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

Henry David Thoreau

Mid March

March 1- March 16 2018                                                              Most Recent Posts:
Quail Run RV Park                                                                       
Finishing February
Wesley Chapel, Florida                                                                Another BIG Bump in the Road

Not sure time’s actually marching by, more like sauntering, here at Quail Run.  We started March out with a wonderful baked haddock dinner on the 1st served in Watson Hall  We followed that two days later by the first Saturday breakfast buffet. 

David’s in heaven,  all he has to do is walk across the street for delicious food.  Watson Hall is right next to the pool.   He’s signed up for the Taco Dinner and the Lobster Boil potluck later this month.  The park has a dinner every Thursday night.  I had to put some controls on or he’d sign up for every one.  They also have Wednesday morning donuts and coffee which he doesn’t miss unless we have to be out early for doctors’ follow up appointments.

Quail Run’s activities director Kathy  is a work camper and she keeps the calendar full not only of dinners and breakfasts but cards of all kinds, karaoke, bingo, ping pong, pool, line dance, horse shoes and more.   It’s all listed outside on two large boards and in a handout given to all campers.  How in the world she organizes all of it and sells tickets to all the meals is beyond me.


David’s favorite of the regular activities is eating.  Mine is line dancing.  I’ve been going every Tuesday and David came a couple of times to take some pictures.  Unfortunately one of those days several of the regulars were absent. We’re a small but hardy crew. 

Line dancing is fun, good exercise and gives me an opporunity to wear my boots.  I love Tuesdays when I can get 5000 +/- steps in 90 minutes of dancing.


I’ve spent some of my time in the library in this building called Quail’s Nest   It’s a nice space with 4 very comfortable chairs and tables at which folks play cards and one with ongoing puzzles.

I volunteer to reshelve returned books so I’ve learned a lot about what the folks in this park read.  Of course, all the books are donated.  In some cases there is nearly enough books by one author to fill a shelf.


There are 27 John Grisham books and 14 Lisa Jackson on the shelves.  Nicholas Sparks, John Sanford, Danielle Steel, James Patterson and Louis L’Amour.are among others with large numbers of books.  I’m not really familiar with any of their works, other than John Grisham who lives in my home town, but clearly they are all very popular.  I did notice that John Grisham has a series for kids with a 13 year old would be lawyer Theodore Boone as the main character.  Since there were 4 of them, I grabbed them all and read them easily.  Like his other books, I liked some of them better than others but I think they’ll be very popular – Theo is the up to date Nancy Drew.


We’ve been inundated with basketball which does help pass the time.  We watched the Women’s ACC tournament and then the Men’s ACC Tournament where the UVA men won and became the season and tournament champs.  This picture is of David in serious relaxed mode watching the play.

We were binge watching the first round of the NCAA these last few days when we, like many other basketball fans, were dumbfounded when the #1 team in the Nation lost in the first round to the #16 seed.  That’s never been done before but I don’t think it’s an honor UVA will be talking about.  Thank goodness it was on too late at night for us to actually watch what I hear was a seriously pathetic game on the part of UVA and a stellar game by UMBC.   Boy are we disappointed.  We were really looking forward to finally following a winning team all the way and not having to go to sports bars to do it since we have cable right here.  This was our one bright part of being “stuck”.   Thanks Cavaliers. 

We’ll still be watching and rooting for the ACC but I doubt one of them will take it all unfortunately.   Sure put a dent in our brackets and our basketball fun. 

On a brighter note, because we have an address for two months, we are able to easily receive mail without having to have it forwarded.  My wonderful friend Laurie sent me some postcards to color with my birthday gel glitter pens.   Something to cheer me up and it worked.  One finished, one in progress.  Back to it as soon as I finish this blog.   Thanks Laurie, you’re the best!

More from my daily walks:

I’ve found that many of the folks in Quail Run are either full time residents or on the seasonal plan and spend 5 or 6 months here every winter.  Some full time residents stay all year long and some rent their site for the year but drive back to their sticks and bricks in the summer time.  Those folks are usually from Michigan or Wisconsin, Minnesota or New York.

You can obviously come for as long as you like from one night to one week to two months or more..  Talking to folks at the dinners many said they first came for a few days and came back for a month the next year and then 2 months and then . . . .  

If you come for just a few  nights you’ll be assigned to a nice end spot in the older section.  Two slots open when I took this picture.  


I was taking that picture from this road along the far side of the park.  One day while I was walking along it a red shouldered hawk flew right in front of me, landed on a tree branch and proceded to eat whatever it had just killed.  Couldn ‘t see who the dinner was and unfortunately didn’t have my camera.  Really a bummer since I was so close.  But it was a great sighting none the less.


If  I wanted I could  walk right on out of the gates.  The mail boxes are under the red roof just before the gate on the right and the little store with pretty much any last minute need you might have is outside the gate on the right.  Its roof isn’t quite so red.


In order to spend this second month, March, at Quail I had to cancel two weeks at both Wekiwa Springs and at O’Leno State Parks.  We had hoped to meet up with Eric and Laurel at O’Leno so that was particularly sad.  But just the loss of another month of in nature hiking was sad along with the cancellation penalties.

With the laundramat right across the street it was easy to walk over and do the laundry a couple of days ago.  Just outside the building were what I’ve learned are the park’s nesting Sandhill Crane pair.  This picture of the laundry and the section of grass they were grazing was taken from our patio across the street a few days earlier. 


On laundry day the cranes were in the shadows.  That’s the shuffleboard court behind them.  They are obviously very used to people since they never even raised their heads as I walked by and eventually up toward them until I called out “yoohoo” to see if they’d put their heads up into the sunshine.  As you can tell, it sort of worked.  What you can’t really tell is how big they are. 

Hey you guys

Yeah you.


Not over there, over here


Guess he’s had enough of me..  Off to play shuffle board?  Or to the pool?



That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.  As you can imagine David has been occupied with the last visits from the home health nurse and numerous doctor follow up visits.  Just keeping track of his medications and their changes is nearly a full time job.

But I’m confident in saying that the best thing that has happened, even topping the food, was the park’s Car Show one Saturday.  The cars were parked all over including in our driveway and across the street from us.


Winnona is surrounded.

There were all kinds of cars here.  Big and little, hot rods and antiques.  David sure wishes Roger had been here for this.  I’m just not the car enthusiast those two are.



How about a 1929 Mercedes.  Did Bugsy or Al drive one of these?


Here’s one of David’s favorites.  How about those white walls?


Another favorite


Hard to get a picture of this one with such a shine.  We’re in the shade and I don’t think you can even see the “mascot” sitting on the top of the back seat like a beauty queen.


The main street is lined with cars from the gate to the interstate wall.  David gets a lot of steps walking around several times during the day as more cars come.  Show up and register seems to be the plan.


A 1948 Cadillac.  What a beauty!!  Panels, white walls, chrome, tail lights and a speedometer an octogenarian could love. 



The owner of the 1957 Ford Skyliner demonstrated the retractable hard top.  Better not have any luggage in the trunk.


The owners are partying with their cars on our side street as I head back home.  Every street and driveway off of the park’s main road was full of cars.  Residents had access to their homes with their cars from the back streets. But if you were on the main street, you had to vacate.   I’d moved Ruby over on the new side into the driveway of someone who was away for the week-end.  So now we have a blue mustang.   At least for the day!


In addition to the HUGE basketball upset we had one more bit of bad news and it was much worse. Not as bad as bypass surgery though.

On our way to Hillsborough River for the Myeloma doctor visit this year, we got a crack in the lower corner of the driver’s side front windshield.  We intended to have it fixed at Hillsborough and had contacted the insurance company about getting it replaced.  But then the heart situation showed up out of the blue and it wasn’t until this week that we had enough room to breath and have the repairman come out and take a look.

Windshield bummerLooked like a simple thing to Mike Howard from RV Glass Tech until he took off the rubber facing over the frame.  We’d had someone else look at this earlier becasue of the possibility of rust being a factor and they had said it was just minor. 

But Mike is much more experienced and showed us clear holes in the windshield frame.  He said he’d seen a lot of this on Winnebago Motorhomes. 

I love Winnona and have loved Winnebago.  But this is the one place where I would definitely NOT recommend Winnebago.  The rusting out of windshield frames is a known problem which they do not stand behind.  They should have done a recall a long time ago. We didn’t know about this when we bought Winnona.  We didn’t have a clue about anything RV when we bought Winnona.

Mike said he could replace the glass but because of the rust he could not warranty it.  He recommended that we take it into a collision place in Clearwater – 45 miles away – that he said could repair the frame and he would go there and put the glass in while it was in their shop.  Talking with the owner of Collisiontec RV, he said they could fit us in on April 1, it would take 5 days and becasue of the fumes and metal work, we could not stay in the RV.  Cost was estimated to start at $1200 depending on what they find.  

That means of course that I had to find a hotel room in Clearwater which is happily near the beach but unhappily March and April are Spring Break Months.  Add $600 to the bill to stay for 4 days in the least expensive thing that had reviews talking about clean rather than dirty with bedbugs.  I looked into waiting until we are in Virginia to have this done but Charlottesville is SO not an RV town that the closest place is on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains and not nearly as highly recommended as Mike and Collisiontec.   SO . . . to Clearwater we go. 

On a lighter note, last night, the hot water heater went out.  We both just looked at each other.   REALLY?   This morning David found it was a fuse.  Whew . . . hope we dodged a bullet and something isn’t waiting in the wings.

And that’s the latest from our wonderful winter of 2018.

Finishing February

Thursday February 22-28, 201                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Quail Run RV Park                                                                           Another BIG Bump in the Road

Wesley Chapel, Florida                                                                    Exciting Wildlife Encounter at Oscar Scherer


I think rather than call this situation another big bump in the road I should have called it another huge hole we fell in since that’s how it feels.  We were moving right along inspite of the medical difficulties and then we just fell into a hole.

We’ve been here at Quail Run since February 7.  Seems like a Very long time.

So what did we do during David’s first week out of the hospital?  Mostly he slept and did what walking he could.  He did some reading and his breathing and other exercises. 

The Home Health Care nurse has been here twice and says she will come twice more.  The Physcial Therapist  has been here and says David’s breathing and mobility is great so he doesn’t need PT; that he can move into Cardiac Rehab as soon as his Cardiologist approves.

Other than reading, I’m  walking, cooking, grocery shopping, reading and filing books in the Park library. 

I’m out most mornings at dawn.  The skies are lovely,  what I can see of them over the wall separating us from the I-75 interstate over which the sun rises.



This picture, taken from up the road looking back toward Winnona on the left, is about as much of a sunrise as I get.


Over the course of these weeks I’ve done my usual 10,000+ steps daily around and around the park.  David built up to walking for 2.4 miles and 6365 steps one day by the end of his first week back. He’s been a little less determined since then so his mileage and steps have been fewer.  He says it’s too cold out.  HA!  Otherwise his recovery seems to be on track to this point.  Follow up cardiac appointments are in March.

Quail Run has about 300 sites and two different looking sections.  The “old” section has many lovely Live Oak Trees which provide wonderful shade as I walk up and down the streets over and over.

park map

Here’s the map of my daily travels. Before I explain, notice the pink star at the pond on the right.  I’ll refer to that later.

As for my route,  I set out from Winnona.  She’s the Blue Star upper right near the yellow number 1.  I head along the red path.  Up and down each tree  lined street until I get to the “top” .  There I cross over to the “new section”, with fewer trees, at yellow #2  and head up and down the red path.  When I get to the Green Arrow at Yellow #3, I start back going up and down and up and down the other way. 

I follow the green arrows to #4, then to  #5 and then back to # 2.  I cross over to the old section and the take same route backwards to Winnona where I turn around and .  do from #1 to #2 again and from #2 to #1 again.  By the time I’m back at the Blue star and Winnona I’ve done 4 times up and down the streets in the old section between numbers 1 and 2 and twice in the new section.   Confused?  All that, and it still isn’t 10000 K steps.  But you can see why I get pretty sick of it.

Here’s some of what I see in the older tree lined streets between #1 and #2.  The trees are beautiful and much appreciated when that sun starts beating down.


We were on a street like this when we were here in 2012 dealing with David’s stem cell transplant and boy was it a good thing since we were here in July and August.  Having the shade kept our electric bills from going through the roof. 


Looking up Quail Run’s main street.  The old section is on the right and the new is on the left.


Here’s the new section with its much smaller trees.  No dirt, no sand, no gravel but I still don’t  like it as well.



Quail run advertises “No rig too big” and clearly in the new section there are some huge ones with giant tractors.


Giant rig, tiny toad.



This cab has a plaque of Jesus in the center of the dashboard windshield.  He follows you with his eyes as you walk by.


Not a great picture but the best I could do with my phone which was all I had at the time.  It’s actually kind of spooky.


The only really big tree in the new section.  It’s a beauty.


Remember the pink star I mentioned earlier when I was talking about the map?  Well this is what that “pond” looks like.  When we were here 6 years ago it was a real pond.  Not sure what’s happened.  As you can see it’s right on the edge of the interstate fence.


But the Sandhill Cranes don’t seem to care about either of those things.   I hear them nearly every morning flying over and calling.  I don’t always see them on the ground but when I do they are hands down the highlight of my walk.





When I get to this point on my last loop, I can hardly wait to be finished.  Only one more street down and one more up.   Winnona is there on the left just across from the white truck on the right parked in front of the laundromat.


Thank goodness there is Winnona to come home to.