Friday, January 11, 2013

Cedar Key

We enjoyed our month in Crystal River. I wouldn't mind going back there. And I know Mary wouldn't either. It was beautiful, quiet, and had lots of interesting things to see and do. But time came to move on to our next spot, Cedar Key.

Just before we left Crystal Isles RV Park in Crystal River, we got a call from the American Red Cross. Mary and I both continue to be disaster response volunteers with the American Red Cross through the Badger and South Central Wisconsin Chapter (Western Wisconsin Region). After I retired and before Mary retired, we both received training and were involved as members of a Disaster Action Team for Rock County, going to fire scenes and wind storm victims to help people who were displaced due to whatever disaster had befallen them to find a place to stay until longer term arrangements could be made for them. I highly recommend volunteering with the American Red Cross in your area as a way to make a meaningful contribution to the well being of your community!

After we started full time RVing, Mary and I joined a group called the DOVES (Disaster Operations Volunteers, Escapees). It is a chapter within the RV club Escapees. All of us are Red Cross volunteers and we can be deployed from our motorhomes. I think it's even possible for us to be asked to drive to the scene of a disaster in our motorhome and set ourselves up to do some form of volunteer service through the local Red Cross chapter. We're still new in figuring out how this all works.

So, we got a call from the American Red Cross seeking to deploy both of us to the NY/NJ post-Hurricane Sandy disaster area for service. After discussing the request, we decided that only one of us should be gone from the motorhome at a time and since I'm more comfortable at this stage in handling the mechanics of the home we decided that Mary should be the one deployed. After we drove up to Cedar Key and got ourselves established, Mary flew to Newark, NJ, where she is deployed in the Monmouth, NJ, area doing Client Casework with the American Red Cross as a volunteer. Her deployment is expected to last for two weeks, January 3-17. I get to talk to her almost every night and she is working hard and long hours.

We did get to celebrate New Year's Eve with a whole bunch of new friends. There is a group of RVers called the NuRVers. They call themselves the next generation of RVers and many of them are younger folks who are full-time RVwea and working on the road. And a few of us are young-at-heart retired folks who enjoy the presence of the younger RVers in the discussion groups of NuRVers and in the gatherings. Anyway, Cedar Key has become a convergence of NuRVers. Back some time ago, I saw that Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy were going to be spending the month of January at Cedar Key at the Sunset Isle RV Park. And their description made this sound like a very special place. Simply stated, it is!And we had a delightful New Year's Eve celebration with this new group of friends. I think it was the first New Year's that we've actually made midnight in a long time!

I've (Forrest, since Mary left for NJ on Jan. 3) had several other enjoyable evenings with our NuRV friends. Watching sundowns is one of our favorite activities and the Sunset Isle RV Park is well named. We get a beautiful sunset almost every day. We also had a salsa cookoff (what a fantastic variety of salsas!). I made fried corn cakes to "cleanse the palate". They had a secret ingredient that even I didn't know they had until I told Mary what I had used to make them. We'll keep it our secret, though. Then a few nights later we had a chili cookoff. I made a passable chili to take, anyway, although it wasn't as good as that which Mary can make.

I got to do some kayaking in the waters around here with my next door neighbors, Tom and Mary, and to hear some good bluegrass music (played in the clubhouse on the weekends). Tonight (Friday) we had a potluck in the clubhouse (I took my left-over chili and now it's all gone.)

And I've put some pictures below. They are all of Cedar Key/Sunset Isle sunsets.

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