As much as we dreaded being in the hot central valley of California in the summer, we have certainly enjoyed our time here visiting with family and friends. As sad and stressful as the occasion of my father’s funeral was, it brought together relatives I hadn’t seen in years and it was very nice to see them all again.

My Dad, Bill Richmond, last year.

Luckily my hometown is where my son and his wife live along with my besties since high school, so we got to spend time together, and Tom got to meet up with some of his besties as well. We also got to spend time with Tom’s daughter and family (although our granddaughter was out of town). On our way back, we even discussed a list of friends we wanted to see while here, but our time ran out so quickly we didn’t make it to all of them. My half-sister even came to town so my mom had a nice visit with all her kids.

My mom DJ Richmond in the middle with my sister Kathy and her husband Stephen behind her, and my brother Mark and his wife Doris on the right.

We were exhausted with visiting that first week and were rarely at home – which was parked at the Elk’s lodge in Visalia. But after a week of cramming in visiting and family business, we were ready to move near my daughter’s home. We got to spend almost a week with her family, and we thoroughly enjoyed our grandson, Casen.

Then it was back down to Visalia for Tom’s birthday, so he could eat at his favorite Mexican restaurant (Sal’s in Selma) with his girls – well, his youngest was out of the country, but our granddaughter joined us so it was all good.

However, on the drive back to Visalia, the motorhome engine started acting up again. On a Friday afternoon – of course. It was like the motor was not getting enough fuel. After a couple of calls, Tom made us an appointment with a Cumins service center in Fresno for Monday morning. Which gave Tom all weekend to fear the worst.

So we filled the time with a drive to the (smokey) mountains for our son-in-laws birthday and one last visit with the kids and the grand-baby at Bass Lake.

And Tom was able to spend more time with Jenna and her family at a ball game on Sunday (while I did fairy business).

Then first thing Monday morning we relinquished our home to the repairmen. I was so hopeful it was something that could be repaired in a day, but alas, around four o’clock they said it wouldn’t be ready until the following morning. So after a full day of waiting, we collected a few things and found a motel.

You would think that a room that has more floor space than our entire home, cable TV, and all the shower water you could use would sound appealing. But no. We longed for a home cooked meal and our comfy bed.

The silver lining was that we got a room near the airport and were able to meet Tom’s youngest as she flew in from England and went to the nearest Me’n Ed’s pizza to get her fix. So we spent some lovely time with her and her boyfriend closing down the pizza place and hearing all about her trip.

They told us our home would be ready by 9:30 the next morning. Which left us wishing they could have just fixed it in one day. The problem: a faulty EGR valve. It’s amazing how something that sounds so small (to me) could be such a big and costly problem: $1600 – ouch! And we’re now past lunch and my stomach is growling and my mom is waiting for me and we can’t do anything but wait. Some more.

At least they had a nice waiting room.

Luckily we didn’t have any set place to go after our return to Cali, so we’ve had some time to adjust our plans. They are now as follows (subject to change as always):

Help my mom with some financial items,

stay in the heat one more night,

head over to the coast to stay (at the Elk’s) through the weekend,

move to somewhere we haven’t figured out yet,

help college daughter move into her new apartment – in Tuscon – in the middle of August -, (if you’ve followed our adventures you might remember the last time we moved her when we said “This is the last time we’re moving you.” but I digress)

then take two days to get half across the country to Eastern Oklahoma to start our next job.

I keep thinking I’ll have time to tackle some projects, maybe get caught up on blogs, do some re-organizing, catch up on budgeting, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Yes, “There is always time,” chimes the voice in my head admonishing me for watching Netflix or YouTube before bedtime, but I’m sticking to my story that we’ve been exhaustively busy with life.

And waiting. Because you can’t even go have lunch when they’re “almost done” again and again.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy

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