Long overdue update on the site. As you read on you will understand why in the Jan--Feb update.

Last visit to the dentist. He fitted my partial plate and by the time I got outside I had to take it out. Gag reflex kicked in & I couldn't handle it.

  We headed out for our annual DC Veteran's day visit and it rained all the way. Again we left the dog with Kay's dad and drove the truck. At one point my wipers quit and the only way to restart them was to switch to high speed and then back to low speed. Might run for 30 sec or 30 min before I would have to do it again. What a pain. Have tried to duplicate it since, to try and figure what happened but no luck. Probably won't show up again til I hit a daylong rain. Rest of trip was the same as past years BUT I did get to meet (& take a pic) of Ed (Too Tall) Freeman, a Medal of Honor awardee for his actions in Ia Drang. Ed was a chopper pilot and flew many runs into the valley with Bruce Crandall (played by Greg Kinnear in the movie). I feel they were responsible for saving many lives by their actions.

We also had some very special guests  on fri & sat nights. Fri we had 5 1st Cav troopers from Walter Reed Hospital visiting with us. They were sponsored by a local motorcycle club. On Sat at the banquet we had 3 soldiers as guests. 2 from Iraq & 1 from Afghanistan.

Announcements were made about next years banquet which will be the 40th anniversary of the battles in Ia Drang. Should be a great one! Already made our hotel reservations.

After we returned from DC we headed to Tunica, Ms where we met Bob & Donna to travel together to Paynes Creek Historic State Park where we are volunteering again this year. We celebrated our (Kay & I) 30th anniversary with dinner at Harrahs casino. From there we headed to the SKPs RV Park in Summerdale, Al for a few days. Summerdale is a little north of Gulf Shores which took a big hit from hurricane Ivan. We drove down to Gulf Shores and it was a ghost town! Unbelievable the damage that was still very visible. All the condos, apts & businesses along the coast were damaged severely. The pics I took do kind of give you an idea of the damage. And this was a couple of months later. Sure had us wondering what to expect when we got to Paynes Creek as they had the other 3 hurricanes pass over them.

As we were traveling from Summerdale we heard weather/news reports of a tornado that hit there about 1 hour after we had left. We drove in rain and were just ahead of the bad weather all the way to Old Town, Fl.

  In Old Town we visited with Ron & Judy Benton. We stayed again at Suwanee River Hideaway campground.  Ron took Kay & Donna for a plane ride over the area. Had a nice visit with them as usual.

Arrived in Bowling Green, Fl at the state park on the first. Bob & Barb Tydd had arrived a few minutes before the 4 of us. Good timing! Spent that evening & the next day setting things up for our 3 month stay. Then we started working. Lots of thing to do due to the hurricanes. The buildings stood up real well except for shingles missing but the park itself was heavily damaged. Lots of trees down, blocking trails. The whole park had flooded also.

The electric we put in last year for 2 sites was down. A tree had knocked the pole down. So that was the first on the list. The first week we were there, Rich & Diane Emond stopped by for a visit. Always good to see them. We had dinner with them one night at the Elks and next night at a local Chinese restaurant.

  The park was hosting the local "Toys for Tots" this year. They had a semi loaded in the parking lot. On the day, we helped unload the truck, sort and get ready for the kids. It was hectic. They had many more kids than they expected. And it seems like they all came at once. The Sheriff's dept had to be called to handle the traffic on the highway. There were many more vehicles than parking spots. WOW! What a day! We did finally get through it alive. I believe that "Toys for Tots" is for a good cause but I had a problem with people bringing their kids for the free toys and they were driving brand new vehicles. One was a Hummer. And it wasn't just a couple of them. In listening to these people, they brought their own kids, they were not helping the needy kids to get to the park. Somehow that is just not right in my opinion.

There is an old 1 ton truck that the park uses but they were having problems with it not charging the batteries. So I took that as one of my projects. Got it working after troubleshooting for a couple of days. It was a combination of a couple of things but mainly poor grounds. I also rewired the connection for the trailer. Then had to do the trailer. Replace lights and some wires. Thats the sort of things I did for Dec.

A few days before Christmas, Kay went down to Jared (nephew) & Julia's house in Ft. Myers. They had a baby (Ryan) in Aug and Kay was anxious to see him. Plus the rest of the family was going to be there for Christmas instead of Savannah this year. Later in the week, Bob, Donna & I went down for a couple of days. Jared fixed a 'low country boil' and it was wonderful! That boy learned good from his dad.

At the end of Dec was Renee's (ranger) last day working. She quit so she could pursue her music. She had quite a few gigs lined up and was keeping busy with her fiddling. And I can understand why---she is good! We put together a surprise party for her. Tracy made a birdhouse for her, Donna burnt some pics onto it and then we all signed it. She did a great job. Make sure you check out the pics.

Last thing for the month, we went to the Elks for New Years Eve. We really enjoyed ourselves. This lodge has some great people.

Thru one of the many forums I visit I found this page. It has lots of smileys and they are easily inserted into emails. Just make sure you navigate to the page using Internet Explorer. Find the smiley you want, right click, copy, go to your email, right click, paste. Thats it.

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