Thursday, February 28, 2008


We spent a wonderful morning in the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine. Breakfast and lunch were at the Casa Monica Hotel in the middle of downtown. It is a great walking place, so we enjoyed getting our exercise while seeing the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest fort in the U.S., near the oldest street in America, where Marie took a photo of an "old man" in front of the oldest school house. Other highlights were Flagler College, with all the red roof decorations--once a deluxe hotel built by the founder of much of the town, Mr. Flagler. The Lichener Museum is hard to see in the shadows, but was once another hotel that is now the City Hall, as well as a repository for a lot of local history.
After two hospital visits, in Ormand Beach and St. Augustine, and a very helpful consultation with Dr. James Meschia, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, we are now en route west toward Tucson--with a necessary stopover in Tallahassee for some repairs on the motorhome engine on Monday, March 3. The examination by Dr. Meschia indicated that I could probably travel safely back home, but should "take it easy" along the way. Derek will meet us in New Orleans to drive with us through the southwest where there are long stretches with no medical facilities or other services. Hopefully, we'll be back in Tucson by March 9.
Bill and Marie

Friday, February 15, 2008


Mavis and Ron took Dad to the Urologist in Williston yesterday (Feb.14), and he got a good report. The doctor found no growth in his bladder and said he could wait six months for another checkup. Good news, indeed!

Lila finally has a phone in her room (with the same number as in her apartment) at the Baptist nursing home. She was able to get a private room, much to her delight.

Abbie is staying with Mavis and Ron while Luke and Tara are in Cancun, Mexico, for a week. She keeps them busy, but they enjoy her chatter and antics!

As noted in other communications, we are doing fine in Gainesville, Florida, and are much relieved to have the tests all done, with good results. Our doctor in Tucson, who got all the test results by FAX, said I should be able to function quite normally, with no after-effects from the "mini-stroke." So, we are planning to continue our trip, leaving Monday for St. Augustine, Florida, for a few days, then north to Ft. Clinch State Park near the Georgia border. Around March 1 we'll begin driving through Georgia en route to visit Marie's niece, Sheila, and her husband, Chuck, in South Carolina.

In the meantime, we are watching the primary election campaigns with great excitement and pleasure. Lotza fun to see how it will all come out.


Bill and Marie

Monday, February 04, 2008


We enjoyed seeing this giant oak tree near Tomoka State Park campground at Ormand Beach, FL--just north of Daytona Beach. The tree, along with several others in the vicinity, is several hundred years old and is protected in a state park.
We will probably stay in this area for a week or so--away from the maddening winter crowds. We found a campground spot deep in the trees that just happened to have a big enough opening so our satellite dish gets a signal--allowing us to keep up with the Super Tuesday primary election tomorrow. It is an exciting time!
Bill and Marie

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Mavis and Ron spent two weeks in Cancun, Mexico, and had a great time. Dad was well cared for by Rhonda Lassey (who took him on several excursions, including two trips to the livestock sales ring!) and Vicki Dunbar, as well as Luke, Tara, Abbie, and the rest of the family who were not traveling.

Unfortunately, the sugar beet factory has not yet agreed to a contract with the beet farmers. It is not entirely clear if they will continue producing sugar in the Yellowstone Valley--causing a great deal of consternation among everyone involved. Because prices are up a lot for barley, wheat, corn and livestock they may have to be the alternative to beets.

Luke and Tara are also going to Cancun for a week, with Mavis (and Dad!) looking after Abbie--who can now climb up and down the stairs, calling "grandpa's" name as she climbs the stairs. Sounds really cute! She entertains Dad a lot, and they both enjoy it.

Tracy is training to become a substitute mail carrier! Mavis was looking after the grandkids while Tracy was away for a few days.

The oil well that was drilled in the government pasture about a mile from the Scrivner place has been completed and is now being brought into production. No word yet on how many barrels per day it will produce, but the clues are sounding pretty good! If it produces abundantly, that would certainly be a good omen for some additional wells on the ranch. The drilling rig that was used is currently undergoing painting and maintenance at the Shaide place at Cartwright.

Our long-time neighbor and great friend, Perry Elletson, Jr., died last week. Ron, Luke, and Will will continue to farm his land.

Dad is doing very well, even in the cold weather. He has been very cheerful on the phone and says he is surviving very well for an almost 94-year-old!

Update on Lila

Lila will move from a hospital bed to transitional care at St. Alexis, and will then go to a nursing home when space is available. Her vision has gotten so bad she has trouble looking after her medications and other requirements of living in her apartment.