I was awake at 6:30 AM and finally got up at 7:15. I fed the cats and cleaned their litter tray, both of which are chores but I don’t mind doing them. I sat on the sofa with the heater pad on my lower right back and finished yesterday’s blog post draft. Linda got up at 8 AM having been awake since I got up. At 8:20 I was going to make coffee but Juniper climbed in my lap so Linda took care of that chore, which is certainly one of our more pleasurable.
Linda worked on her counted cross-stitch project and I worked on our Holiday Letter all morning. I had a finished draft by lunch time and Linda read through it. I have it set up for 8.5×14 inch legal size paper, but printing it that way will depend on whether we can get high quality glossy color laser paper in that size.
Linda reheated the last of the red beans and rice for lunch after which I washed some grapes. After lunch Linda continued to work on her project and I turned my attention to another article for Bus Conversion Magazine.
I had some correspondence with the publisher, Gary, yesterday regarding my article on servicing the Webasto burner bearings and decided to finish my article on Butch Williams’ installation of an International Thermal Research OASIS Combi in their MCI MC-9 NJT bus conversion. The work was done in October and November 2014 and the article was basically written in January 2015 but I had not selected or processed any of the photos.
I read through the article, highlighted several places with missing information, and rewrote some things. I then selected 36 photos and started processing them. The processing involved various adjustments such as alignment, lighting, and color followed by resizing and sharpening in two different sizes. The larger size is typically 1900 x 1272 pixels as that will fill the screen of a 17 inch monitor and I don’t feel a larger size is needed or supported by the level of detail in the images. The smaller size is typically 300×200 pixels. I embed the smaller images at the end of the Word document with the image number and a caption. I used to embed them into the article but the editor and layout person need the ability to fit them into the layout and I ultimately developed enough confidence in them to do that. This is always subject to change, however, as is everything connected with this magazine.
We had dinner at 5 PM, earlier than usual. Linda made a nice green salad, sautéed and lightly glazed some baby carrots, and heated some Amy’s vegan macaroni and cheese. The reason for the early dinner was the holiday parade down Main Street in Williston at 6 PM. We left at 5:30 and walked to the corner of NE 5th Street and Main Street. NE 5th Street is the street that leads back to the front entrance of the resort and is towards the end of the parade route, which comes down Main Street from west to east. There were already people there, all from the RV Resort as near as we could tell, but we were early enough to get seats on the low brick wall that borders the parking lot for the funeral home.
Main Street is also US-27 but the police closed it down at 5:45 PM. The parade started at the west end of Main Street by the high school so the lead police motorcycles did not reach us until 6:20 and the front of the main parade did not get to us until 6:30. There were cars with beauty queens, simple floats with seasonal themes, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, politicians, fire trucks, horses, and an elephant with Santa Claus riding on top. It was a classic small town holiday parade. It was all over by 7 PM and we walked briskly back to the firepit.
The firepit at WCRVR is about eight feet in diameter, surrounded by a concrete floor ring about six feet wide and covered by an inverted conical roof about 24 feet wide at the lower eaves. A massive 8 foot diameter inverted conical hood is suspended over the firepit and the 12″ diameter flue pipe runs out the center top of the roof. The outside perimeter of the floor has large wooden rocking chairs (think Cracker Barrel restaurant), a bench, and a few other chairs and there is a little bit of lighting up in the ceiling. It’s a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the fire, visit, and listen to people play their guitars and sing. The flue does not draft correctly so it tends to be smokey, but that is the only downside. If not for that it would be perfect.
John was there with a couple of other people and had a nice fire going. Even though it was in the mid-to-upper 60s there was a strong north breeze and the fire felt good. Lots of other people eventually showed up and filled almost all of the seats so John got his guitar and started playing and singing. Linda walked back to our rig to fetch our plastic wine glasses and opened a bottle of Egri Merlot. It’s a good life.
I got a call from my sister and stepped away from the firepit. She called to let me know that our dad was back in the hospital. When I returned to the fire circle John was busy playing and singing and some folks had left so I tended the fire. By 9 PM everyone had left except for John, Ali, and us. I continued to tend the fire while the four of us talked. Just before 10 PM I spread out the last embers of the fire and we all returned to our rigs for the night except John, who does the closing rounds on weekends.
Back at our motorcoach Linda put on the Michigan State vs Iowa Big 10 Championship football game. Though not particularly interested in football I was too tired to work so after sending an e-mail to our son I laid down on the sofa; the first time I have done that since we built it into the coach. By the time the game was over it was 11:45 PM. We watched a few minutes of Cook’s Country on Create and went to bed. I turned the TV on in the bedroom then turned it off. I turned down the brightness of my iPad display and with only the dim light of the ceiling vista, and whatever light could get in around the window shades, worked on my blog post until 1 AM.