Celebration of Life – Charles Christopher 1938-2016
Over Thanksgiving weekend we went to my uncle’s memorial in Columbus, OH. My mothers brother, Charlie Christopher, died October 4 and the family decided to have a Celebration of Life on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I was thankful that both my sisters, their families, and my parents could be there. Mike stayed home and did some renovation work for my sister, Monica, over the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to see two of my cousins, one whom I haven’t seen since childhood, and to meet their children and grandchildren. Overall it was a very nice day dedicated to a very nice man.


Since the memorial was on Friday, we had to travel on Thursday, so we delayed our Thanksgiving until Sunday. Our Thanksgiving day was very pleasant at Monica’s house with great food and great company.

Las Vegas
About a week later, Mike and I headed out for Las Vegas. I went for work, Mike stayed in my hotel with me and spent his days out at the Frontsight Firearms Institute again. He took a defensive handgun refresher class and a four-day rifle class and enjoyed every minute of it. It was nice to have him with me for a change to meet my colleagues for the first time, and enjoy a little socializing with our friends in the area, we also took in a Penn and Teller show, and got a massage at my new favorite massage place. I twisted Mike’s arm to go with me, but in the end he was very happy he went, and totally shocked when the girl walked on his back. He didn’t think that happened in real life!

Dinner with the Timmermans

Christmas in Phoenix
Because by the end of this trip it was already so close to Christmas, we headed straight for Phoenix. We spent the week visiting Mike’s son, Josh, and Carla, and babysitting for Kaylee (4) and Cody (1). A rare treat! Their life is pretty crazy hectic, so we didn’t complicate it with too much activity, opting to stay home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, although the girls did get out for a night for dinner and to see the Russian Ballet perform “the Nutcracker” while the boys went out for dinner at a bar where coincidentally swing lessons were going on. Reportedly Cody monopolized all the ladies on the dance floor!

Christmas Morning

RV Shopping
Knowing that availability of RVs in Las Vegas and Phoenix would be better than in Colorado we did take the opportunity to do a lot of shopping and indeed found and bought our new home. We bought a 2010, class “A”, 35-foot, Bounder motor home, with a bath and a half, gas engine, and less than 20,000 miles. It has the refrigerator we wanted, the tires we wanted, full-size queen bed, and is in great shape. It is almost too old, but at the limit, and the price was good too. The only thing it’s really missing (in my perspective) was the bunkbeds that we intended to turn into an office, but we will build something in and I know that’ll be a topic for a future blog post. 15 minutes after we bought it we saw another one that perhaps we like better, and was even cheaper, AND diesel, with a desk already in it (isn’t that the way it always is)! But we had already given our word and frankly the one we bought is going to be fantastic.

So Mike had to drive it back to Josh’s house, which was a bit intimidating. Of course he did fine, but he did comment that he thought there was probably a maximum of 1 inch on either side of the RV in the lane of bumper-to-bumper traffic. So while Carla and I took care of the children, cooked, and played games over the weekend, Mike and Josh got to mess around getting to know the RV. They were in heaven, especially Josh, who commented that this was his very favorite activity.

Not being winterized, nor knowing what the roads or weather would be like, or the situation in our driveway, we decided to leave the RV at Josh’s until we can figure a few things out. So Monday morning we headed on to Albuquerque per our original plans. We had dinner Monday night with my two girls and their significant others. They both worked on Tuesday, but Mike and I picked up some nice steaks and we had our Christmas celebration with them that evening. While in Albuquerque I got to see my Sister, Nancy’s improvements to her new house, had lunch with a high school friend I hadn’t seen in MANY years, and after that 4 hour lunch Mike opted not to join me for breakfast with my childhood, neighbor girlfriends, that I meet up with on most every trip to Albuquerque.  Although we stayed at my parents house, they were coming back from their holiday trip to California.  Our last night at their house, they also stayed at our house.  Since we were crossing paths as we each went home, we met up and enjoyed lunch together in Santa Fe.

Short Albuquerque stay but we had to get back for Mike to start work on Friday. Getting home Wednesday gave us a day to rest… or perhaps buy a car hauler trailer which is the next thing on our list toward our RV goal. Mike had found the one before I even got out of bed in the morning. Was a good deal and just what we needed, so we drove down to a nearby town and bought it and hauled it home.

Happy New Year
Today, Friday, Mike starts work for his second year as a ski instructor at Breckenridge. Thankfully the snow picked up while we were gone and now the skiing should be pretty good. My sister, Monica, and David are coming up for the New Year’s eve and Day and the Ropiski’s will be joining us for games and Green Chili on New Year’s Day. I for one am quite optimistic about 2017. I hope you all have a very wonderful year too.

One thought on “Closer to Reality”

  1. Great blog – loved seeing the pics of your parents! And that's a nice one of you and Mike. Happy New Year!

    – J

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