Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Family Visits

Understanding it has been a while since we posted, the blog police have finally prodded me into writing something. I doubt it will be exciting or news to most readers.

After our tour of the Nachez Trace, we traveled to the Chattanooga area to visit Darin and his family. We camped about 15 miles from their house in Cleveland in a rural RV park at the junction of the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers. It was a a pretty place to spend a month. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy most of the time, so we only got in a couple motorcycle rides. Mostly we just tried to stay dry and warm.

One day Darin accompanied us to Oak Ridge where we toured the museum. Oak Ridge was a secret city built during WW II by the Manhattan Project. The enriched uranium used in the first atomic bombs, the ones in New Mexico and Hiroshima, was refined there. It was interesting how a secret city of 50,000 people could spring from nothing but farmland. The plutonium used in the third bomb, the one used on Nagasaki, was processed in a similar secret city built in Hanford, Washington.

Other than that it was a rather uneventful visit. We did celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family, and it was great fun playing with our great-grandson Skylar. He is very bright, and quite a handful. It had been a long time since we had been able to spend any time with Darin and his family, so the month long visit was very nice. We hope to do it again soon, but either in spring or fall when the weather is nicer.

We then traveled back to Denton in early December to spend Christmas with Dayna's family. We also both arranged for our annual doctor visits and checkups. This year Dayna wanted to do something special for Christmas, so we all went on a horse drawn carriage ride to look at Christmas Lights in Highland Park, a ritzy area just north of downtown Dallas. The nicest decorations were probably on Jerry Jones house. He owns the Cowboys, in case someone isn't familiar with who he is.

On the night of the 23rd of December, an apartment complex in Denton burned, leaving several families homeless just before Christmas. Dayna felt compelled to do something about it so went down there to see if she could help. She found that one of her co-workers lost their apartment, and also met with a family that had eight children. They lost everything. Dayna talked to the mother and got a list of what each of the children wanted for Christmas, and then she went shopping. She bought each of the kids a major gift. Dom was with her when they took the presents to the kids, and was deeply touched.

We both got more than we needed. I got some new tools, a spotting scope and a new weather station. Dianna got a new GPS and a Kindle. She also received a new phone a few weeks early. We now both have Droid Bionics.

We stayed in Denton through New Years, celebrating Dom's 15th birthday on December 31st. We left Denton yesterday on our annual migration to Arizona. We're moving slowly, about 200 miles or so a day, and staying at the free city campgrounds in the little towns here in West Texas. Tomorrow we should be in Carlsbad, NM and plan to visit Mike and Linda Morrow, friends from Edgewood, who now live in Artesia.

I hope this satisfies the blog police for the time being. When I have something more interesting to write about, I will.