Monday, August 17, 2009

A terrific time in Gardnerville, Nevada

After high/low temps in Boulder City of 110/91 and in Tonopah of 92/70, for my first night (Thursday, Aug. 6) in Gardnerville the temp got down to 42 degrees! And I was not prepared for such cold weather. I had unloaded my winter bedding and somehow neglected to load any sweat shirts and warm jackets. Why, you might wonder? Well, it was hot in Prescott Valley when I prepared Jeremiah for the trip, and besides, it was summer.

Nephew Tim Slater backed Jeremiah onto his side yard where I’d be camped for the week. And not expecting a cold night, I chose not to get hooked to electricity – and didn’t turn my propane on before I went to bed. So I could not turn my heater on. In short, I was cold!

Earlier in the evening Sister Linda had said, “You got here just in time for tomorrow’s huge rummage sale at St. Gall Catholic Church.” As I shivered through the night I knew that I’d be
buying some warm clothes and blankets at the rummage sale, just in case I encountered more cold nights on this trip.

Friday, Aug. 7

The rummage “madhouse” started at 6:40 a.m. – Linda and I stood in the line for the rummage sale that would open at 7 a.m. Some people had been there since a little after 6 a.m! It was HUGE. A large lot outside had sports and fitness equipment, large appliances, furniture and such. Inside there were two rooms of small appliances, lamps, etc. The stage of the Parish Hall had books, videos, DVDs and such. The entry hallway had toys, shoes, etc. The entire mail floor had clothing, dishes, craft supplies, Christmas stuff, linens and bedding. All this, and the mobs of

people carrying and filling large bags and totes made moving around difficult. Several ‘pay stations’ were located outside. The best part? Everything was priced ridiculously low.

My purchases: two warm queen-size blankets ($7 each), one suede/knit jacket ($5), a battery charger for household batteries ($1), and the best deal of all was a Columbia jacket that is actually two jackets in one ($5). (See photos – two jackets become one.)

Two other purchases were an old-fashioned food grinder ($2) and an unknown-at-the-time thing ($1). Later I looked that curious item up on the Internet and found that it is a Vesuviana 40s-50s vintage espresso/cappuccino maker from Italy - sadly missing two important parts.

That evening our family dinner at Tim’s house included Nephew Richard Slater and Sister Linda’s granddaughter and her great-grandson.

Saturday, Aug. 8

This morning’s treat was a delicious breakfast at South Lake Tahoe at Lew Mar Nel’s restaurant where Nephew David Slater is a waiter and his son Tyler is a greeter and seats diners. Our breakfast group included Sister Linda and her husband Bob, Tim and his wife Linda, Tim’s grandson Tobyn and me. Afterwards we went to David’s house to visit with his other three children – DJ (who is home from college) and 11-year-old twins Alyssa and Abigael. After that we took a scenic drive on forest roads that went up to the Angora overlooks where formerly-used fire lookout towers are. Two good photos taken were these: Linda and Bob below.

Saturday late afternoon’s outing was to Reno to take Tim’s grandson back home, and then we went to the new Legend’s Shopping Center that had just opened. Here’s one of the outdoor sculptures – look closely and you’ll see this large fish is made up of small ones. At the gigantic Scheels Sporting Goods Store (Similar to Cabella’s) Tim and Linda “drove” in a simulated NASCAR racing event.

Sunday, Aug. 9

Today’s adventure was going out to brunch – 12 miles across Lake Tahoe – in Tim’s Bayliner boat. After two iffy weather days, it was bright and beautiful with a gentle breeze. It is fascinating to see the lake and the surrounding mountains from mid-lake. Breakfast was at the Firesign Café on the west shore – and Tim bought me a café t-shirt to remember the occasion. This has been a favorite eating place since 1978 and I imagine it is because of the delicious food. After brunch we cruised the lake shoreline looking for Bald Eagles, dropping into Emerald Bay to feed ducks and geese.

Back down the mountain, Linda and I went to visit our friend Dot Hogen. Dot and I go way back to the late 1970s. She came to work for me when I owned Associated Tennis Suppliers and the United States Racquet Stringers Association. She and I had been playing tennis from time to time and she offered to help for “for a few weeks.” Those few weeks stretched into several years, including the ones I also owned the Custom Racquet Shop. And when I sold the USRSA she went to work for the new owner, another friend of mine. Dot worked there until this past January when some medical issues forced her retirement from work and from tennis. Over the years Dot and her doubles partner played dynamite women’s doubles and at one time they were ranked 7th nationally in hard-court competition. Even though she’s been forced to slow down and now lives in the Reno/Carson City areas with family, Dot is alert and lively at age 84. Dot is a great role model for me. This picture shows Dot and her son Rory. (Note to our North San Diego friends – dot says she is getting better and soon will be making a trip to visit.)

Monday, Aug 10

We got Linda and Bob’s motor home ready for travel on Thursday, and enjoyed a home-cooked salmon dinner that night.

Tuesday, Aug. 11

This morning was ‘house cleaning’ for Jeremiah and some grocery shopping in preparation for the next motor home adventure. This evening’s treat was the Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe. Linda and I went in order to take Tony – a physically handicapped man who Linda and Bob escort to various events and appointments. In spite of his physical problems, Tony is a delightful guy with a good sense of humor. The play was ‘Measure for Measure’ and the venue was an outdoor setting on the beach. It was a fun and interesting evening – and a late one for me! Here’s a photo I took of Tony (in his new wheelchair) and Linda; and another one of the actors who entertained the audience prior to the start of the play.

Wednesday, Aug. 12

Today was the day to get Jeremiah ready for the trip – a tank of gas, tire inflation checked and a generator tune-up. We leave tomorrow morning; we’ll be part of a 4-RV caravan. Destination is Jackson Rancheria RV Park in Jackson, California.

Keep smiling! I leave you with this quote by Joseph Addison

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.