We got a call from Lovely Daughter on Saturday telling us that her mother-in-law had passed away. MIL had multiple sclerosis and has been in a nursing home for about 5 or 6 years. Needless to say she was quite upset and just wanted us to come home. I told her it would take about two and a half days to get home and that was if we traveled fast and hard. She seemed satisfied with that as there really was no other alternative.
So we took care of last minute things and were able to get out of Albuquerque by noon on Sunday. We traveled 400 miles and ended up in Liberal, Kansas in a Walmart parking lot on Sunday night. Thank you Walmart for your generousness to RVers and offering them your parking lot for free parking. When we're in transit we usually end up in one of their parking lots - we can do that because we're self-contained, manufacturing our own electricity, etc. We never put our jacks down because we don't want to leave indentations from the weight of our rig, and we're always out of the lot early in the morning before they get busy.
It was time for us to head for home anyway due to the rapidly melting snow and the rising of the river that's in our back yard. Lovely Daughter informed me that there is water over our driveway today, but it's due to a plugged (still frozen) culvert, and once that thaws, things will flow the way they should. We are expecting high water this year, which is a real downer to face after spending such a lovely winter. According to our friend, Bob, (of Bob and Carol in past entries) who is the local weather connection for our area, high water should be next week sometime according to the temperatures that are forecast for the week. Not only do we suffer through extreme winters, but spring seems to come with a vengence these last few years.
We have a beautiful piece of property - 5 acres of green grass with gorgeous evergreens making a thick windbreak all around our property. When we bought this property in 1972 it had never been under water. But as time goes by and the farmers laser level their fields and cut drainage ditches so the snow water will run off faster the river has flooded more severely. We have been working with the local Watershed Board for the last three years trying to have a ring dike built around our property. The federal government, state government and the local watershed board are involved in a program to assist property owners who deal with high water on a regular basis to assist them in funding a ring dike to protect their property. Last summer there were all kinds of tests completed, soil borings, surveyors, all those kinds of things. Everyone told us that things were certainly a go and even though there was grant money available for something like this, it still would have cost us $20,000 out of OUR pocket. In January we got a letter from the watershed board telling us that it wasn't feasible to built a dike due to our proximity to the river. (What the h-ll did that mean?) The next day I read in the local paper that the watershed board had spent all its allot ed money to dike a large UNDEVELOPED piece of property about 10 miles north of us. Now it seems to me that the State of Minnesota had passed a law a number of years ago that made it illegal to grant building permits to anyone who wanted to build in a flood plain. Obviously, someone had more political connections than we did in order to get this UNDEVELOPED piece of property diked when we have a long-established homestead that didn't flood out when we purchased it, but does now. Can you tell I'm angry about this? Can you hear me growl? That's another reason we're heading home while there's still snow on the ground and cold temperatures back home. Gaaaa!!
Anyway, we're parked in a Walmart parking lot for the night. Ole has run the doggers, fed them their supper and they are currently parked, one on each end of the davenport, sound asleep. Ole has poured each of us a nice "toddy" to help us "settle" after the long drive and we'll soon turn in. We need to be up early and out of here as we hope to make Sioux Falls, SD by tomorrow night - that's only 600 miles plus. Should be about 12 hours.
I wish I didn't have to end my travels under this kind of stress - death and possible flooding. Not a good way to end travels.
Love you all,