We switched from Eastern Daylight Time back to Eastern Standard Time overnight. It was 11:30 PM when I turned off the lights and 7:30 AM when I got up, and since I had not reset my nightstand clock I got my eight hours of beauty rest. I put my robe on and started setting all of the clocks back one hour. We have a LOT of clocks.
My cell phone adjusts automatically, as do the computers and satellite linked thermometers. I reset the clocks in the microwave, range, and coffee maker, and stopped the grandfather clock, which is only supposed to be advanced, to let the time catch up to the setting. I reset the clock on our phone system, the clock on my night stand, and on two of our thermostats. The Wi-Fi thermostat already had the correct time so it may have adjusted automatically or perhaps was never changed to EDT last spring. We have three battery powered clocks that I did not reset as I wanted to change the batteries and the incorrect time would serve as a reminder that I had not yet done that. I still need to check the clocks in the two digital cameras, as I like to have correct time stamps on my photos, and there are five clocks in the motorcoach that need to be reset. We have a lot of clocks, but I quit wearing a wrist watch when I retired. I always have my phone with me anyway, and it usually knows what time it is in whatever time zone I happen to be in.
While I was in the basement I checked e-mail, replied to one from Gary at BCM, and then cleaned the cats’ litter tray. Linda was up by then so I made coffee. I turned on the fireplace and we settled in the living room to read, write, and savor our morning brew.
Kathi Slater, a long-time friend who Linda hired on at the bakery some years ago, came to our house today for brunch. I think it was only her second visit since we moved to this house but then most of our friends have been here at most once, if at all. Family members visit more often, of course, but that does not mean frequently. John/Dianne Rauch and Steve/Karen Limkemann have been here the most, along with Mike Sharpe (W8XH) from our SLAARC ham radio group. Philip Jarrell of Precision Grading, and Keith Kish of Kish Lawn Care, have been the most frequent people here on business, along with Kerry Fear, who does our snow plowing, and Darryl Mech of DMC Heating and Cooling, who did a lot of work for us when we converted from propane to natural gas. We do not, however, feel isolated here. We are getting to know a few of our neighbors and we are only minutes away from three communities full of people and shopping options. Both of our children and their families are only 30 to 45 minutes away as are the northwest suburbs of Detroit where some of our friends still live. But most days we live quiet, undisturbed lives at our home in the country, and we like it that way.
Linda and Kathi had “things” to discuss that did not involve or concern me, so after brunch I busied myself with other things. After checking e-mail I started downloading an update to Adobe Photoshop CC (2015). These downloads are huge and very slow so I left it to run. Chuck texted me and arranged to pick up his eight gallons of oil around noon. We chatted briefly when he arrived and he took a second look at our water intrusion problem. After he left I went to the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store in Howell to buy grease. Joe told me to get two tubes of the best stuff I could find, synthetic if possible. O’Reilly’s had Mobil 1 synthetic grease for almost twice the price of anything else on the shelf so I bought three tubes and used my $5 off reward card. Lowe’s was right across the street so I popped in there and got three boxes of Scott blue paper shop towels. I use a lot of these when working on the bus.
When I got home I changed into my work clothes and got to work on the bus. I stayed on that task the rest of the afternoon except for a few short breaks. The first break was for linner. The second break was to start the bus engine, raise the body, put the stands under it, set the body on the stands, and dump the air from the suspension. The third break was to say “goodbye” to Kathi and the forth break was for another brief visit from Chuck to pick up a bus engine oil filter from me.
In the course of the afternoon I managed to cut out most the rotten water-damaged wood from the floor in the driver’s area of the bus cockpit. Cleaning up the metal and protecting it, providing a drain for the water, and then patching in the floor is going to take several days. Finding and plugging the entry point may not happen. It’s November 1st and I only have about three (3) weeks to get the bus put back together to the point where we can use it this winter. The reservations are made, winter is coming, and we are out of here before the calendar turns to December.
When I wrapped up work in the bus around 5:30 PM I had been using a two-tube fluorescent work light for an hour. By the time I set the thermostats back, and changed the time on the microwave and the battery powered clock in the living room, it was approaching 6 PM and it was dark outside.
Linda made broccoli soup from scratch for dinner. It was a mild, subtle dish and we both had seconds along with a few crackers and strawberry preserves. I called Butch after dinner to update him on the floor situation in the bus and get his opinion on my idea of filling the “tray” with expanding foam. After talking it through I decided it might be the best idea I ever had.
While I was talking to Butch I got a call from Joe and handed the house phone off to Linda. Joe was northbound on I-275 in Michigan. He was at most an hour from our house but getting ready to stop for the night. He wanted to be close enough to Chuck’s house to get there easily by 7 AM and did not want to backtrack the 20 miles from our place. As we say in ham radio “QSL” (I understand).
I got the phone back from Linda and was continuing my conversation with Butch when I got a call from a 405 area code number that showed up as “unavailable.” I don’t usually answer those calls but they left a message and called back about 12 minutes later. I had not even checked the message yet but figured it was someone actually trying to reach me so I gave the house phone back to Linda and took the call. It was my nephew (by marriage), Philip Pelton, calling to let me know that my Uncle Bob had passed away a couple of hours earlier. He was also looking for a phone number for my dad.
Bob was my dad’s younger brother by two years, his only sibling and my only Uncle, my mother having been an only child. Bob was 88. Linda and I saw him in April on our way home from our winter in the desert southwest. Bob had Parkinson’s disease and was in a rehab center near his home fighting an infection. He did not look at all well to us at the time so I was not really surprised by Philip’s call. According to Philip, Bob had developed pneumonia in both lungs shortly after we were there and the doctors were never able to cure it. He was at home when his blood oxygen dropped, he lapsed into unconsciousness, and expired.
Uncle Bob was an interesting and unusual guy. He had a Ph.D. in micropaleontology and was a brilliant geologist. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to Oklahoma and spent his entire career studying the geology of that state. He developed an interest in genealogy somewhere along the way, and did some significant research on the various branches of our family. He married Helen Pelton, second marriages for both, but never had children of his own. Helen had one son, Scott, who passed away some years ago, survived by his mother, ex-wife Linda, two children, Tiffany and Philip, Tiffany’s three daughters, and Philip’s son and daughter. He was known to all of them as Papa (PawPaw) and they obviously adored each other. We only had a few visits with him over the years but they were always very interesting.
We wrapped up the call with Butch and I called my sister. Philip had already reached her but we had a long chat. She reported that our father is doing better and has recovered somewhat from his stroke of a couple of months ago. My grand-niece, Lilly, is having short seizures again, which is concerning to say the least. The doctor has adjusted her medication but it will take a week to see if the higher dose is effective or they need to move to a different drug. Lilly is six weeks younger than Madeline and just the sweetest little girl you can imagine. It is most unfair to her, and her parents, to have to deal with these seizures.
I went to my office and downloaded e-mails (which were painfully slow). I had two in our general contact account, which I do not check every day. They were both from BCM readers letting me know that they enjoyed my articles and actually found them useful. I replied to both and answered their questions as best I could. I then logged into RVillage. We had one message, which I responded to, and 153 notifications. The vast majority were from the Comic Relief group and I think I will have to turn off notifications for that, and perhaps other, groups. In retrospect I should have created a separate e-mail account for RVillage, but I didn’t.