Jan 24

Naming of The Beast – a 1999 Ford motor home

The Beast as it was tentatively named now is The Heffalump, a name that son Dylan insists is the right one for this creature of ours. Reading Winnie the Poo stories to him and his sister some years ago I always imagined Heffalumps as being large, ominous but ultimately harmless foes. The only defense against them appeared to be the Heffalump trap. However, none were ever captured using that method. Except the odd cast member from the Poo universe would sometimes stumble into one. I don’t know who is responsible for modern representations of The Heffalump. I’m guessing Disney is involved. But in truth The Heffalump is an ill-defined, shadowy figure, all the more to play on the imagination of the reader. 

So far, The Heffalump has led a mundane existence. Primarily getting it from Chicago to Laramie with stop in Saint Paul to pick up a passenger. Through the whole trip, I’ve paid for all of a one-night’s stay, the last on the road, so that I could empty the “blackwater” … oops, that should be black water, not the notorious security consulting firm … the black water tank. Not nearly so unpleasant a task as I thought it might be. I’m just hoping all of that has not had the effect of de-winterizing The Heffalump. I have poured copious quantities of antifreeze down the various drains and left valves open that drain the plastic plumbing. Fingers crossed. 

Jan 24

Effectiveness of Heffalump traps

According to my friend is back there in Albany County, the temperature is minus five degrees. Based on the photograph she supplied on her Facebook profile the snow is fresh and the horses are dressed in hoarfrost. And I am supposed to leave and return there tomorrow by way of the 20 Mule Team crossing Ronnie Reagan’s death valley hauling  a load of sodium borate. Goal: To keep the cost of running The Beast below a respectable 50 cents per mile. 

It’s exciting hitting the road with $140 worth of food loaded into the fridge and pantry. I am sorry to admit that much of it is frozen meals. I won’t have the means to meaningfully prepare food until I can raid my own kitchen in Sun Chase Village (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). 

I will be plenty busy learning about this remarkable machine that is both home and means of transport. Will I be like the Lone Ranger and Tonto appearing from behind a Cretaceous Strata? Who was that masked man someone asks. “Hi ho Silver away” and he races across a landscape impossible for me to imagine as a kid living in suburban Philadelphia. 

I have been thinking about a name for my new home on wheels. Heartbreak Hotel? Dylan likes The Heffalump a never-seen creature in Winnie the Poo stories but for whom Heffalump traps are laid. 

Aug 07

Photo Essay | Whitewater State Park

Our excellent weekend a week ago in Whitewater State Park. Photos by Dylan Sheehy.

Click on the slide show and again on the word bubble to turn off captions

Mar 06

It’s time to get a new stove

SPRING IS HERE. The birds are singing, the snow is melting, and the stove is dying. It is my sad duty to report that our stove is no longer with us. No more Christmas honey cookies; the smell of banana bread will fill the house no more. We may never again know the taste of fresh roasted chicken. The stove’s death has left a great power vacuum in this household. Come, we must journey to Sears to begin our search for the One True Stove who will take its place in that vacant corner in the kitchen. Many tears will be shed for the loss of our great appliance, but fear not, for our new oven will bring forth the dawn of a new era of cooking and baking! Yea, our new master shall heat and cool faster than elements of old; it will bring forth dishes evenly cooked! This is not a time of mourning, it is a time of celebration! Long live the stove! Long live the stove! And if it doesn’t, may it be covered in the warranty! — by Dylan.