30 May 2011 @ 8:57 AM 

Whenever I visit a WALMART SUPERCENTER, which is a frequent experience for all RVers, I carry my refillable drinking water jugs in to the Culligan or Glacier water machine, to fill them from the water source with filtered, reverse-osmosis-treated, and delicious H2O. The cost per gallon is usually about 27 cents (by comparison,the Walmart drinking water is at least 78 cents in a throw-away jug!).

NO MORE!!! Walmart, in its constant profit-driven impetus, has removed those consumer-friendly machines in favor of their own supply of 5 gallon pre-filled jugs, showcased in huge racks that take up more floor space than the water machines, and which disallow the green-minded of us, a convenient system of providing the drinking water we can store effectively.

Is it about floor space in their newly-designed stores? Is it about aesthetics in removing those dispensers? Is it that re-fillers bring in their own recycled bottles and jugs?    Is it about a pure profit motive?

I vote for the latter!  The machines are installed, inspected and serviced by the manufacturer/suppliers. That the machines are not emblazoned with the WALMART logo may be a source of irritation to the world’s largest retailer.

They should be ashamed at this grab of one of the most important green-related activities that we RVers, and home owners could exercise. I won’t be surprised that their response will be mute.

Posted By: Bob
Last Edit: 31 May 2011 @ 08:50 AM

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 22 May 2011 @ 2:12 PM 

I am about to drive my Class C RV to storage. In what seems like an eternal quandary, my interests have a national scope, as this post will make evident.  Summer will be the usual over-heated, humid season in Florida, and I generally depart for more moderate climes before now. There are things I need to get done in my “home” state of Massachusetts; doctor visits, mail pick-ups, friends and family considerations are what have me heading north in my car…leaving my mobile house in Orlando.

It’s the price of gas which has dictated the course of action. It would be better if I had a tow-hitch behind the RV so as to tow the little car north. I have not yet decided to weld a hitch onto the RV structure, but it now is becoming more of a practical decision to do so.  As it stands, I will drive the 1600 miles (the Saturn gets a phenomenal 40-45 miles per gallon!) in a quick trip to Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  If I drove the RV (it gets 10-12 miles per gallon) I would pay an additional $450. in fuel.…based on a proposed June average of $3.75 per gallon. I can drive round-trip for $150. LESS than that one-way cost in the RV.

At the latter part of June I will either leave the Saturn and fly back to get the RV, with the prospect of staying in New England until early Fall, or drive the car back to central Florida to swelter through until September, preparing the RV for a longer journey west to Arizona/Nevada. I want to spend the Winter in the Southwest, and plan on living half of the year there, rather than Florida,  parking the RV when sojourning.

Quandary:  Do I weld the hitch and pull the Saturn, or drive them separately? Do I fly back to New England for visits, or do I drive cross-country when necessary? I have been wrestling with all of this for more years than I care to think about. Living in the West is easier and less expensive in an RV. And there is room to breathe! The open panorama and big skies have been beckoning for a long time, and this time I want to do more than just visit.


Posted By: Bob
Last Edit: 22 May 2011 @ 02:25 PM

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 11 May 2011 @ 12:45 PM 

Summer weather is upon Orlando, Florida and it is only May 11th.                                                  I’m outta here!

Several commitments   dictate that I arrive in New England in June. I always enjoy visiting with my sister and brother-in-law in Connecticut, and my sister-in law in Massachusetts. My daughter lives in New Hampshire, and I will be taking her to the NH Philharmonic POPS concert on the 4th. Then comes her 50th birthday celebration the next day…it must be a VIRTUAL 50th, ‘cause I sure ain’t no 74 !!!!

Anyhow…our family has a 60+ year tradition of getting together on Fathers Day. It began north of Boston, Massachusetts about the time my sister was married and had her first born baby. Then my brother and his wife bought a house about a mile north in the same city for their budding family. Mom and Dad had a small house…but a BIG back yard. Half was devoted to aisles of flowers (half of that was for a victory garden filled with vegetable plants during the WW2 era) and the half nearest the house and porch was the croquet court!

We BBQ’d on the brick fireplace…my brother-in -law had the chef’s duties. We all sat around in lawn chairs amidst tables of food prepared on site, and imported from the various kitchens of family members from near and far. The wickets were placed, and a wicked game of ‘Poison’ ensued! Aunts and uncles attended. Then sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, even as my parents went from being grandparents to great grandparents. After Mom was gone, the moveable feast traveled to my sister’s home west of Boston. Thence to northern Connecticut when my brother-in-law was transferred there. We met each June and it became so much more than a Fathers Day as we all caught up on each others lives, and enjoyed the season and the general joie de vivre.

We also got the whole family assembled for 30 years in Lincoln, New Hampshire at Loon Mountain, in a time-share condo my folks had bought in 1976. With family activities and schedules it is difficult for everyone to have the same day free….but somehow we made it work. My daughter and I loved to cook the “big meal” on Saturday evening, and most of our loved ones attended.

Fathers Day morphed and moved to New Hampshire when my daughter and her husband moved from the upper Connecticut valley to a central New Hampshire city.

Things and circumstances change! This year we will all be together in a different spot…my niece will host…the same niece that was that new baby when it all began. I’m getting teary-eyed now.

Posted By: Bob
Last Edit: 19 May 2011 @ 05:29 PM

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