In response to my cutting-into-packaging dilemma from a couple of weeks ago, Bill Boyce and John Christman both sent me information on a new tool to open these very packages. Imagine my surprise when I actually read the December RV Life magazine and found information on this very tool on page 15! John also told me that the products returned with mangled or no packaging are then sold under “Refurbished products” and can be bought at spectacular prices. Thanks, guys.
January of 2011 is my 20th anniversary writing for RV Life so in January I hope you will go to the Silver, Single, and Solo column and read some of my favorite stories.
But back to my trip to Phoenix before Christmas………
Friend Lynn lives in an older area with a huge fenced in back yard where neighbors still know each other and lend a hand when needed. Her charming little cottage was filled with Lynn-type creative furnishings as reflected her neighborhood and many past RV travels in Mexico.
We stopped to visit her friend Bonnie and I was immediately intrigued because it was one of those ranches within the city. It was enclosed by fencing and growth so it couldn’t be seen from the street. The back yard harbored fenced horses, chickens, rabbits and the whatever I couldn’t see. Interesting small buildings were used for various activities. Obviously Bonnie is as creative as Lynn.
Inside, well, it says a lot for friendship when the owner isn’t home and you feel comfortable walking in and turning on the Christmas lights and showing another friend around. When Bonnie didn’t answer our calling, we shut everything back off and proceeded to Lynn’s brother’s house where we found Bonnie doing e-mail and I met him and his wife. It was also a small ranch with an enormous shade tree guarding the front gate which I coveted greatly. It was almost dark by then so I didn’t see their animal menagerie which I know included horses. The corral offered a sitting area with a fire ring when the city laws allow.
Both Christmas-decorated houses were old and had been renovated or added to and were completely charming to this want-to-be westerner. Lynn’s brother had fastened rope all along where the wall and the ceiling came together to cover an uneven ceiling line. A triangular nook boasted a fireplace on one side and a wall for western hangings and a place to sit on another. He had built a regular sized fence partially into the room with a saddle on it. It was a delightful place to sit and read or look into the fire and dream.
Later, Bonnie and Lynn and I drove to Glendale Glitters, a city neighborhood where they decorate anything that doesn’t move too fast, with lights. Tents covered food and trinkets. Decorated stores were open to entice evening shoppers as music played to the tune of happy holidays. Afterward we stopped at the Cerreta Candy Company where they have chocolate everything plus truffles, crunches, clusters, and something called Beer Batter Peanut Brittle. Hmmm.
It is time to take down all the outside Christmas lights and pack away the inside village and other decorations. I’ll read the cards once or twice more before tucking them away. I’ve started a healthy list of things that need to be done in 2011. Another reminds me of the subjects I need to research and write about. I have feelers out for a place to go next summer.
The biggest laugh I’ve had came from checking Amazon.com to see how my books are doing. Full-time RVing: How to Make it Happen is now out of print and I have decided not to do a revision but I found a “new” copy being offered for $500! For that you can order it from me and I will hand write it for you!! My question is where they got a “new” copy when those are only available through me and I don’t have any. Hmmm.
I wish you the Happiest, most Blessed, and Healthiest 2011. God Bless until next week.
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At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”