We have been in Oakdale, California for the past 4 weeks and the time has flown by. It was fun and busy and exhausting! And we have a new grandson who is 3 weeks old today.

The way my daughter announced her pregnancy was by asking where in the US we’d be in August. My answer of course was “Where do you need us to be?” Her due date was the middle of August, so we decided to plan on going back to California for the whole month.

We made reservations at one of the few options for RV parking at Woodward Reservoir. However they have a two week maximum. Luckily, because Tom has been active on RVillage, he virtually met some fellow RVers who live in Oakdale and had offered for us to stay at their place on past trips. This time we took them up on it, and were able to stay another two weeks on their ranchette. More on that later.

The focus of this month has been the grandsons. We helped out as much as we could, and just keeping up with a two-year-old (who will turn three in October) was enough to keep us going from morning to night. We were rarely home at either of the two camp-spots. One day we took Casen to the train museum in Sacramento – where he wasn’t sure about the train ride and didn’t like the engine whistle – but enjoyed climbing around on the locomotives.

Carter Hayes came into the world on August 8th, just a little early. When we got to their house that Wednesday, my daughter met us at the door and calmly said “We’re going to the hospital now.” The delivery went well and we got the news around 2am.

My daughter Kendall took this adorable selfie just hours after his birth – notice the dad passed out in the background!

Happy birthday Carter Hayes!

The 24 hour hospital required stay let them come home on Friday. Big brother Casen welcomed him with excitement and awe.

Then my daughter gave us quite a scare when she was re-admitted to the hospital on Monday night. Turns out she had a case of postpartum preeclampsia – which is rare, but apparently becoming  more common. It is high blood pressure – high enough that there is a chance of stroke. She spent three nights in the hospital. Someone had to stay with her in order for her to have the baby with her. I stayed with her for one sleep deprived night, while her husband, Josh was with her the other two. Luckily it wall turned out well and everyone is doing fine – although she is still sleep deprived of course!

We took Casen to some parks, to the lake, and to the river.

And when we weren’t busy with him, we were grocery shopping or cooking and even helped with some home projects; like painting a room for them. Totally enjoyable work, but being busy all the time was quite a change for us! It was such a delight to have all that baby and grandson time.

One weekend my son Eric and daughter-in-law Jordyn drove up to visit – and to participate in an off-road race. We took Casen and went to watch. It was a fun day – although exhaustingly hot. Casen had hours of fun just playing on the trailer!

When we had any “down time”, I spent it working on my newly launched website.  We only took one walk when we were at the lake and didn’t even get to enjoy the property on our second camp spot. But we did get one evening to enjoy visiting with our hosts.

Donna Wagner is very involved in RVillage and manages the Elk’s group on that site. I highly recommend  joining in and helping her rate the Elk’s Lodges that cater to RVers. Since Tom first spoke to them, they had become members of Boondockers Welcome, so we booked our visit through that organization.

Boondockers Welcome is the last membership we’ve joined. We already belong to Elks and Passport America and Harvest Hosts  – all of which have helped us find camping and/or save money. Now that we’ve joined I hope to be able to use it often. I think we really lucked out on first experience. The Wagners were awesome hosts and their property was lovely. I enjoyed seeing their horses and cats and the nearby train that passed by our front window. And we had a great and private spot. Just a good experience.

We also got some financial planning done while there. My father used to handle our investments, and the person who took over his accounts is in Ceres, just a half hour away from my daughter’s. So we thought we might as well meet him since we were so close. A couple of meetings with him got us all dialed in. That checked off one thing on our list of should-do’s.

Another check-off was Tom adding a couple of solar panels to the roof and getting the RV all cleaned up.

It was so hard to leave, but we have obligations in Southern California in a couple of weeks, so on we go. Now we are heading to our go-to spot to be near the other kids and family for a while: the Elks Lodge in Visalia. With near-hundred degree days (and some over) having electrical hook ups is a must. We look forward to spending time with our older kids, my mom, and some of our old friends.

The coming week should speed by as well!

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy