As most Americans do, I take time today to remember our country's veterans and the sacrifices they have made to ensure our freedoms and way of life. Three of my five brothers are veterans, and my oldest son is a Lt. Col in the Reserve Army (with several deployments). I know a lot of readers are vets, and I salute you today and every day for your service.
Dinner last night was great, and we sat around in various conversations - you can't get a few of us together without the conversation turning to politics, social issues, and the like. It's fun for all of us, and while everyone is a unique individual, we are all made of the same cloth.
When I was younger and living back in Cincinnati, we usually all gathered at our parents' home on Sunday afternoons. There was ALWAYS a political discussion which ended in someone storming out of the house, and then slipping back in when he or she had cooled off. My dad was a real instigator and would take an opposite side of anything to get a discussion (argument) going. With 5 hot-headed sons, (and 3 equally hot-headed daughters) he knew which buttons to push. It drove my mother crazy!
There were no arguments last night, just sociability and fellowship. Steve and Megan's house is beautiful and on an incredibly spacious lot, although it was already dark when we arrived and I'm looking forward to going back in daylight and enjoying the back yard. It is so strange to have daylight fade away by 5pm, and we haven't even reached the shortest day of the year.
I forgot my camera, so I have no photos to post. Today is the day Ara returns to Philadelphia and while I hate to see her leave, I know she will be back in a month.
I've been seriously thinking about trying to give my house to someone (as it was given to me) and finding an apartment to live in. I like the privacy I currently have and not having any common walls, but I just don't want the maintenance any more. Plus there are still so many things that should be done to upgrade this place, but as always, I prefer to spend my money traveling across the country at least once a year.
The coming year will be no exception and I'll be making the drive to New York in early spring and returning in mid to late June. I've thought about flying, but the beauty of driving is that I can explore roads I've never been on, stop at National Forests and Parks, visit folks along the way, and just enjoy the beauty that lies in between California and New York. I definitely plan to do some camping this next time, and have just about decided to have one of the back seats removed so I can have a place to throw down my sleeping bag in case of rain. There were several times on my last trip that it rained heavily and I was in a tent that leaked. I have two good tents this time, a smaller one (2 person) and the larger one (4 person). The advertised number of persons that can fit in the tent is greatly exaggerated by the manufacturers, so I really have a 1 person and a 2 or 3 person tent.
Of course, with a tent I am self-limited to campgrounds or places where other campers are in the vicinity. I find I'm more cautious in my older age, but maybe that is because I no longer travel with a dog. It's about all I can to do hold myself back from studying the maps and meticulously planning routes that will be discarded as soon as I hit the road, and decide to take the road less traveled. But to me, half the fun of a road trip is in the planning.
DON'T MISS HIS SENSE OF HUMOR
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