Black Friday; projects, big and small

Remember the wood pallets I mentioned a while back?

They’re stacked in the corner of the yard not far from Horned Toad’s home on the other side of the fence.  Roger checks the pallets every day, running around and sniffing each side, frustrated that he cannot get to the center of the pallets.

That’s where little lizards and the bigger Horned Toad (also a lizard) relax in the knowledge that they’re out of his reach.

I don’t like clutter around my house.

I finally get around to tossing the pallets over the fence (sorry, toadie lizards!) which puts the pallets next to the road at the side of the property.  I hang a cardboard sign on the fence — “Take away, free!” and place a similar wood sign at the stop sign near our house.

I intend to take photos of my pallet display for this blog.

However, when I go out there with my camera, I find a man and a woman happily loading the pallets into the back of their vehicle.  We greet each other and I learn they’re my neighbors from across the street.

“We just came home from work and saw your sign!”

I don’t ask how they will use the pallets.  

Probably break them up to feed into their patio fire ring, a ubiquitous feature of our neighborhood.  After they drive away, I take the photo you see above Reggie and remove the signs.

Gee, that was fast and easy.  

I have a bunch of projects in progress.

They’re stacked up like wood pallets!  In a previous post I showed you our “new-to-us” love seat.  I’m going to change the cover of the center cushion.  That blue doesn’t add any warmth to the room and I like warm colors.

I find a couple yards of fabric for a dollar (you know where!) that I like much more. Below you see the fabric draped over the cushion.  I haven’t cut or sewn it yet which is why it’s wrinkled and oddly shaped in the photo.  That center design needs to be positioned better, too.

When I tire of this fabric, I can change it again.

I also found a good-sized piece of quality fabric with a nice texture (again, only a dollar).

The color in the photo isn’t quite right –it isn’t orange — because in real life the reds pair up well.

Previously I had picked up throw pillows for 50 cents each which that fabric will transform. . . . if I ever complete the project, that is.

Big plans, eh?

Reggie and Roger claim the loveseat as their daytime nap place.  Over time the oil on their fur will surely dirty the seat cushions.  The throw doesn’t protect well.  How could it when paws immediately bunch it up to make a nest!

I take up the throw and instead keep two cheapo beds on the loveseat (photo above).  The boys hop into the beds and stay off the cushions.

Friday, November 23

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, the infamous Black Friday.  Rev up your shopping motor!  Amazon has great deals going on today and throughout the holiday season.

Today is also the day the fence panels are to be delivered!  

They are coming from Home Depot.  I like how the customer receives a phone call an hour or so before delivery.  That worked out very well the day the washer and dryer were delivered.

Dennis plans to be here to accept the goods for me.

He drove to Home Depot last Wednesday and personally picked out the panels and posts.

“I want to make sure you get good wood,” he explains.

More about the fence in a future post!


NOTE:  Thanks to everyone who contributed a Thanksgiving story under the previous post.  Some were funny, others poignant; all enjoyable to read.  More stories about the holidays, past, present, and future, are welcome! — Sue

~ ~ ~


RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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71 Responses to Black Friday; projects, big and small

  1. weather says:

    Hmmm, blank page, this might be near the top of this comments section.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re first today, weather! CONGRATULATIONS! 🙂

    • weather says:

      Funny, when my phone binged to let me know an email had come in I was trying different arrangements of cushions and a throw on my furniture. The reason I was doing that was to take a break from shopping Amazon’s Black Friday deals, you must have been sending me ESP mail and E mail 🙂 . I’ve been considering some art for my place, all the possibilities are great to see, yet hard to choose among. I have it narrowed down to a few choices. The ASIN of a small one is B018GOEF2K if you care to take a look. Be back later, hope you’re having as much fun today as I am.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Here it is!

        Nicky Boehme Premium Thick-Wrap Canvas Wall Art Print entitled Let’s Get Together 20″x16″

        That scene is so very “weather!” Ha! I imagine that’s the way it is at your house — all the woodland creatures knowing they are safe around the place where you live. “Where is she?” they ask themselves while peeking through the window. 🙂

        See my response to Ilse. My thoughts reach out to blogorinos — You’re arranging cushions and throws after I write about them!

        Thanks for mentioning your Amazon shopping here and, by doing so, reminding others.

        I’m having fun! The fence supplies were delivered a short while ago. You keep having fun, too!

      • weather says:

        Sue , I hadn’t thought of how like my home and life that picture is until you wrote “That scene is so very “weather! Ha!” That IS funny 🙂 , I do love sweet, beautiful creatures, in real life and in art.

        It’s amazing how often animals and nature bring us the sense that all’s right in our world. You know those moments- in a hot spring, at sunrise or the golden hour, seeing one blooming flower in the harshness of a desert- when we feel awe, wonder, profound gratitude, peace…

        My home isn’t airtight, or even close to it. I could easily fill the gaps in windows and doorways that let wisps of air in, be those hot or cold. Instead I enjoy the fresh air circulating, and the sounds I hear by letting things be.

        On Thanksgiving evening when I went to bed swans were gliding in this cove’s water. Within the cove they have protection from the stronger winds that blow across the deeper waters of the rest of the lake.I listened to them quietly speaking, knowing they’d feasted on aquatic plants,I fell asleep smiling.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Your last paragraph… sublime! Reminds me of listening to the roadrunner cooing a few nights ago. 🙂

  2. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Well, now I feel bad, I ordered an item from amazon and forgot to do it through your blog..oops…bet I won’t do that again.
    It sounds like your yard is progressing nicely! Can’t wait for more progress reports.
    I went out on the front porch and took a deep breath this morning, no smoke smell! This Northern California rain has been so welcome, it looks like the Camp Fire is almost out. But the poor people that are effected, so very sad for them…the only thing that offsets it a tiny bit is the outpouring of help….counting my blessings today.
    Have you ever held a horned toad in your hand? Their underside is so soft and smooth!

  3. Ilse, no longer in Sequim says:

    I was going to celebrate “Buy Nothing Day”, but then I decided on a membership at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, today at a discount. I also bought replacement Fluoride Filters for my Berkey Water Filter, also at a discount today. Oh yes, I also bought a gift box of grass fed and grass finished beef. All at discounts. It’s not so bad to take advantage of opportunities to save money on things we would buy anyway. Have a wonderful day, Sue, and all the blogorinos as well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ilse!

      I was thinking about you this morning! Gee, maybe I can move blogorinos with my thoughts?

      Good for you, catching those deals!

  4. Sallly says:

    Worst Thanksgiving yesterday, ever. I had the turkey cooked and in Crock-Pot
    Vegetables made. Pies on counter. Table all set for 11. And then….I get the stomach flu. Vomited for hours. Sorry family, no Thanksgiving this year. Nobody will step foot in our house for days. They Didn’t want my food I prepared. But I dont blame them at all. It’s awful!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Sally, you win the title of “Worst Thanksgiving Dinner for 2018!”

      Get well soon. You have my sympathy.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Feel better soon, Sally! 🙂

    • Elaine Magliacane says:

      Oh Sally that is awful… I hope your stomach settles soon, so sorry your thanksgiving went so wrong, but next year you’ll all laugh and be thankful to be able to enjoy the turkey.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I am so sorry!!! I do understand…in fact, such type events…THREE YEARS IN A ROW are why I no longer do much of anything in December…just fly along by the seat of my pants…accept invitations, or offer them…on the spur of the moment…no planning in advance. Seems to ward off the sickies for me!! ARGH!!

  5. Elaine Magliacane says:

    Our subdivision is called Wando Woods, we don’t even have to put up a sign, anything you want to ‘recycle’ like furniture, pallets, fire wood at the street. People in the neighborhood come by and take it away… we call it Wando Woods recycling… if it is still there on garbage day, the city will send around a truck and pick it up and take it to the dump. I don’t think any of our ‘stuff’ has ever gone to the landfill. I’m thankful for that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine!

      Ha, I almost called you Wanda… 🙂

      I have a feeling our neighborhood practices the same recycling system. I like it!

  6. AZ Jim says:

    Grand kids left today. It was a joy to have them here. They did their best to try and convince us to sell everything and go out to California. We finally settled that by promising that if one of us is left alone the survivor would go out there. We already miss having the kids here. But this is our nest and we love it…We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as we did. Hugs to all… Congrats Missy on your new fence. Hi R&R

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jim. I’m glad you had a great Thanksgiving and that you love your “nest.” It’s easy for me to understand why. Arizona offers much and this has been a lovely November.

      Your family telling you they want you nearby is another way of saying “We love you.” 🙂

      Hugs to you and Detta…

  7. Geri from the FL panhandle! says:

    Hi Sue and blogerinos!

    Blustery day here in the panhandle! I was trying to get some Mermaid Tears made for a shop in Apalachicola. Then the wind kicked up (I work outside under a portable carport) and the temps started falling! Went from 70° to 60° in less than an hour! With the wind, that 60° was cold.

    I have given up, came inside and now Radar is snuggled up on my lap sleeping!💗 Brrrrrr I am not ready for winter! Looks like AZ is having cooler temps too! I really like cooler weather, just prefer it with no wind!

    Chuck got some wood pallets a couple of years ago and made us a flag! He took the pallets apart, rearranged them, painted them in alternating red and white and then added the field of blue! A couple of days later he added the stars! It looks great! Proud of him!
    It faces the highway!

    Sounds like everything is coming together for Sue and Crew! Can’t wait to see your new privacy fence! I also really like the pillow fabrics! You rock Sue!💗

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri! Hi, Chuck!

      Clever project — from wood pallets to U.S. flag! 🙂

      You’re right. Days are cooler here, too. For several days the sun shone brightly and, even with the clouds that moved in recently, the day is bright.

      Radar is such a good lil’ warmer. He loves his mom. 🙂

      I’ll be showing off my Mermaid Tears in a post soon. I love them!

  8. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Congratulations on getting the fence panels delivered. Now to patiently wait for their installation. 🙂
    Reggie and Roger are just too cute! I like the fabric you chose for your pillow covers.

    I have projects piling up, too. Top priority is getting the house cleaned and in order before I decorate for Christmas, I popped out for an hour or so this morning to pick up some fabric and notions from Joann’s. Nothing that warranted me being there when they opened at 6AM, but early enough to get an extra 25% off some items. Afterwards, I was glad to be headed home, not out and about with the throngs of shoppers looking for super deals. I will shop Amazon for the last few gifts that I need to pick up. Have I started cleaning yet? No! Been watching movies on TCM, with Gracie sprawled out on my lap. I do have a couple loads of laundry going, so I guess that counts. 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend, Sue! Now that you have a home base, will you put up a small tree? Maybe tabletop size? Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      Reading your comment is like sitting on the couch with you, sipping coffee and chatting. It almost feels like I could reach over and give Gracie pup a scratch or two. 🙂

      No, I won’t be putting up a tree this year, not even a little one. Maybe next year. I’m already bringing home enough stuff as it is. I’ll enjoy the house decorations in the neighborhood.

      Now get busy with the cleaning! hee-hee.

  9. Columbus Calvin says:

    Hi, all! I just got back from visiting my brothers (and extended family) at their “home place” well off the paved road. Other than mud, it went well. That’s my first “family holiday” in quite some time. They want me to come back next month and bring my ex-wife. We all still like her, but getting her away from her grand-kids is a project.

    This was also an experiment in bus travel. That part went well also. As intended, I got some “painless” learning for future trips. I can pack a carry-on bag and have what I need for future trips to cities, plus a first aid kit and a couple of “prepper” tools just in case.

    My budget will not budge this late in the month, but that Black Friday deal on the Amazon Fire tablet is probably as good as it ever will be.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      I’m glad the bus travel went well and you had a good Thanksgiving with family. People grumble about riding a bus and I suppose it is annoying when a regular part of one’s life, but I always enjoyed “taking the bus.” It’s the closest I’ll ever come to having a chauffeur!

      It’s a credit to all of you and to your ex-wife that y’all still like each other’s company.

      I understand about budget constraints. Amazon will probably put the Fire tablets on sale again closer to Christmas. That’s my guess.

      • Columbus Calvin says:

        I take the local bus regularly. As with anything, it has its ups and downs, but the bottom line is I like it better right now than supporting a motor vehicle. However, traveling by inter-city bus is pretty much a new experience for me. I think it’s going to work out.

        We shall see about the Amazon Fire. I already have a Kindle reader and over 1,000 books. I really like being able to carry all those books around with me, and the added functions of the Fire might be an excellent addition to my travels.

  10. Linda in Minnesota says:

    My throw pillows do not match my decor. Mine are various heights but all are as wide as a bed pillow so I cover them with pillowcases tucked in at the long end of the case. No sewing required and easy to remove and wash or change them if I ever get tired of what I have.

    • Barbara (Nashville) says:

      Throw pillow with an envelope style cover secured with Velcro are the best and easiest, then you can wash them without all the hassle. I recovered some loose sofa & chair cushions the same way. Trying to get the cushions back in those zippered cases are such a hassle after you wash them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda!

      Whatever works for you, right? I plan on sewing the envelope-style covers for the pillows like Barbara suggests. For the big cushion I’ll just sew a square piece of the fabric on the front and leave the love seat material on the back, like it is now. I’ll use easy-to-tear-out stitches for when I want to change it. In the meantime I hope that a vacuuming now and then will keep it clean and fresh.

  11. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    As soon as I finish getting my dining room back together, I want to get my new curtains made for the kitchen. Then it will be time to re-group the laundry room.
    Right now I need to get ready to walk Angel.

    I like your new pillow fabric. I could tell the reds went together. Have fun with the projects.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the positive feedback on the pillow fabric. I don’t have a lot of confidence with my decorating choices. Maybe the fabric looked orange on my monitor but not on yours. I wondered about that.

      Your little Angel keeps you going! 🙂

  12. Susy in Pacific NW says:

    My thrift store mega $9.99 bargain this last week was a 5 lb, brand new, portable Janome sewing machine that I can take along in my travel trailer. It does nice stitching. It is is just fine for everyday basics such as making curtains, pillow covers, a bit of mending, etc.
    I would prefer to have their next upgraded version that can do button holes as that version allows you to determine the length and width of zig zag as well as the tension on the bobbin thread. There are some good prices on that Janome version on Amazon this week, they weigh in at 12lbs versus the 5lb more basic Mini that I found at the thrift store.

  13. Suzicruzi says:

    Hello Sue and friends,

    We are having a Friendsgiving outside of Temecula, Ca. It has been pretty sweet. We had been spending last week in Joshua Tree, and are now off the road for a couple of days getting “civilized”. Lol. Just as I adapt to life on the road, it seems we take a pause, and then I get antsy to hit the road again.

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s stories of their most memorable (and not so memorable!) Holiday stories. Thank you for that!

    Stay Safe all! And a happy g’night!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzi,

      Pauses are good and so is that feeling to get going again. Enjoy whatever phase you’re in! 🙂

      • Suzicruzi says:

        Thanks Sue, ‘it’s true! We are moochdocking at dear friends’ that used to dog walk @ the shelter w/ me back in Vancouver, before moving to SoCal.

        We are about 2 hours from Borrego Springs. Any favorite boondocks out there you can think of to recommend? Looked at your blog for ideas- We May head to Blythe after, as I know you spent a good bit of time off Midland road in Winter. Perhaps Corvina Beach at the Salton Sea as well, and maybe Ajo to hook up with a camper friend of ours from ID, later in December. I’m looking for ideas in Ajo too, if you have any? Choices, choices, choices!

        Bloggerinos? Ideas?

        Happy Sunday! xo

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi again! I have a new post to publish so my reply is brief.

          A few notes:

          All good ideas for where to camp next. You’ll see the dispersed camping area on your way to Borrego Springs, as others are surely there, visible from the road. Research the Salton Sea’s present condition. It’s been a while since I blogged about it.

          I don’t know of any boondocking off Midland Road unless further away from Blythe (remote). LTVA is $40 for two weeks, although you are allowed a day or two free to see if you like it. While in the area you could investigate Quartzsite on the east side of the river. It isn’t crowded now and then you’d be prepared to visit when it IS crowded (Everyone should do the Big Q at least once!). You could try Kofa Wildlife Refuge, Dome Rock, the Bouse area (Do websearches and search my blog.)

          Ajo boondocking is primarily on or off Darby Well Road or at the golf course (parking lot). An alternative is the dispersed camping area south of Why, over the little bridge, dirt road on right (or at the rustic campgrounds in Why).

          West of Yuma: Ogilby Road/Sidewinder Road/American Mine Road area is another free option.

          Safe travels! I’m sure you’ll find what suits you — You have the right attitude! 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Another thing… Feel free to repeat your question under the new post about ideas where to camp for blogorinos to respond.

  14. Rover Ronda says:

    I couldn’t have resisted asking how your neighbors are going to use the pallets. I have a creative friend who makes all sorts of things out of pallets.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The neighbors weren’t eager to chat. They were in that hyper-after-work mode of “I just wanna’ get home NOW.”

  15. CherylinTheLowerThumbofMI says:

    I’ll take you back to 1977, 41 years ago…I contracted Mono…sorest throat I’ve EVER experienced…& I’ve had Strep throat several times. It all began on the Monday before T.G. Started with just common cold symptoms…

    By Wednesday, I could barely talk, however, I was NOT going to miss the madness of Thanksgiving Eve working @ the local Pharmacy/Liquor store. It was one customer after another trying to stock their booze cabinet! Along with supplying the neighborhood their ‘libations’, I worked the Rx counter also! I worked from Noon to 9 PM that night!

    My fiance picked me up from work, took me to his place & made me some “special” Hot Tea. Don’t remember much about the ride home (if you know what I mean), woke up T.G. morning & couldn’t swallow! We were to go to my Dad’s sister’s house for our celebration, needless to say, I was in no shape to be around healthy people.

    I camped out on the couch, my fiance (who happens to be my DH of 40 years now!), he stayed with me & nursed me with tea, broth, & snuck in crushed empirin in some Jello…I couldn’t swallow pills at the time. By Friday AM, he took it upon himself to take me to an Urgent Care clinic to get some antibiotics prescribed for me.

    See why I married him? He got me through the worst Thanksgiving I’ve ever had and didn’t even complain! That’s just the way he is, and I love him for that & all he’s put up with me low these past 40 years! We’ve had health & sickness, richness & poverty…no death do us part, yet! Thank the good Lord!

    That’s my Thanksgiving story I will always remember!

    Thanks for letting me share with all the kind Blogorinos, Sue.

    To you, Sue, Reggie, & Roger…Thank you for being the only you, you can be!

  16. rvsueandcrew says:

    Bummer. No comments all day. The beginning of the end?

    • Columbus Calvin says:

      Let’s hope not. I’ve been catching up with email and social media I missed while I was away and also spending some time with old friends. (Friends are better, on balance.) Maybe others are doing similar things.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh, you’re good to write, Calvin, to reassure me. You and a handful of others are steady supporters and I see your efforts to keep the blog alive. I really appreciate that!

  17. KelleyinSoCal says:

    Hi Sue and Crew. Happy belated Thanksgiving from me, hubby, and our sweet dog Kora. My husband loves to cook on his favorite holiday…so I let him! We still read your blog although I haven’t commented in a long time. I’m glad you found a house that you love!
    Love from,
    Kelley, Clyde, and Kora

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Kelley, Clyde, and Kora. Nice to hear from you again and bringing love. Pat on the back for the Thanksgiving Day cook!

  18. Judy J. in S.C. says:

    Hope all are enjoying the rest of this holiday weekend. Google “pallets” and you’ll find so many uses: furniture for indoors and out; you name it! Sue, I have been known to take the lazy way out and use fabric glue for pillows. Even made curtains that way! 🙄 We took down our Fall decorations today, watched Ohio State win (Go Bucks!) and pulled the Christmas stuff out of the attic. Tonight, we’ll be cheering for Clemson. We had such a good time at our house for Thanksgiving. We had a total of 23… family and friends. Played Tonk, Hearts, Pit and Scum until 1:00 a.m. I was an only child and not always the happiest of times growing up, so you can see how blessed I feel now to have all this. I never take it for granted. May you all be blessed in ways, big and small.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy,

      Your comment is brimming with holiday spirit! What a wonderful gathering for your Thanksgiving. I’m happy for you!

  19. Judy J. in S.C. says:

    Only 11 of the 23 were immediate family. The rest were “adopted” family/friends. Hope all us blogorinos remember to invite those who may be lonely or just needing to be with others, for all holidays. It can mean so much. Doesn’t have to be fancy. We’re “paper plates/disposables” kinds of people. 😉

  20. FloridaScott in Ajo Arizona! says:

    Hi Sue!
    We made it to Ajo! So far we like it here, Very nice. Its nice to just stop and know that we will be here for awhile. Got a nice site at Shadow Ridge RV Park, a little tight but nice tall flowering bushes between sites that offer decent privacy. Thank you Sue and Geri for your recommendation and your advice. The weather has been just about perfect. All the people we have run into have been friendly and very helpful. Seems there are allot of full timers here. Many come year after year.

    Went shopping at Olsens and for the first time in my life we had their fried chicken and a bunch of sides for Thanksgiving! It was very good and we enjoyed it as much as traditional turkey. Were going to check out the few resturants, shops and the farmers market in the coming days.

    Your house looks like its coming along nicely. You seem to have a knack for finding some beautiful unique treasures. Looking forward to your future posts, they always make me Smile.

    Be Well, Stay Happy & Have Fun Decorating!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Scott,

      It makes me glad to know you’re enjoying life on the road and life when you settle for a rest. Boy do you bring back memories. Your Thanksgiving dinner sounds good! I’m sure you will long remember “Thanksgiving in Ajo.” 🙂

      Thanks for writing an update. I wondered how you were liking Ajo living. You be well and happy, too!

  21. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    Back again to say, don’t worry your blog is alive and well. It doesn’t hurt to give us all a little nudge now and again. Today I felt pretty productive. Talked to a dear friend for about an hour. Listened to her woe’s. I know it’s going to be a long conversation when she asks if I can put out my shingle that says the Dr. is in! Then I called my sister. We had a long conversation and I was kinda glad I told her I had to finish my housework. Four loads of laundry and a sink full of dishes! Hope you get your back yard fence in this week. It is always such a treat to check off another project. Just so you know I have to use all of my fingers and most of my toes for the math problem today! Keep on Keeping on…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Don’t you love those days, Ruthie, when you get a lot accomplished? You did well for yourself and for others, too. Your friend and sister are fortunate to have you.

      A good deal of the fence was completed today. I’ll post photos in the morning in a new post.

      I appreciate your kindness, telling me that I shouldn’t worry about the blog. The statistics and Amazon sales are depressing lately. I need to put that out of my mind and concentrate on my many blessings!

      Have a good evening, Ruthie.

  22. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Howdy Everybody!

    This Thanksgiving I was off on an adventure that brought back many fond memories of Thanksgiving celebrations gone by. While it is true that I enjoy solo hiking and camping these days, that was not always the case. Twenty years or so ago, I also liked the social aspects of camping with a small group of friends on a regular basis.

    We were all from the same church and occasionally a handful of us would gather for Sunday morning breakfast at a local eatery after the early church service. This activity soon became a monthly gathering at someone’s home where we would share a meal, conversation, play a lively game or two (Charades and Trivial Pursuit were faves) or depending on the sports season cheer for our favorite teams on a large TV. These monthly gatherings eventually led to a weekend together with our RVs. This was how our RV Thanksgiving celebration was born.

    For eight or nine years we would form a caravan and head off to a spot in a national forest to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend together. Sunny Flat campground near Portal, AZ in the Chiricahua Mountains (southeast AZ about 150 miles east of Tucson 0n the NM-AZ border) became our favorite gathering spot. Back in those days, it was a free campground and not much more than circular dirt path in a clearing among the cliffs and trees and saw little use at that time of year. We pulled the RVs in a circle, wagon train style and the middle was our gathering place for meals shared and warming campfires. There was a pit toilet and one central water spigot and room for perhaps seven or eight rigs. We came in Class A-s, towed travel trailers, Class C-s, and popup tent campers. We camped in temperatures from the 70’s on down into the 30’s. One year we had seven inches of surprise snow to deal with! That presented some unique challenges but whatever the weather we always made the best of it and had a great time together.

    We cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. Each of us contributed a part of the meal. The turkey was generally deep fried. Sides were cooked over or near the campfire. I always made corn pudding in my cast iron Dutch Oven by burying it in the earth on a bed of coals over and under the pot. It would cook for anywhere from 6-8 hours before it was served piping hot, rich and creamy. Pumpkin pie and rice pudding was always on the desert menu. Evenings were spent around a roaring campfire and just great fun. For me, it was the best part of the day together.

    Sadly, the group began to breakup. Jobs were transferred to a different state. Retirement came along and some relocated to be closer to family. Some just no longer were interested in the RV lifestyle. But for the years we gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving we made some wonderful memories and I recall them fondly.

    It was at this location where I spent Thanksgiving this year. Solo and with my tent I returned to a very different Sunny Flat. It was totally destroyed by a flood in 2014 but has since been rebuilt and it is awesome. It’s open year round. The circular dirt path has been paved and there are now designated campsites around the loop. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. There are clean vault toilets and year round water (weather permitting) available for $10 nite . The senior half price rate is available with a pass. Spacing is adequate for the most part but because of a heavily wooded, twisty access road larger RVs may have difficulty getting to the campground. I would guess that anything more than 27 feet would be challenging even though the sites could accommodate larger rigs. The entire way from the main road into the campground is paved and in good shape. This is a remote area with no services of any kind nearby. Come fully stocked and prepared. There are no cell signals here. There is a campground host seasonally. Elevation is about 5200 feet.

    Sunny Flat is at the mouth of a canyon and is a beautiful spot surrounded by towering cliffs. Some sites are streamside to a running, bubbling creek. There is a wonderful pleasant and peaceful feeling about the entire campground. Wildlife sightings are common in the campground, Deer, javelina, skunk, and squirrels are frequent visitors. Bear have been seen wandering through the campground during the warmer months and sites have bear boxes for the tenters. The birding is very, very good.

    I spent two nights here and only three of the 13 sites were occupied, including me in the only tent. The night time temperatures stayed above freezing, barely. I wanted to challenge myself with some cold weather tent camping and I had a great time with that challenge, exploring and enjoying my surroundings. The night sky on Friday was just spectacular! It was a good spot to reflect on all the blessings in my life and be grateful for each.

    Revisiting Sunny Flat rekindled all my memories of the good times and Thanksgiving celebrations here. This is not the same Sunny Flat I remember. It has definitely gotten better and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a few days off the beaten path. The hiking in this area is great and there is plenty of exploring to be done near the campground. It’s an experience that will not disappoint.—Audrey

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      Thank you for sharing your “special spot” with us. It sounds like a wonderful, quiet area. I am glad you have warm memories of past Thanksgivings there, and made some new memories, loving the improved campground and that awesome Friday night sky! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great comment, Audrey, chock full of details and good information! I may go there with the crew someday. 🙂

      I have a new post in progress and want to finish it before the work on the fence starts today, so forgive my short answer. Know that your report on Sunny Flat was enjoyed by me (undoubtedly by others, too) and is appreciated!

    • Barbara from Camano Is. says:

      Yes, thanks so much for sharing this place and such warm memories.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I wanted to let you know, Sue and others who might be interested…our days beside the water this past week went well…and I feel that some bonds were made…or made tighter, between our daughters…and the one here with kids, the kids got to make some bonds with their Aunt as well…Hubby and I enjoyed all we could…rested as we could (him especially, other than driving). We had to take the NC daughter to the airport…had to get up at 3:45 AM today to make it (oh argh)…then drive BACK to finish cleanup and get our stuff out of the house we rented…then back to unload…and I went to bed for a couple hours and he to his recliner to sleep awhile. One night the girls and I stayed up till nearly 2 AM talking and sharing (maybe the first time the 3 of us ever did anything like this). Sharing our hard times the past few years (different in all our lives, yet the same…all concerning the disloyalty of so-called friends etc…and how we at least now KNOW for certain the few who are true blue!!) And some ideas and plans for the future. I think my girls will want to be in close location in time to come…as we oldies will not live forever and they will need each other even more after we are gone (or senseless). We wanted them to have this special time…and to bond more…and it seems to have happened. We are grateful!! It has been nice to read what the others here have written too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for sharing your get-together with us, Elizabeth. I’m happy for you and your family that it went well. 🙂

  24. Desert Ginger says:

    Ginger…. I moved your comment (and my reply) to the next post where it will be seen by more readers. — Sue

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