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89. Mentonians
I suppose you'll get tired of hearing me write about Mentone, Alabama, but maybe this will be the last Travel Log chapter on the subject. In April 2012, we sold our house in Florida and moved to Mentone -- lock, stock, and RV. Since the Mentone cabin was already furnished, we didn't need much of the Florida furniture, so we had yard sales, giveaways, and finally donations to Molly Mutt (local humane society). We only took a few pieces with us - just enough to probably fit in a 5x8 U-Haul trailer. However, by the time you add in about a dozen boxes marked YARDSALE (stuff we just couldn't part with, but don't need "right now"), you end up needing a 6x12. So, I drove the RV pulling the U-Haul, Joyce drove her Mitsubishi, and we left my Suzuki stored in an RV park in Florida. Plan is to go back and get it in the fall. Below are some photos, more for my later enjoyment, but maybe they'll give you a laugh.

This is the Molly Mutt truck picking up our donations after we sold as much as we could. It's only about half full here, but they eventually filled it with all the furniture that we had remaining.
The RV is parked in back, just like in that December 2010 photo above. Once again, we're finding out how many different uses there are for the RV. A couple of weeks ago, our water was turned off in the afternoon for about 3 days. We soon realized that we needed a little water for washing hands, flushing toilets, etc. So, we thought about the RV - plugged in the electricity, turned on the A/C, and we had access to whatever conveniences and water we needed. We always keep the fresh water tank at least half full for traveling, so we had plenty of water for everything but a shower. Since the water company turned the water about midnight each night, then not off again until about noon, we were able to shower without problems.

And, Big News ... I had an electrician install a 30-amp plug on the back of the house! For the non-RVers, that means that now we have 30 amps of power to the RV when needed, instead of the 15-20 amps that comes out of one of the standard plugs in the kitchen. Before this, we'd run the cord through the kitchen window and plug into the wall plug there. Now, with 30 amps, our "guests" in the RV can run the A/C with TV with computer (or whatever) without danger of popping a circuit-breaker. Plus, we don't have to leave the kitchen window slightly open for the cord. Big news? I think so!

So ... wrapping up ... we're settling in here in Mentone, opening the gallery every Friday - Sunday, eating out in all of the great restaurants in the area, and getting more involved in the everyday goings-on here. For anyone who doesn't know, you can visit ArtGallery.Mentone.com to see what the gallery is up to, who our artists are, and when our next big event is going to be.  Come See Us!
So, now we're Mentonians. Someone said Mentonites, but that sounds religious, so I'm going with Mentonian. To recap, we bought our cabin in early 2010 and opened the Art Gallery @ Mentone, then returned in the Fall and actually stayed to the first snow in December. We came back in the Summer of 2011 and stayed most of June, July, and August. Enjoyed the World's Longest Yardsale in the first week in August both years. Now, it's 2012 and we're planning to stay through the Winter. Time will tell ... we still have the RV parked out back, so it's slightly possible we'll decide to hop in and zoom down to Florida later if the weather gets really cold and the place gets too dreary for us.

We don't plan to rent the cabin out anymore, because we've decided that we have too many personal things here now. When it was the Artist Retreat rental, I put a bunch of really neat (IMHO) photos out and about Mentone, telling what to expect in each month of the year. I'm putting some of them below, in case you don't feel up to wandering all over Artist-Retreat.com. Click a month below to visit that specific page.
JULY 2010: Met Barney Fyffe look-alike on July 4th weekend.
FEBRUARY 2011: The Mentone Springs Hotel in the "Big Snow of 2011."
MAY 2010: These Rhododendron had just started to bloom at the Artist Retreat when we left on May 5th.
JUNE 2011: Great place to visit, if you don't mind the walking.
Our U-Haul trailer was filled to capacity. I don't think we could have squeezed in another thing.
AUGUST 2010: I tried yard-saling Wednesday, sold nothing, so just sat on the porch the rest of the time.
Now, you're probably wondering what that photo above is. I call it "And What Are You Doing In Your Retirement?" What you see there is a shot of my cousin Bruce's (the Bruce of St. Lucia fame in my previous Travel Log chapter) shop in California. He still works all the time doing pipeline inspections or other kinds of Quality Assurance jobs that pay boodles of money and, in his "spare" time, he does projects like restoring old vehicles. In the background is a vintage Cherokee that he's been working on for several years. Just about finished, so now he can jump on what looks like about a 1960 Thunderbird. Looks to me like he's got enough to entertain himself for 3 or 4 "retirements."

And, below, a few video that I thought weas neat and worth sharing, if you've not already seen it. Oh, one more ... if you've never seen this Hong Kong at night ... it's neat.
OCTOBER 2010: The Tour of Homes visited our little gallery and we had bunches of visitors.
DECEMBER 2010: Snow in the yard a few days before we decided to return to Florida.
DECEMBER 2010: Just a couple of old guys enjoying the season.
NOVEMBER 2010: We toured one of the historic Mentone homes on a very foggy, spooky day - note the orb
We filled a 5x10 storage unit with boxes from the 6x12 trailer, after taking everything we needed into the house. Hard to see here, but it's packed to the roof in the back of the storage unit.
After returning the U-Haul, we then found that we needed to move more to storage. Here is our "moving van" filled with boxes and furniture.
If you've not had enough Hoffman for today, you might want to go check out my latest RV-Blog Entry (my Blentry) Blurting Out a Bunch of Information. And, I'm in the process of generating a newsletter, where I talk about retirement stuff (according to my plan of leaving the RV talk to the Travel Log).