Monday, July 24, 2006

Two Days! Well........ only one left now

We have started packing the rv - there seems to be a never ending river of stuff to put in there! Most of our shopping is done and the house is starting to feel empty and lonely. The shop is almost all packed up, has the phone message changed and the closed notices on the windows and doors. I am sure that there will be some people that are going to have a hissy fit at us being away for so long! We are always welcomed back with open arms by almost desperate customers after we have been away! When we did the other long trips, we did not have to pack as we lived in that motorhome full time, so it was almost a case of "unplug and drive"! This is a new/different rv and we are still trying to find place for everything. I am sure it will take a few days to get everything in its place and stop the unstoppable rattling of cupboard contents. We have learned the hard way and are keeping most of the heavy stuff at floor level.

We had Steven and Laura in here today, showing them how to handle the bills and alarms system and the many other little things that need to be taken care of while we are gone. Steven is looking really well and is looking forward to starting college in late August. He graduated 4 years ago and has now seen the need for a degree so is going to Chattanooga State College to study CAD - Computer Aided Drawing/Drafting. It's a two year course which he will have to do in evening classes as he works full day and cannot afford not to, but he is going to give it a really good try. He has always worked for everything he has and realises that he will give himself an even better chance at a good life if he has a degree. We are hoping that some of the tiredness from gleevec leaves and that he will do ok with the extra load. What a 'kid' this is! My youngest daughter is a newly graduated and stunningly beautiful US Marine and is leaving for North Carolina on Monday evening for the next step of training. My middle child is getting married in late October and being on this trip will stop us from being involved in much of the planning, but she also has a goodly amount of sense and will do just wonderfully. I am proud of all three my children and prone to share.... :-)

Here are some words that I will be using during the trip and in the updates. .
Bakkie. This is the pickup truck, the Chevy S10. Also known as "little Skilpad"
Skilpad. This is an Afrikaans word for a tortoise. Afrikaans is a language of South Africa where I was born and raised. The motorhome is our "tortoise" as we take our house where we go. Our first Skilpad burned this past Christmas Day when we were on our way to Florida. This one is named Skilpad 2, or SP2.
Biltong. This is beef jerky that we make.
U3. This is when I refer to my three 'kids'.

If there are any other words I use that you don't understand email me and I will explain. So many are just second nature to use and I don't realize that they dont make sense to anyone around me. Frank gets this puzzeled look on his face every now and again and I have to stop and explain myself before going on. He is getting used to it now after 4 years, but I do tend to pop in a new one every now and again.

Skilpad looks stunning. The wrap is awesome and I cannot thank Billy T & Tom for doing such an awesome job. I have written almost 100 names on the sides so far. Each time I write a name, I sent a thought/prayer/positive vibe to the person and their family. The caregivers are not forgotten at all! The names add such a wonderful personal touch to this adventure and we are proud to take everyone along with us. If there are any others that have CML or any blood cancer and want their name on there - please email me and we will add you! We will be adding names all along the way.

It is really so wonderful to be able to make a journey like this. Not only that we are going back to Alaska and can spend this amount of time away from home, but that we can do something that we feel will really make a difference. I really feel as if we might be able to help in the fight against CML and hopefully other cancers too by doing this fundraiser. It takes away so many of the helpless feelings, makes my 'freaking level' go down a tad and is simply an honor to take so many people with us! We are indeed very fortunate.

We will be leaving Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, on the morning of Tuesday 25th July. We hope to travel a total of 15 000 miles or more, be on the road for two months at least and raise as much money as we can for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Pledges per mile would be wonderful - we will be taking the odometer reading of Skilpad and the bakkie before we leave.

Almost ready to go.........
Love to all
Annie and Frank

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