Friday, September 30, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park, we arrived!

It was supposed to be a short day with only 250 miles to cover, but it took time.  For starters, the trucker next to us last night was using a  noisy  generator and he parked so that it blasted right into our bedroom on the motorhome.  The generator was a old fashioned type, constant speed and it groaned a bit each time the air conditioner  (or heat pump) kicked in.   So we were up at 5:00 AM, and left the rest area by 6:15 AM, skipping breakfast until later.

We drove about 50 miles to a large truck stop (and very clean) in Green River, UT, where we fueled up the thirsty beast and also fed ourselves breakfast.

Upon leaving the truck stop, it was on down the very good interstate surface wise.   I didn't keep track of how many times we left the top of the plateau and crossed the valley to do it again the next one over.  However, the motorhome CAT engine did a respectable job going up the hills and holding us back going down the hills.

The thing I remember from 50 years ago when Sandy and I traveled the area was that most of the highways were along the rivers, very few hills to climb.  And so it was that when we left the interstate and headed south on state highway 89, the road was almost all in the valley until we reached Bryce Canyon National Park.  The developed park area is on the plateau and tomorrow we get to look at the spires growing out of the valley floor.

We really haven't been keeping track of time and when we arrived, I decided that we were either a day late or two days early to avoid the check in crowd. 

At least,  my assumption is the normal run of tourist in the park plus the extra  weekenders, makes for a much larger check in crowd on Friday.  Also, the sites in this park are the same small sites that they laid out when vacationers traveled in a 16 to 18 foot tow-behinds or used a tent 50 years ago, so people have a hard time deciding which one will work for them.  But we found a site and squeezed in.  (The Honda is parked else-where.)

Hopefully by tomorrow we'll have adapted well enough to the higher altitude so that we can do some walking in the park.  (I think the plateau elevation is in the mid 8K range.)

One downer for us is that the campgrounds are in the trees.  Thus my solar system isn't going  to do much.  But that is why we also carry a generator.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

We're in Utah already

Okay, we're moving fast, perhaps too fast.   This morning, we left the park shortly after 8 AM, headed for a Walmart and a service station.   We found both, but the Walmart related service station (Mirastar) was locked up.  So we had to pay full price at another station.  A bummer. (Getting fuel was urgent, as the needle was bouncing on EMPTY!)

We then hit the road, I-76 into the heart of Denver, then switching to I-70 for the rest of the day.  Thanks to Sandy's navigating skills and her trusty GPS, we sailed through Denver and headed out to the mountains.   The cat engine in this buggy got a workout, but it held right in there.   About 2 hours out, we stopped for a break, only to find that parking is difficult to come by.  The welcome center lot appeared to be full plus I wasn't sure we could get around in it with our toad behind.   So it was down the road to another part of some small town.

We took a couple of additional breaks and missed a couple more.  Then we stopped at a welcome center in a small burg on both sides of  the interstate to see if we could spend the night in their lot.  Simple answer: NO.  That was a bummer, as other information we had indicated that folks had been given permission before.   So we trucked on down the road.  We were going to stop at the next welcome center and missed it.  There were no signs indicating that it was off of the highway, so we didn't exit.  Big mistake.  

Our next option was a welcome center just inside of Utah.  What a looser that one was.   There was a crossroads there, but nothing else.  The interstate sign said, "No Services".   So on down the road to the next cross road where our GPS said it had an information booth.    Well, scratch that one also.  No services.   So on down the road to where the GPS said there were some city streets.  But before we got there, we found a rest stop.   We pulled in and we shall pay for it tonight.  An 18 wheeler pulled in a little bit ago and is now running his refrigerator unit.  Of course, he parked real close to us also!

We put in a 12 hour driving day only because we couldn't find a suitable place to park it for the evening.  What little we've seen of the landscape west of Grand Junction, CO  indicates that it is pretty barren.  We shall see tomorrow and you can bet, it will be a more relaxing day.  (It was 12 hours behind the wheel and 400 miles down the road.)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the Road -- West

We left Iowa on Monday, heading west.  The Missouri River flooding changed our route plans some, but we drove around it.   Our first night was at Stromburg, NE and it was almost a bummer.  Very little TV and almost no Internet.  My air card was as slow as my old TTY machine.  We finally gave up and went to bed early.

On our way west, we stopped at another park that was an option for us (only about 50 miles further).   It was also free and the Internet there was fantastic. It was just too bad we didn't proceed further on Monday afternoon.   I guess that besides checking for electric power at the posts, we need to fire up the computers and verify that we can surf to our satisfaction.  So we need electricity, Internet access and a reasonably quiet park.  I forgot to mention that of course, we're looking for a free park also.   Tonight, we're in the city park at Brush, CO with excellent Internet and it is very quiet (and free for one night).  (We're about a mile from the interstate.)

Today we put in a long day but it was made shorter because we switched to Mountain time on the way.  Interestingly, we could have had interstate all the way but decided to take the roads less traveled and dropped down to old Highway 6 and then highway 34.  It was a very good road with very little traffic.  Most of the traffic was related to the harvesting that is just starting (wheat, soybeans and corn).   We saw a number of feed lots and late this afternoon, there were a number of cattle trucks heading towards the pens.  They probably load them out in the evening for overnight delivery.

We may change our plans after this evening.  While I was outside fixing something, Sandy was busy getting dinner ready.  When I came in,  she was beat, exhausted, or nearly wiped out. It has been some years since we have been at these altitudes and Sandy was definitely suffering altitude sickness.  So instead of heading on west of Denver via I-70 and the tunnel tomorrow, I think we'll give her a day here to get a little more acclimated.  (The elevation here is 4600 feet above sea level.)

We'll make good use of our non-travel day tomorrow.  Sandy tells me that the laundry needs to be done.  So life goes on.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wind Turbins and then some

Yesterday was our day for touring here at Webster City and it was fun.   For starters, it was off to see a "Wind Turbine" up close and friendly.  As expected, the steel involved in the tower is massive.  What I was surprised at was the depth of the concrete base.  There is a lot of it and I didn't think it was deep enough.  But they do stand, so it must work.    The big disappointment was that on Friday morning, there was no wind.  We were in a wind farm of about a hundred turbines and all of them sat there like bumps on a log!  Once in a while, one would move a little bit.

What I really wanted to hear was the noise that some claim to hear when the blades rotate.  Our tour guide explained that sometimes there is lots of swish noise from the blade tip when it is damaged.   The blade tip damage is from a lightening strike to a metal core wire in the blade.    The lightening strike instantly vaporizes any moisture contained in the blade.  The instant steam pressure explodes the blade tip, usually blowing a hole in the blade near the tip.  (They even have drain holes in the blade tip to let the moisture out.

When a blade is struck by lightening and damaged, they actually do a fiberglass repair on it.  They tie a harness to the hub and then bring a man up from the ground to do the repairs.  It quickly became obvious that being a tower technician is not a job I would want!   But thankfully, heights don't bother some people, especially when there is nothing below them!

In the PM, we visited the local museum in Webster City and we were given a nice tour by one of the local leaders.   The museum is on grounds that were originally homesteaded by the first settlers of the community.   It was next to the Boone River (for water power) and also a small stream for fresh water.  A young girl of the family kept a diary of family life through-out her years, which has been a blessing to many historians to understand life on the prairie.

Back at the county park campground, several of us men used my electric chain saw to cut some firewood from some dead and downed small trees in the nearby woods.  (It is permissible to cut the wood as long as we  didn't use a gas chain saw!)    After dinner we had a fire in the pit and every one formed a circle around the fire.   There was lots of light conversation and banter among the members.  It cooled off as the sun went down and I bailed out early.  I guess with little meat on my bones, I also cool off fast when just sitting around.

Our current plans after the rally are to head west to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.  However, with the games that the JOKERS in Washington, D.C. are playing, it makes us wonder if we ought to make other plans in case the government shuts down.   Sometimes life is not easy.  But then these problems are minor compared to the health problems some of my friends are battling.  We are so blessed to be able to travel.

Sandy just read my previous posting and it finally soaked in that she is doing more driving!  I guess it didn't register  on Thursday when she was driving.


Friday, September 23, 2011

At the fall Rally

Okay, we pulled stakes and are slowly headed southwest.   We think of the song sung by a popular singer of, "On the Road Again" and sung in a joyous mood.  We pulled off of the farm at 9:30 am, about our regular time for a departure.  We headed north to highway 30, then west to highway 17 and north to our destination.   Just before passing Tama, we pulled over and I said, "Sandy, it is your turn to drive!"  It was four lane and very little traffic.  Sandy took the wheel and did a marvelous job.   (But I have to admit that I was kind of nervous sitting there on the right seat.)  I think Sandy drove the coach more miles that morning then she has driven in the 6 years we've had the coach.   I've also let her know that starting now, we are sharing the driving.

The plan was for Sandy to drive until we ran out of 4 lane, then for me to take over.  Surprise, highway 30 is four lane from Tama to near Boone, Iowa.  Sandy drove the entire distance plus 20 miles north on 2 lane highway 17, where we stopped for a break  I think I now have an approved relief driver!

We actually came to the rally a day early, only to find that most of the rally participants were already here.   So we had no trouble settling in and getting a hug from so many friends we haven't seen in a few months.

(A different culture!)  A week ago was my high school 55th class reunion.  It provided a very interesting contrast in people verses our Escapee's group.   The class was only 38 members and I've always said that everyone has been very friendly.  About 30 percent of the class were together from kindergarten, with another 40 percent joining at high school and the rest at random times.   But the personal greetings were decidedly cool when compared to our RV group.  The words were free flowing.  The personal contact was  strictly by the formal hand shake, be it man to man or man to woman or woman to woman.  Not a hug in the crowd.  Is that called an area culture?   Or is it that RV'ers know that it is here today, gone tomorrow?   My RV friends are hugger's!  My home town friends are NOT huggers!

I've sometimes thought that it would be interesting to go back to school and study psychology.  People around the country all have their unique characteristics.  I think I need to quit, before I get into really deep trouble using those big words that I know not how to spell.  (Hopefully, the spell checker will come to my rescue!  And did!)


Monday, September 19, 2011

It is Time to leave soon

It is time to consider our stay here on the farm to be over.  Tomorrow we head to CR for a B twelve shot, then one final visit with mother.  On Wednesday, we pull the stakes and roll, first northwest, then west to Arizona.  Iowa was hit with a cold wave which really chilled my bones.  We were to a class reunion gathering on Friday night in a basically open shelter.  It was cold.  (If they'd had it a week earlier, it would have been fantastic.)  The more formal reunion was Saturday night with most of the class in attendance.

Sunday noon saw us stuffing ourselves again at a sit down dinner at our close friends house.  He is having a rough go at it to beat a colon cancer bug.  (If you're over 55,  please get yourself a colonoscopy periodically, it pays!)   Three couples were there, each bringing something to the table, but the hostess provided most of the meal, and it was good.

This morning saw me cleaning up outside of the motorhome or more correctly, putting stuff back into its proper place.   But with 75 degree temperatures predicted for today, maybe Iowa isn't too bad!   But by this weekend, I think the bottom is to drop out again, so sign us out for the season..

I mentioned earlier about our class reunion.  What a joy to visit with school classmates (10 years in the same school).  No, they haven't really changed.  The loud mouths are still loud and the quiet ones are just as quiet..   But they've had some new and different experiences.  One couple was involved in the closing of a mausoleum in a city cemetery that had been abandoned 60 years ago.   Supposedly, all of the bodies were to have been removed, but for some odd reason, the city fathers pocketed the money obtained from relatives and left the bodies on the shelf.   The building was deteriorating to the point that something had to be done.   As the class member said, "I'm now also a grave digger!"

For the next 3 months, our travel plans are to spend the coming weekend at our Iowa chapter rally in Webster City, make a Sunday trip to Mason City to see Sandy's brother and family, then head west, picking up I-80 and then I-70 into southern Utah.   We want to revisit two national parks that we briefly saw shortly after I got out of the service in 1963.  At that time,  we were in a tent and froze, so we didn't spend much time seeing the sites.   From there it is to the Grand Canyon and then to our lot in a park in Casa Grande for a month or two.

Right now the sun is shining outside with a light breeze.  So I  need to get moving and stash more stuff for the winter.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall is here with GUSTO.

It is cold out.  Ouch.

I'm ready to head south.  Next week is not soon enough.  Current plan is to leave next Wednesday for an Escapee's Rally in NW Iowa.   Then to the southwest, Casa Grande, AZ.   Temperatures are hitting almost a 100 there still. Ouch, that is warm.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer has ended

Today was another super day weather wise and tomorrow is to be different.   A norther is to blow in and tomorrow night there is the possiblity of frost in places.  It is soon time to head for warmer climates.

Today was another slow day for both of us.  We went to the Sandersfelds where Sandy road with Lavonne to Iowa City for some appointments.  Lavonne has not driven much since she has her new eyes and was reluctant to do it alone (Sandy was the backup driver).  However, Sandy reported that Lavonne did all of the driving and did just fine.

(Dennis no longer drives and Lavonne hesitates to leave him a lone for long.  Since getting this round of chemo treatments, he is much weaker and has some problems getting around.)

We spent some time this afternoon trying to get ourselves organized in the motorhome basement and around the farm.   It is hard to believe, but I always loose something.  Today it was a box of power strips.  I have a couple in the motorhome, but I  wanted to trade them for two in my box that have 15 foot cords.  However, they could not be found.  Perhaps if we quit looking for them, they will appear.

Today I also abandoned the idea of setting up a webcam on a Turkey Vulture nest site.  The site is in an old silo on an adjoining farm which has no electricity.  So to do it, we have to install a solar electric package plus the webcam.  Just too much to get done in a weeks time.  We can gather up the needed items this winter and install it next spring.  We'll probably miss the early nesting activities, but we can follow the final fly away.

Tomorrow we make our weekly journey to Cedar Rapids again, this time for a vitamin B twelve shot.  So we'll lay in a supply of groceries and any other items of note before returning.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday and a new week

We survived our family gathering this Sunday with little fanfare.  Actually, it would appear that we were somewhat stood up.  But so be it.  We'll do it next spring to celebrate mothers 101st birthday.  We only had representatives from 4 of the 8 kids.  But we had a good time.

We are now in the serious count down mode for our fall departure.  We plan to depart in about 10 days, probably for a chapter Rally in Northwest Iowa, then head on west.  While there, we'll go visit Sandy's brother who is currently spending time in a Mason City re-hab center to resolve some lasting effects of a stroke.  Taking care of one's health is even more important when you see the impact on someone else's life.

Beth (youngest daughter) left us yesterday afternoon after the family gathering.  She was happy as a lark, feeling that she had  convinced me to ditch some stuff from the motorhome.  Actually I had already decided on most it before her arrivial and by keeping her busy at the motorhome, she had no time to get in our storage trailer.  Its called creating a diversion to keep her busy.

She and I have different opinions on the worth of  some items.  Right at the door,  is a piece of old weathered wood that is about 4 feet long.   It is really the tap root of a tree that fell over in the Medicine Bow National Forest.  When we were on a family hike, they fell in love with it, so I cut off the log part and we carried it to the trailer. It stands about 4 feet high.   I think it is neat.   I also have a rock that I carried off of the mountain that today is more than I can carry.   The rock currently rests in a patch of ferns behind the old garage.   It is at ground level and you wouldn't know it is there unless someone told you.  (For many years, it was a flag stone in our brick patio at our house in Marion.)

To lighten our load, we are leaving a few boxes of stuff that really hasn't been used. I think Sandy and Beth left several pieces of material that Sandy had stored in a suitcase in our basement.  But in its place went several trays of slides.  Supposedly, Sandy is going to scan the slides into the computer this winter.  Something to do to occupy all of her free time!

I left two boxes of computer stuff, such as cables, routers, books etc. In its place goes two kettles and it leaves space for a possible turkey cooker burner!   Needed items for our way of life when joining  the Boondocker's Rendezvous  in the sticks!

This is the last day of summer according to the weather man.   The weather is just plan delightful today.  I guess tomorrow is to be something else!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back in our house (motorhome) again

With all of our duties accomplished in daughter's house, it was time to return to the farm.  It is amazing how nice it feels to be back in my chair.  Even thou I have to dry dishes here, it is great.

We spent 3 days with daughter and heard no end of complaining about my stuff in the storage trailer. I think she has a bee in her bonnet and won't be happy until there is nothing left of mine (or Sandy's).  (It makes life simplier for her when we check out.   I've told her that when that time comes, she can hire a dumpster and pack it away. In the meantime, it is mine and to be kept.

On our return, we stopped at our friendly Walmart for groceries and a prescription for Sandy.  Sandy was very disappointed, as they didn't have it in the system to be filled, as if the doctor's office hadn't called it in.   As we debated on what to do, I asked her if she had told them the east or west Walmart. Ups, big slip up.  When she called the doctor's office, she had directed them to call the west side and we were in the east side.

So when we finished the groceries, it was off to the west side, where we expected to be in and out.  But nothing is ever simple.  Sandy had to wait an hour for them to fill the order and then we only got it when I received the Walmart phone call that our prescription was ready.   The clerk had to search for it first, probably indicating that someone dropped the ball somewhere.

Tomorrow I drive a friend to Iowa City for his weekly Chemo treatment.   So we'll learn what is new in the local area.  Plus, I hope to have a lawnmower belt in the post office.  I broke the one I bought 3 months ago and did not want another generic belt.   The OEM belt has 3 heavy cords in the belt where as the general belt has nothing but a rubber center and a fine weave on the inner and outer surface.   The killer is the belt tightner runs on the back side and severly bends the belt, the belt is getting bent both in the normal direction and in a reverse direction.

See you later.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sorting photos (old ones from mother)

Yesterday, we brought a box of old photos down to the living room and the three of us (Beth, Sandy and myself) proceeded to sort through them.  The box was removed from my mother's apartment when she moved from there into  the care center.  It is a very interesting task.

For starters, most of the photographs are not labeled.  That's no  problem for those that were taken in the last 20 years.  But when you  have photos of some of the more distant cousins  taken in the 40s and 50s, it is sometimes a real guess who it is.  Many of the identifications were done by noting who else was in the photograph.  What we couldn't discern for now was laid aside for a family gathering next weekend.  Lesson for all: Have your parents label old photos now.

We also grouped loose photos according to family.  So each one of my siblings will get a package, as will some cousins and my one living uncle.  There are a couple of photos that I assume were classmates of mothers when she was confirmed 85 years ago.  We'll find out for certain next weekend.

Of course, there were a few conflicts also.  There were a couple of fuzzy photos that I felt we ought to keep (and did keep).  I know that the picture quality was poor, but it reminded me of some hard times of years ago. One photo that I've wanted to see for along time was found.  It is a picture of dad's tractor with a mounted corn picker buried to the axles in mud in the corn field.  Eventually they used a couple of tractors (with steel lugs) and a team of horses to finally free it.  I was about 5 at the time and obviously, not much help.   We did find a photo of an old hay baler that dad had.  It was a wire baler where dad poked the wires from one side and I sat on a seat on the other side and tied them while my older brother drove the tractor.  (I was about 8 then.)

Today it is on to bigger and better things.  Beth is back into  the office and thus Sandy and I can set our own schedule.  Beth is coming to the farm next weekend to make sure we seriously sort the stuff in the basement of our motorhome.   We're still looking for our wedding photo album (besides trying to reduce our load).  After two years of looking, we found Sandy's wedding dress this spring in a box on the floor of one of Beth's spare bedroom closets.  We were looking for a white box. It was in a white box, but hidden in a black bag, neatly wrapped.  At our family reunion, a granddaughter modeled the dress as part of our 50th anniversary celebration.

Doing more stuff today!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Visiting Beth for a long weekend.

One of the ways to avoid feeling guilty about not getting stuff done on the farm  is to leave the farm.  Thus, we're visiting daughter Beth for a late Labor Day weekend.  I think our only mandatory task  here is to dismount the window screens  on  3 windows and install the storm windows.  I can handle that.  (Beth has done some of the windows when we're really late in the spring, so she could do it all on her own.)

Sunday morning was kind of a zoo in our house (motorhome), as we were also hosting a homing pigeon release at 7 AM and again at 8  AM.  Actually, there was nothing for us to do really.   A friend brings the pigeons in, the guests are friends from the park in Florida and afterwards, everyone goes to a restaurant for breakfast.  (The release was scheduled for Saturday, but was delayed for a day because of the forecasted rain.)

Sandy and I actually only stayed for the 7 AM release.   The pigeons leaped from the cages and headed for the wild blue yonder! They flew directly away from the trailer, climbed for some altitude and then circled to the right.    I think they did two large circles and then turned and headed towards Milwaukee.  But when we last saw them  in the distance, they seemed to be on a more northerly course.   Perhaps the sun was too bright for them to fly directly  east into the early morning sun.  Sandy and I then left the group and headed  to Marion to our home church.   What a joy to see so many friends again.  It was also great to be in the church and listen to some real singing from the heart.  (The church has  a strong choir director and many members that know how to sing, especially the often used liturgy. )

The drive from Marion to Dodgeville was uneventful.   I started driving and turned it over to Sandy after 40 miles. (Yes, I was tired.)  Sandy drove it to Dubuque where we visited the friendly Hardee's for a quick snack and on to Dodgeville.  I did catch some shut-eye on that leg.  I woke up when Sandy was exiting the freeway to go into Dodgeville, so I didn't miss a thing.

For the next 3 days, we live a different life style.  Beth avoids using heat in the house (if possible) so I'm always cold!  Meals are unplanned happenings, usually something from her share of a farm co-op she is a member of.   Finally, the TV is on non-stop, irrespective if she is watching it!  But I do have my computer along so if push comes to shove, we can retreat to the Internet.  (I just don't have my easy chair and my flat file table!)

Enough for now.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's Raining (and we love it)

Here it is Saturday after lunch and we are having intermittent showers.  We love it.  It won't make much difference with the crop yields, but I think that folks this year are learning that timely rains are a blessing from heaven!

Today was laundry day again and for once, I went with Sandy (I drove).  It goes faster when there are two folks sorting and folding clothes.  Besides,, I get to see how the crops are maturing!  Actually, we get to see where there is some very poor soil in the hillside, otherwise known as a Sand spot.  We've got a couple of them here on our farm and you don't grow much when the crop is stressed like this summer.

Labor Day is about here which means it is time to think about heading south for the winter.  We spent our extra time this morning plotting routes as we head for Casa Grande later this month.   We're leaving early so that we can visit some National Parks in Utah.  We briefly saw both parks in 1963 when we did our extended camping trip upon parting from the Air Force.  The thing we remember most clearly was that is was November 15th and there was a light snow on the hills and it was cold.  It was so cold that we froze our buts.  Eventually we got up and spent the remainder of the night in the heated bathroom.

I saw an article in yesterdays paper about the highways in western Iowa.  Several of the roads that cross the Missouri River are not open yet and won't be for months to come.    We saw a photo of Interstate 680 which is the north route into Omaha.  The asphalt is broken into pieces of 1 to 2 feet and tilted at various angles.  The flooding river worked its way into the various cracks and totally  undermined the road.  It wouldn't look any worse if they had gone through the road with a farmers' chisel plow.  They also said that it won't be ready for travel until November of 2012, a year from now.  It appears that the only route into Nebraska from Iowa is via interstate 80 through the heart of Omaha.

Time marches on.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is here already

Here it is September already and like it or not, time to think about heading to warmer climates.  It is hard to write that when we're expecting the high today of 95 plus.  Yes, it is another example of our weather extremes.

We were going to mow the lawn last week and presto, the belt broke again.   The store says I installed it wrong.  I maintain that the belt wasn't up to the task.   Anyway, a new one is supposedly on the way.   The good belt has internal cords to keep it together.  The generic belt only uses a light cloth on the outside and rubber inside.  The killer is that the belt tightener runs on the back side which weakens the belt.

Today we drive a friend to Iowa City for a Chemo treatment.  I've always said that we'd continue to be fulltimers as long as our health holds out.  As we help Dennis the truth of that statement is more obvious.  We need to enjoy our good health while we can.

Our daughter and son-in-law were caught with a 24 hour power outage in New Jersey because of Hurricane Irene.   They are between Atlantic City and Philadelphia and had only rain and a light wind besides losing power.  When they lose power, it means also loss of water since they have their own well.  So they are getting real serious about installing a backup generator and rewiring the power panel so that they can survive an extended power outage better.  They had parked the RV next to the house, so they really weren't  too bad off.   But tell two teenage granddaughters that.

Each day when I write this, I say to myself that I won't wait so long next time.  Somehow, time just seems to slip away from us.   But we're vertical and you'll get it when it happens.  So enjoy fall, it is here after tomorrow they say.