Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another “Friend” is Gone

No, not really anything for which to be sad. The “friend” was a “thing.”

For most of my life, outside of my love for family (both bloodline family and “family of the heart”), and of course our Heavenly Father, mostly what I have loved are pets, photography, and music. In the case of pets, we have the misfortune that their lives aren’t as long as ours, so we have to occasionally mourn their loss. At present, TJ and Lady (our two MinPins) are 14-years-old and 13-years old respectively. Even now they bring us comfort and joy.

Photography in my case began in earnest in 1967 when I bought my first SLR camera, an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic. Over the years I was to also receive as a gift or buy two others; a Minolta XG-1 and a Canon T50. With the assortment of lenses I had for all three, one would be equipped with a set length lens, one would have a zoom lens, and the Canon would be used with the standard lens as the “fast shooter,” since it had an automatic film advance feature.

When it came time to downsize and sell so much of our stuff for the life of living in an RV, the hardest thing for me to get rid of were those cameras. They were like members of the family to me, even though I hadn’t used them in 11 years as a result of the technology of digital photography. Equipment valued new at several hundred dollars went in the garage sale for $35. While it was troubling to eventually see them go, I knew it was going to a young lady who was interested in learning photography from the ground up.

Music has been in my life since I was a child, even though I can’t play an instrument or read music. My mother always had a record changer in the house and music was on all day long, every day.

While my interest in a music genre has changed over the years, the love of music has never changed. Back again in 1967, I began to delve into the world of stereos made up of separate components instead of “all-in-one” systems. My latest came in the early ‘90’s with the purchase of some Radio Shack equipment. All of those components were with me until we began to think of downsizing.

Prior to that, Jo got tired of the monstrous speakers that I had and insisted that we buy new ones. So, an investment was made in some great sounding Boston Acoustic tower speakers and a sub-woofer. Peace again reigned in the home because they didn’t take up so much space.

Then, along came the RV lifestyle decisions. Even though the Mobile Suites has a very good system, my plan was to keep my component system. We even carried all of it out to the coach and compared the Mobile Suite’s system to the component system. The component system still exceeded the sound quality of the Mobile Suite’s system, so we made plans to keep them and had them in the coach.

Truthfully though, we don’t listen to the system as much as we did because we really aren’t around the coach enough to really enjoy it. Likely, that won’t change until we can actually retire, which is still at least a couple of years away.

However, with the need for a workplace area for Jo with her embroidery and sewing machines, we decided to build her a sewing center. After seeing one built by Jerry at the WagginTailsRV blog, we decided to build something similar.

Now, keep in mind that our sewing center is NOWHERE near as nice as Jerry and Carol’s, it will suffice for us. The image you will soon see is of a center that we haven’t put on any finish yet. We need to try to find a stain or finish that will come close to matching the wood in our Mobile Suites. If necessary, we will see if we can get in touch with DRV Suites and purchase something from them that matches.


Since we still need our love seat, it was decided to place ours in the rear of the coach, next to Jo’s Lane Euro-chair and ottoman. As it turns out, there is plenty of room for all of that to sit in the back. We only need to turn the chair, push it against the wall, and put the ottoman in the seat when it comes time to move the coach.


So, while I am somewhat dejected that my beloved stereo is gone, it makes room for my beloved wife’s interests. The stereo has also gone to a nephew, whose life has been mixed with a lot of trouble and grief. Hopefully, it will give him many years of enjoyment as well.

Besides, I think the stereo, stereo cabinet, and all speakers all weighed more than her embroidery machine and work station.

Similar to Jerry and Carol’s, the roller cabinets will be removed and turned around and the machine placed on the floor in the center part for transport. Also, it has been built by us and our youngest son, Eric.

As always, family looks after family. We must sometimes sacrifice, but it is usually for the better.


  1. Great job on the cabinet for Jo. I was thrilled to know that I inspired someone with one of my RV Mods.
    I bet you will find that Cherry stain matches pretty close to what you have in your RV. You could remove a small cabinet door and take that to Lowe's or Home Depot to match the stain that way.

  2. Well, you have every reason to be copied. It was a good idea. However, we cheated and had everything cut at Lowes and then assembled inside the fifth wheel. We didn't want to have to take pictures of a cabinet halfway in the doorway.

    Oh, a side note. I've begun reading Donna's blog. She is a humorous writer...DiD's indeed.

  3. Hey, nice work with the sewing center! I empathize on the loss of your "friend;" my coffee table and loveseat we sold when getting ready to hit the road were two pals that had to go somewhere else. We, too, are considering furniture mods to our fiver in getting rid of our sofa and doing something else with that space.


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