2014 wasn’t the travel filled year we would have liked. We did travel to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas but that’s the extent of our 2014 RV travels. We stayed longer in our home state than we originally planned because of selling our sticks and bricks house, which finally happened December 3rd, 2014. Probably near the top of our list of God’s blessings this year was the house sale.
I’ll break down the highlights by month starting with,
January 2014 – Spent time in Mississippi at TLC Resort in Pass Christian. Kim and Chip came to visit us there and Chip and Madisyn came to visit us.
We discovered the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoyed touring it which included a visit to the pottery buildings,
In mid January we traveled to Florida. Our first stop was at Suncoast Designs in Hudson, Florida to have most of our windows removed, refinished/resealed, and reinstalled. A lot of “fog” had built up inside those windows and when they reinstalled the windows they looked new.
With the window refinishing complete we headed to Bee’s RV Resort in Clermont, Florida.
Three highlights of our stay there included
Discovering Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory where they use a mixture of cream and sugar, add the ingredients you want to the mixture and then hit it with some nitrogen,
Attending our first RV Park Worship Service and found we really like that concept, and
Taking our first wine factory tour and having a blast. It was at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyard where after the tour we enjoyed their wine tastings. We ventured outside, where we discovered a sprawling lawn with a bandstand on one side, a food court on the other and people sitting on the lawn enjoying the food and the music. Roy got a gyro and I got a vegetable plate, sat on the grass enjoyed the music and had a good time!
While in Florida we made a trip to Universal Orlando and had a wonderful time there as always. We walked, rode and played as much as two old folks with aching bones can do and enjoyed every minute of it. Here are pictures from that adventure:
Universal Day One
Universal Day Two
February, 2014 – Visited our friends Russ and Annie in St. Augustine where we parked Dora in the yard next to their sticks and bricks house which is just a couple of blocks off the Atlantic Ocean. We heard the beautiful ocean sounds from our RV and enjoyed some beautiful times on and around the ocean beach. Russ took us one afternoon for a ride in their car on the beach. What a fun experience that was! We enjoyed some good quality visiting time with our friends and even attended Annie’s yoga class for cancer patients. A first for Roy and I. We spent two days touring St. Augustine. Some of the things we saw were the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, The Fountain of Youth Park which is a big place with lots of exhibits and beautiful peacocks, Flagler College, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street (a walking shopping street), and San Sebastian Winery where we took a tour and enjoyed our first ever class on wine tasting, St. Augustine is an amazing old town steeped in history and we enjoyed every minute of touring it.From St. Augustine we headed to Arrowhead Campgrounds in Marianna, Florida where we enjoyed seeing these beautiful bald cypress trees.
We spent Valentines there and enjoyed a Valentine’s Dinner with a nice group at Arrowhead.
We had Dora weighed for the first time and found she is well below the maximum weight limits!
In February I posted a blog post about Things I Deeply Believe in. You can read this post at https://rosalynandroy.com/2014/02/12/what-i-believe/
Around this time in early 2014 we joined the RVillage family as followers and as part-time occasional employees. We love RVillage and encourage any RVer or hope to be RVers to join – FREE – RVillage.com. Check it out!
On to Robertsdale, Alabama for two weeks at Wilderness RV Park. We enjoyed a Mardi Gras parade in nearby Mobile with Amy, Richard and Ricky Geist. Very different from a New Orleans parade but still lots of fun!
Roy revised our Dora and the Explorers logo and this is the result – cool right!!
Late in February we came back westward and stayed at TLC Wolf River Resort for three weeks. One of those weeks we were blessed to have Madisyn stay with us.
This visit included Madisyn’s 5th birthday and associated parties (yes multiple!)
March and April, 2014 – Once the excitement of Madisyn’s birthday was over we spent some time in our own sticks and bricks driveway. It was the time of year that I usually did gardening pruning and preparing them for their glorious blooming in the spring so we did that this year to get the gardens ready for putting the house up for sale in early summer.
We moved over to Jellystone Yogi Bear for a while and of course got some good visiting time in with Chip’s family.
Roy created new business cards for us.
We made our way to San Diego, TX at the end of March where we stayed for 6 weeks tending a ranch for a couple visiting Europe. We fed peacocks, chickens, guineas, dogs, cats and watered flowers and vegetable plants and mowed the grass. In between we explored the ranch on the ATV and were amazed at the flowers and beauty we found in that dry place. We disliked greatly the heat (one day in April it was 106 degrees), strong winds and sand storms that seemed constant. We did like the solitude and being in a totally different place than we were use to.
We went to Corpus Christi and toured the USS Lexington, a naval flight carrier that is now a museum in the water there.
While settled in Texas for a while we took the time to replace our RV toilet. We were tickled with this new addition!
May, 2014 – As we left the ranch I drove Dora for the farthest I have so far!
Bishop’s Landing in Willis Texas – beautiful wonderful resort. We enjoyed some peaceful time there feeding squirrels, enjoying the cool breeze off the lake and exploring the area. Seeing a crawfish festival nearby captured our attention. It was interesting and big (like all of Texas is) and we paid $6.50 a pound with a small piece of corn and half a small potato. I’m pretty sure they cook it quite differently than we do. They put red pepper on it after it’s cooked and it didn’t taste like it was cooked in salted water.
We arrived back in Louisiana to end May. We found the most delightful place at Quiet Oaks RV Park in Kinder, LA. This is by far the quietest, most restful, well-maintained, yet quaint and pretty RV resort we’ve stayed at.
This isn’t our RV in the picture but it shows how pretty the place is.
June through early December – 2014
We spent the months of early June through early December with our RV parked in our side yard in Hammond Louisiana while our sticks and bricks house was on the market. The first month and sporadically throughout the rest of the months we spent time doing work on and in the house and gardens.
Roy took a full-time temporary job at Southeastern Louisiana University repairing computer hardware for which I am most grateful! This is what he looked like by the end of most days after working at Southeastern all day and then working at the house all evening.
In his off time, in addition to the mountains of work done on the house, we did the following:
Roy had a successful surgery to remove lumps from his chest and back.
We traveled to Mississippi to visit Walter’s Peach Farm and stock up on peaches and nectarines. My first time freezing peaches was really successful and we’re still enjoying eating them!
I helped with our church, Trinity Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School, and as always received a blessing from being with these amazing children.
Roy pressure washed Dora’s RV engine.
We spent time with Madisyn doing all sorts of things.
Later in the summer I helped with Trinity’s “His Kids Special Needs Day Camp”. These children are exceptional bright lights and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them.
I learned about getting greatly discounted pricing on brand name prescriptions which made my year!
I learned a lot about online job searches and even got involved (knowingly, so I could document it) in a job scam. Was kinda fun seeing how it unfolded!
Madisyn’s first day of big school (kindergarten) made us realize how very fast she is growing up.
We started our search for our new home. We looked in all the surrounding towns at houses on land and land alone where we might build, or put a modular home on to rent out. Our wonderful real estate agent Jamie Johnson guided us well!
We were reminded why living in Louisiana during the summer is NOT FOR US!
August brought football season and we just knew it was going to be “the big year” for our teams; Southeastern Lions, New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers. More on that later in the year!
I wrote more blogs about topics close to my heart than I did about our travels.
In September I started a new blog post called Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays to bring some smiles, giggles and a warm heart to those in need of it. Check it out at: wackywonderfulwednesdays.wordpress.com
It is published every Wednesday. At first it was part of our Dora and the Explorer blog, but later in the year it moved to its current location.
We saw Madisyn practice in her cheering class and attended her Open House night at big school.
We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kim, Braxton and Bentley better. They have blessed our lives immensely!
Showed support for our New Orleans Saints with our new family socks!
Went with Chip’s family (Kim, Madisyn, Braxton and Bentley) to Ms. Heather’s Pumpkin patch where we played with the children and enjoyed the time together. This little family brought so much joy to our lives this year.
We became RVillage Ambassadors which is a new role we’ve accepted to spread the RVillage word as we travel – when we get to travel again!!
One of the air conditioning units had an electrical fire and stopped working totally, and the other stopped working properly. Roy diagnosed the problem and replaced the needed parts again proving his brilliance once again!
We made the decision to replace our old Splendide Washer/Dryer unit with this brand new beauty! Larger capacity and it works great!
I attended a concert by William Carey University Chorale at our home church, Trinity Baptist Church. AMAZING!
Roy replaced all our ceiling light fixtures with new LED lights and covers.
My eye specialist diagnosed my left eye with having macular degeneration but thankfully it’s not bad enough to need treatment. It causes the vision in my left eye to be slightly wavy, but the right eye is fine and helps that from being too big of a vision problem.
We received two stinky offers on the house which we rejected.
Late in October we received a good offer FINALLLLLLLLY on our house from a nice young couple and WE ACCEPTED!!!
After an extensive property search and a couple of near misses we found our little slice of Heaven here on earth on Rohner Road in Amite, Louisiana abound 15 minutes up I-55 and another 15 minutes down Highway 16 ! Almost an acre, on a pond, cows as neighbors, rolling hills, babbling brook. What else could we ask for!
d upon a set of house plans for our new small house and decided to hire Ronnie Glover as our Construction Project Manager for the house we’ll build on the property we found in Amite.
In November I started a third blog about “Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s”. It started out on Dora’s site, like the Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays one, but moved to its own site at : rosalynsalzheimersblog.wordpress.com
. I hope to share our experience caring for Mama with Alzheimer’s and other people’s information that was shared with me plus helpful info I find on the internet.
We purchased a Onan Generator Auto Start control for when we are boon docking.
At Thanksgiving I helped with Chip, Kim and Madisyn and their church Soul’s Harbor, serve over 2000 boxed lunches to people in the Hammond area at Thanksgiving Servolution.
Attended several worship services with Chip and Kim at Soul’s Harbor. Amazing church growing fast and moving into the building above this month!
Roy especially, and me a little, spent extensive time checking off the items on the home inspectors nit picky list. These new buyers wanted and got a perfect house!
We enjoyed hosting our last family gathering at the house in Hammond. My sister’s children and grandchildren joined our family at our very empty house. Our large back patio was fine for all of us to fellowship and enjoy each others company which digging into banana splits!
December, 2014 was indeed a busy month.
We said goodbye to our sticks and bricks house in Hammond, turning it over to the new owners in early December. A bitter sweet moment leaving behind good and not so good memories at this beautiful place we called home for several years. This is the best move Roy and I as a couple could make and we thank God for His constant presence with us through out this process.
We parked at Berryland Campers in Hammond for a few days and enjoyed a wonderful visit from our RV friends Russ and Annie. We showed them around our hometown and took them to church with us which we all enjoyed.
Russ and Annie went with us to see Trinity’s Children’s Choir Christmas music presentation.
Russ and Annie at Chip’s house meeting his family. The little boys just feel in love with them!
We signed the documents making us the legal owners of one beautiful piece of property in Amite, Louisiana where we will build a new house along with a pad with hookups for our RV. With all our permits obtained, the slab form built and the well completed, we sat for a couple of weeks without any construction because of the hard rains and holidays when the workers wanted to be home with their families.
We spent our time wisely chopping, sawing, mowing and finally manicuring (not finished with that yet) the bushes, weeds, small trees to create a beautiful setting for our new home. Roy spent almost every day for two weeks on this and I helped! My main job was clearing out the massive amounts of heavily thorned bushes and vines around the pine trees. The picture below is before I started!
View of the pond from under the pine trees after I cleaned out all the brush from that area. I’m about 2/3 way finished now!
Our son Chip was in “One Night in Bethlehem” a scene by scene drama of the events surrounding the birth of Christ.
We went with Chip’s family to see the “One Night in Bethlehem” presentation and recommend it highly for future years in Hammond.
We received a blessing when hearing our church, Trinity’s Adult Choir Christmas music. Such a glorious thing seeing these people I love so much lifting their hearts in praise of their Lord! And they got new choir robes – whoot whoot!
Our Southeastern Lion’s didn’t make it to the playoffs, LSU’s Tigers played in only a very minor bowl game and unfortunately our New Orleans Saints will not play in a playoff game this year. Very disappointing season for the Saints, but like we use to say for years, There’s always next year!
Madisyn was in her first parade in Ponchatoula, LA for Christmas with her dance class, so of course we went and enjoyed the time there with Chip’s family.
We experienced three weeks of boon docking at our new property before we got utilities hooked up (weather, holidays) and learned a lot from it to prepare us for the future when we go out to the deserts!
Dirt was spread all around and the forms built for our house and for the patio next to our RV!! Gravel for the RV pad and for the houses driveway was spread.
My Facebook account was hacked (from my phone, left unattended!) for the first by these goofy people!
Our well pump was completed giving us water, though only in theory, since we didn’t have electricity to get it to the RV for a while.
Attended the Loranger Christmas Parade with Madisyn, her mom and family. Enjoyed jambalaya and hot chocolate afterwards at their church River Rock. Madisyn sat on Santa’s lap afterwards and whispered into his ear her Christmas wish list!
Madisyn was in her first ever Christmas play at River Rock Church which we throughly enjoyed watching, then eating with their church family afterwards. She’s the only one in green (with a white jacket) in the picture!
Our Chauvin family Christmas gathering was at Chip’s house this year (way larger than our RV) with plenty of space for the kiddos to enjoy their new toys.
RVillage.com went from brand new to over 12,000 followers this year! RVers are loving it! I’m thinking they will go over 13,000 by early 2015.
We went through variations of digging out the ditch by the pond and putting a culvert in. A sudden flood of water from nearby properties draining into our pond caused a emergency situation with Roy in the middle of it trying to save our culverts from floating into the pond.
Click on the picture below to see video of the water flowing into the pond right past the culvert!
Roy had to remove the culvert (after the storm passed) and hand dug (with a shovel of course) the ditch deeper, wider and more level, put the culvert (which is actually two culverts put together to get the length we needed) in and secured it in a way only his brillance could come up with!!! This man’s abilities know no end!
We obtained a 911 address for Dora which is now 60124 Rohner Road, Amite, LA 70422. Here’s our new mailbox!
ur year ended with us getting power and water to the RV and not soon enough end to our boon docking experience here.!
We ate dinner with our church family on New Year’s Eve – yum, yum!
That’s our year in review for 2014. When I started this post I thought it would be short because we spent so much time parked in our sticks and bricks yard but I was wrong. A lot has happened this year.
We’re moving in the right direction with our home and our lives.
I am most thankful for the addition of Kim, Braxton, and Bentley to our family (not they aren’t married yet but they will be). They have returned a joy to our lives that’s been missing for a while. We have a family again and it is a good one. I know God will bless us all as the years continue.
I made a New Years Resolution, first in many years, to let go of trying to fix a situation that has caused great heartache and stress in recent years. Not saying I love the people in the situation any less, just that trying to fix the situation is a thing of the past.
After spending three days working on this year in review blog, I’m making another one. That is to work on the 2015 year end post a little each month, so it’s not overwhelming early next year!
Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2012 and 2013 are below.
The plans we’ve made so far for 2015 are only two – build the house and rent it out, then travel out west for many months!
Happy New Years everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin! We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2015!
Click on the links below to go there!
Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays
Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published on Fridays