2016 June

Summers in Colorado are beautiful, and this one was no different than any other I’d experienced.  Although the rent was quite steep in the RV Park I found, it was comfortable and very conveniently located near my friend Randy’s apartment and the tennis courts I frequented all summer.

South Park Senior RV Community, Englewood, CO

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Of course my hammock must go with me everywhere.  So I gave up looking for trees to hang it on and bought a portable hammock stand.  It works great!!

The bike path ran right up to the back of the RV park and took me right to the tennis courts at Bear Valley Park.  And the ride was so beautiful!!

Of course the summer activities included not only tennis but roller skating with Randy……

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Wheee!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, the summer was not all fun and games.  On the morning of Friday June 17th, tragedy struck.  Geoff McRae, Dave’s oldest son, was killed by a drunk driver outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Dave’s two sons, Geoff and Joel, were driving from Geoff’s home in Fort Worth, Texas to Provo, Utah to attend the wedding of one of their cousins, when a drunk driver crossed the center median and hit them head-on.  Joel miraculously sustained only minor injuries, but Geoff, who was driving, died instantly. He was just 29 years old.   Words cannot express the horror and pain that this tragedy caused – and continues to cause – to the McRae family and their friends and loved ones.

 

Geoff left behind his beautiful young wife, McKenzie, and 3 children who loved him dearly – his 5 year old stepson Adam, 3 year old daughter Harley, and 2 month old son Dexter.

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The McRae Family will never be the same again.geoff-tribute

Rest in Peace, dear Geoff.  You are loved and missed by so many!!!

 

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2016 May

In May, my friend from southern California, Mike, and I spent a weekend in Las Vegas. We talked each other in to trying “Slotzilla” on Fremont Street – crazy since we are both terrified of heights!! – and visited the “Mob Museum” near our hotel.

 

 

Upon our return to southern California I was talked into entering the Women’s Singles competition at our tennis resort…..and I won the B division!  Guess I can no longer claim that I don’t play singles, lol =)

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My “prize” for winning B Singles

 

Back in Austin, I decided it was time to get back on my back for some regular riding.  The 12 mile round trip to McKinney Falls State Park quickly became my “favorite” – sadly, it was actually the ONLY safe bicycle trip around my RV park.

 

In anticipation of the impending trip to Colorado for the summer, I needed to get routine maintenance done on the RV.  This included two new tires.  But the place that sold me the tires was not equipped to install them on an RV, so they loaded them into the RV for me, and I carted them off to the Mercedes-Sprinter service center where they installed them while doing the annual maintenance.  Crazy!!

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My friend Mike flew out from California to make the drive with me from Austin to Denver….ROAD TRIP!!

One of our stops along the route was the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

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Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas

 

And so began the summer of 2016 in Denver, Colorado………

 

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2016 April

Just a few days after returning to Austin and getting back to work I received a phone call from my sister Wendy in Scottsdale.  Mom’s health had taken a downturn and she thought it might be time to consider hospice care.  Mom being close to 93 and having had some recent health challenges, this was not a huge surprise.  But after YehYeh’s recent passing it was a lot to deal with, especially for my sons, Kevin and Mike, who were very close to both their YehYeh (paternal grandfather) and PawPaw (maternal grandmother).

Kevin had already planned to see her upon his return from a business trip to the southeast, but decided to go before the trip instead of after.  He arrived in Scottsdale on Sunday April 3rd and my sister told me that the three of them spent the entire afternoon looking through old photo albums, telling stories and reminiscing.  That was the last time Mom was fully conscious and present in this world – that evening she fell into a deep sleep and remained mostly that way until taking her final breath a few days later.  What a blessing for Kevin, her first grandchild, to have had that special time with her!!!

My younger son in Austin was not able to get away because of his job and the new baby. But Mom had met her first great-grandchild shortly after Eva’s birth in 2014, which was a blessing as well.  And we had consistently sent her photos of Eva as she grew so she knew her great granddaughter and it brought her a lot of joy.

I arrived in Scottsdale Tuesday evening, and our brother, Doug, arrived Wednesday evening.  Although Mom did not appear to be conscious or at all aware of her surroundings, the hospice staff assured us that she could hear us speaking to her as she drifted between the two worlds of the here and the afterlife.  Doug and I stayed in her apartment that night, and at 6 am Thursday morning we were at her side when she passed peacefully.

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As difficult as the next few days were, it was also filled with many blessings.  I can’t remember the last time my brother, sister, and I were all together – without kids or other distractions – for an extended period of time, but I think Mom & Dad were smiling down on us proudly from heaven as the three of us worked together in harmony and love to tie up all the loose ends that happen when a loved one passes.  There was a lot of work to do in a very short time period, but there was also time for reminiscing, laughing, sharing stories and feeling the great sibling connection we are so fortunate to have!!  Mom and Dad must have done something right – thanks, Mom & Dad!!!!!

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Lunch together in Scottsdale

Packed and ready for the drive to Austin!  My son in Austin was building a new house so he could use some of the furniture we were removing from PawPaw’s apartment.  We just had to get it to Austin…..so I rented a truck and drove to El Paso, where Mike met me and we finished the drive together.

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My son wanted to show me the house he is building in Driftwood, Texas (not far from Austin) so we stopped by there on our drive from El Paso.

One of the necessities I had been needing for my jeep was a BIKE RACK!!  I finally got a great one, and installed it all by myself =)

Another “necessity” for my jeep was SEAT COVERS!

 

Just as in a house, sometimes things break in an RV.  In this case, the latch on my refrigerator broke, which may not sound like a big deal, but this particular latch controls many parts of the fridge, so fixing it was a rather urgent necessity which also proved to be quite a challenge……..It was actually three months, two states, and receiving the WRONG part on the first try, before it FINALLY got fixed!!!!

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I was still working at Lee Elementary in Austin as their Math Specialist and still thoroughly enjoying it.  April brought their annual “Olympics” and I had a great time watching my kiddos compete for fun =)

 

I needed some work done on my Jeep (again!!) and this time I found a mobile mechanic who specializes in Jeeps.  How lucky is that?!   And he brought his adorable, smart and playful dog, Bella, to entertain me while he worked on my Jeep =)

 

April was also the month that the newest McRae grandchild was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Welcome Dexter!!!!

 

Still waiting for the refrigerator part……and getting more and more creative with ways to handle the annoying situation!!!!

 

A huge windstorm in Austin brought tree branches down all around the city, including at my RV park.  Luckily there was no serious damage to my RV, but it sure made for a WILD, noisy night!!

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2016 March

(My birthday month, yeah!!)

March 1st I celebrated my 62nd birthday.  I was actually in southern California that weekend before my birthday and that Saturday evening had a lovely dinner with a “new” friend, Joel, who I had met through mutual tennis friends at the club where I regularly played in so Cal.  Little did either of us know then where that friendship was eventually going to lead……….

Upon my arrival back in Austin I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my older son, Kevin, in the mail.  My younger son, Mike, refilled my “mini” liquor cabinet in my RV for my birthday.  As you can see, I am well taken care of!!

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About mid-March, spring break for me, my friend Mike from southern California visited me in Austin.  Being the beginning of South by Southwest week, we had a blast renting Segways, hanging out on 6th street, playing tennis, and watching the sunset over Lake Travis at the Oasis Restaurant.  I then returned with him to southern California to complete the week of my spring break.

At the end of the month I took a trip to Phoenix, to rendezvous with Dave so we could visit the Kleinschmidt grandkids together and so that he could visit with my mom, who he had not seen in several years.  Dave’s brother, Joe, who owns several successful restaurants in Utah, had offered Dave a job working with him managing one of his restaurants.  Since Dave and I were no longer living together in Austin, and this would potentially be a good career move for him, Dave decided to accept the position.  I had already planned a trip to Denver at the end of the month, so meeting Dave in Phoenix on my way to Denver was easy to do.  Little did we know at that time that this would be Dave’s last visit with my mom.  So, so glad we were able to make this happen!!!

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The trip to Denver was, as usual, delightful.  Of course I played lots of tennis – despite there still being snow on the ground in places!  And, as always, my friend Randy and his cat, Maggie, were great hosts =)

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2016 February

I returned to southern California for Super Bowl weekend – and of course lots of tennis!!

Go Broncos!!!!!!!

 

Short month, short post, LOL

 

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2016 January

A new year, and in many ways, the beginning of a new life…..

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My new home in Royal Palms Mobile Home Park.

Conveniently located for work, friends, tennis, and airport travel =)

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Homemade bread in my new home =)

January did have one very sad event come to pass – Fred Wong, Johann’s father and Kevin’s and Mike’s YehYeh (paternal grandfather) in San Francisco, passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of January 9 at the age of 94.  Strangely it was exactly nine years, to the day, of the passing of his wife, Lillian, the boys’ NengNeng.  Of course Mike and I made the trip from Austin to the Bay Area for the funeral and in spite of the sad reason for the gathering it was wonderful to reconnect with so many old friends and family members.

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The six grandsons of whom YehYeh was always so very proud, all grown up!!!!

Left to right – Elliot Wong, 31; Mike Wong, 27; Gregory Wong, 25; Alex Kent, 23; Kevin Wong, 30; Jason Kent, 30.  I’ll let you guess how to pair up the sets of brothers!!!

Johann, Donna & Gordon Wong, Ted & Irene Chin, Ernie Lee, Stan Tom…..how great to see ALL of them after so many years!!!!  Looking a bit older, but basically the same old crowd =)

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Family dinner in Oakland – Roberta, Mike, Vanessa (Kevin’s girlfriend), Kevin, Johann

See y’all next month……

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2015 December

December was a difficult month.  Dave and Roberta had had many discussions about their current circumstances, and basically disagreed about everything.  Following several months of counseling – both together and separately – Roberta had decided that, for her own well-being and self-nurturing, a physical separation from Dave was necessary.  Dave did not agree with her choice, but it had become inevitable for Roberta.  With the help of a mediator/counselor they agreed on the terms of the separation and the plan was that Roberta would be taking her RV and moving to another RV Park in Austin while Dave would be staying in the Park where they had been living (because it was so close to his job) in the new/used trailer that Roberta bought for him.

Needless to say, the holidays were bittersweet.

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A new, updated plate for the RV for Christmas

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And Roberta finally bought the jeep she always wanted – red for Christmas??

Texas weather in December ain’t half bad!

Hard to miss the Colorado snow while relaxing in a hammock!!

Before making the RV move at the end of the month, Roberta spent most of December in, you guessed it, Corona, CA, playing tennis.  She did take a few days off over Christmas to fly to Phoenix to see the Kleindschmidt grand kids and her mom and sister.

 

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Gracie, Tyler, Jacob, Emma

Wow, they grow up so fast!!

Christmas dinner was at Roberta’s sister Wendy’s house.  And Wendy’s daughter, Michelle, was there as well.

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Wendy and Michelle had spent a LOT of time baking Christmas cookies. YUMMMMMMM!!!!!

YES, they tasted as good as they looked!!!

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Roberta’s RV and Jeep ready for the move.

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