Friday, December 4, 2015

One Reason Why I Moved So Often and a Few Pictures

Location: Highway 509 RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana

(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)
(click pictures to enlarge)

When I was traveling, I moved campgrounds about every 3 to 4 days. I would move into an area with plans to see one or two things then move on down the road about 150 miles. I repeated that process for about 125 campgrounds over an 18 month period. I definitely wanted to see new things all the time because in the back of my mind I may have been racing possible blindness. A couple of months before I retired in April of 2014 I made the rounds of all of my doctors to get checked out before hitting the road. My GP told me to watch my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol which was not news to me. My cardiologist ran an EKG and stress test on my heart and told me to enjoy my travels. However, my optometrist wasn't as positive. Besides giving me a new prescription for my glasses, he found a tear in my retina as well as a suspicious black spot on the retina. Even using the latest technology, he wasn't able to determine with 100% accuracy if the tear was recent and still in the process of tearing more or if it was an old injury that had become static. As far as the black spot, it also was unknown if it was new and growing, or old and static. This was the first mapping of my retina so there wasn't a baseline to look at to see if changes had occurred. I would have to wait for another set of retinal pictures sometime in the future. I left his office with new glasses and a warning that if I started seeing bright flashes of light or an extraordinary amount of "floaters", then I should seek immediate medical help as those would be the signs of retinal tearing and potential blindness; the speed of which was unknown. This answered any of my lingering questions I may have had about delaying retirement. Delaying seeing things I wanted to see may mean delaying seeing them forever. Sometimes when I was at some of the many "wow" places in this great country, my mind would wander and I would think how much different it would be if I were sightless. To have one of your most important senses taken away must be devastating. I congratulate all who have overcome that situation. I didn't tell anyone, including family, about the possible tear and its significance. I was a man on a mission to see as much as I could before anything could happen to change things. 

Good news. I'm making the rounds of my doctors again. My optometrist has taken new pictures of my retina and can now confirm with certainty that the tear is an old one and is static. The black spot has not grown in size and also appears to be static. That was great news. My eye pressure is at the upper range and will need monitoring. I will have it check it out in six months. My optometrist is a member of Vision Source so I can go into any other Vision Source Doctor's office around the country to get my eye pressure checked and they will send the results back to my doctor. 

My cholesterol, blood pressure and weight have stayed basically the same for the last year. I get positive points for consistency but negative points for the cholesterol and weight being higher than ideal, so I have decided to call that "breaking even" (new math, lol). 

I will be here in Mansfield at least through December. I have one more doctor to see, maybe. Although I am familiar with most of the sights around this area, I intend to explore it with "new eyes", as if I was seeing it for the first time. 

Smithport Lake. It is about 10 miles from the campground. I haven't been to this spot in years so I waited for a good day and went. As with a lot of the lakes in this area, it is being attacked by Giant Salvinia plants. The only positive cure is to drain the lake during the wintertime and hope a cold spell kills all of the salvinia. All gates were open and flowing full.

This is also part of Smithport. This used to be clear and open water a decade or so ago. Now, the water is still there, but with a nasty vegetative cover. Maybe some of my "yankee" friends will enjoy the spanish moss from the trees.

This is near the boat ramp. It is where Smithport Lake joins with Clear Lake. 

Olivia and I were having a
deep conversation.

Olivia stressing her point. :) 
"Pa, I'm so thirsty from talking so much".

Olivia and Buddy - getting to know
each other.

Mommy showing Olivia the places
where she used to play as she was
growing up.

She liked the leaves. It is the first autumn
where she can really understand and
appreciate them.

Uncle Brandon brushing Olivia's hair
after a hard day of playing and exploring.

Grandson Tucker on his bike, without training wheels.
He was riding everywhere. Being able to ride a bike at that age is the first "long distance exploration". It is the first real taste of Freedom.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.   


  1. Loved all the pictures! Can't wait to make more memories at Christmas!! :)

  2. Thanks for the update. I was wondering what was going on that you had not posted. Glad to hear that there is no bad news about your son.