Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The nonshopper goes shopping

Wednesday January 15 & Thursday January 16, 2014
E. G. Simmons County Park
Ruskin, Florida



Most of you know that I am definitely not a shopper.  Not even a grocery store shopper.  I’ll do almost anything to avoid shopping.  I don’t really need anything and what I want I can generally find on line and have delivered.  Not sure if it’s the crowds or the bright lights or the smells but I just hate retail stores.   So these two days have been an unusual back to back for me.   I suspect that David should have gone to at least the RV show with someone else so he could indulge himself as he seems to actually like to shop.





By 9:15 am this morning, we were in line to get off the freeway to get into the line on 301 for the line into the Fairgrounds so we could get in line for tickets. We were about .5 mile away at this point. By the time we got into the show it was a little after 10. Every year I say I’m not going to go again. We aren’t in the market for a new RV, we love Winnona who is perfect for us. And we have yet to be able to arrange any free stays at places in areas we will be traveling to that year.   I think maybe I need to actually go with some of my friends who seem to find all kinds of things at this Super Show.  You know who you are, I’m waiting for a 2015 invitation.  Smile


This year was the same sort of bust.  I actually had a list of supplies and things I wanted to pick up. I couldn’t find any of them at the show. We did one thing we hadn’t planned on, which was the Gripstic we had heard about from Karen and Al. I hate those little ties on bread bags so hopefully these will work well for those and bags of pretzels, cereal and other things. We of course had to try them out right away and they seem to keep an air tight seal much better than those chip clip sorts of things or clothes pins that David likes to use.





But I’m getting ahead of myself.




We entered at into Building B and the area with the Foretravel, Prevost coach displays and high end Airstream trailers.   First thing we saw was this green man sitting and standing in a planter.   He said he was just bushed now that they’d made him the branch manager.   yuck..yuck….   What kind of a job is that?   Maybe someone retired having fun for the few days of the show???

We went into one of the vendor buildings and walked up and down the isles finding nothing of interest.

Howard and Linda Payne of RV Dreams were doing a seminar  at 11:30 so about 11:00 we walked over there to make sure we could find it.  Along the way we found a lot of other folks employed apparently to entertain.














Yes they are being pulled by an armadillo, well sort of.





Amazingly we had no problem finding the seminar tent.





And who should we also find sitting outside early but our good friends Nancy and Bill Mills. Shortly Linda appeared and we had a great time laughing and chatting until it was time to go in to the presentation.










Howard did a terrific job of explaining the serious importance of knowing and understanding all the various weights and weight limits of your vehicles. He covered tire safety and why it is so important to have your rig weighed and make sure you have the right tires, correctly inflated every single day.

After his event, we gathered outside with some other “RV Dreamers” whose lives have been positively impacted by Howard and Linda and their RV Dreams organization and rallies. Really great people to meet and spend time with.





I promised Don White that I’d send him this picture on his 75th birthday so he could remember how he felt about turning 65 TODAY!  I think he was saying ‘Oh NO’.   Happy Birthday again Don.  He and his wife Lois are fellow Virginians.  We really enjoyed getting to know them better.





I want to see the new Winnebagoes.



After saying ‘see you soon’ to them all we went back out to check out other vendor tent and to see the new Winnebago Coaches and towables. They have a new coach or new to me called a Forza.  I also hadn’t realized that among their fairly new towables line they make a 5th wheel. They have brought back the popular Minnie Winnie and make a towable Winnie that is only 18’ long. Possibly some competition for the very popular Casita.

It was very nice this year that they had a large number of every model of Winnebago for you to walk through.  I still didn’t see one that I’d give Winnona for on an even trade.




David wants to see the vintage RVs.


The crowds are beginning to get to me but David wants to see the Vintage RV display so we hop on one of the trams.  Slower but less chaotic by this time.






The vintage RVs consist of one 1978 Newmar Class A along with 3 vintage airstreams and their tow vehicles.  One of the air streams is the full time home of a man who had just returned from a 4000 mile trip in this 1954 airstream pulled by a 1953 Buick with “fluid” drive.  They traveled across the Lincoln Highway with a caravan in celebration of the Highway’s 100th birthday .   What Fun.   I just loved the inside.  He had 50’s music playing and was happy to show you around and tell you all about it.   Best thing at the show for me!!   Some of you know that David had a 1950 Ford Custom Tudor Coupe so he’s way into antique cars and really enjoyed talking with the owner.













The Others.






Somehow walking 4 miles through this show seemed much more tiring than a 6 mile hike.  I was more than ready to head home.  Surprisingly, even though we were leaving near the very end of the show, it took a lot less time to get out of the fairgrounds than to get in.






One of the things we didn’t get at the RV show was on purpose.  We looked at all the RV outside mats since ours is about 4 years old and beginning to “shed”.  It’s still OK but a few of our friends have gotten bigger mats that don’t kill the grass under them and we decided that was a better way to go.   But there was nothing at the Super Show that compared with our friends’ mats that we had seen.   So we’ll just have to go to the company that sells the ones we want.



Only problem is, the company that carries these was 80 miles away and E.G. Simmons is the closest we will be to them this year in Florida.   So we pack up this morning and drive to the bustling metropolis of Center Hill Florida where off on a side street in a non descript building we find the garage type show room/shop of Beasley Manufacturing Inc. (they don’t manufacture their product though so I’m not sure about the name)


They are a family owned and operated business which supplies fabrics for all sorts of outdoor needs – sun screens, mats, tire covers, reweaving chairs.  You name it.  The fabric is on bolts all along the wall and you just pick out the length you want or buy remnants and they will cut it to size.  

I think they have a great complaint department.


They are only open Tuesday through Thursday 9-3 and buy by the truckload so what you buy today may not be there tomorrow.   I found that today they didn’t have colors I was really excited about in the 8’ lengths I was interested in.   But David found something he liked so that’s what we got.  It’s the luck of the draw at Beasley’s and perhaps the 3rd of the 3 days they are open is not the best day to go for selection. 




We had been warned that they are very busy and you have to take a number.  But when we got there, only one other couple was shopping.  That is until in walked Gail and Rick Houle whom we haven’t seen in over two years.  Amazing!  

Gail selected the perfect fuchsia and chartreuse fabric for me and I took a picture of her pointing it out which sadly turned out so blurry  you can’t make her out but you can see her color choice so I used it anyway.  Good thing I took a second one of them before they left so you can actually recognize them.   We will all be in the Florida Panhandle in the spring so perhaps we’ll cross paths again.  Hope so.  GREAT to see you guys again!




Yesterday in the Tire Safety talk Howard told us not to cover our tires with anything that wouldn’t allow them to breathe.  David and I have always been happy with our slip on tire covers with flannel inside but were concerned that perhaps they would trap moisture.   So in addition to mat material we bought some fabric to make breathable tire covers.  That will be another post when we get all this set up around the rig.

Tomorrow is hospital day, all day long.  He’ll have a bone survey and the bone marrow biopsy which is a surgical procedure for which David will have full sedation at his request.   Considering they are removing some bone with the marrow inside from his hip, I don’t think I blame him.  The testing results won’t be back for 10 days to two weeks.  We were supposed to leave for the Everglades on Saturday but are going to extend our stay at E.G. Simmons and shorten our time in the Everglades a bit in light of all this.   Hopefully we’ll get to do some kayaking and maybe even see the manatee while we are here.  Cross your fingers for good outcomes for it all.


  1. I'll be thinking of/praying for y'all tomorrow. Hang in.

  2. That plant man would have scared me right out of there!

    Thanks for going and taking pics. I very much dislike RV shows and stay far away from them.

    Best wishes for Dave's procedure and results.

  3. I always dislike shopping and after so many rallies, have heard most of the seminar discussions. Yet I still like to go to the shows and rallies:) Good luck tomorrow!

  4. I think David is smart to get the full anesthesia. After my recent experiences I won't every have anything done without it. Good luck tomorrow.

    Since I usually hang my clothes on a clothesline to dry (though not lately), I have a good supply of wooden clothes pins. I use a couple for each bag of chips or snacks that I've opened and they work great. My grandkids love to play with them as well.

  5. Crossing my fingers for you. Praying for good results. I don't like to shop, but would actually like to go to an RV show, so I can walk around inside all of the RV's without having to ask a salesman to unlock them for me.

    1. I don't know where you are Teri, but you can walk through hundreds of RV's at Lazy Days (Tampa and Phoenix) and you don't need a salesman because they are kept unlocked.

  6. I enjoyed your day very much! glad you went and took pictures... plant man ... hahaa .. loved the armadillo wagon ...

    be thinking of you both tomorrow...

  7. Sending thoughts of peace and healing your way. Hope David's procedure goes smoothly and the outcome is positive. I'm envisioning you both out kayaking very soon, doing what you love.

  8. I'll be thinking positive healing thoughts for David!

  9. Well, I believe you have hit your shopping quota for awhile;o)) But what fun to meet up with so many RV-Dreamers at the show!! I believe you picked the right day to go to Beasely Mfg...all the RVers were at the Supershow:o))

    Hoping all goes well on Friday and you are back doing what you love ASAP!!! Now if it would just get warmer:o(((

  10. We decided to skip the RV show- we have done more than enough shopping for the condo. Hope things go well today. Let us know if we can do anything to help.

  11. One of these days, we'll go to that RV show. Have always wanted to, but just like you, stories of the crowds kept me away.

  12. That day sounds exhausting, but you got to see so many friends and some neat rigs :) They have odd entertainment there...just shows that people of all ages like dress up! Good luck to Dad...may he be nothing but comfortable. I love you both. Sounds like your purchases were all good ones so shopping was 'a success' :)

  13. Good luck today. I know it's going to be a hard day for you both.

    We spent an hour trying to get off the interstate and into the fairgrounds for the RV show. I thought of you Wednesday, knowing how you hate crowds. We were there Wednesday, and I looked for you.

    We spent most of our time at the Rv show in the vendor areas. I think we're going back today to look at some of the RV's. That's always fun, but by the time we finished with the vendors, my back was killing me and I was pooped. I agree...a 6 mile walk through the rv show is more tiring than a longer hike.

    Good luck today.

    I'm glad you got some Grip sticks. We love ours. We even use them in the refrigerator and freezer.

    I can't believe you didn't find the mat you liked best at Beasley. They can cut pieces from any of the rolls that are there, which is what we did. We bought 2 sections so that we can lay one over the other for a wider mat. We love ours. I'd love a different color now, but the dang thing won't wear out

  14. Know what you mean about it being more tiring walking around the RV show than taking a hike. At least it sounds like you didn't spend much money there, unlike us in Quartzsite this year.
    Lots of positive thoughts heading your way for David today. Too bad it takes so long to get the resuts.

  15. Praying for good results today (or was it yesterday?) losing track of the days! Sorry we missed the RV show, we had intentions of going for the day, but George didn't want to go by himself. I'm not one for crowds either, and it looked very crowded!

  16. Boy oh boy, I am with you where it comes to shopping. I do not like shopping, crowds, waiting in line, etc.

    John and I are praying for you and David and the physicians. Jeremiah 29:11.... God says "I have plans for you.... hope and a future...." my translation....I relied on that every day John was on life support and still rely on it now for our every day life in it's ups and downs.

  17. Glad to hear you survived that shopping trip. BTW, did you hug that "bush man"? After all the trees you've hugged, wouldn't it be nice to get a hug back from one, with a "Thank You"? ;c)

    We're praying all goes well for David and the results are good.

  18. Praying for both of you:)

    As I was reading about your mat situation, I was going to send you the address of where we got ours. Then, low and behold, you went to that exact place! Sure is a lot cheaper than anything else. Great place and well worth the drive.

    Howard and Linda are great people. We just went on their 50th Birthday cruise with them. We met them out west in Anzo Borrego and did some hiking together. We've since met up a couple times out west. It is a small world, isn't it!

  19. Sending good thoughts for you today. Good info on the tire covers, I will be watching for what you do. Our old ones were dry rotted so we threw them out, but need purdy new ones for the new rig :-).

  20. The show even seemed tiring from your description and I like to shop! Hope all went well at Moffitt for David. Take care- Love and xxxooo

  21. EG Simmons is one of my favorite parks and you have visited with some of my favorite people lately. I really like our mats from Beaslys and nice surprise seeing Gail and Rick there. Hope things went well for David.

  22. Keeping fingers crossed


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