Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 2017

What ??? !!!!! - A blog entry from Carol? Really? Yep!!!

It's been more than a year. That's not to say I have not been adventuring; just have not made time to communicate. This will not be my usual blow-by-blow writing since I have a lot of time to cover. 

September/October 2016 train trip
Albuquerque to Los Angeles to Portland (Oregon) to Minneapolis to New York to Philadelphia, to Boston to Portland (Maine) to Bangor (Maine) back to Portland to Boston and Philadelphia to Chicago to Albuquerque. Nearly 9,000 train miles! Whew!

With a commitment made to volunteer at Albuquerque's famous Balloon Fiesta in early October, I started and ended this train trip at Albuquerque, New Mexico. I visited family in the Minneapolis area and a friend in Bangor, Maine. And you know I chose to take long way.

As always I enjoyed my volunteer time at balloon fiesta – but this time was extra special because two granddaughters – Christine and Melody – would be there. I drove back to Prescott Valley on October 19.

A Move to Mesa, Arizona!?!!
Late October 2016
I'd been thinking it was time to live in a warmer place – my body does not like cold. Also I had been thinking about getting out of home ownership and its related unpredictable costs. So I started looking at independent senior living options in Prescott area, Rio Rancho (NM) and the Phoenix area.

In late October, a friend of a friend of my sister Elaine, who lives in Prescott Valley, was asking about available houses in Prescott Valley for yet another friend who wanted to move to the Prescott Valley area. Elaine mentioned that I had been talking about a move, but had not made any decisions. As a result, I received a phone call and within two weeks, had been offered a cash buy for my home “as is”. No Realtor involved, no inspections, no fix-its and no hassles! What a blessing.

I settled on a Fellowship Square Historic Mesa independent living apartment. (check it out What a challenge! Going from a three bedroom home with a two-car garage to a one bedroom, no garage, apartment. I do have lots of amenities – apartment is cleaned every two weeks, delicious meals, free laundry, lots of interesting people, utilities paid, walking distance to shopping – and a couple of blocks to my youngest sister.

I moved first of December and am loving it. Of course it took some creative organizing and prioritizing my belongings and keeping only the most important things.

NEW ADDRESS: 155 W Brown Rd, Apt Q-255, Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone number stays: 928-830-6271. Email stays at:

My new apartment life is super; but I'm not willing to give up riding trains.
I do love riding trains: no maps to read, no driving concerns (where is my turn? Am I in the correct lane to exit? Need to find a gas station, etc.) Just sit back and enjoy the scenery, wander the train cars to the observation and dining cars --- and visit with the many interesting people on board. It is a social ride.

April 2017 Amtrak from Flagstaff to Galesburg (Illinois) to Reno (to Celebrate sister Linda's 75th birthday; Reno to Galesburg to Flagstaff; +3.100 train miles!

June 2017 Maricopa (Ariz) to New Orleans to Birmingham (Alabama) to Charlottesville (VA) to Omaha; then St. Paul (MN) to Portland (OR) to Los Angeles and back to Maricopa; nearly 7,000 train miles plus a bunch of rental car miles.

In Omaha. I meet up with Sister Linda who had flown from Reno to Omaha for the next part of my trip. In a rented car, the two of us visited with relatives in Nebraska, Anthon (Iowa) and Minnesota.

Then we both boarded Amtrak in St Paul (MN). The Empire Builder (most northern route) took us across North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Portland OR). There we changed to the Coast Starlight rain down to the California coast to Sacramento where Linda got off. I continued to Los Angeles and changed trains to return home.

My family update

All is well in my world. Son, daughter-in-law, daughter and my three precious granddaughters are all doing super.. Here's a brief rundown on them:

Rick and wife Dianne: continue to amaze me with their ambition and creativity. Rick continues to work for Craftsman Books and Dianne is currently unemployed. They live in Oceanside, California.

Granddaughter Christine continues to work at Craftsman Books. She lives in the Oceanside area.

Danielle started her third year in her own hair salon! She has developed a great clientele and often shows her work on FaceBook. To help with salon expenses, she has moved back home.

Sue and husband Dave have bought another catamaran and currently working on it to get it ready for sailing when they can get away from their business duties. They live in Rio Rancho, NM.

Melody lives in Los Angeles and works for UCLA in the facilities department. She thrives on distance running: marathons and ultra-marathons.

All is well in my world! I continue being healthy, active and interested in all of life.