A thanksgiving gift to me from a fellow traveler

Wednesday, November 27

1-DSC01633-001The crew and I walk up the low hill.  As we approach the area of Dale’s camp, I walk more slowly in order for Bridget and Spike to announce our arrival.  When I hear Dale’s welcome to the crew, I make my appearance.

“Good morning, Dale!”

1-DSC01649We chat for a few minutes.  In that conversation Dale mentions that his bicycle’s wheel is still bent, even though he’s worked hard to straighten it.  He spins the wheel to show me.  It doesn’t exactly spin.  It turns and it wobbles as it turns.

“I can still ride the bike.  I’ll just look funny going down the road,” he says with optimism.

I get to the purpose of my visit.

“I’m going into Yuma to pick up some groceries.  Do you want to come along?  I’ll probably go to Wal-Mart.”

I explain that I first need to unhitch my trailer and take care of a few other things before I’ll be ready to leave.

“I’ll go online and see if I can find a bike shop.”

“Gee, that would be great,” Dale says as the crew and I start our return to our camp.

1-DSC01635

Later . .  .

I pick up Dale with his bike wheel, and we head out from Mittry Lake on the Laguna Dam Road to Yuma.  Spike’s on the bench seat already prepared to nap and Bridget is in her bed between the front seats.

“I found a bike shop.  It’s on 4th Avenue,” I announce.  I hand Dale a map I’ve drawn showing the location of the bike shop as well as Wal-Mart on Araby Road.

1-DSC01666We pass through an agricultural area and speculate on what food grows in the bright green fields. (Sorry about the fuzzy photo… The workers were very far away across the field.)

1-DSC01665I spot a water vending machine at the corner gas station and pull in.  Dale and I fill up our water jugs (25 cents each) and before we leave, Dale makes a phone call.  Cellphone signal isn’t good at Mittry Lake.

Yuma’s streets are busy.

It’s probably a combination of lunch hour traffic and people out shopping for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving celebration.  However, we find the bike shop easily.  It looks like a high-falutin’ place that probably sells expensive bicycles.

“I’m going to walk Bridget and Spike while you’re in there,” I tell Dale.

By the time the crew and I go around the block and return, Dale is waiting for us, smoking a cigarette in the parking lot.

Bridget and Spike hurry up to him, with me trailing, holding their leashes.

“They look so happy,” he says, smiling.  Then Dale explains that the bike shop guy recommended a place up the street about three blocks.

“It’s called The Mission.  They fix bikes.”

The Mission operates a large thrift store. 

As I drive us into the parking lot, Dale points to the bike shop down at the end of the lot.  “This is more like it,” he says cheerfully as I pull up to the shop and park.

1-DSC01667While Dale’s at the bike shop, I browse the thrift store but don’t find anything.  I go back to the Perfect Tow Vehicle and sit with the crew to wait for Dale to come out of the bike shop.

“Well, how’d it go?” I ask as Dale climbs into the passenger seat after putting the wheel in the back of the PTV.

He mumbles something I can’t hear.

“What’d you say?  I couldn’t hear you.”

“I’m humbled,” he repeats, looking straight ahead at the bike shop through the windshield.  After a pause he adds, “They didn’t charge me anything.”

He explains that he was talking with the guys and it came out that he’s homeless.  Then he relates the progression of the wheel repair which ends up with the repair guys giving him a new wheel with a new tire.  Dale offered to pay . . . “And the guy said to pay if forward.”

I pull the PTV over to park in front of the thrift store.  Dale had mentioned when we arrived that he could use another pair of pants.

1-DSC01668He comes out, happily carrying his new jeans in a bag.  “I tried them on.  They fit great.”

Off we go to Wal-Mart . . .

On the way we marvel at the kindness of strangers.  I tell him my story about the day my brakes failed and a young man named Brian helped me and wouldn’t accept payment.  Instead he gave me his phone number with the offer to drive out to my next camp if I had any problems.

I told Dale, “I sat at the wheel while Brian handed me that slip of paper with his phone number and I said I’d break down and sob if he did one more nice thing for me.”

Dale admits he was about to do the same thing at the bike shop. 

He tells me how the country’s financial mess of a few years ago resulted in the loss of the home he and his wife worked so hard to fix up.  He had to get away.  He spoke kindly of his brother who got him the bike and the bus ticket.

The bus dropped Dale and his bike in downtown Yuma.

“Oh, Dale!  You rode your bike through this mess?  You are so brave.  I would’ve been terrified.”

“It was kind of scary,” he agrees.

On impulse I turn into a Jack-in-the-Box.

“Let’s get something to eat.  My treat,” I say, looking over at Dale.  “Do you eat this kind of food?”

Soon I’m scarfing down a chicken fajita and Dale is chomping on a burger.  We both agree the fries are really good.

“It’s funny how much you appreciate things that you haven’t had in a long while,” he remarks.    Before taking another bite of his burger, he adds, “It’s hard to get enough protein when traveling on a bike.  No meat, of course.”

Continuing toward Wal-Mart, Dale makes a request.

“If you see a tobacco shop, I need to get some.”  I reveal that I smoked many years ago, but when the price went up to eight dollars a carton, I couldn’t afford it and quit.

Dale laughs.  “A carton is almost fifty dollars now.”  Then he explains that by buying loose tobacco and rolling his own cigarettes, he’s spending about twenty percent of the cost of a carton.  “I’m not smoking much now that I’m riding the bike a lot.”

We find a tobacco shop around the corner from Wal-Mart.

Our grocery shopping completed, we head back to Mittry Lake.  It’s almost dark.

1-DSC01659“The people in the big RVs invited me over for Thanksgiving,” Dale tells me.  “I don’t know if I’ll go or not.  I feel funny not bringing anything.”

“Well, gee, Dale.  I don’t think they expect you to bring a covered dish.  It’s not like you’re carrying a convection oven on the back of your bike.  If you don’t go, at least come down to my place.”

I pull over to take a photo of oddly-shaped pink clouds against the blue sky.

1-DSC01669“If you do go for Thanksgiving with the RV people, then come over the next day and we’ll celebrate Black Friday with a piece of pumpkin pie.”

At his camp, Dale unloads his water jugs, bike wheel, and groceries. 

“Gosh, I have everything I need,” he mumbles.  He thanks me and we say good night, as darkness has already fallen, even though it’s not yet six o’clock.

The Perfect Tow Vehicle carries the crew and me down the hill to our camp.  Gee, I should’ve thanked Dale for giving me such a wonderful day.  I know I got more out of it than he did.

rvsue

Happy Thanksgiving to all from me and the crew!

thanksThank you for the gift of reading my blog.

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157 Responses to A thanksgiving gift to me from a fellow traveler

  1. rvsueandcrew says:

    READERS: I told Dale the name of my blog and that I wrote about him. I’m sure he will read this post some day. Please keep that in mind when you write your comments. Thanks.

  2. mockturtle says:

    What a great day! I love to hear of experiences like these. Seems it’s those with the least to give who give the most. Not in monetary donations but in kind and helpful acts. A lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, Sue [and the crew!].

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, mockturtle,

      Happy thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      I’ll add my best wishes here for both Sue and the Crew… (and my “internet friend” mockturtle.) My T’giving meal was a big salad… with pumpkin pie for desert. Glad that Dale dropped by for his pie with you. Thanks for having such a nice story to share with us for the holiday.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Connie. Dale came over today (Friday) and we sat lakeside and ate turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce, followed by cookies n’ cream ice cream.

        Several weekenders have moved in, mostly people who like to fish.

        Sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving. Hi to Mugsy!

  3. What a great Thanksgiving story! Glad you were available to help Dale:)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew!!

  4. Sheri says:

    What a sweet story! A blessing given…and a blessing received…Hugs to you and the crew!

  5. Willow says:

    Sue, you are blessed to be a blessing. Beautiful, kind story, just what I needed. Love to you and crew and best wishes to Dale for a happy life.

  6. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    What a wonderful day indeed!

    I’m sure that Dale enjoyed it as much as you did!

    Thanksgiving 2013 will be forever etched in memory!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      Have I told you lately I appreciate you? Well, I do!

      • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

        The feeling is mutual!

        You don’t realize how comforting your blog is. You’ve got a good group of sincere people…

        Thanks for sharing. Hugs to the crew. I saw Spike’s twin at the park today. Made me smile and think of you all!

  7. Tara says:

    Sue, I’m new to your blog for the last couple of weeks. This post moved me to finally comment. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and that of your fellow travelers. You are so gifted at sharing your experiences through words and photos. Bless you and Dale and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Tara! I’m happy you have joined us.

      Dale and I spent a few hours together this Thanksgiving Day, sitting at my camp looking out at the lake and talking. He left a short while ago with two pieces of pumpkin pie in a container strapped to the back of his bike.

      Thank you for your kind wish for Dale and me. God bless you, too.

  8. Karyn Lee says:

    Good karma often has rewards of it’s own.

    God bless.

  9. Andrea in Glendale says:

    You bring us so much..thank YOU
    Blessings to you and the pups and all the wonderful people on your way.

  10. kgdan says:

    Once again “Thank you” for the gift we will share (as guests) at our Thanksgiving table. Bless you and the crew!

  11. mary strasser says:

    Well, now, I’m going to cry. The simplest kindnesses are the most appreciated kind.
    Life can get to be “too much”, and stepping back from it certainly allows the meaningful acts to be felt. May Dale find what he’s searching for on the road; may all of us find the real meaning in being grateful for the small things that are around us every day.

  12. Marcia in PA says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Crew !

  13. What a wonderful day of sharing! Having a chance to be truly thankful for needs being met! I hope Dale has many more needs met as he meets people like you Sue!
    Sometimes all life needs is a kind word or a smile handed to a stranger. A bike rim and tire… very generous and precious gift! One that will warm all of our hearts this day because you shared this wonderful story with us. Chuck and I feel thankful for having you as a friend! You do so many kind things for being such an old hermit lady! LOL! Love ya’ll !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You and Chuck are great friends. Thanks for following my blog and commenting often. Love you, too!

  14. Phyllis says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone

    Phyllis in Oklahoma (temporarily in Pampa, Texas)

  15. Jim in AL says:

    Hi Sue,
    First time commenter but long time reader. I first came across your blog last year. Have followed you ever since and have read from the very start of your adventures.

    Your blog is so enjoyable to read. I look forward to each entry. Have you considered writing a book about your travels?

    Great Thanksgiving story brought a lump in my throat and a smile on my face.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Even though you’re a longtime reader, let me welcome you to my blog. Thank you for the compliment on my writing.

      Several people have urged me to write a book of my travels or a children’s book about the crew. Right now I’m devoting myself to this blog and to enjoying my retirement days. Happy thanksgiving!

  16. Pauline says:

    A perfect Thanksgiving post!!! You are a blessing to so many people and I am so proud that you are my sister. You have touched so many lives for the better…showing us what really counts. Kindness is priceless.

    Happy Thanksgiving to my Sister Sue, the crew and all the wonderful followers of this blog.
    I love you

  17. Mindy R says:

    Wonderful wonderful, another great day! Karma and paying forward always pays you back! The gift of kindness is so easy and it goes a long way.

    Bless you Sue and the crew, happy bird day to all.

  18. Dedra says:

    You are truly blessed!
    You meet and help so many beautiful people.
    I was feeling down, until I read about your wonderful day.
    Thank you,

  19. Val R. Lakefield, Ontario says:

    Sue, What a lovely post. A Thanksgiving to remember for sure. You are so very kind. Wishing Dale the very best on his journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      I thank you on behalf of Dale for your kind wish. I hope your day was all you hoped it would be.

  20. Reba Johnson Cargile says:

    Just a bunch of gator tears! I’m too lazy to go get the Webster’s for the other word. What a wonderful post!
    Reba

  21. Teri in SoCal says:

    What a beautiful post.

  22. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving story today Sue, I just loved it! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew! Gorgous Cloud Shot! That one’s a keeper! and so is this Blog.
    Take Care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      Thank you. Hope your Thanksgiving was a blessed one. Aren’t those clouds odd? Dale told me he used to paint landscapes and I said, “If you painted clouds like that, people would think you didn’t know how to paint!”

  23. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Happy Thanks Giving Everyone. ,,,,,,,,,,,Timber n’ Rusty

    • Edie says:

      Happy Thanksgiving Rusty and Timber. Hope you are snug and cozy and enjoying the holiday!

      • Dawn from MI says:

        Yes, happy Thanksgiving Rusty!

        • Timber n' Rusty says:

          Yes we are. just think, last year I was looking for fire wood to keep that camper warm for Timber and I. no more looking in the cold or wondering where’s the next camp and such. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that journey, But my body said that’s enough. now I’m with in 17 miles to the VAMC, 1/2 to the PO and Safeway and all. Timber and I are very happy of our home and thank all who help us start a new journey in setting in one spot. I only have 45 more years to go and I just hit the 64 mark.

          • Jean/Southaven, MS says:

            Happy belated Thanksgiving Rusty and Timber. So glad that you are in a good place at this time in your life.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Hello, Rusty and Timber…

            I got your email, Rusty. I’m glad you enjoyed your Thanksgiving meal with your neighbors and friends. Your comment (above) is filled with the true spirit of Thanksgiving. Thank you for being my friend.

    • Mindy R says:

      Same back atcha Rusty and Timber

  24. Marg says:

    Thanks Sue. I have been working since 6:30 this morning cooking and now reading your post, I have had a blessed day. I read this below this morning. How true it is.

    “Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairy tale.” ― Wale Ayeni

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So true, so true . . .

      Hi, Marg! I hope all the Thanksgiving cooks such as yourself were appreciated. It’s quite an effort and no one realizes how much until they’ve put out a holiday dinner with all the trimmings by themselves. It’s a joy to serve but it can wear you out.

      Have a relaxing weekend!

  25. Paula says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sue,

    You made me cry with this story about Dale. What a blessing you are to him … and likewise, him to you. Nothing feels better than helping someone else. And as you know, you received more in return than Dale will ever realize. You will be rewarded for your acts of kindness.

    Paula

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paula,

      My reward is receiving all these sweet comments! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I do appreciate you and everyone who comment here.

  26. Deb from NJ says:

    What a wonderful post! Tears welling up in my eyes and I am thinking……this is what life should be like. People helping one another. Giving of yourself to others without expecting anything in return. Thank you for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      You’re welcome. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you did, too.

      My father told me that a gift is not a gift if you expect something in return. “Strings attached” make it a bribe.

      Have a super weekend!

  27. Trip and Lisa says:

    Loving the photos and blog as usual Sue,and having walked in Dales shoes,I would say to him “in this adventure called life,the best is yet to come”,it just gets better an better,I promise.
    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew and your new friend Dale this year Sue.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I gotta get on earlier if I’m gonna be number one to post,grrrrrr,LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Trip and Lisa,

      Dale didn’t choose his circumstances — life has a way of making unexpected turns — but it is his choice to travel light with a bike. He’s on a searching journey, something he needs to do right now. I know you and many of my readers are rooting for him to find what he needs so that he can write the next chapter of his life.

      Thanks for the kind words. The crew and I enjoyed Thanksgiving day very much.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        BTW… In response to your kind offer to give Dale a tent (comment deleted as you suggested), I found out today that he has a tent! He only has it in case it rains. Thanks anyway!

  28. Evelyn says:

    Hi Sue, What a nice story. I have good news, this week I found the perfect class c. It is home and I’m getting it ready to get on the road. My copilot is my 86 year old mom. I’m so thankful that she is still here and able to go traveling with me. We hope to get to the Mittry Lake area, as it looks so beautiful. Thank you for making it seem doable, you have been my inspiration.

    • DeAnne in TN says:

      Congratulations Evelyn! How wonderful that your mom will be able to experience life with you this way! I was at a friend’s for dinner today, and I was talking about me heading out when I turn 60. I commented that I wanted to wait until I was 70 for social security (if still available) to get more benefits. My friend said “70? I wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything then!” I just smiled, and after reading your post, it just made me smile bigger. Let your adventure begin!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Evelyn!

      How exciting! I’m very happy for you and your mother. What memories you will make together.

      And congratulations on the new rig! I know you are having a ball fixing it how you want it and making plans. I wish I could’ve given my mother what you are giving yours.

      God bless you both!

      BTW, (A MESSAGE TO ALL READERS) . . . If you do come to Mittry Lake, don’t drive in the way I did from Highway 95 over Imperial Dam Road. It’s much easier to drive from Yuma up the Laguna Dam Road.

  29. Dawn from MI says:

    Glad you had such a good day, and then a good Thanksgiving as well. I guess you’ve paid it forward for Brian’s help more than once. Inspirational..and I’m sure Dale will pay it forward as well…maybe someday we’ll read his blog or his book about his biking adventure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      You made me think of something about Brian… He probably was paying forward something that he received. We tend to treat people the way we’ve been treated.

      I hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend.

  30. lynne says:

    Great post, Sue. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Another thing to be thankful for…….to be so far away from the Black Friday and Brown Thursday’s shopping madness! The mall parking lot was overflowing at 8 PM tonight!

    It was pleasant to focus on a spot so very far away from the craziness.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynne,

      Oh, don’t I know it! I’d HATE to be caught up in the madness of Black Friday shopping. For me the day after Thanksgiving has always been a day to avoid stores.

      I suppose many, many years ago, holiday shopping was a relaxed event and a delight, visiting decorated stores along a street where people greeted one another with smiles and good wishes. Now it’s a greed stampede. Ugh!

      • Mindy R says:

        I remember growing up in the pre-mall days and we’d go downtown to check the dept. store windows for their x-mas displays and I agree all was way more relaxed and not the “greed stampede”.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Now the Christmas displays in the malls are way too much to enjoy. It’s overwhelming. The beauty of Christmas is in its simplicity. A simple story. Simple acts of giving. Instead of simplicity, we’re hit over the head with gaudy excess.

  31. Jean in Southaven, ms says:

    great post. sure hope Dale finds his way ok. I know he has people who love him and worry about him. glad he found his way to you for a short while. this has been a blessed day. happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew and to all the followers of this blog. love your comments almost as much as I love the blog itself.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      A lot of wonderful things occur in this comment section! That’s one of the reasons why I take the time to reply to comments. I am grateful for every reader, such as yourself, who takes the time and effort to join in.

      It’s fun to read the different perspectives of readers, the silly remarks, the new information, the encouraging words, the insights, the comfort extended to someone going through difficulty, the news that someone just bought their rig or are finally on the road. . . That’s the heart of my blog!

      (Maybe some more lurkers will start commenting, heh?)

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend!

  32. Ron says:

    Sue
    You try to present a tough ole loaner, I think your just a softy and a sweet heart in disguise.
    Part of what I am thankful for this year is this blog plus the great group of posters ,it helps restore the believe in folks.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      As I wrote to Jean above, people who read my blog have so much to offer. Reading the comments can restore your belief in the goodness of people.

      Thanks for the gentle, kind words, Ron.

  33. Pen says:

    I enjoyed your post. The fact that you are a loner and yet open yourself up to people is something that never fails to … well, I’m not sure what the right word would be… I guess “impress” me (in the true sense of making an impression). I find it heartwarming (and I wish I were better at it).

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, to Dale, and to the wonderful gang here.

    Pen (currently in CA)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pen,

      It is a “wonderful gang,” for sure! Gee, you’ve given me the opportunity to put in a good word for the loners of the world . . .

      We may like to be alone, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care. We loners just prefer to do our caring over here while the rest of you are over there! LOL!

      Happy holiday weekend to you, Pen!

  34. TexCyn says:

    What a great post! I love the whole pay it forward thing & this is a great example of it! Happy Thanksgiving! This is a post to be thankful for 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, TexCyn,

      Thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed my Thanksgiving story. It was an easy one to write, because Dale and I were feeling thankful for the people who have been good to us.

      I hope people are being good to you and when they aren’t, remember you can be good to yourself! Have a great holiday weekend!

  35. Ilse says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    I wanted to be on the road by now, but things kept coming up My daughter had emergency gall bladder surgery this morning. Her husband is on contract in Afghanistan, her daughter is stationed in Bahrain, my 15 year old grandson was alone at home with cats and dog, so I am grateful that I had not left yet. She drove herself to the Navy hospital and I am happy that she is fine and I can go and pick her up tomorrow. It’s been a Thanksgiving to remember for sure. Now I have to wait several more days before I can leave Sequim. The weather man is predicting snow down to 500′ this weekend.
    Cheers,
    Ilse

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ilse,

      Sounds like you know your situation is one of those where… what you wanted (to be on the road) wasn’t meant to be right now because you’re needed where you are. Thank God you were there for your daughter! Now you have quite a Thanksgiving story to tell . . .

      I know my readers join me in wishing her a speedy recovery. The day will come when you’ll leave Sequim on your own journey. Best wishes to you and your entire family, wherever they may be this year.

  36. Colleen says:

    What a beautiful post! I love those pink clouds!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aren’t those clouds unusual? I remarked to Dale as we drove along… “They look like cotton candy.”

      Glad you liked the post. Take care, Colleen. Always nice to see you dropping in here.

  37. Glenda from Glendale says:

    Thanks for another great post Sue. What an awesome reminder of what Thanksgiving really means. The giving of your time and kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. I’m thankful that I found your blog and that you share it with all of us. Safe travels to you and Dale both!

  38. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Oh Sue my heart is so warmed by your account of your day with Dale. How wonderful to help a fellow traveller and to get so much back in return. We don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia but I wish for you and the crew a Happy Thanksgiving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      I’m hurrying to type this because my laptop just informed me that it needs more charge! Nice to have you join in our American holiday. I hope all is well with you!

  39. Thank you so much for sharing this post with your readers. I am humbled by your ability to open yourself up to those around you. I’m too guarded around strangers sometimes, I know this, and I’m moved to seek to change that a bit as a result of what you wrote about Dale. Good tidings and hugs to you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tamara,

      Well, sometimes it’s wise to be guarded around strangers. I do think our culture sends the message that we should be concerned only with ourselves and our little orbit of friends and family.

      I’m glad you got something out of my Thanksgiving story. Thanks for the warm comment. Have a wonderful weekend!

  40. Pam says:

    Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Spent mine with my fur-crew, sharing a turkey breast. They all love turkey, including the cats. Hope it’s a lot warmer where you are; we have 7 degrees in Appleton WI.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Pam, seven degrees? Really? Why? LOL!

      Yes, it’s a lot warmer here as you can see from the weather widget in the sidebar. Lately it’s been on good behavior and telling something close to the truth.

      Your thanksgiving with your furry pals sounds delightful. They are a blessing. Thanks for stopping by!

  41. Linda in TX says:

    How nice to read a heart-warming story like this in the middle of all the awful shopping/Black Friday mayhem stories currently in the news. Best to you and Dale both.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      I haven’t read the news in a couple of days. I can imagine what you are referring to. Seems like people are becoming crazier and more violent with each passing day. Come hide out with me and the rest of my readers! Ha!

      On behalf of Dale and me, thanks and best wishes to you, too.

  42. RvSue..I am sure you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! I believe I”bumped” into you in my travels but I know you through reading your blog…your kind nature and sweet,generous soul shines clearly through in your words, photos and heart felt caring for your fellow travelers…I am proud to know you..RvSue…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Betty-Shea… such compliments! Don’t forget — I’m just an old lady in a hat with two dogs . . . 🙂 Thank you for that message.

      I hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the weekend!

  43. Dawn on Camano Island says:

    Sue, your open heart just plain humbles me. You are an angel walking among us. Happy trails to Dale…may his journey give him what he needs and wants.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I’m far from being an angel! It’s easy to give the impression of goodness in print. In real life, not so easy! Thanks anyway. It was nice of you to write that.

      On behalf of Dale (who may read your wish for him someday), thank you!

  44. G says:

    Sue, your stories ‘pays it forward’ many times over through your readers. Whether it is someone that has helped you out or you helping someone else out, it brings out the goodness in people that motivate all of us to do the same thing just from reading your blog!
    I know it has for me. I get a great sense of ‘feel good’ with stories such as these and go out in the day to help a stranger knowing it can have such a great impact on them and they, in turn, can do the same to someone else.
    Love your posts, I am always handing out your blog website to others when I tell them that I too, will one day be a full time RV’er!
    G

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, G,

      The concept of “pay it forward” is a winner because it involves everyone along the way in both roles — the giver and the receiver. I once told a man who was reluctant to accept the generosity of a stranger — “Sometimes a person needs to give more than the other person needs to receive the gift.”

      Thanks for telling others about my blog. The more, the merrier, as the old saying goes. Hope all is well with you… and, yes, make your dream come true!

  45. Barb George says:

    Morning Sue! What a wonderful day you spent with Dale. LOVE that his bike is now fixed…
    You are such a blessing to me. Thankful for being able to share in your adventures.

    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      Have you ever tried to ride a bike with a bent wheel? It’s terrible work and you look like a circus act!

      We were so fortunate to be led to that bike shop. Dale and I were shaking our heads in amazement. Yuma is a big town and neither of us are familiar with it, yet we come upon the perfect place to solve the wheel problem!

      I’m glad you are a part of my blog, Barb. Have a wonderful weekend!

      • Barb George says:

        Hi again Sue!
        I have not been challenged by a bent wheel, but golly I can imagine it! What a treat to find what you want when you want it–and what you need even faster!
        We are toasty here, but looking at snow soon… Stay safe, warm and snuggled up!
        Hugs from Hoquiam, where you are admired and appreciated!
        Barb

  46. Nan says:

    OK, now you have done it. Your story made me tear up. Such simple kindness can do so much more than we imagine. You, my friend, have a huge heart. God Bless.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nan,

      God has blessed you with a tender heart, although I’m sure there are times you hurt more than you deserve because of it! Thanks for writing. Enjoy the weekend!

  47. Diann in MT says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thanks for sharing yours and Dale’s Thanksgiving adventures! You know, your story really speaks to the compassion and sincere caring found among teaching professionals.
    Several years back while teaching in a small high school, I was blind-sided by a tragic personal event. Alone and confused, I thought I would fold into myself and never come out again. Over the course of a week, one by one, every teacher in that school came into my room after work and sat at a kid’s desk and told me that they believed in me and assured me that I would not be alone whatever the murky future brought on. Eventually, I was able to put one foot in front of the other, day after day, until I finally saw my way through to a brighter yet emotionally altered future. I will never forget the warmth and comfort of a few solid souls who loved me to death during those dark times.
    To this day, I have never encountered human beings as those teachers, so capable of loving others out of complete misery!
    So, here’s to our shared profession! Even though, it seems you may have found teaching an onerous occupation, you, Sue, have the heart of a teacher!
    Good luck and God bless!
    Diann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann,

      You’re right. I enjoyed teaching in small moments, but mostly it wasn’t a good fit for me. I would’ve been a great teacher if I could’ve taught a hundred years ago. Thank you for the compliments.

      Your story is a lesson in compassion. I’m glad you were given what you needed to come out of that dark valley. Thanks for taking the time to share your personal experience with me and my blog’s readers.

      God bless you and keep you in His care. Have a great weekend!

  48. Evan Fox says:

    Great post Sue.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the crew.
    Evan & Wanda Las Vegas, Nv.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Evan and Wanda! Great to hear from you! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your wheels keep turning to good places!

      I still haven’t set up Sirius radio like we talked about way back when. A generous reader has offered to send me a portable radio set-up which I hope to receive as soon as I can give her an address where I’ll be. I’m so excited!

      Thanks for stopping by. Happy holiday weekend!

  49. Donna Parker says:

    Great post, Sue. I’m sure Dale will pay it forward someday, in one way or the other. This story gives the phrase “the kindness of strangers” a whole new context. Thanks for sharing. You warmed the cockles of my heart! (What ARE cockles, anyway???)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      You made me curious, too. I found this on the web…

      “The cockles of the heart are its ventricles, named by some in Latin as “cochleae cordis”, from “cochlea” (snail), alluding to their shape. The saying means to warm and gratify one’s deepest feelings.” — Patricia McPhee, Booker Bay

      I’m happy you liked the Thanksgiving story. Thanks for dropping by with a comment. Hope your weekend is a good one!

      • Gayle says:

        And then there’s: “Singing ‘Cockles and mussels, alive alive-o!'”
        There’s no end to these cockles.

        Happy Thanksgiving to you and crew! I’m thankful all year for your blog! May your roads be paved with Walmart rotisserie chicken!

  50. michael wilkerson says:

    I wonder if you realize what a noble person you are? I am impressed by your caring. Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Michael… Nice of you to say that.

      However… RVSue may seem noble as she appears in this blog. Sue, on the other hand, well . . . not so much! 🙂

      I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving day. Here’s to a wonderful weekend for you and those around you!

  51. Mark says:

    I wish there was a like button…

    Mark
    Salina, ks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Awww, I’d rather have you appear here, Mark. I don’t want to count “likes,” I want to hear what you have to say.

      Hope everything’s fine in Salina! Gee, you’ve been with me and the crew for a long time. Thank you for that.

  52. AZ Jim says:

    Sue, You have always been a good writer, but I swear you get better each chapter. You put so much emotion into these stories that it makes empathy automatic. Your Dale story (I was tempted to say Dale Tale, but refrained until now), was one such adventure. I hope Dale took up the offer of dinner with the nice folks who offered. Your kindness to Dale reflects your good heart. Karma! Our company is gone, just left but we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our gang. Now, it’s back to our travels with you. I always mean to thank you for my “daily reading must”, so THANK YOU. Jim

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      No, Dale didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner with the RVers. He did come down to my campsite and when he left, I gave him a container with two pieces of pumpkin pie to top off the chili dinner he had planned for himself.

      I’m happy to hear your holiday was a good one with your family. Thank you for being such a loyal reader who gives me great compliments on a regular basis. 🙂 Have a relaxing weekend!

  53. Lee says:

    When I read your posts it always reminds me of my dad. When I was a girl growing up in Carlsbad New Mexico, my dad owned a gas station..he was always helping folks that were stranded, often bringing them home for a meal or even giving then a place to stay while their vehicle was being repaired.
    He never knew about ‘pay it forward’, but he lived it..he truly showed his love of his fellow man by doing practical things, just like you do.
    It makes me feel so good, knowing there are people like you out there, Sue, you help more ways than you know. Some benefit directly from your kindness, others like me benefit by having a good example to follow.

    Lee

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      How fortunate you were to have such a wonderful father. You must miss him very much. I don’t know that I deserve to be put in the same category as he is in, but it’s nice of you to do so.

      If my blog spreads kindness, I’m thrilled! You have a happy holiday weekend. Thanks for sharing the story of your dad with us.

  54. Kellee says:

    Reading your blog warms my heart. As I read about people shopping on thanksgiving, I began to lose faith in our society. Then I read about you and Dale and your thankful day and my faith is restored.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kellee,

      Just when you think our society can’t get any crazier or out of touch with what’s important, it does! The media makes it look like everybody is nuts. Fortunately, most people are like the folks who comment here. . . sensible and good-hearted.

      I’m glad my blog had a positive effect on you. Enjoy the weekend!

      • Kellee says:

        Agreed! I should read more RV Sue and less CNN! 🙂

        • Gayle says:

          I cut the cord! No CNN, HLN etc. Only PBS dramas, Rick Steves travel. TV is fear-based. Much money can be made on those of us pumped up by fear of terrorists & crime & disease. Decided, if I can’t be RV Sue, I’d live partially like RV Sue. No fear TV in my condo-casita. However, not quite that disciplined yet. Stream spiritual films from Gaiam TV while drinking a (moderately) fine wine while gazing at the faux-Tuscan condo next door. I’m getting there little by little, RV Sue!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Good for you, Gayle. Most of the fear created by media involves hurting women. It conditions us to be timid throughout our lives. I wish you well in overcoming it. Every step is a big one!

  55. Sierra Foothill Mama says:

    Thank you for sharing part of you wonderful life with us. May we all treat others with compassion and spread a little of the RV Sue and Crew kindness around.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sierra Foothill Mama,

      You’re welcome, and thank you for visiting my blog and commenting frequently. I hope your Thanskgiving Day was happy. Enjoy the weekend!

  56. Kitt - NW WA says:

    I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago while looking at Casita websites. After seeing the picture of your rig I knew we had crossed paths somewhere in the past few months. While reading of your September/October travels it finally clicked – Deschutes S. R. A. We cruised through the park a couple of times as you were setting up in your site. We exchanged happy waves as we also pull a 17ft. Casita – picked up in June 2011! It is also possible we saw you at a rest area west of the park, though that memory is a little fuzzy. We wound up at Maryhill St. Pk. east of The Dalles on the Washington side, enjoying the sun and drying out after fleeing the storm on the coast.

    I have become a great fan of your blog and will enjoy following you and your crew’s
    adventures. Perhaps our paths will cross again someday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kitt,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m happy you found me and the crew, and that you consider yourself a fan.

      I remember seeing you at Deschutes and, yes, I think I saw a Casita at a rest stop. And I certainly remember fleeing that same storm . . .

      Thanks for dropping in here. I love to hear from my readers and it’s a special treat to welcome new readers. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

  57. margaret says:

    Hi Sue

    I guess I have been lurking long enough. lol I have been reading your awesome blog off and on since finding you because of the story of Rusty and Timber. I was so glad to hear that story had a happy ending. I am not usually compelled to comment but I was so touched by your Thanksgiving story and also the comments, that I just had to say hello and thank you for letting us come along on your journey. The comments are just as much a blessing as your story. God Bless

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Margaret,

      The comments and the people who write them are the heart of my blog. I’m pleased you came out of lurkdom to join us. Every single person who comments makes my blog better!

      I’m glad to have you along as Bridget, Spike, and I find our way on the roads and byways of the West. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  58. gingerda says:

    What a great post. You sure meet the nicest and most interesting people on the road.
    Glad you had a fun day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you. I saw your comment at the end of the previous post, along with Barbara’s reply. It’s understandable that you would be “under the weather.” You face a big challenge. God bless you and carry you!

  59. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing these things, Sue…blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy!! And you have shown yourself merciful!! Ours was a peaceful small celebration too…but we enjoyed it. Glad you were able to share yours too!!

    Here is an interesting link on another blog from an Australian lady I like to read, that might be some useful, practical things one can use, not only in camping, but even in other types of travel where space is at a premium: http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very clever items on that link… Thanks, Elizabeth! I’m glad you enjoyed your Thaksgiving.

  60. Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

    Hi Sue,
    You posted the link on Amazon for your new camera for me once but I couldn’t afford it at the time and now I can’t locate that post. Your pictures have so much depth and such good color. Of course I realize it has a lot to do with the photographer but I need to upgrade my camera. Would you please post the information again when you get time?
    I hope you’re in a wonderful spot for the weekend. Reading about your time with Dale made Thanksgiving more meaningful. Thank you!
    Marilu

  61. Such a wonderful thing you did with Dale.
    To help someone out is so very rewarding, that is what rving is all about.

  62. AZ Jim says:

    Well, it’s over for another year. All our Grandkids and Great Grandkids are gone and the house, so filled full of laughter, loud voices trying to make it over other loud and excited voices are gone. Still, we will have the little memento of memories made this Thanksgiving. Everyone ate plenty of Turkey and all the other goodies that go with the traditional Thanksgiving meal. While here they all went out of their way to help us with everything. Detta and I are so glad they came and sad they had to leave. It will be another year before we see them again if then. Here’s hoping all Sue’s readers enjoyed their holiday too. And I know Sue made herself and her new friend Dale happy with theirs too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim and Detta,

      Sounds like you have a wonderful family. I’m glad you were able to host them for Thanksgiving!

  63. Kitt - NW WA says:

    Sue
    I’m spending time this Saturday catching up on your travels by reading all of your posts for the past few years. I just finished your post for August 17, 2011. Your overwhelming joy about beginning your new life brought me to tears – not for the first time. What a grand adventure you are on. It will take me a few days of reading to catch up, but it is like a great book, I just can’t put it down! It is a good thing that we are having a gray rainy day here in the far NW corner of WA, lots of time to read.
    Thank you, thank you for sharing your life and travels with your readers.
    Kitt

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Kitt.

      It’s been an incredible experience from the day the crew and I left Georgia to visit family in Mississippi and then onward to the Casita factory in Texas. “Dream come true” doesn’t begin to describe the past 2+ years because I never dreamed of all the wonderful places and people that would become a part of my life.

      It always makes me smile to learn that another reader has gone back to follow our journey from the start. Thank you for that!

  64. ruthiebee says:

    great post as usual, Sue. Your stories inspire. I am going back to music after a twenty year hiatus, I owe it to reading the blogs of courageous people like yourself. And as for Dale, I like to think that the bit about “be kind to strangers as you never know when you are entertaining angels unaware” may apply to your experience. Whether you or he are the angels, I cannot say. Be blessed! And thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ruthiebee…

      Oh, I am so happy you are back to your music. It is such a gift!

      When I was a girl, I wanted piano lessons so badly. There was a broken down piano in the barn with several keys missing. I used to pretend I was creating great music on that thing.

      In my forties I finally took some piano lessons in an Adult Ed. program. I learned to play a few “ditties” but it’s not the same as growing up learning to play.

      So best wishes to you and your music, however you create it … Enjoy!

      • ruthiebee says:

        Thanks Sue, I shall try to be brave! Music is everywhere, the birds in our yard sing with a diversity of tweets and delightful squawks and nature is always present with a song. May you enjoy the music along the way as you adventure onward. I’ve always felt a certain cadence and rhythm to your posts.

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