TravelingMorgansBlog Working our way around the contiguous 48 states in our RV.

8. December 2017

South Carolina Citizens

Filed under: 2017 — admin @ 05:31

Phyllis and I are now citizens of South Carolina.

We have a couple of rooms in our son’s new house. It is working for us.

Phyllis is not likely to see major health improvements, but she is adapting and doing well, all things considered.

Harpo (white miniature poodle) is doing well, considering her age, but plays little and does not investigate everything like she used to.

For those who are interested, there is a new section on South Carolina that has been added to the web site, and we have most of the site secure (HTTPS)

https://travelingmorgans.com/SC/

We had to rearrange our arrival so we would not arrive in the middle of a total solar eclipse.

Apparently much of the Charleston area had the clouds block the view.
We actually did have a view, and I got some pictures.
See https://travelingmorgans.com/SC/SC-C-Eclipse.shtml

24. December 2016

Merry Christmas from the (formerly) Traveling Morgans

Filed under: 2016 — admin @ 05:14

in the Texas Hill Country.

12. May 2016

A Tribute to Roscoe the Traveling Dog

Filed under: 2016 — admin @ 07:35

Almost everyone who met us in person during our years of traveling will remember Roscoe, our “Salt and Pepper” Schnauzer who made friends with everyone he met.
If you met Roscoe, you will understand why there are tears in my eye as I write this.

Roscoe came into our life in July of 2002. I was recovering from a closed head trauma injury and had been working from home for months. Phyllis needed something to bring some laughter into her life while she was caring for me. This little Schnauzer puppy called us from the back of the pet shop. He had a black “mask” that made him a natural to play the Lone Ranger in dog form. He went home with us.

Roscoe’s main mission in life was to please Phyllis and I. When we were gone for even 5 minutes, he made it clear he was glad we were back.

When it became apparent I would not really heal well enough to resume my work, Phyllis suggested we sell everything, and I would take early retirement, and we would become full time RVers. “If you stay until you planned to retire, it would kill you and I would be a widow with a pension. I would rather have you.” We worked our way around the country at low paying — and low stress — jobs.

Thus our little Schnauzer became “Roscoe the Traveling Dog”. We had a second dog by that time, a white miniature poodle named Harpo. She was purchased to give Roscoe additional companionship and to keep him active.

Roscoe traveled, with Harpo and Phyllis and myself, all around the 48 contiguous states. He was with us from Florida to Maine to Michigan and California and most of the states in between. He walked the beaches of the Atlantic and Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the fresh water ocean called Lake Superior. He walked trails in the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains as well as the Black Hills and Sierra Nevada mountains. Any National Parks that allowed dogs had Roscoe’s paws on the paths and his “P-Mail” on the trees. National Forests and National Monuments and Bureau of Land Management areas also had Roscoe visitation.

Roscoe loved playing outdoors and “off leash”. He was always on a “verbal leash” and would stop on command, even if he had started after a rabbit or squirrel.

Once we hit the road, Roscoe assumed the role of protector of the pack. I saw him go for the throat of a dog many times his size when he thought Harpo was threatened. He had a “serious bark” that did not come out often, but when it did, it would freeze your blood. I remember the last time I heard it. He was in our pickup just behind my ear. He saw a bison close to the truck and thought it was threatening (it wasn’t). I pealed my scalp off the roof as the bison walked slowly away.

Roscoe was quite strong for a small dog. Once, before he had been trained to stop on command, a rabbit ran out in front of him while he was on a leash. It took my shoulder years to recover. We joked that if the engine of our truck failed, Roscoe could pull our rig.

Whenever he met people, Roscoe made a friend. He would talk to anyone who tried to ignore him and made friends with people who did not normally like dogs. Until recently, he played with any dogs that would play with him, including puppies.

Roscoe was absolutely fearless, but his mission was one of love.

Roscoe was not cheap. He had two surgeries for urinary stones and would have had a third, but his age made the stress such a surgery inadvisable. We took other measures and they worked.

After over 12 years of a great life, Roscoe began slowly to fail. His hearing was the first to go and he could no longer be allowed off leash, even when the location permitted it. Our veterinarian found a liver/gall bladder issue and corrected it with medication. This gave us another year where Roscoe had a reasonably good quality of life. Then the great muscles in his hind legs began to fail and he had more and more trouble getting into our trailer and up on the bed and couch. Then he had trouble getting down and had to be lifted. He began losing control of his bladder, where before he would have split a gut before soiling or messing his home on wheels. We took gentle care of him, remembering the dog he had been and all of the love he had given us. Occasionally we would see the old Roscoe personality come through and we could see at that moment he was still enjoying life. These moments came less and less often.

On May 9 of 2016, around 10:45 PM, he had a seizure or stroke. He was in great pain and had no control at all. We found an all-night vet clinic about 30 miles away and took him there. In the clinic he had another seizure type episode and we knew it was time. He was about two weeks short of his Fourteenth birthday.

We still have Harpo who is now 13. We will not “replace” Roscoe. At our age, and with the health issues that forced us to stop traveling, a puppy is more than we can handle, and another dog is not really affordable.

We will forever treasure our travels around the USA with Roscoe the Traveling Dog.
He was the best and truest friend I ever had (except for Phyllis).
For those that want pictures you can go to
http://travelingmorgans.com/TM-Main/TM-AboutUs.shtml

I will get a page full of Roscoe pictures as soon as I can manage.
It will be at http://travelingmorgans.com/Roscoe/

19. March 2016

How Phyllis and Larry Met in 1968

Filed under: Larry and Phyllis: Our Beginings — admin @ 09:04

I wrote a 7 episode story on Facebook, but wanted to add it here.

1968 Indiana University Episode 1.
48 years ago today, I was a Junior at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was tutoring a very pretty girl in Chemistry. Her name was Sue. She asked me how she could repay me. What happened from there changed my life forever.

1968 Indiana University Episode 2
48 years ago, as I was tutoring Sue in the lounge of her dorm, and she wanted to know how she could repay me, I told her she already had, as I always learn better when helping someone else (she got a B and I got an A), but she wanted to do more. I asked her to consider going out with me, but she said she was seriously dating a guy, and she only dated one guy at a time.

Sue suddenly looked extremely thoughtful.

“But”, Sue said, “there is a girl on my floor you might like to meet. I think you and she would hit it off. Her name is Phyllis.” More tomorrow.

1968 Indiana University Episode 3 — Phyllis Diller and the horse part 1

I told Sue I had no interest in being introduced to Phyllis Diller. She said, “No, I’m serious. I think you and Phyllis would hit it off quite well.” She used the floor phone to call her roommate Kristi to come down and confirm her thoughts. The 3 of us talked at some length, and I became a little more interested. I had been the butt of jokes in the past, and was afraid of being too gullible, but they really seamed sincere.

I told them if Phyllis agreed, I would call her. Sue said she would call after they talked to Phyllis.

Tomorrow you will learn about the horse.

1968 Indiana University Episode 4 — Phyllis Diller and the Horse part 2
After leaving Sue and Kristi, I went to my dorm. Sue and Kristi went upstairs hoping to see Phyllis. I will now give a little bit of what I learned later.

Sue and Kristi bounced into Phyllis’ room with big smiles.
“Phyllis” said Sue. “Have I got a boy for you to meet. His name is Larry and he has been tutoring me in Chemistry.”

“Well tell me more about him” was Phyllis’ response.
Sue smiled “He has NICE teeth.”
Phyllis looked puzzled while she thought “What is he, a horse?”.
Sue saw the puzzled look and said “Well, that’s important to me.”

SIDE NOTE: Anyone who knew Larry knew he had a mouthful of silver filings and had an overbite. Good teeth?

“Oh, he does not have much money”

They talked awhile longer, and Phyllis said, “Ok, have him call me tomorrow night at 7.” She thought “If he can’t afford to take me out, I will just give him the quick brushoff”.

Sue called me, and I agreed to call Phyllis the next night.
The next night was February 20.
Tomorrow’s episode will cover that call.

1968 Indiana University Episode 5, The First Phone Call

I actually called Phyllis at 7PM on February 20, 1968.

I am not sure how to describe a miracle or magic or both.
We talked for nearly 3 hours. At the end of that time it was like we had known each other and been good friends for many years.

She told me about her life including graduating from a catholic high school in 1965, Freshman year at a small college, sophomore year at IU Southeast, and IU this her junior year. She talked about the girls she ran around with in high school.

I told about my life where we lived at the corner of a school district as a kid, with baseball in another school district and Boy Scouts in a third. Different parts of my life had strictly different kids. I told her about high school being a little different, as I tried to jump in when there was a shortage of men to do volunteer work with kids. This included managing Little League teams 2 summers and serving as a very young assistant Scoutmaster . I told about my insane idea for getting through college in 3 years by taking my senior year of high school and freshman year of college simultaneously and working part time as well as the Boy Scouts. I had made it work but I had never been so busy.

I told her about my work at a Boy’s Club Camp the previous summer.
I told her I had skipped social fraternities in favor of a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, where I was the newsletter editor.
I told her I played guitar, with an interest in folk music.

We talked about our hopes and dreams for the future.
We both were preparing to be teachers.

It turned out we had taken a large (200-300 students) Physics class together the previous fall. Phyllis had sat with a group of girls, so I had never approached her.

We planned to go out on the coming weekend. Simon and Garfunkle were going to be in concert Saturday. I would try to get tickets. Phyllis told me there was a free film night at her dorm Friday night, Lord Jim.

We agreed to talk again the next night (Wednesday for well over two hours) and we would talk again on Thursday (for nearly 2 hours).

I will post again on February 23, 48 years after our first date.

1968 Indiana University Episode 6, The First Date

There is a lot to cover here. In the previous 3 days, Phyllis and I had talked for over 7 hours by telephone. Now we were going to meet. I went to the dorm at the appointed time, and used the lobby phone to call her at exactly the time scheduled. She told me what she was wearing and took the elevator.

Now, neither of us looked like the mental image we had of the other. So what? We each knew the other on the inside. We went into the cafeteria where Lord Jim was being shown. This was a 1965 film staring Peter O’toole about a man branded as a coward who sought to redeem himself. The book was written by Joseph Conrad and published in 1900. Jim succeeds in redeeming himself and is true to his internal idea of honor. In the end he makes another mistake and is given the chance to sneak away with the woman who loves him, but instead follows his own idea of honor and stays to face the firing squad. Any man or woman who attempts to live according to their own code and not someone else’s idea of right and wrong will have their heart wrenched. I had tears in my eyes at the end. I looked at Phyllis and she had tears flowing.

I asked Phyllis if she would like to take a walk to get some hot chocolate, about a mile away. She agreed. It was cold. Early February had been so warm most of the student body was sunbathing, but it was cold now. I had recently lost one glove, so I had to keep my left hand in my pocket, We talked, I told her about the East Hall fire (Music building). I had seen the glow and walked over to see building engulfed in flames. Some students had grabbed a fire hose. I joined them. Later, the fire department put ladders in the zero degree air and sprayed the fire from above. The wind blew the much of the water right down on me. When I realized my hair was now encrusted with ice, and so was my coat, I headed for the dorm looking like Frosty the IceMan (to this day I have never been so torn between rage and laughter at the absurdity of the situation). I just could not help myself. Standing around is not in my nature. I try to do what I think is right. Sometimes it backfires.

I sang to her one of songs I was trying to get right on the guitar. It was a somewhat romantic song called Gypsy Rover.

We grew closer in spirit,

After the cocoa and the walk back, she led me into to lobby area and we sat down and talked some more, And kissed. And talked some more, And communicated wordlessly until curfew.

There is a lot more of the story, But I think I will just give one more chapter within the next couple of days. I will summarize the rest of the story.

1968 Indiana University Episode 7, The Rest of the Story

I will see how far I get tonight. It may take longer.

First, if the story seams to emphasize what I shared with Phyllis more that what she shared with me, Phyllis is a very private person, and I respect her. I will only share what she agrees for me to share. She will share the details.

Now to continue. Saturday night was great seeing Simon and Garfunkle and hearing them sing “Mrs. Robinson” before it was ever played on the radio. I had to borrow a sports jacket. Phyllis looked radiantly beautiful.
We stopped at her dorm lobby for some talk and other things.

Sunday dinner was not provided at the dorms. Phyllis and I walked to a restaurant near campus, and afterward stopped in the dorm for more communicating without speaking as well as talking.

On Monday I saw Phyllis on campus, ran over and kissed her. She was shocked but not angry.

She saw or talked to each other nearly every day. There are many things to cover that I will simply skip at this time.

Let me just say that less than a month after that first phone call we were engaged. Since the Viet Nam war was raging and the likelihood was that I would be in the army after graduation, we decided to get married while still in college and we both would work. We set the wedding for August 31. She worked in Jeffersonville and I worked in Gary, That summer was hard.

I had always prayed to meet a girl that would love me as much as I would love her, but anyone who knew me in high school knew I was clumsy and inarticulate around girls and could never make my feelings known without putting my foot in my mouth.

Phyllis had gotten up at 5 AM every morning to go to early Mass to pray to meet the right husband. We laugh at not having met in the class we had together and picture the angels saying “Well, they blew it. What is plan B for getting them together?” Phyllis had been a novice in a convent. She took no vows and had left about the time I graduated from high school 18 months or so before we met.

Have Phyllis and I had fights and troubles? Of course. Our marriage has sustained our love. We meant it when we said “Till Death Do US Part”. This does require both parties making it their highest priority to stay together and grow closer.

We were both teachers in Indianapolis, and I was not drafted. There is another story here.
We do have two children. I think they are both ignoring this series and that is fine. They have heard the story often.

We planned for a dozen children, but also planned to review that after two. we stopped after two. We agreed Phyllis would stay home and raise children and I would earn a living. It soon became obvious I could not do this as a teacher. I eventually became a very good computer programmer and Systems Analyst.

If you want to see our lives since 2002, go to
http://travelingmorgans.com/TM-Main/TM-AboutUs.shtml

and indeed the entire http://travelingmorgans.com

There you find over 100 pages and thousands of pictures of our more recent adventures.

Right now, our travels appear to have ended. Phyllis has degenerative disc disorder and travel has been more and more painful the last 3 years. We are grateful for the 48 years we have had together so far, and the dozen years we have spent working our way around the USA.

Thank you for reading. Please share your stories as well.

Post Script:
I am not sure at what point Sue dropped out of the story. I tutored her through the end of the semester. I remember that she got a B and, because I leanred more while I tutored her, I got an A. She was not at the wedding and never gave Phyllis or myself her home address. I do not remember seeing her our senior year.

26. September 2015

The Possible Conclusion of Our Travels.

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 18:12

Well, Larry and Phyllis made it to our new home, at least for this winter. We arrived Monday, Sept. 21. I apologize for not posting sooner, but I have been busy getting us set up (including reliable internet access) for a long stay. Our truck now has been unloaded. I have also been trying to take help with some of Phyllis’ tasks.

Our travels from Indiana to the San Antonio area were very hard on Phyllis. In spite of long stops at Memphis TN, Tyler TX, and Franklin TX, Phyllis was very weak when we arrived and suffered from digestive issues as well as the pain that has become a constant companion.

We also had 2 issues arise with our truck (which we nursed through and will get repaired now).

Our Travel Trailer had a major issue in Buffalo TX. The shackles for the springs and axles on the right rear broke for the second time. We also found one other that was cracked. A welder happened to be at the filling station, and three hours later we were on our way. His fee was reasonable and he had us make out the check to his church.

Now that we are in the San Antonio area, we will get Phyllis started with medical help that lets her see the same professionals over a period of time. One of the disadvantages of being in a different site in the summer and often working winters as well is you are always seeing new medical professionals, or doing without medical support.

Larry will also see if he can find clients for technical support or find other work.

As for TravelingMorgans.Com, there are at least two years worth of work ahead to get all of our material loaded on it. Then Larry will begin to get it optimized for search engines and make it more friendly to phones and tablets.

Right now Larry is getting the BADLANDS section updated from our time in South Dakota last year.
He will send out a newsletter when this is updated for production.

If you want to follow along, use this link: http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/SD-BNP-AnIntro.shtml
This will be the new introductory page for an 8 page section. The links to the other pages are on the left for now.
I have elected not to mention this in the PREVIEW tab, but may do this later.

Will we begin traveling again and working our way around the country? Unless the quality of life improves considerably for Phyllis, this will not be feasible. Hopefully, her quality of life will improve. Since our travels were financed by our working, we will have to find some other funding to travel, even if Phyllis improves enough to travel. The web site is one way.

Larry will also be uploading our AMAZON connection, and we may see some funding from Amazon “finders fees”.
There is an AMAZON tab on most pages of our web site, including http://travelingmorgans.com
For those that want to go straight to Amazon, try http://travelingmorgans.com/amazon
We have pages of personally tested recommendations for products in several categories http://travelingmorgans.com/STORE/amz.shtml
There is also an Amazon Category Search page http://travelingmorgans.com/STORE/AmznCategories.shtml
We will certainly listen to any suggestions from our friends on how to make our Amazon connection easier and more useful to our friends and visitors.

Larry could get some internet based technical work to fund travels, but has not found any yet.

If this is the end of our travels, we have had a marvelous run and seen many things we had not expected to be able to see.
We plan to enjoy ourselves whatever happens.

Please let us know how things are going in your life. We love to get together with old friends and communicate with them if we cannot get together.

Larry of the Traveling Morgans

Phyllis, Larry, Roscoe, Harpo

7. September 2015

Greetings from Memphis

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 05:46
Pink Limo Pickup

Pink Limo Pickup

The Traveling Morgans have started their trip back to Texas.
Since the summer job did not work out, we will start Winter early this year and
try to get some medical help for Phyllis. Our stay is at Bulverde, just North of San Antonio.

We are presently at Memphis, and celebrated our 47 th wedding anniversary a few day late by visiting
Marlowe’s BBQ, which is a favorite for both of us. We stay at the Graceland RV Park, and Marlowes
will send a Pink Cadillac Limousine to pick us up or deliver very good food. Graceland RV Park is just behind
the Heartbreak Hotel at the very end of Lonely Street.

We will leave the visits to Graceland to true Elvis fans. Elvis had possibly more influence on American Culture than any other person in the
20th century, but we have not felt any need to idolize or visit his home.

There are many reasons to visit Memphis.
Many involve music such as blues and how it evolved to rock ‘n roll.
Good food tops the list, including two schools of barbecue.

From Memphis, we will head to Tyler TX for a few days, then on to Bulverde.

19. July 2015

Sometimes you must take a step back before you can go forward.

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 07:48

Sometimes you must take a step back before you can go forward.
All Journeys ultimately come to an end.

Which is it for the Traveling Morgans? We are not sure.
We have been on the road for eleven years, working our way around the country. We have not seen everything we wanted to see, but we have seen more than we ever thought we would see.

Our summer job did not work out this year.
Phyllis was in a lot of pain and facing other physical issues.
The job did not make all of the allowances that were promised.

We are now in Columbus Indiana, and we will head to Texas early this fall.
Phyllis will attempt to get adequate medical care there, and we will see if she can heal enough to travel again.
If we do travel again, Phyllis will not be working.
This winter, Larry will attempt to find part-time work near San Antonio that matches his skill set.
He will also try to market his photographs and writings of our travels.

We will also investigate a place that we can permanently park our travel trailer in case Phyllis cannot continue traveling.

If the traveling is at an end, we have had a wonderful run and seen more amazing things than we ever thought would be possible. We continually advise people not to wait to follow their dream. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. We are glad we followed our dream when we did.

Larry will resume developing our web site. There are at least two years worth of material that are not properly developed, so you will continue see major changes to the web site.

Perhaps we will have some “guest writers & photographers” cover areas we have not traveled personally. There would be full credit given, but since our web site is not making any money, payment would not be possible at this time. Let us know if you are interested. We have some big gaps and some areas have only skimpy coverage.

If you are going to be in the San Antonio area this winter, lets get together!
We well have good Internet service, so Skype is also a possibility.

Please let us know what is going on in your life and where you are.

15. April 2015

Leaving Indy to go to our Summer Job

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 08:10

Larry has been busy with a young grand child.

Larry, Aiden and 1949 Lionel Engine

Larry and Aiden with Larry’s 1949 Lionel engine.

Aiden has the “toy train gene” that skipped a generation.
The only page fully updates is our 2013 travels, which is finally ready for use.
http://travelingmorgans.com/TM-Year/2013.shtml

The 2014 page is making progress
http://travelingmorgans.com/TM-Year/2014.shtml
but is not complete. The 2015 page has not been started.

April 15 we move to our summer job near Roselawn IN.

1. April 2015

Memphis Stop

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 09:18
The Pink Limo from Marlowes

The Pink Limo from Marlowes

Phyllis and I travel the country and love to stop at new places and at favorite places. In Memphis, Marlowes sends a pink limo (no charge) to pick us up at the Graceland campground and take us to their very fun restaurant. BBQ in Memphis is different from Texas BBQ, but very interesting and fun.

Next stop is Indianapolis

6. March 2015

Traveling Morgans Getting Ready for Spring Travels

Filed under: 2015 — admin @ 21:54
Yellow Mounds area of Badlands NP in SD

Yellow Mounds area of Badlands NP in SD

The above picture was from last spring on our way to Crazy Horse.

Our time in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas is coming to a close.
We have found a nice little hide-a-away campground with just 15 sites in the quaint little town of Wimberley.

We have had a very wet winter, and the gorgeous Spring roadside wildflowers that make the Hill Country famous should be unbelievable this year. We may or may not get a chance to see them. We will be leaving earlier than usual since our summer job starts April 15, and we want some time with our daughter and grandson whom are on our way.

We will be working in Indiana for the first time since we hit the road 10 years ago. We will be at Oak Lake campground just south of the town of Roselawn near I-65 between Merrillville and Lafayette.

Phyllis is still having trouble with her back and cannot walk much. We had hoped a new medication would make things better, but it is not enough. Again we have found a job that will let her work mostly from a sitting position and owners that will work with us. It will also be our first summer working in a destination campground, where families come to spend time in the campground and campground activities are a major part of the attraction. We are looking forward to it.

For those who are interested, here are the major changes to our web site:

Main Page:
http://travelingmorgans.com/

Where we worked last summer, the fabulous Crazy Horse Memorial:
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/CrazyHorse.shtml

Badlands National Park
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/BadlandsNP.shtml

South Dakota Recommendations
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/SD-recommended.shtml

Black Hills Overview
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/BlackHills.shtml

Probably the best state park in the country, Custer Sate Park
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/CusterSP.shtml

One of the great things about Custer State Park is the wildlife:
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/CusterSP-Wildlife.shtml.

South Dakota overview
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/

New page covering Mitchell
http://travelingmorgans.com/SD/SD-Mitchell.shtml

THERE ARE MORE CHANGES COMING.

For those who want to support our web site,
Please consider placing your Amazon orders using this link
http://travelingmorgans.com/amazon
(actually http://travelingmorgans.com/a will also work).

Either will take you DIRECTLY to Amazon.
We will get a small “finder’s fee”, which is used to pay the bills for the web site.
The amount you pay will be exactly the same as going to the AMAZON web site.
We are currently not getting enough to pay for the site but every bit helps.

We also have recommendations for products on amazon.
You can get to those with http://www.travelingmorgans.com/STORE/amz.shtml

Current travel plans are to head from San Marcos area to Texarkana, then up I-30 to Memphis, then up I-55 to I-57 to I-70 and Indianapolis for a visit with family, then up I-65 to our summer job.

We look forward to meeting some friend on the way. If you would like to meet with us, let us know. Use the CONTACT US page.

Also let us know what you are up to this summer. Again use the CONTACT US PAGE.


Larry of The Traveling Morgans
http://travelingmorgans.com
Phyllis, Larry, with dogs Roscoe, Harpo

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress