Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

It's About the People

We are slowly moving back into our Oliver!!  Everything is still experimental as far as how long we will be able to do this but for now we are happy and content to be back in our sweet Oliver!!
Our Oliver nestled in the woods
 Mike's CPM chair ( continuous passive movement) was picked up yesterday.  That was a huge factor in our being able to return to the Oliver.  I know you find it hard to believe but there was no room for it in the Oliver.  That was the main reason for moving into an apartment so Mike could accomplish what he needed to do for this surgery.  He had to sleep in a recliner for no less than 3 weeks....this was mandatory by the surgeon and use the CPM chair 3x a day for 7 weeks which turned into 9. 
So glad to be able to get rid of this CPM Chair
He is now officially in phase II and the PT is picking up a bit.  Getting those muscles moving again slowly as to not re-injure that area.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!! 

But that is not what this post is all about!!  It's about the people...all of you!!  Some of you have had the privilege of knowing, meeting and possibly even camping with George and Suzie Yates ( Our Awesome Travels).  Mike and I, unfortunately, did not actually ever meet them but we have blogged together for many years.   Through that blog we got to know George.  George passed away January 15, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer.  But that is not what I am writing about...I'm writing about his life not his death.  George touched most everyone he met including us.  He was always smiling and happy wearing his iconic vest and hat.   He took everyday and found the joy in it.  I especially loved his "walkabouts" which he took almost every morning...early!!   He seemed to love sunrises and sunsets especially in the desert southwest!!  He and Suzie loved to travel but I do think it was about the people for George as well.
He loved his "social hour" and talking with fellow RVers, family and friends.  He and Suzie would sit outside and read in the "e-readers" or "page turners" as he referred to them and then there were the "doggie fixes" for Suzie.   I can't forget to mention the meals he created on his Weber Q....what a talent for cooking.  He even has his recipes on his should check them out. 
George will be missed!!!  There will be an empty spot in blogland with him gone but he left us with his zeal to live, smile and be happy.....George was  truly happy!!! 
This picture of George was copied from his blog Our AwesomeTravels

It's about the's always been about the people!!  Oh, the places we go are incredible but the people we meet along the way stay with us for a lifetime!! 

Enjoy the journey and make those memories but always cherish the friendships!!  Mike and I cherish your friendships even though we might not have met all of you.  Hopefully, one day our paths will cross...somewhere down the road!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

What a Whirlwind !!!

Oh my doesn't seem possible that its been since July that I wrote a blog!!  I think I got so down about the turn of events that I just couldn't write....nope not a word!!  Maybe I was speechless...yeah, speechless!!!!

Mike did so well with his spinal fusion!!  He healed and physical therapy went really well.  It went so well that the physical therapist noticed something not right with Mike's left shoulder.  She worked with this shoulder and finally told us she didn't think the pain was related with the surgery at all.   We had just thought it was painful from the cervical stenosis and the subsequent surgery and perhaps just slow in healing.   So we headed to the neurosurgeon for a follow up and to discuss this new information from the physical therapist.

The neurosurgeon confirmed what the physical therapist suspected and sent us to an orthopedic surgeon since this didn't fall under the area of a neurosurgeon.   The appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went very well.  He examined Mike's left shoulder, took an x-ray and told us what he suspected but wanted an MRI to confirm.  Fast forward...the MRI confirmed that Mike had a rotator cuff tear (completely pulled off the bone), torn labrum, arthritis, bicep tear and bone spurs.  He told us not to wait much longer than two months to have this surgery.  It was pretty bad.

Surgery was November 12th!!  This orthopedic surgeon, who we've been told is one of the best in the nation, requires a CPM chair ( continuous progressive movement) as well as a recliner to sleep in for six weeks.   As many of you already know, we travel in an Oliver Legacy Elite II which isn't going to quite have the space for a recliner and a CPM chair so we had no choice but to move out of the Oliver and into an apartment.   You just can't make this up!!!
So off our Ollie goes to storage and off we go to live in an apartment....for recovery.

We weren't sure how long we'd be in an apartment or if we'd ever move back into the Oliver.  The apartment is nice and comfortable...chairs, sofa, tables, king size lift bed and a huge TV with cable BUT it's not the Oliver!!  We know we have to be here for rehab but we really miss the Ollie!!
Post-op week 1

Post-op week 6

We've visited a local preserve, Kreher Preserve, and enjoyed walking in nature.  We've visited Chewacla State Park and enjoyed walking a few of their trails and it felt so good to be among the trees and hear the leaves crunch under our feet and the smell....oh the smell that only the woods can give.
Kreher Preserve

Trail at Chewacla State Park

Trails at Chewacla State Park
So a few Sundays ago we drove to where the Oliver was in storage and set him free!!!  Mike can't drive so I had to hook up the Oliver with Mike coaching me on what and when to do different things.  

I managed to line up the hitch and ball (yay me) and pulled him out of his storage spot and headed to a wonderful woodsy site at Chewacla State Park, about a 45 minute drive!!  A site that we have camped on many times and love....nestled back in the woods!!   
Our site at Chewacla State Park

I am so proud that I managed to hook up the Oliver, tow him 45 miles and arrive safely at our site.....however, I am not good at backing up. This is where Mike took over, shhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone, he used his good arm and backed the Ollie right into that site with no problem.  Wow!!  I am jealous!!!   Now we can enjoy the Oliver and one day soon sleep there again.
Lake at Chewacla
So we are still in the apartment doing rehab.  The CPM chair is part of physical therapy and Mike does this three times per day plus other exercises.  The CPM part of PT will be over Jan 10th.  We see the doctor Jan. 10th and phase II begins.  This phase takes Mike out of passive movement and into strength training which will begin using his muscle for movement.  The rehab for shoulder surgery is quite long but as he is getting better we can begin to return to our RV life albeit slowly!   The physical therapist told us we could travel some in February for a couple weeks!!!!!   We both about cried when she said that!!!  Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!
So that's where we are at this point.  It's been a long journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are very grateful that the shoulder is healing and Mike will be good again very soon.

Thanks for stopping by and catching up with us!!  We will be doing the same with you all as well.  It's just been so time consuming but it's now getting better!!

Wishing all our RV friends a very Happy healthy New Year!!!  Safe travels!!!!