Monday, January 30, 2023



I finished John Steinbeck's book Travels With Charley today.  It was another book that I wish had not ended.  As I said before, I like his writing style, and although there has been criticism by some that say Steinbeck was never at some of the places he says he was and had not met and talked with some of the people he said he did this matters not a twizzle to me.  It is Steinbeck's way of speaking the unbridled thoughts in his head and it is his way of bringing those thoughts out in an intelligent readable way.  Unless written down at the time or recorded, I think it is very few writers if any, who can remember and recite word-for-word conversations that took place two minutes ago or twenty-two years ago.  And so what if his wife came to visit with him at times along his journey and so what if they stayed in nice hotels.  These nit-picking critics are obviously missing the heart of the book.  I understood why Steinbeck thought and spoke negatively about himself at times and that was refreshing for me to read.  His worries, his doubts, his fears, and his failings.  It is these things that made Travels With Charlie credible to me and in my mind, this made John Steinbeck a real person.  He didn't try to hide his shortcomings and I respect that.  And, I do agree with many of his thoughts and opinions.  At the conclusion of the book, I couldn't help but ask myself a question....if John Steinbeck were alive today, how would he write about the state of America now?  It is probably a good thing he didn't hang around long enough to see what is happening to his beloved country.


For the moment we are still caught in the cold snowy gray days of Winter.  There are the dog days of summer and here it now is the dog days of winter.  It's at that point where one begins hanging on by their fingernails.  Below is a short video (if it works) of our busy front yard this morning.

This afternoon we watched the movie First Man which follows astronaut Neil Armstrong's life from several months before the Moon Launch to his setting foot on the Moon and shortly after arriving safely back on earth.  The movie starred a convincing Ryan Gosling.  I thought it was a well-done movie on all fronts with attention paid to detail.  There are scenes that will tug at your heartstrings.    

I haven't said too much about our Bayfield Pines Park over the last bunch of months since the ownership changed.  Kelly and I aren't really in the loop of the Park's activities but I do have a few thoughts and opinions.  First and foremost, I think without a doubt there is not a single Park resident who is not pleased with the new owners, Sarah & Adam Verhoog.  Our slippery snowy Park roads are finally being looked after properly as compared to the way it was a year ago at this time.  All the old malfunctioning rag-taggle street lights have been replaced and not one piece of old junk machinery is left laying about anywhere.  The clubhouse has been updated with new flooring and paint and plans are afoot to enlarge it.  The mailroom has been improved and cleaned up and there are no piles of brush and tree limbs left scattered about all over the place anymore.  Adam has worked hard at cleaning up and improving a lot of the senseless destruction of the forest and has greatly improved the road surfaces.  Probably the biggest change in the Park is with the residents themselves.  With the encouragement of Sarah and Adam, residents have been coming together socially in an attempt to help and improve the Park not only physically but mentally as well.  Committees have been formed to plan social events and there are now activities in the clubhouse like bingo, darts, dances, yoga, cards, and afternoon tea get-togethers.  There are probably other positive things happening as well but as I said, Kelly and I are not in the loop.  Owners Sarah and Adam threw a big Christmas party for all the residents as well.  Compared to a year ago at this time our Park has improved a thousand percent.  Sometimes I wished Kelly and I were more into social things and being a part of the community but it just doesn't seem to be where we are at.  We were when we came here over twenty years ago, but that was twenty years ago.  Personally, I think it is great the direction of the Park and its people are headed.  To everyone I say....keep up the good work folks, you are all doing things right:))            


Bass singer Jeff Castellucci does Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold.  I like his videos and how he does all the visual harmonies with himself.

GROANER'S CORNER:(( Worried that they hadn't heard anything for days from the widow in the apartment next door, the mother said to her son, "Tony, would you go next door and see how old Mrs. Pierpoint is?"  A few minutes later, Tony returned.  "Well, is she all right?" asked the mother.  "She's fine, but she's rather annoyed with you," remarked Tony.  "At me?" the mother exclaimed. "Whatever for?"  Tony replied, "Mrs. Pierpoint said it's none of your business how old she is."


Teacher: "I have went. That's wrong isn't it?"  

Little Johnny: "Yes ma'am."  

Teacher: "Why is it wrong?"  

Little Johnny: "Because you ain't went yet."



  1. LOVED the video of your yard with all the creatures!
    - Mary

  2. Reading Travels with Charley shortly after it came out is what got me into this full time RV lifestyle attitude over forty years ago.

  3. So happy to see the juncos! And the video worked....lots of traffic out there. Yes, I think the spirit of Travels with Charley is what's important. And the humanity of it. Bleh to the details being nit-picked. And nice to hear things are so positive around where you are....Meanwhile, thanks for posting!! I always look forward to it.

  4. What plant still has green leaves? Loved the chatter in the video & you certainly have the squirrels!

    1. That is an old plastic decorative tree we had in the house. I took it outside and set it by the bird feeders a couple months ago.

  5. First, I want to say the Groaner's Corner was great today. Your video worked great and does show the wonderful activity around your yard. Glad to hear your new owners are taking a personal interest in getting things done. I'm with you. Slow on the "being active" part. It's time for the young to take the reigns. No guilty feelings needed. Wish I could get back to reading, but I've lost interest these past five years. Used to read every might for a bit.

  6. Love all your birds, especially all the activity at the feeder :-)) The horses in the falling snow are wonderful as well. You may not participate in the gatherings but are clearly soaking up all the positive energy that they generate in your community. Wonderful that the new owners have done so much to restore your space.