Greetings from Keesler AFB, MS! Man have we been caught up in the weather lately. We managed to stay ahead of all the bad stuff while in TX, but it caught up with us here. It’s been rainy and storms most days since we’ve been here, but we are expecting a few nice days starting tomorrow. More on the weather later.
Monday and Tuesday, the 18th and 19th were spent getting the Coach cleaned and prepped for our move to Keesler. I ended up actually washing the Coach twice…Dumb Ron used an off brand RV cleaner, and it made a mess of the roof and left white streaks and spots all over the sides of the Coach. What a mess. After that five hour fiasco, she looked pretty good. Word to the wise…any time you want to use a new cleaner, test it on a small portion first!
Wednesday we were up and at it for our short drive to Biloxi, and the Keesler AFB FamCamp. The weather was real good, but warm, so we ran the generator all the way so we could run the house AC units. I mentioned previously that we thought our shocks were getting near the end of their life span, well on this short trip their life pretty much ended. It got to a point that every bridge or small bump we neared caused us to cringe, as the Coach would almost bottom out, then bounce for a quarter of a mile or so. Needless to say, the trip took a lot longer than expected. We did a lot of research over the next week and found the replacements we wanted and a place to install them, as well as getting an alignment. More on that later.
We got to the FamCamp a little after 2 PM, and the nice host here showed us several spots to pick from, as he did not like the site that one of the other hosts had assigned us. We got a nice long pull through at the back of the park which backs up to one of Keesler’s off-base housing areas. Ever since Katrina, almost everything in this area has been replaced, so everything is quite new. Once we got set up, we headed to the base to stock up on groceries, and as we were pulling out of the commissary, we saw Jason and family drive by! They had just pulled in from their stay the night before near Atlanta. They got assigned temporary living facilities immediately, and got settled for the night. After a lot of hello’s and playing with the grand kids, Terri and I headed back to the Coach to settle in for the night.
Tech Stuff: On Thursday morning, the 21st, Terri and I were busy calling and trying to make appointments to get shocks done, alignments, windshield replaced, and some warranty work done on the truck. There are tons of truck repair facilities here, but none that will work on our chassis. We finally located an RV repair shop with good reviews that would put the shocks on once I received them. After a lot of research, we decided to go with Koni shocks. Many of you that are familiar with the racing world will recognize this name. It also happens that Koni’s are the original shocks on the Coach! Koni is headquartered in the Netherlands, and they have a huge North America operation run out of Kentucky. They recently brought a new shock to the states for heavier motorhomes called the 99 series EVO shock. They have used the same type application for years on European Tour Busses. So, after a call to Koni, the shocks were on the way.
I made an appointment to get the shocks installed on the 2nd of May. After that was settled, I made a call to the folks shipping the glass for our windshield replacement, and learned they finally found a shop to do it here in Biloxi, but I will have to drive there, as they don’t do mobile installs on big rigs. That is scheduled for the 4th of May, as is the alignment for the Coach. We’ve noticed some excessive wear on the outsides of my drive tires recently, so an alignment is needed, and is always good to do after getting new shocks anyway. After that was all done, I called the local Ford Dealer here again to determine if they had received the electric vacuum pump for my truck. There is a recall on the original part, but the recall is fairly new, so still waiting for that to arrive. I hope it comes in soon, as we plan to leave here on the 11th of May.
After that was all done, we headed over to give a hand with the Grand Kids, as Jason and Meghan would be able to sign for their house early! They have the Midas Touch I’ll tell ya! They signed for the house early in the afternoon, and decided to stay in TLF for one more night and move into the house with bare essentials on Friday, the 22nd.
Later that afternoon, Jason and Meghan came over and we grilled out at the Coach.
Later that evening we were saddened to learn that the father of one of our friends in Texas had (as Vicki stated) ” gone home to be with Jesus”. We spoke briefly about him a couple of posts ago. Vicki Gillespe is the lead for the “Almost Patsy Cline Band” that Rick and Lois introduced us to last year in the Hill Country. We were honored to meet Vicki’s dad shortly after he had been diagnosed with brain cancer at the Harper town hall dance in TX.
Friday, the 22nd was time to get Jason and family into their new digs sans furniture, which would be delivered on Tuesday. Anyone that has moved a lot knows how to “make camp” in your new digs with camper mattresses, cots, paper plates and bowls, and whatever else you brought with you on the trip for just such a situation. It didn’t take too long to get set up and find a chair to sit on the front porch and experience another of very few nice evenings.
Saturday, the 23rd was family day at the base. Many activities for young kids were set up at the base Marina, so over we went.
On Sunday we began the “Church Shopping” process with them once again. One of the hardest things to do each move is to find a new church family. We’ve been to two different ones so far, but don’t think we’ve found a match quite yet.
Monday was an almost all day trip to Mobile, as Jason and Meghan were in the market for a new truck. As luck would have it, they found exactly what they were looking for.
After that long day…(everyone loves dealing with car salesmen all day right!) it was early to bed, as Tuesday the 26th was household goods delivery day! All in all, things went very well. Only a few small items missing and not much damage at all.
The 27th was spent helping unpack, and really just trying to keep the kids entertained and out of mom and dad’s way.
Thursday morning, the 28th was not a good start of the day! At about 0430 our weather radio went off with severe thunderstorm warnings, immediately followed by tornado warnings and the base PA system and sirens going off telling everyone to take cover. We spent the better part of the morning in the FamCamp bathrooms with 20 or so of our new “closer” friends, dogs, a cat and two birds. Finally things subsided a bit, but it rained all day, leading to some severe flooding in the area. We were lucky and had no damage here in the FamCamp. Word to the wise…always know where your severe weather shelters are and keep that weather radio on and tuned into the correct county. The first thing we normally do after getting set up is to find out which county we are in and set the radio. We always hope it won’t be necessary, but better safe than sorry.
Friday was an unpacking day again, followed by a fun night out at a great Tex-Mex place on the gulf.
On Saturday, the 30th, Terri and I decided to take a drive and check out the local area. We ended up near Kiln, MS (pronounced here as “Da Kill”). Being Packer fans we had to check out the home town of Brett Favre. It is quite the small town, and the main thing to visit here is a bar that Brett apparently franchised called the Broke Spoke. It is really just a hole in the wall biker bar, but full of all the years of memories of his playing days, and, well, more that 500 or so bra’s nailed to the ceiling. Most of them signed, and a great majority from Wisconsin girls. Who starts these crazy traditions?
It was a nice little road trip. We got back in time to grab some “meat for grilin” from the Coach and headed over to Jason and Meghan’s for dinner. Little man hadn’t been feeling well over the past couple of day, so grams tried to cheer him up:
Sunday we were up and at it in the rain once again. Checked out another church, had brunch and kind of hung out for the rest of the day.
We were up early Monday to take the Coach over to get the shocks installed. I’ll tell ya, some say that men don’t listen to women, but I’ll double that by saying some men don’t listen to anyone! We arrived at the repair shop, and I got my shocks out to show to the owner, and distinctly told him the red shocks go on the front and the gold go on the rear. He said “ok.” We got back after running a few errands about two hours later and he said “you’re all set.” He said putting the rear shocks on were a real bugger, and the shocks he took off were completely shot. Rear shocks a real bugger…hmmm. I crawled under the front of the Coach, and what do I see? Gold shocks on the front!!! I “kindly” inquired as to why the gold shocks are on the front of my Coach? He said (in the lowest and slowest Mississippi drawl you can imagine,) “Well, there were gold shocks on the front that we took off and red shocks on the rear that we took off, so we just figured that was the color pattern so we went with it.” Say WHAT!! I asked him if he recalled me telling him where they went and he said “Yessir, but we just figured…” Just figured my you know what! I then located the discarded boxes with the part numbers, brought up the Koni site on his computer and showed him the tech data, which clearly shows what goes where…by part number as well. He said (again low and slow) “Well, we getum switched around right for ya.” You bet your bippy you will, and I’m only paying for the original two hour install, not for your screw-up. “Uh huh.” Well, they finally got it done right, and wow, what a difference these things make. I took a stretch of road on the way back to the FamCamp that had a lot of humps and bumps so I could check them out and they performed marvelously. I hope it stays that way.
Alignment and windshield tomorrow! Hopefully they know what the heck they are doing. We have just had terrible luck with repair facilities of late. Time for a change in luck me hopes.
Today is a very hot, muggy mess and more rain expected. Earlier, we took Peyton (who stayed overnight again) down to the beach, then around a little tourist trap place…you know the kind, they are in every beach town. A huge store with cheap stuff made in China. We didn’t buy anything, but had some fun.
Well, that is about it for now. Looking at the radar and watching the next Thunderstorms move into the area…yuck. The next 5 days are supposed to be real nice, and we are looking forward to that. Terri and Meghan leave here on Thursday to meet up with Ashley and Mandi for a girls trip to Atlanta and will be gone until late Monday. Jason is working Thursday and Monday I think, so that leaves Gramps in charge of the two “balls of fire” on those days. We will see how that goes!
As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy and Living Your Dreams!!