February 2004               

February 1 – Cool and rainy.  We read the paper and just generally hung out. 

February 2 – The sun came out today and it warmed up.  We were glad of this, the carpet cleaners were expected.  We spent the morning unhooking computer equipment and moving what furniture we could.  The appointment was between 12 and 3.  It was right at 3 when they arrived.  After an hour we had clean carpet.  There was a lot of dust and of course, cat hair in it.  We hope to notice a difference in the dust on the furniture, etc. now.

February 3 – Another warm and sunny day.  We are really beginning to like this.  After we got dressed we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast, then headed east on I-4.  We were going to Melbourne to visit with Millie’s Aunt Phyllis.

            We arrived at Aunt Phyllis’ house a little after noon.  She was so happy to see us and we were happy to see her.  She had visited with us at our home in Richmond several years ago.  Phyllis is Millie’s dad’s youngest sibling and only a few years older than Millie.  She used to baby sit Millie and her sister. 

            While we were there, Millie’s cousin Kathy stopped by.  She is only 18 months older than our oldest son and we haven’t seen her since she was real little.  We were unable to see Beth, the youngest daughter.  Both of the girls live near their mother. 

            After spending the afternoon with Aunt Phyllis we said our goodbyes and headed back west towards Dover.  It was around 7:00 when we got back and we stopped to eat, since we still have damp carpet and the kitchen area is full of furniture.

February 4 – We spent the morning getting all the computer equipment set back up.  Dick had problems with the Motosat and had to call their customer support.  He had a cable hooked up wrong. 

            We then got the furniture back in place and everything straightened up.

February 5&6 – We didn’t do much.  It was nice just to sit back and take things easy.  We did do some grocery shopping.

February 7 – We decided to make a run to the mall.  Millie wanted to go to Michael’s and Dick wanted something at Best Buy.  There was a major accident on I-4 at the exit and after sitting in traffic we managed to get off at the exit before and wind our way through neighborhoods to the mall.  We didn’t see the accident but heard on the CB that it involved a motor home rolled over and several cars. 

            The mall was very busy and after making our purchases we headed back home.  The accident was gone but traffic was still backed up for several miles.

February 8 – We read the paper this morning and just hung out.  Dick had sinus problems this morning and wasn’t feeling on top of the world.  In the afternoon we did laundry.  It was good to get that chore out of the way.

February 9 – Millie had an appointment with an Endodontist this morning.  He also was not able to fix her root canal problem.  He said it would take longer than what time we have left here, s-o-o-o back to square one.  After discussing it, she made the decision that she would have it done in March when we get to Virginia.  Millie located an Endodontist on her dental plan and made an appointment for the week of our arrival there. We had planned to spend some time in the Washington, DC area and will just stay longer. 

February 10 – It was too pretty a day to stay at home so we headed to Lake Wales to visit the Historic Bok Sanctuary.  The drive was nice and we saw many strawberry fields.  The berries are in season now and in the past week the plants have really bloomed out. 

            Our first stop at the Sanctuary was at the visitor’s center and museum where we looked at the displays telling the history of Edward Bok and the carillon tower.  The sanctuary and tower are located on the highest point of the Florida Peninsula.

            Edward Bok immigrated to the US from the Netherlands.  He was head of “The Lady’s Home Journal” for 30 years.  His winter home is located on the grounds of the sanctuary and is open for a limited number of tours.  We were unable to tour the house, as there is only 2 tours a day and only 20 tickets for each tour.  The afternoon tour was already full. 

            Mr. Bok loved the beauty of this area and commissioned the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the gardens.  The camellias were just finishing their bloom cycle and the azaleas were just coming into bloom.  In another couple of weeks the gardens will be beautiful with bloom. 

            A 205-foot tower was designed by famed architect Milton B. Medary and crafted by stone sculptor Lee Lawrie.  It is in the gothic and art deco design and houses one of the finest 60-bell carillons. The magnificent brass door contains 30 panels depicting the biblical creation; unfortunately you are not permitted close enough to get a good photo of the door.  The tower itself is not open to the public; it can only be viewed from the outside. The beautiful Recorded music of the carillon plays from the tower on the hour and half-hour, but at 3:00 a live recital is presented.  We walked around the outside of the tower, marveling at the wonderful sculpture and stonework.  Of interest also is a sundial on the back of the tower.

            We were fortunate to hear a recital played by Milford Myhre, Carillonneur, who has had the position since 1968.  He will be retiring this year.  The music was beautiful.  There is an area that contains a video screen and you can watch the Carillonneur as he plays.  Unfortunately the video was not working while we were there.

            A keyboard of hammers plays the carillon.  The original keyboard was replaced and is now on display in the museum. 

            We spent a leisurely afternoon strolling the paths of the sanctuary and enjoying the quiet and beauty.  From the top of the hill, the view was lovely and we understand that the sunsets are breathtaking.

February 11 – Our neighbors left this morning.  We were sorry to see them go, we have enjoyed talking to them. 

            Millie got the outside rug swept off and straightened up.  We then decided it was time to get the stained glass window back in place.  It has been under the bed since we picked it up before leaving Richmond in January. 

            This time we were very careful not to tighten the screws down hard and the window is now back in place, intact.  Yeah! 

            Since it was sunny and warm we chose to go to the Florida State Fair.  It was a great afternoon and we enjoyed seeing the exhibits.  Millie particularly liked the needlework and quilts.

            We saw the Welde Bear Show featuring bears that was interesting.  The 4 Russian brown bears were very pretty.  Facts on bears and conservation were given as part of the show. 

            Another show that we attended was by a group of African acrobats.  We think this was the same group that entertained at the Alaskan state fair.  We missed the performance there. 

February 12 – Dick talked to Matt this morning and looks like the truck will be ready for us to pick up on the 23rd.  We will leave here on the 21st when our rent is up.  We will hate to leave this warm weather.

            We made a run to Sam’s Club, then came home and had lunch.  We sat outside for a while, enjoying the breeze.  Then we determined that it was time for a strawberry shortcake run!  The treat was delicious.

February 13 – Another beautiful day.  After straightening up the house, we went outside to enjoy the nice weather.  Dick had his computer with him and Millie her book.  It is so nice to be able to just sit outside and relax.

            We went out to dinner to get a jump on the Valentine’s Day crowd, then spent the evening watching TV.

February 14Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today it began to rain.  We were glad we enjoyed the nice weather yesterday.  Just spent a quiet day then had dinner at Pizza Hut.

February 15 – 20 – We spent the week hanging out at home.  Dick washed the trailer.  Millie got the new pillow shams made for the bedroom.  We rode our bikes a couple of days, did laundry and made our last run to Parkland’s for shortcake. 

February 21 – Traveling day.  We got hitched up and headed north on I-75.  The weather was nice, sunny and warm.  It was a good day to travel.  We spent the night north of Macon, GA.

February 22 – We arrived in Nashville and got set up in the park.  Millie had fixed a roast with potatoes and carrots on Friday and we warmed up the leftovers for dinner. 

February 23 – The weather was nice and Dick spent the day unloading the F550.  It took him longer than he anticipated; he didn’t realize how much was in it. 

            We had dinner and Millie went to Hobby Lobby. 

February 24 – We picked up the new Freightliner M2 at Neely Coble this morning.  It sure is big!  Matt went over all the systems with us and then we took it for a test run, letting Dick get a feel for it.  After we signed all the necessary paperwork, etc. Matt invited us to lunch. 

            After lunch we drove to Gallatin, TN to Wil-Ro, the company who had done the bed for the truck.  There were a couple of runs in the paint on the bed that need to be taken care of.  We spent most of the afternoon there.  Don took us on a tour of their facilities while we were waiting on the paint to be taken care of. 

            We had dinner and watched TV.

February 25 – Dick spent most of the day organizing things into the new truck.  He was even able to get some things out of the trailer compartments.  It is going to be much easier to get to some of his tools and things now. 

February 26 – Dick needed some things from Wal-Mart, so we hopped in the truck to go there.  Oh no!  It wouldn’t start.  The batteries were dead.  He called Matt and they sent someone out to jump it and get us going. 

            We drove to Neely Coble and got in line to get our battery problem checked out.  It was our first experience with a heavy truck repair facility, but it wasn’t too bad.  It did take longer than we anticipated, but they replaced both batteries and we were good to go.

February 27 – The back doors of the truck were not closing good so today we went to the Neely Coble body shop to get them fixed.  It didn’t take too long and we were soon on our way.

            We ran a lot of errands today and Dick worked on organizing the truck. The weather was warm and sunny, so we enjoyed being out.

February 28 –Dick finished up loading the truck and Millie made a cover for the back seat.  The kitties back claws tend to dig in when they are on the seat and we need to protect it. 

            Late in the afternoon we showered and went to Olive Garden for dinner.

February 29 – Leap Day.  We got everything stowed for travel, then made our first attempt at hitching up.  We have a new Trailer Saver hitch and are not familiar with it.  We had a written set of directions that we were following.  There was one step that we weren’t doing correctly and it took us several attempts, but at last we were hitched up.

            We headed east on I-40 and the truck performed flawlessly.  We stopped and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  When we came out there were some folks looking at our rig.  They asked us a lot of questions and we enjoyed talking to them. 

            The weather was nice and we arrived in Bristol, VA where we spent the night.