Saturday, December 23, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS! and a Long Overdue Update!

Maybe this is just a test to see if anyone still follows our blog.  I don't blame you if you don't... but if you don't, then you wouldn't be reading this!  So... Thanks!

I think there have been enough changes to our life to deserve a blog post!

We have remained in Oregon since October 2014, and I think we were hosting in Central Oregon at our last post.  We hosted in Southern Oregon from October 2015 to April 2017.

2017 has been an eventful year for us... a year full of changes!

We were still hosting at the Southern Oregon RV Park at the start of the year... 

But we had decided to sell our house in Grants Pass (30 miles away).   So a few days each week, we spent at the house in Grants Pass working at getting it ready.

 It was a lot of work, but it sold the first day it was shown, and it closed in March. This was my first experience with selling a house, so it was a learning experience, and if ever we sell a house again, we will do it differently.

In April, my Mom fell and broke her knee cap – which required surgery and a lot of healing time. 

The hospital would not allow her to go home unless she had 24 hour care. So we gladly agreed to stay at the house with her. After several days however, the park where we had been hosting asked us to move out of the park since we weren't sure when we could return. So we put our fifth wheel home in storage and moved in with Mom. We soon decided it was best to sell our fifth wheel, and settle in with Mom in the house. We made some renovations, adding a living room onto our bedroom, so we now have a comfortable suite.

 There are days we really miss our cozy home on wheels, and especially all the places those wheels took us... but we still have the memories, and we're happy to be with Mom.

About the same time that our fifth wheel sold, we bought a 2001 Class C motorhome.

 Our thought was that Mom could go on some little trips with us, but that hasn't happened yet... hopefully next Spring. Jeff and I have taken several trips in it though - one trip was to Vancouver, WA to visit Jeff's cousins – and the best part was that Jeff's brother Bob and his wife Karen joined us! Jeff and Bob had been estranged for several years – but this year, they reunited and we are family again! We are so thankful for this.

Another 2 trips we took were to Baker City to first visit, then just last month, to pick up Jeff's Son, Jacob, who has been in the Correctional Facility there. How exciting that was, to see him free! Not just free from the prison grounds, but free from the addiction that put him there. He is a changed man, and a joy to be around. 

    Okay... so I did a video of his release... Jake is going through the gate with boxes in hand, and a big smile on his face... but I couldn't capture a photo from it!

They allowed him to transfer down to Southern Oregon where we and his brother are... so we are looking forward to lots of family times together!

Jonathan is still doing really well. It has been exciting to see him really live! He has become responsible, has a great circle of friends, and best of all he and his dad have spent a lot of time together. 

 He has become a true biker, like his Dad... and we have enjoyed some good rides with him this year.

Through the years as we traveled, we have bought and sold several Harley's. But we were now down to just one Harley - that being the one I had when we married. I've been back and forth with riding, but starting thinking I wanted to ride again... so after the house sold, Jeff bought himself a 2004 Springer Softail – the one Harley he has never owned.

 After his customizing, it's a beauty! (even won second place in a bike show!) and now we can ride together, side by side, again.

So that's our year in a “Christmas Letter”! Our hope is that your lives are going as you have hoped and strive for... and if not, that you have discovered contentment and happiness as it is. 
 MERRY CHRISTMAS!  From the Bright/Stephens Family

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What ever happened to Jeff & Sheryl Bright?

NOT that ANYONE has asked... but I'm telling you anyway!

It's been over ONE YEAR since I posted on our blog.  The longer I waited, the more difficult it was  to get caught up... until eventually I just forgot about the blog all together!  How and Where have all of you been?  I guess I better look!

As for us... Our past year...

We worked at Bell Haven Resort for our 6 months which ended the end of September 2014.  It was a wonderful workamping gig... full of interesting, fun and even some challenging experiences.

A shot with an actor

Actor and family brought some wonderful help

Even had a beautiful and fun Wedding held at the resort

 Jeff was able to enjoy time with both his boys while we were there.  This was Jacob's time.
Jonathan's visit was in an earlier post.

In August, my parents had moved in to an Assisted Living Facility because my Dad was needing more help than my Mom could provide by herself.

 So when our time was up at Bell Haven, rather than take another workamper job somewhere, we decided we really wanted to be there for my Mom and Dad. 

This meant moving out of our home on wheels, and parking it in an RV Storage.  We moved into my parents house, just a mile from where they were in assisted living. 

We offered for them to come back to the house where we could be their assistance, but it didn't seem a good idea to them.  So we took care of the house, and gave all the support we could.

My Mom worked so hard doing all she could for my Dad.

She was being the caring wife she had been for the past 69 years.

In October, all of us girls (my 2 sisters and I) along with our husbands, were together for my Mom's 85th birthday celebration. 
Happy 85th Birthday, Mom!
We celebrated together on her birthday in the dining room at Avamere. 

Then the following day, a neighbor friend offered the use of his wheelchair van to bring Dad to the house for an at home family celebration.
We had a wonderful time together back at their house once again.

This was an extra special time... because it was my Dad's last time in his own home.

My Dad made it to their 69th wedding anniversary, which was on the 16th of November, but he passed away on Thanksgiving day.

Of course, we KNOW now that we made the right decision to settle in and be there with family for what turned out to be my Dad's last weeks.  We had some very special moments together, and made some meaningful memories.

Grandkids and Great-Grandkids came to love on their Grandma and say good-bye to their Grandpa.


 And my Mom continued to do what she has always done... Care for her husband.
 Jeff and I joined my Mom for Thanksgiving dinner, there at their apartment.

And I spent most of my time that Thanksgiving Day, "visiting" with my Dad.

Mom and I were both at his side when he took his last breath.

How thankful I am that we were there.

Good-Bye Dad.

Now Moving On...

On October 31st, Jeff had surgery on his foot to remove a very painful bunion.  The Doc also cut off a huge spur on the top of his foot.  The pain in his foot over the past 3 years has kept us from doing the hiking we once did... so we were hopeful that this was the answer.  But so far, it seems it wasn't the answer.  The bunion is no longer a problem, but now there is hammer toe, and a whole lot of arthritis and arthritic bone spurs.  Hmm!

With my Dad gone, my Mom had no need to live at an Assisted Living Facility... she had her own house!  So she moved back home at the first of the year.  She wanted us to stay in the master bedroom, and she wanted to make the back of the house, her new living space.  What WAS the guest room, became her bedroom... and what WAS my Dads study, became her private living room.

It turned out to be a good set up.  She is very comfortable.

                My Mom is remarkable...

                After 69 years of marriage (since age 16) she is "on her own" for the first time in her life... and she is adjusting remarkably well!

January 2nd of this year was our 6th Wedding Anniversary.  So we got away on a short trip to Reno.  But being more than 5 months ago... I can't tell you now what we did!  THAT is why it's important to take photos.  The way our memories are, if we want to remember our life, we better photograph everything we do.  The only time we took out the camera on the trip was when we visited the Harrah's Automobile Museum.  So there it is... our trip to Reno! 

This March was the 8th anniversary of my late husband's death.  Its quite the story, but Jeff, my husband of now, hardly knew me or Ken at the time, yet he felt strongly that he wanted to build a cross to place at the accident site... and he did.  Then less than 2 years later, he and I were married!  Very Cool, huh? 

Eight years later, the cross was still standing at the site of the accident, but it was a bit tattered.  So we decided we would replace it.  Jeff made another Cross, and together we replaced the old with the new.

In April, my Mom went to visit my Sister and Grandkids in Canada.  So we had the house and her car to ourselves for 5 weeks.  We decided to make a trip to Arizona to visit our friends, Harry and Drina.  We spent time in Reno and Vegas along the way... and it should have been more fun but we both ended up sick, AND its just not the same traveling in a car, staying in motels, eating in restaurants.  It's so much better traveling when we have our home with us!

As nice as it was in some ways, to live in a house with a big bedroom, big bathroom, a garage, a yard of our own... we really missed our cozy little home on wheels.

My mother was doing so well, and she made it clear she wanted us to live our own life the way we want...  so at the end of May we moved back into our fifth wheel.  And boy was that an ordeal.  It is so much easier to be a full-time RVer, than to be a seasonal or part-time RVer.  Besides all the work to get stuff put back in and organized, we had lots of issues.  But all issues are resolved and we are once again settled into our comfortable home on wheels.

We are hosting for the Summer in Central Oregon... and it's great!  We are very happy.

Thanks for reading!
Now I better check up on the rest of you!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Very Old Post May 2014

I'm getting ready to do a new post (believe it or not), but here sat this old post as a draft.  It's over a year old!  I hate to waste anything, so old or not and finished or not... I'm posting it.

May 15 2014
Back to Work!

At last post, we showed you all the work we were doing around here.  We had worked our butts off (so to speak).  But after that last big family reunion, where all the cottages were rented for the weekend, there have been no guests here at all!  It's been like vacation!  But today we are "back to work".  Guests are coming in this evening and more tomorrow.  It was nice to have a break, but its also nice to have some guests to keep us hopping!

What was really great, was that it was such perfect timing for a visit from Jeff's cousin, Chuck.  He rode his Harley down from Portland and stayed a week with us.  He came to visit when we were in Gold Hill, Oregon too.  But this was a bit more of a ride for him. 

I'm just glad we were able to set him up so well at no cost to him, thanks to one of the cottage owners. 

These places are all referred to as Vacation Cottages, but as you can see, some of them are big houses.

[fade out - 6 hours later]

Look above... what did I say?  I said, "its also nice to have some guests to keep us hopping!"
What I MEANT to say, was... "its nice to have HAPPY guests"!
As I was writing, our guests checking in today, arrived.  WE were happy to see them... but THEY weren't happy.  We have nothing to do with reservations of the cottages.  They deal directly with the individual owners.  These guests included an 85 year old Mama who is in a wheelchair or uses a walker.  Apparently the picture in their minds, was a cottage right next to the lake with a pier and dock with no steep ramp.  The real picture was a cottage a short walking distance from the lake, via a pea gravel path, then with the lake being so low, the ramp from pier to dock is quite steep... a little tricky for a wheelchair.  We came up with every suggestion and option and offers of assistance in our means to make it work for them... but Mama wouldn't have any of it.  So sadly, they left.

But with nothing more that I can do about that, I will continue...

How's this for relaxation when we have the resort to ourselves!

The "Bucket List"
When we get to a certain age, it's time to get things checked off "the bucket list".
Chuck had not Kayaked before, so with the opportunity in front of him... he couldn't resist.
Kayaking... "CHECK!"

May 21 2014
We don't need no stinkin' Starter... 

Jeff's Fatboy has had trouble with the Starter.  But it would always start eventually... UNTIL the day before Chuck came, then it decided not to start at all.  So we took it into a shop and left it, but then when we knew he couldn't get to it right away, and Chuck was here and we wanted to ride... we thought, "We don't need no stinkin' Starter"  We can just push start it! 
So we rode over to the shop and got the bike, and we did push start it... and rode together.  We continued to push start it and ride...  Until the day that Jeff reached the bottom of the hill before it started... so we had to push it back UP the hill. 

At that point, we glanced at each other while trying to catch our breath and thought, we are NOT doing this again.  So "who needs a stinkin' Starter??"  Jeff does!  The bike has just sat since.

But a starter is ordered and should be here tomorrow.  Now if the mechanic can just find the time to install it!

an evening with Cousin Chuck and Neighbor Chuck

Some of the huge Catfish caught by some of the guests:

Creating our own Rain for us and our friends:


Friday, May 9, 2014

Oregon to California

Another Post already??  (Ya... right)

On the last post, I said how much Jeff hated the seat on the Fatboy that he bought.  But I didn't tell you that we bought a new seat for it. 

THIS is the right seat for Jeff.

Now he just needs to get the 16 inch Ape Hanger Handlebars on it.

 We arrived in California for our new job on March 30th.  It definitely isn't simple making a move with two Harley's and a fifth-wheel.  We both rode to Redding and left both bikes, and caught a ride back with a friend in her car.  Then we drove the fifth wheel to Redding, and I rode my Harley to Clearlake, with Jeff following pulling the fifth-wheel.  THEN... a week later, we drove to Redding, and Jeff rode his Harley back.  Phew... lots of work living "on the road".

When we arrived, we stayed next door at the RV Park so we could get some orientation while the Winter caretakers were still on site.
It was a whirlwind Orientation... or so it seemed.  Way too much to take in with so little time.

I tried my best to take notes... but until we are on site and on duty and approaching an issue... we cant really understand it.  If you've been in the situation, you probably know what I mean.

Our first day of Orientation, Marci made us a wonderful dinner at their place. 

The second day, Glenn and Marci showed us around the area, and took us to lunch at the hardware store... sounds funny, but there is a diner at the local hardware store.

This is our View out our back window...  
And this is our RV Site, behind the fence, from inside the Resort...
And this is the Resort!
We've worked our first month now... and it has been an experience!  We've learned a lot and done a lot.  California has not had a lot of rain this Winter, so the lake is very low for this time of year.
We've had some challenges... but we are really enjoying it here.  So far, we're really glad we took the caretaking job.

We were even able to get Jonathan down here to spend more than a week with us... and of course, we put him to work! 
We had a really good time together.  This was the most time the 3 of us have spent together.

Our neighbors, Chuck and Joan, had us over one evening for dinner and games.  It was a good time for all of us, and a good thing for us, since I can't seem to find time to make meals!

This couple, Russ and Dianne, were here visiting from Wisconsin. 
They were looking for a property to purchase, and found one while they were here!
  Their offer was accepted by the owner, then get this... the owner isn't ready to move out, and Russ and Dianne are not ready to move in for a couple years... so they signed a lease agreement. 
Talk about a perfect arrangement for everyone!
What a great couple... they shared a fire with us a couple nights, then surprised us with a cash tip in the cottage when we went in to cleanup.  Our first Tip!  What a fun surprise.

There's nothing like learning under fire...

Last weekend, there was a family reunion held here.  They reserved all cottages, then had an 80th birthday party for a local family member.  There were 70 people here for the party.  Some of them had come from as far as Arkansas... and many of them had not seen each other in 40 years, so there was a lot of excitement, and several times, we were mistaken for one of their long lost relatives.  Funny... we started thinking we should play along, and maybe remind them of that loan we gave them so many years ago. (ha ha)

They were a wonderful bunch of people... we couldn't have asked for more well-behaved, friendly, tolerant people.

The reason I say "tolerant" is because there were a few issues with the cottages.  One especially bad. 

But we made it through!

Less than 5 months left on this commitment... then what??