what is happening locally.  

The guy who was supposed to be here today to fix our gas tank leak is in the hospital, so yesterday we asked Big Al if he could see if he can fix it.  He is supposed to come out today.........but if  you remember from my last post, we can't be sure if that will be this week or next...............time is less important here in New Mexico.  Anyway, we won't be leaving soon, so although we would like this fixed ASAP, we must wait until he comes to see us.  We have to drive to the DMV in Hatch in the RV for the vin inspection so we hope to have the repair done before that.  I hate having to pack up just to drive there for the lady to look at the vin number, but she says that's the law here.  Alas, it is what it is.

Yesterday was a cooler day, which we really enjoyed, but it is still very windy.  Yesterday it faked us out.............the wind seemed to have died down, so Jim put the awning out and set up our chairs............and back came the high winds, so he had to take in the awning again.
Here are two pictures of the incredibly beautiful sunset we watched last night.  As I have said many times before, no artist can top the beauty our Heavenly Father provides for us if we just take the time to see it.  

I don't know if I explained how fortunate we were to have Big Al do the repairs on our car this past month.  When he gave us the estimate on all the damage I was overwhelmed because there was simply NO WAY I had that amount of money to pay him all at once.  Because he is a friend of Pastor Ric's, he agreed to do the work and allow us to make payments on it until we paid it all.  Yesterday we paid the balance to him.  We feel very blessed that he would do the work and trust us not to "stiff him" on the bill.  We knew we wouldn't do that, but he didn't know US at all, so he couldn't know that.  Again, I don't know if I have already reported this, but it was Big Al that we took the car to when it had a terrible shimmy whenever we got on the freeway at speeds over 65. He drove it a few miles and told me to take it to Quality Tires because it needed the wheels balanced.  Once that was done, it drives perfectly.  We all know that some mechanics could have told us it needed something more expensive and taken advantage of us, but he is an honest, and honorable man.  We thank Ric for taking us to him, and we thank Al for being the kind of man he is.

Life is good, here in the Land of Enchantment, as New Mexico is called.  We do look forward to getting back to California to see family and friends, but we are truly grateful for all the people we have met here, and for all we have been able to do.  I really think we had been pushing ourselves too much, and needed to slow down for a while.  God always knows best, and we have learned to stop and listen when He speaks to us.  We are enjoying attending the beautiful First Baptist Church in T or C while we are here.  We are learning to count all of our blessings, even ones that may not be obvious at once.  Someone once said each day is a gift, that's why it's called the present.  Don't worry about the future because it's not here yet, and there is certainly no reason to worry about the past because you can't change what has happened.  Live in the present and trust God that the future holds many blessings for you.  Bye for now.     

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some Days are Too Good to Believe!

 I'll open with a picture I forgot to include in the last entry.  Millie and my favorite veteran.

There is much news to share today.  First news is that we have moved!!!  If you saw the pictures of the site we were in, you saw all the green things that fell off the tree onto our roof, awning, and patio area.  The tree gave lovely shade, and kept the RV cool on hot days, but the green things were annoying.  Also, Jim pointed out that the guy who is coming to re-seal the areas on the roof would not be able to get to them because of huge tree limbs that were in the way.  So after the church service on Easter Sunday, and after the delightful pot luck dinner here at the campground......we packed up and moved......two sites to the east of where we were before!  This site is a little bigger (YAY) and has no trees over it.  That does mean it is a little hotter, and we are having to use the air conditioner more (boo hoo) but we can't leave the dogs in here when it gets too hot without using the A/C.  Another nice thing about moving to this site is that we set up our satellite dish and found that we now can pull in the CBS channel which was not coming in at our other site.  YAY!  We have a few favorite shows we like to watch on CBS, so that was a bonus with moving here.
 This is a view of our site, and OUR picnic table area.  Nice and cozy I'd say. 
 This is a shot of the back of our site, and looking towards the office and recreation room.  Can you see the little orange turtle with the hat on?  The lady who runs this place makes all these cute critters.  
This picture is the trailer of our nearest neighbor to our right side. 

She is very nice and friendly.  I sat next to her at the pot luck.  She and her gentleman friend are here prospecting for gold.  That is what a lot of the people staying here do all day, most days......out in the hot sun.  Yikes! 
 Here's Millie, exploring our new site here at the Arrey RV Park.

Yesterday I got busy and did 6 loads of laundry in the morning.  We had some hanging outside, but most was inside.  We decided to play Mexican Train in the afternoon, so the dogs settled in for a nap since they know the game takes a couple hours.  All of a sudden the dogs ran out from the bedroom and began barking at the open door.  Jim got up to see why, and I heard him say "well hello there, come on in."  I was down the hall so I couldn't imagine who was at the door.  Then in the door came my dearest friend Joan.  She and I have been friends since back in the 1980s.  She and her husband Jim live in southern California, and we had not seen them since last September.  They are also retired and although not full time, they travel in a small van camper.  I could not have been more thrilled to see anyone!  She had read about our troubles with the car and RV on our blog, and decided to come visit us on their way to Louisiana.  They are going there for some kind of rodeo they have wanted to attend for a long time.  They couldn't stay here very long as they have to get there by Friday.  OMG!  We went to lunch with them at the Arrey Cafe.  It was beyond wonderful seeing them even for a short visit.  We are hoping that they will stop here on their way back from the rodeo and stay a few days or a week.  To be honest, I'm not sure if Joan's husband can stay put for a week, but there is much to see in this area and we'd love to show some of it to them, like maybe the Geronimo Museum, and some Ghost Towns.  I should have gotten a picture of them, and their van camper, but the visit was short and I forgot.  I will include their pictures if they make it back for another visit.  

This is an older picture of Joan visiting us at our RV during one of our stays at the Elks Lodge in Garden Grove.  I know I have other pictures of them, but I couldn't find one today.

Although the days have been rather warm (high 80's to low 90's) the nights cool off nicely for sleeping.  All in all, it is pleasant, and we are enjoying our time here.  

I guess the message for today is that we should look forward to each day knowing that whatever it brings is a gift from GodAlways know that God loves you and will provide for you.  He is truly AWESOME.  And His gift to us yesterday was a truly wonderful surprise.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Day Before Easter

Good Morning everyone,
Things are going as well as can be expected here in the land of sun shine and windy days!  We learned an important lesson from Ric yesterday.  You see, we are used to people showing up when they say they will, or doing what they say they will within what seems like a reasonable time frame.  However, Ric explained that we are in New Mexico now, and time has an entirely different meaning here.  As he put it, "when white folks say 'today' they actually MEAN today, but when Hispanics say 'today' they mean maybe today or tomorrow......or sometime soon."   Last Friday we called a nice guy named Manny to come look at the roof of our RV to see if we need it re-sealed.  He said he could come out Monday morning and we said OK.  Monday morning he texted me that he couldn't get here until early afternoon, and again we said OK.  "Early afternoon" turned out to be around 6 pm.  The good news is that we only have the beginnings of a few cracks, nothing really bad, and he will seal what needs to be re-done for a very reasonable charge.  He recommended a guy named Chip who can come out here to check out the gasoline leak we noticed twice when we were filling the RV gas tank........but he is booked up right now, so he can't come out until April 27th.  That's OK since we aren't going anywhere yet.
Big Al did most of the repairs on the car two weeks ago, but we were still waiting on one part.  He said it would be in on Friday, a week ago.  I said we could come in on Monday but he said to wait until Tuesday just to be on the safe side.  We went to TorC on Tuesday and he said he didn't go get the part yet, but for sure he would pick it up in Las Cruces on Wednesday, so we could come there on guessed it................he still didn't have it Thursday.  He said he would go to Las Cruces on Friday and stop here at the park to install it.  Well yesterday he did go there, and he did get the part, and he did stop here (at 6:45 pm, long after we had given up thinking he would show up) however, he said the other part he needed to install was under the load of stuff he got in Cruces, and he couldn't find it now, so we still need to go back to his shop on Monday to do the rest of the installation.  Ric says this is what is considered in a reasonable time frame here in New Mexico!  Glad we weren't in any hurry to get out of here.  I am enjoying having days when we don't have to go anywhere and can relax with the furry kids and read books, etc.  Life is at a delightfully slower pace here, but it does take some getting used to.

This lovely lady is Debbie.  She has a health food store/restaurant in TorC called the Turtleback Oasis. 

When we worked at one of the hot springs in town, part of her business was that she delivered a limited menu of breakfast items to guests who requested them.  We occasionally enjoyed getting her delicious breakfast croissant sandwiches or breakfast burritos delivered to our RV too.  Last week we stopped in at her place to see her.  Sadly, in the two years since we were here last, she has endured some pretty major health issues, and if not for her wonderful and loyal staff she might not even still be in business.  We bought some of her yummy three berry jam, which I am enjoying very much.

Truth or Consequences (TorC) is a really unique little town.  
If I haven't told you its history, you can look it up on line to see that I'm telling the truth.  Many years ago Ralph Edwards put the word out that if any town was willing to change its name to Truth of Consequences (like the game show he hosted on TV) he would personally come to the town and broadcast his show from there for a week and hold a festival, and generally put that town on the map.  Hot Springs, NM accepted the offer and so began the town of TorC.  Part of the residents did NOT like the idea, but they had been out-voted, so they withdrew from the city and formed their own little town, which they named Williamsburg.  When you come north on I-25, if you take exit 75 you come into Williamsburg........and a few miles down Broadway you get to TorC.  In May we will finally get to see the annual festival that still takes place in Ralph Edwards Park and the crowning of the Festival queen and her court!

But that's not all that is unusual here.
 This is one of the lodging places in the center of town.
I don't know why the little trailer sits next to the Dude Motel, but it has been there as far back as when we worked here in 2013, so I guess it isn't going anywhere soon.   There are an assortment of restaurants in town such as a pizza place called A Slice of Heaven and a vegetarian place called Passion Pie, and an Asian Fusion place called Lattitude 33.  But my favorite place is still the A & B Drive-in where I can get THE BEST Philly Cheese steak Sandwich in the country! 
I can't remember right now if I posted a picture of that one, so I'll do that now.

 As you can see, you can order at the window and sit outside to eat.  Sometimes we take the dogs with us and do that.  Or you can sit at tables inside.  If it's too windy here we go inside.  We've been there three times since we got here last month.  Twice I had the Philly cheese steak with local green chilies on it.  Hot and yummy, and once I had a marvelous BLT.  I might also try their BBQ chicken sandwich sometime. I'm just sure everything they make is going to be delish!!!

Next Monday we are going to go back to the Motor Vehicle Division in TorC to begin the process of establishing our domicile here at the Arrey RV Park here in Arrey, NM.  For the time being we will still keep our mail forwarding service at the current address in Sioux Falls, SD, but the lady who runs this park is looking into what she would have to do to set up mail forwarding for her long term guests, like us.  If that works out, we will switch to her service.  My sister Donna had said we should give some thought to where we wanted to actually live when we decided not to travel anymore.  We are NOT ready to give up traveling yet, but we have decided that this area is where we would like to live when we do stop our happy wanderings.  We figured we might as well domicile here until that time.  I never expected to find the desert so beautiful, but it is, and it is an ever changing panorama of beauty.

Last, but not least, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter, and all the blessings promised to us by Jesus on this joyous day when He fulfilled His promise and saved us all from our sins.  Have a great week everybody!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Life is Precious, and fragile

I was planning to write today about what we did on Saturday, and include lots of pictures, but first I need to honor a dear friend of ours.  Yesterday I received a call telling me that Irene Krainik had passed away last Thursday after suffering a massive heart attack.  Irene was originally from Australia.  We met Irene and her wonderful husband, John back in about 2003 at the Garden Grove Elks lodge.  He was probably about 85 then, and she didn't like to tell, but I think she was about 83.  They met on Valentine's day at a dance in Anaheim.  When he first saw her, he told the friends he was with that he was going to marry her, and they were married two months later!  They both LOVED to swing dance, and went dancing at least five nights  week,  They went on swing dance cruises, and out-danced couples 30 or more years younger than they were.  Irene suffered a heart attack when they were out dancing in Anaheim.  Luckily, there were two paramedics there who resuscitated her, and she made an amazing recovery.  This was all before we met them.  We used to have a standing reservation for a table at the lodge on Friday nights, and one night the lodge was crowded and they couldn't find any place to sit.  We invited them to join us at our table.  It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship!  They were delightful and witty people.  She worked part time as a beautician until 2010.  They were a lively couple, and everyone at the lodge loved to watch them dance together.  What many people didn't know was that after the lodge closed at 11 pm, they drove to another club in Anaheim and danced until 2 am!  John passed away on his birthday in March of 2010.  I was honored to be asked by Irene to deliver his eulogy.  His funeral was attended by many, and he received full military honors as a veteran.
John's daughter and her husband continued to look after Irene and found her a wonderful place to move to after John's death.  She had an independent living apartment in a senior living home in Anaheim.  At this place she later met Don, who was a few years older than Irene.  They became very close friends, and until his health made it impossible, they used to come to dance at the Elks again.  This is the last picture I took of Irene, with her dear friend Don Rush.  
Like almost everyone, Don loved her, and would have married her, but as much as she cared for Don, her heart belonged to only John.  She was a lovely, vivacious, delightful lady, and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.  We were among those fortunate people.

On Saturday Pastor Ric took us to the Trinity Site.  It is the location where the first atomic bomb was tested, before the ones used on Iwo Jima and Nagasaki.  It was quite thought provoking to see.  This is only open to the public twice a year.
  This was Jim & Willie inside Jumbo.  Below is a write up about this structure.  I couldn't get close enough to read it, so I shot this picture, so we could read about it later.
We took a shuttle out to the monument near ground zero.  There are pictures taken during and after the explosion.
There is also a mostly underground bunker still there.
 I was taking a picture of the monument when Ric walked into the frame.  He didn't realize I was taking the picture.

 Ric told us that about a dozen or more oryx were released near the White Sands Military base, but they have since taken over the area.  However, with the crowds there that day we didn't see any except for this sign.  
Unfortunately, this was a chilly, windy, rainy day when we drove up there (north on I-25 south of Socorro).  On the return trip we were very surprised to see SNOW on the mountain tops and near the highway in places.
We definitely did not expect that.  
On Sunday, after church, Jim and I drove to Las Cruces to pick up something.  It was a beautiful day and the drive was delightful.  He took many pictures of the wonderful scenery.
 It was wonderful to see how green everything was along the roadside.  Jim liked this unusual cloud formation in the picture on the right.

Another awe inspiring view we were lucky enough to see.                                

This amused me.  This is a "border control inspection site"  but it is over 30 miles from the Mexican border!!!!!

Here is an interesting shot of what we think was a homemade RV.
The picture is not really good because it was shot through the front window of Ric's car......and he does NOT believe in cleaning car windows....or cars for that matter.  

Today we are taking it easy.  The sad news yesterday hit me very hard as it was so unexpected.  Yes, Irene was in her 90's, but she was so full of life that it was easy to forget how old she was.  We will miss her terribly, but are happy to KNOW that she is in heaven, and reunited with her one true love, John.  I am also happy to know that when we leave this earth, our lives will NOT be over.  We are assured of God's love for us because we have truly accepted that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.  Easter is coming and we will again celebrate His victory over sin and death.  If you have not yet come to know Jesus and have that personal relationship with Him, this is a wonderful time for you to do so.  I wish you peace and joy and a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.  Blessings to all of you.  Bye until next time.