Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Coaches Parked at FMCA

Standing on top of our RV at FMCA

Amana Woolen Mill

Amana Furniture Shop

Amana Store

Amana Ox Yoke Inn

Amana General Store

Model 'A's all lined up.

Model 'A' Tales

Model 'A' Four-Door

Model 'A' Coupe with rumble seat and trunk


We arrived back in Kansas City/Liberty on Friday May 27th. We spent Memorial Day with the daughters and families. We had some doctor appointments since we have not been here since last November. Carol got the all clear from the Oncologist. I went to my Cardiologist and had another stress test, which he reported no change from the past two years, so I passed the test. Carol has had a couple of spells of some blood in her urine. The last one happened when we were in Florida and was beginning to flair up again. Her doctor sent her to an urologist and he scoped her bladder, ouch. He said one area of the bladder looked irritated and just to be sure he wanted to do a biopsy of that area. A biopsy for most people is no problem but since Carol is on Coumadin it turns into quite a procedure. More on that later.

Thursday June 30th the refrigerator in the motorhome quit working. The next morning I called the Liberty RV service department to see if they could work on my Norcold refrigerator. They sell only trailers and fifth wheel trailers but they also contain Norcold refrigerators. I drove the motorhome the few miles to Liberty RV and the service manager said the odor of ammonia meant that the whole cooling unit needed to be replaced. He ordered the expensive cooling unit from the area warehouse and because of the approaching July 4th holiday we set up an appointment for Thursday July 7th. Luckily we were able to put our refrigerator items in Michelle’s extra frig in her garage. We celebrated the 4th on the 3rd because we needed to drive to Concordia, KS on the 4th for Carol’s aunt Eve’s funeral on the 5th. We decided to not take the RV for the short trip and besides we didn’t have a working refrigerator. We rented a full size comfortable road car instead of taking the Jeep. We returned on July 6 so that we could take the RV in on the 7th. The four-hour job turned into a two-day job so we spent Thursday night sleeping on their parking lot. When they finished, the thermostatic controlled vent fan was not working fully. This fan only works when it is hot outdoors and it has been very hot recently and the fan was not up to full speed. The refrigerator was working but not to the optimum level because the vent fan was not working fully. We returned to Liberty RV on Friday, July 15th to have them work on the fan. When I picked up the RV the vent fan was not working at all. I did not have time to deal with them again because we were leaving the next day for our annual trip to the Winnebago Grand National Rally in Forest City, Iowa. While at the Rally, I talked with the Norcold representative which happened to live in Liberty. He sent two young technicians over to our RV and within a few minutes they discovered that the fan was wired backward and they fixed it at no charge. The refrigerator is now working great but why can’t the work be done the first time properly? The Rally is always lots of fun and all the vendors are there. The first few days were extremely hot but the last two days turned cooler. After the Rally the Norcold representative and I both talked with Liberty RV and I got a portion of the repair bill refunded.

Monday after the Rally was Carol’s appointment for her bladder biopsy. She stopped taking Coumadin the previous Wednesday and as a bridge while off the Coumadin she had to give herself two shots per day in the stomach. The biopsy went fine but she had to continue the shots until the Coumadin returned to the proper level. The biopsy came back negative, which is great but the doctor also suggested she stop drinking so much of her beloved Pepsi to reduce the irritation of the bladder. She is trying that tough test now.

On Thursday, August 4th, we took the RV loaded with two daughters, two grandkids and Tracy’s dog to Wichita for a Fees reunion. We returned on Sunday and then Monday morning Carol and I headed for Madison, WI, for the national RV rally of Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). We have never been to one of these, so we went to see what it was like. We arrived there Tuesday afternoon for the opening of the rally on Wednesday. It was similar to the Winnebago rally but all brands of motor coaches are there and a larger selection of vendors plus vendors that are not RV related. I attended some seminars, mostly about computers and Carol went to some craft seminars. Sunday after that rally closed we drove to the Amana Colonies in Iowa for another rally. This rally was again one that we have never attended and was the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club. Freightliner builds chassis for several brands of motor coaches. I attended the two-day seminar at Gaffney, SC, back in May but decided to attend this Club rally. It was an OK rally but a lot of the seminars contained much of the information I already knew, but we met some new people and the rally provided some great meals. We also wanted to visit the Amana Colonies, which we have never visited. All during that week we were in contact with my brother and my sister’s family because on Monday, August 15th my brother-in-law, Stan, passed out at home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. On Tuesday the report sounded grim and doctors suggested a “do not resuscitate” order. By later in the week Stan was making miraculous improvement and was taken off the ventilator, moved from ICU and placed in a regular hospital room. After the rally finished on Thursday mourning Carol and I decided to stay a few more days to see how Stan was doing and also to spend a few more days exploring the Amana Colonies. The RV Park, owned by the Amana Society, was very nice and also only a mile from the larger Amana town. These seven small towns in Iowa were formed around 1855 by German immigrates. They lived in a communal society and operated farms, woolen mills, calico plant, meat shops, cabinet shops, wineries, community kitchens and many other industries. In 1932, by a vote of the people, they enacted the Great Change and dropped the communal way of life and took the big step into the system of free enterprise. Around 1935 Amana Refrigerator Company started business. Today these little towns contain many shops, restaurants, woolen mill, clock and furniture shop, candy store, bakery, wineries, Bed & Breakfast, and museums. We spent Thurs, Fri and Saturday checking out the stores and restaurants, which all serve family style. We celebrated our anniversary and my birthday by spending money and by eating too much. On Saturday there was a Ford Model ‘A’ event that had about 100 vehicles from all over the area.

We were planning to leave the area Monday, August 22, and head North for further adventures. About 2 am that morning Carol woke me up to tell me she thought she broke her left arm, the one with the artificial elbow. She was sitting in her chair watching TV, which she offend does at that time of the morning, just moving her wrist around and felt a ‘pop’ and noticed that her arm was moving around differently. She had only a small amount of pain. I got dressed and put her arm in a sling and we drove about 16 miles to Cedar Rapids, IA to the ER listed on our GPS. The X-ray revealed that the metal rod in her forearm was indeed broken. They put her arm in a splint and we drove back to the RV. We had planned to head north that morning but instead we headed south to return to Kansas City. We wanted to return to the doctor that ‘installed’ the artificial elbow about three years ago. Tuesday morning we were in the doctor’s office and he said that it was repairable BUT that it would take about a month to get a new part manufactured. So, that is where we are now, just waiting until the part arrives and then another operation on that arm. Just looking at the calendar that would be somewhere around September 20th, but that is just a guess. So it looks like we will be here until that is completed.



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