Park Maintenance ++ other fun…

Snowbird season is coming to end…and we’ve crossed the bridge to those on spring break, with summer families soon on the rise!

It’s been an adjustment having my other half off at work again, while I’m tending to the rv home front and making sure I feed us well! Starting with breakfast…or

when I run a weekly grilling marathon!

These last few weeks have been busy, but I’ve had the opportunity to play side kick with my bestie and give him a hand. I’m kind of loving this part! Just like the old days!

When not swinging my arms with airport commands helping Mr. Jer to glide all the winter snowbird rigs left behind back into storage, I’m manning a shovel and rake while Mr. Jer measures and cuts. We’ve learned if you park them on a slant…it’s ten times easier!

So look at this beauty…no more shortcuts to the pool people!  Use the steps!

The erosion was entirely out of hand. Hoping this slows it down with the added fence we laid out, cut, screwed and the new grass plantings.

Of course we had the daily, poolside audience voicing their praise…kept the momentum going.

It’s been a fun group here at late from Canada, WV, and a few from up north as our last stranglers. They kept the job more entertaining for sure! Only one more side to go up…”Cozy Landscaping!”

I’m beginning to get a hold on gardening in sand. Lime is your best friend plus added topsoil goes a long way.

I’ve now got a long stretch of flowers, herbs and veggies. The cukes aren’t fairing well, but the peppers are blooming. It’s the tomatoes that I’m totally excited for. Just picked our first! Exciting! Sugar sweet!

I was not sure they will endure in my man-made soil and flourish as well as the 100s of plantings we grew back in Illinois or I’ll be back to canning this go around.

We had close to a quarter acre of gardens back in the days so its been fun digging in the soil again. Mr. Jer’s dad was our best instructor! Memories!!!

The jury is still out how much will grow throughout the summer but it’s been fun to tinker with it in the evenings. Gardening never leaves your soul.

I was so excited when I made my last batch of wonton bruschetta. I was able to pick the basil and mators from out front. Freshness! And my cilantro has added a quick special punch to our last batch of salsa.

Let me step back to February, where I left off with my last post.

It was the Mardi Gras season and we spent a few weeks getting the park float ready.

But the festivities went sour.

We had the float loaded and pulled into our numbered site about 3 floats behind the firetrucks and the town high/middle school marching band.

The fire engine sirens began and we heard the band when all chaos broke out. Many of us in tears, stunned and beyond belief!

An older gentleman lost control of a vehicle he was driving behind the band and ran over 12 kids. Needless to say, the parade was called off and an end to a tragic event for the entire community. While two children are still recovering, no one died fortunately.

All credit goes to being around the corner from the first responders, as well as those in line for parade. It was such a somber moment…but we’re so many thankful we had our park fellowship. What are we without each other!

Following, our Shelly girl arrived for a visit. Plenty of beach time, a trip to our favorite tiki bar on the inner bay as well as BuzzCatz for my favorite coffee break spot and bakery splurge. Plus, I always love the intracoastal drive to Orange Beach! We can hit the meat market, thrift store, and the coastal arts complex.

Here’s BuzzCatz tiny bit of love, the coconut yeast pastry.  It’s a cinnamon bun ten-fold. Every day there is a new flavor of homemade poptarts, another pairing I’m so fond of.

Some mornings after the gym, I will drive there to grab a carry out while Mr. Jer starts his day with the ins and outs. And then I land home with a surprise…he’s got a major sweet tooth!

Of course what follows after splurges at a bakery…beach walks!

I’m always on the lookout for some lost item or something that just strikes a cord with my heart. Like another famed Army man for Mr. Jer’s collection…we’re protected!

Crazy this winter how I’d be the only one out there for miles. Come noon these days…you’re jumping over the crowds and surrounded by young souls experiencing the beach for the first time. People watching at its best.

Since Shelly was here on her lonesome, we took advantage of sending Mr. Jer back to IL to catch up with his 93yo mother and whatever grandchildren were in town. While I missed this round of traveling it was a wonderful visit for Mr. Jer.

Jerry’s mom is my crochet-pal. We talk patterns, share design and I live to gift her yarn. I’d take any day just to sit and crochet with her. Talk about life…a generation of wisdom and sincerity. She’s a jewel!

Back to Jer: Then a surprise one morning after he arrived in Illinois!

He woke up to this at the kid’s home.

His comment, “Help, get me out of here!” It’s been over 4 years since either of us has seen snow after giving up the bricks and sticks. Quite the reminder to days gone past in the Midwest.

So he left dodge and despite four extra hours in ATL awaiting a pilot to get out of NYC in the midst of NE storms, he was off and running again. And he was never so glad to be back in what we call “home” these days.

We were both jumping for joy when he came through the gatehouse!

While I spent 4 days with me-time induced with books from the library, gym runs, and being lazy on the beach….I missed the heck out of Mr. Jer! But before long, we were back in our groove.

Sometimes quoted, “back at the ranch” we decided to continue clearing out bush behind us to open up the trees for more gulf breeze and better wildlife sightings. We were gifted a trail cam and it’s been total crazy fun to load up a night’s full of unexpected sightings. The scary, shiny eyes are wild!

And can the birds sing? Many tunes I’m unfamiliar with! Makes me crazy. I can pick out the cardinals song. But half the time, I can’t even locate the bird in the trees. I’ll look and look….darn them.

BUT….on occasion I’ll bring up the Cornell Bird ID site….the best. Birds are just like the best wake up call and they sure start early!

It’s also been perfect outdoor weather to light everything up and burn it up as we cleared out tge underbrush and trimmed trees. Minus any snake sightings this round too.

There’s been many other park activities that came to a close. Craft days are gone, potlucks over, karaoke Thursdays, gambling boat bus trips stopped, we closed the bocco ball and pickleball courses and new friendships will wait till next year. Back to sprucing up the park.

But with Mr. Jer…let me say, his tenacity for getting the job done, and right…it’s no wonder how much he is appreciated. Not so much me, as I’m just his helper and stay mostly in the shadows. But to know Mr. Jer…you’d know. He’s a jewel! And I’m so proud of him.

Seasons and surroundings change, people come and go…the good with the bad but mostly the good. Always a corker or two you’ll remember forever. Sometimes an upset or two. But mostly, kindness and caring, laughs, and some new found worldly knowledge.

We’ve had the coastal wind and storms this spring…thankfully the regional tornado warnings stay more north. But they can get intense…who said climate change was “fake news!”

For some reason they seem to hit the Mobile bay and break up and we are spared. Never say never….but we really feel safety here for the most part.

I like to go out late in the evening after dinner, being only four miles from the coast…listening to the waves of the Gulf crashing. As well as the roar of daytime aircraft sitting under the airport travel zone, helicopters, and of course Navel jets. Namely, Blue Angels when their local. Something that offers familiarity, we truly love it here.

Recently, we had a week of free time and we got approved to add on to the porch sit-to. The pop up tents we used were beat up (windy around here) and it was time to build a roof. Down they came.

It was back to our construction days, just like earlier years. Taking out fireplaces, brick by brick in the attic, climbing a step ladder to the bathroom in the dead of winter for 4 months, laying shingles, and so much more.

Jerry brought out his drafting tools, took measurements and we worked out the design.

It takes two ladders for this and it’s the lucky one with each drill and screw,  who landed the sweet, low land step-stool vs the aluminum ladder!

I moved the lumber in (biceps and triceps), kept the site tidy and organized as we moved along, and I was in charge of the ratchet. Let’s just say there were many bolts, nuts and washers!

We buried the posts in rock and sand. Of course the usual Mr. Jer overkill style that I tend to be impatient for one occasion, but this deck roof ain’t going nowhere!

We made a trip up north to a metal roof manufacturer.  I was hesitant that metal roofing was going to be hot. Was I surprised…it must reflect the heat as the tents about parched us last August.

Again more ladder work, but as always we got a system and threw it all up in no time. It was a comical time, maneuvering the panals overhead in wind. We both felt we met the challenge and proud we still have the gusto to complete a good days work.

Despite a sore wrist…I was good to go for the next challenge, teehee!

Now, not quite done.  To our west, the suns beats in this time of year and all summer, so it was decided to create some dogged ear fencing.

Even though we are in the private back end of the park, it does offer some added privacy too.  But I was all about the sun shade. With each dog ear length, I’d move the spacing blocks or hold the level, Mr. Jer would screw it tight.

So as the sun goes down this was a wrap of any of our big projects of late.

We have branched out of the park for some fun when weekends roll in.

In the spirit of Snapchat, yes, the grandkids favorite sovial media go-to these days. Grandma had to throw in her favorite filter!

Now that the hours of daylight have increased too, we even get down to have dinner on occasion during the week and watch a sunset when not raining. Watch the kites, stretch out, and/or stroll the beach!

The water temp is finally warming enough that we’ve ventured in when the red flags aren’t blowing.

Just this week we lost a visitor from Louisville trying to save his daughter and friend from the rip currents. While they made it to shore, he didn’t. It was reported lifeguards have rescued many daily the last few weeks. The Gulf can show her gusto…Mother Nature is not one to play with. Yield the warnings!

There have been the festivals like Ballyhoo, the car and boat show at the Wharf, a new brewery, and recently the Thursday night outdoor local concerts at Meyer Park…all are plentiful. We never seem to be without something to venture out of the park to enjoy.

And we still try to get up early on Sundays and make out for our Gulf State Park bike runs on their new trails. Five minutes we’re there. We are at a point with new town improvements, we can leave our park and put in 30 miles plus+ in any given direction we take to. I love to bike to the library and hit Rouses for groceries dragging home in my bike basket. No traffic to contend to. I could so live in an area with no gas vehicles.

And the Frog Pond concerts are still on the top of our last. This last weekend Malcom Holcombe was our entertainment along with several other musicians.

The last Sunday social comes to an end on Easter Sunday with Sugar Cane Jane. We feel fortunate to have such an outstanding outdoor venture with some of the sweetest people from the area. We’re beginning to remember faces we converse with, gather local bonding and now feeling a part of this endeavor. It’s always our feel good getaway!

Up soon, we want to get to a Blues Wahoos baseball game in Pensacola. While not our STL Cardinals, they are a minor league affiliate to the Cinncinati Reds and we also hear the stadium is stunning and with quite the bay views for an evening our outdoor baseball.

Jerry’s cousin Mike arrived this week and one of our best visits ever!

Mike and Barb left Naples in their rig and took a detour to see us traveling back to Chicago.

Our table at Lulu’s a little two wide for a selfie or my arm way too short.

If we weren’t on the beach, we made sure we ate well.

But it was the conversations getting to reminisce of years gone or hear each other’s tales of travels and family of new.

We’re so glad they made the detour to see us!

So what’s next up…the park is expanding the storage area and Jerry is taking the lead. He’ll have a crew coming in and he’ll play supervisor.

This past week was wild getting all the planning and staging set up for work to commence next week. Trees are coming down in the back swamp, he’s got the chipper and stump grinder on order now and soon it will be all staked out.

Crossing my fingers weather is good to him. Who knew what a RV park maintenance workamper could entail. I know he loves it!

I ask on occasion…you ok, you want to leave dodge, you want to be else where, etc.? “Nope, I’m good,” or “If we’re going to workamp…where else could we be and treated so well?” We really are sitting in a good spot right now. Sure, we didn’t imagine life this way but it can always change on a dime.

Especially these days! Not even six months since the change of guard. I read and watch a sad display of what America was and is becoming.

I converse with my granddaughter as she travels on weekends with school pals in the UK to Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Amsterdam, etc. capturing beauty through her camera lens.

On a sweet note, Mr. Jer continues to add to his collection of found trinkets he’ll give out to kiddos that come through the park.

And while we sure didn’t expect to be here…we can honestly say, “life is good! It took some adjustment but when the shoe falls…you find one that fits. It’s going to be an ok summer and whatever comes after that. Someday, we’ll be back on the highway!

Happy Easter you all!  ~cozygirl




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carla thanks for the thoughts, however I did not get your PM from Instant Messenger. But do know your well wishes are welcomed and appreciated. I know you can relate.


  2. Faye N Dave says:

    Great post, glad life is treating you well. So sorry a meetup didn’t work out, really disappointed. If you find yourself in IL this summer hope you look us up.


    1. Cozygirl says:

      I think we both tackled a crazy week, sickness, and visitors. I was extremely disappointed too…wanted to kidnap you for my favorite spots. Hope IL goes well…enjoy the family.


  3. Horst Kelly says:

    What a magnificent post…the story line is first rate…but the photos…now those should be made into a photobook! first the composition was spot on.and you covered so many areas…food, landscapes, whimsical, black and white…and the quality of the photography was right there, crisp , great colors, etc….I thinks you’re on to something.. :)) Bottom line, it may be a blog post to you, but its a photobook to me and a damn good one I might add!! Thanks for sharing…You Guys take care and enjoy the summer…Horst sends


    1. Cozygirl says:

      I’m blushing Horst! Especially from the man who brings life to photography. I’m still behind on your last collection of the Big B southerly journey. Glad my photos shared my story…I’ll treasure this stopover, as with all of them on this journey. Nice to have a keepsake, even just the day to day. Hope you and your Bride have a super summer!


  4. So happy to be back on board. Not sure how I lost following your blog. Love the new gorgeous look. Your photos are always amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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