Wednesday, April 9, 2008

03-08 Lakeland to Orlando Florida

Campground: Moss Park. Orange County Park. $17.50 Senior rate. W/E. Large new campsites. Between two lakes and a forest for hiking.

Lakeland to Orlando

Ok, so I drove over to Lakeland on my way to Orlando to get my 5th wheel camper wheels aligned. Tampa Spring Co did the work and did a great job. I had originally called Flagship Rv about an alignment because one of the wheels was wearing badly and actually blew out when I was last in Orlando. Flagship wanted to put a new axle on the camper without even seeing it. Rv’ers, don’t let an Rv place tell you you need a new axle if your tires begin to wear badly. It may be a bent axle, but go to a professional axle/alignment place for big semi trucks and Rv’s to have them determine if your camper needs an alignment or more. Most Rv places are not equipped to handle alignments or even determine what is wrong with your wheels and axles.

Bottom line, I paid $170 to have all 4 wheels and axles re-aligned. The mechanic told me that most travel trailers/5th wheels are out of alignment from the day they come out of the factory.

Back to Orlando. My sisters husband Dave has had to go into the hospital due to some breathing problems. He has very limited lung capacity and is on oxygen. He also has sleep apnea and hasn’t been using his breathing device at night.

Update. Dave has gotten out of the hospital and is doing fine.

My sister Dorothy and her Daughter Kelly came to the park the other day with her two kids. We had lunch and went to the playground so Lucas could get in some play time.

The week has gone by fast. Doing laundry one day, I talked to one of the workers, a gentleman from India who just became a U.S. citizen last year. He had his own business and had to sell it. He now makes $7.50 an hour and wonders how he and his wife can continue to pay the $500 a month for insurance. And even though he has the insurance, he’s afraid to go in to see a doctor about a pain in his side because it will still cost him a fair amount of money and he has to pay full price for any prescriptions. He also wondered why the Gov. and State are able to tax his money from the sale of his small business since he’d already paid taxes on that money in the past. Welcome to America.

I visited with Ione and talked to her son on the phone. They were my best neighbors when I lived in Orlando. Wayne was at work with a terrible chest cold of some kind, but had to go into work. Ione had been taking care of an elderly woman along with another one of her sons. The ordeal was overwhelming and she told me that at one point she felt like she was not herself. Just going through the motions. Thank goodness they finally decided to put the gal in a nursing home.

Along the way, I had lunch with a couple folks from work and it reminded me that I was very fortunate to have worked with such wonderful people throughout my Navy “civilian” career. Jan has worked for 35 years and could have retired over 5 years ago. Another friend Lorraine is in the same boat. I guess some folks just like working. I can tell you, I am profoundly grateful that I’m retired and am able to enjoy this new adventure.

My friend Pat who works for a company that sells foreign stamps, tells me that with the value of our dollar so low, that the stamp business is booming. Many of the Asian buyers are paying twice as much for the stamps, making the company he’s working for quite happy. In actuality they are paying about the same as before, since the dollar has devalued to about half it’s former value of just a couple of years ago.

Of course that’s also why we are paying over $3.00 a gallon for gas. If the government would bring the value of the dollar back up, the price of gas would only be about $$1.50 a gallon. But of course we have to protect all the folks who speculated on home they couldn’t afford…. You know the drill.

I haven’t had a chance to read much of the local papers while here. But from the news on tv, it appears that there’s still lots of crime to go around in Central Florida along with the heavy amount of car accidents. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t seen a couple of accidents. Which usually involves closing entire streets off for a couple of hours. Yuck.

Moss Park is like an oasis of tranquility. A short distance north into town, yet I’m in a quiet park surrounded by huge old oak trees, tall pine trees, lakes and hiking trails. At night, there are no street lights so the campground becomes a dark primitive place, silent as can be.

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