Father's Day '08

Aldean's Final Resting Place

Tribute to Aldean

Aldean's Final Update


Month in a Lighthouse

A Little Background

A Crabby Old Woman

Ready for the Road

On the Road


Cabin Under the Rim


SUV More @ Camp Creek Wash w/Reb.


Yukon HS 50yr Reunion



Michelle @ NAU Music Camp

Michelle & Colin Wedding


McDowell Mtn. Park Campout Holiday Rambler RV Club

Renewal Celebration

Open Letter
to Rebekah







 Friday, Late June, 2008

A New Journey cannot begin until the previous journey ends. My journey ended on January 3rd, 2008. My Love and companion of more than fifty-years left us for a better place.

For months my life seemed to be lived in a fog. I handled the immediate day-to-day things and no more. I did what was necessary. My close-knit family, the Arizona Redman Clan, helped me throughout this period. That and the many emails, cards and calls from our friends were a comfort.

Sherry especially was there for me, just as she had always been for Aldean. Last October she leased her horse property in Flagstaff and moved in with Steve in Peoria. She made the drive to spend hours daily with Aldean in the various facilities. In doing so, I think her life has taken on new meaning and a new direction. She and I did a lot of research regarding facilities, treatments, doctors and medicines. Our eyes really opened. I believe Aldean received much better care with each of us spending hours with her on a daily basis.

My turning point seemed to come in late April after Sherry accompanied me to an Arizona Chapter, FMCA 40th Anniversary Party in Tucson. As an officer and Webmaster we arrived on Tuesday to prepare for the start of the rally on Thursday. We all worked our tails off getting everything ready for the 150 coaches that would begin showing up. Sherry was really a hit with everyone as she worked here, there, everywhere pitching in, really helping set things up. She worked with the registrations as the people came in, then at the games, dog show, ice cream social and everything else throughout the week.

Three hundred plus people from a half-dozen states had a grand time.

In June Rebekah hosted a swim party, both for Father's Day and Rachel's Birthday. There is Bev, Rory, Reb and Sherry in the front row. Then Michael, Rachel and Grampa Gene.

Now, in June everything is still not caught up, but, I am in a much more comfortable position then earlier this year. Counseling and some grief management meetings helped me, but most of all my family has made the difference. I attribute this closeness to Aldean as she raised these three youngsters into adulthood, always spending as much time with each as was needed. She was the guiding light for all four of us.

On the Road Again: This morning I stand on the Mogollon Rim under the tall pine trees, cup of coffee in hand, gazing out over the wide valley below. A couple of thousand feet below and nearly twenty-miles away is a small white spot in the forest, this is the town of Pine, Arizona. The buildings are like large dots among the trees. Sort of like standing 30 feet away from an HOgauge railway toy town.

Beyond the valley are tall ridges and peaks marching away to the horizon, probably fifty-miles away. The air is clear and crisp and temperature in the low sixties, a lot different then the one-hundred-fifteen degrees I left in Phoenix.

On Wednesday, I pulled into this spot on the Mogollon Rim. Without precise directions I would never have found it. It is off of Arizona Route 87, about 25 or so miles North of Payson and a dozen or so miles south of Happy Jack. Then over five miles in "slow" gear over forest roads that no longer even have a number or show on the map.

This beautiful clearing gives us a great view from the edge of the Rim. Flat ground is at a premium. When I arrived on Wednesday there were three other motor homes and one travel trailer. My jacks lifted the front wheels off the ground to level the coach. Only one or two more units showed up on Thursday.

More rigs began to arrive today, Friday, for the weekend. Motor homes, travel trailers, tent trailers and tents. All bringing some of the friendliest people to be found anywhere. Many applauded when the j-john was delivered. I am looking forward to the weekend.

By Saturday we have nearly 30 people at this campout. The youngest is a 3-year-old boy. The oldest, I won't guess... Mostly couples, some singles who mostly camp in tents or in the back of their SUVs or pickups.

The weather has cooperated with no rain. We have had a good time with a potluck on Saturday evening. The stars are so bright!

Sunday at mid-morning I am talking to four or six people, standing near the middle of our camp on the Mogollon Rim. A number of people have already pulled out, heading home. Barbara came through, making the rounds saying goodbye to everyone. She motioned me to accompany her to her camp.

Her car was parked at the very edge of the clearing, a few feet into the trees. I noticed her tent was already down and packed away. On the other side of the car was her little reading place where she could take the sun and nap. She picked up the pillow and tossed it into the car. I helped her fold the blanket. We shook out the ground tarp, folded it and she put it away.

How to describe her? Barbara is about 5'6" and around 135 lbs., brown hair, and a pleasant face with wide set intelligent eyes. She is lightly tanned with no strap marks. Her age? Late-forties? Perhaps older, maybe younger? What man has the audacity to determine a woman's age? Not I. She told me she has worked at a university for some years as a career counselor.

She said she should have been on the road an hour ago heading back to the Valley. We talked for a few minutes more... She said she has a lot on her plate just now and is glad of our conversations. She feels much better about herself then she has in a long time. She was impressed with my "New Journey" and has again started her journal. I told her I too have gained from our time together.

Another hug from her, then she slid into her driver's seat. I walked to the rear of the car and guided her past some obstacles as she backed to the forest road. Once on the road, she stopped. As the car started moving forward she waved to me.

She drove slowly down the track on her five-mile trip to the highway and home.

Will we ever meet again? Maybe, perhaps at another campsite some time in the future?

Last Thursday I drove the Durango to Payson. Kathleen and I spent two hours at brunch in the Airport Restaurant, watching the planes while we visited. Then to Kathleen's house for several more hours with the pleasure of Caroline's company. It was really enjoyable to be there. This is what life is about. Here is a link to the Payson Website.

The next day I had a nice conversation with Michelle in England. Juliana chimbed in at the end with a, "I love you Grampa."
     They invited me again to come this summer. But, I don't think so. Besides the hassle of present day flying is the long 9 1/2 hour flight each way. Besides I understand Steve is going over for a two-week visit at the end of July. With Juliana staying with them I don't want them to be overwhelmed. I will look forward to seeing them when they return in October. Perhaps I will visit them in Colorado in the summer of 2009 when they are settled in Colorado Springs. By then there will be three in the family.

Driving up I-17 last Wednesday the coach seems strange with no one in the navigator's seat. It has been three years since embarking on a long trip like this one. In previous summers Aldean and I would leave in early May and return at the end of September. Our travels often included California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, B.C., Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and back to the Valley of the Sun

It is late in the summer for me to be leaving the Valley. The last doctor appointment is behind me until near the end of July. When I leave here I will head for Lake Mary RV Park near Flagstaff at least until the end of July, Then... I don't know. I am considering Colorado perhaps somewhere on the Deloris River or the large and beautiful lake above and behind the town of Delores. Then move on to the area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming which Aldean and I both love. With the lateness of the season, I may not get that far.

Aldean and I always made summer plans and contacts in the previous fall, to get the summer volunteer jobs that sounded interesting. It being so late in the summer with nothing set up to occupy my time, I just might remain at Lake Mary.
     I have a campsite reserved next to a good friend, Al Coir. The coach will be out of the heat and I can commute to Phoenix as needed and get some more of my paperwork cleaned up and out of the way. But, that is for the Future!

The weekend is over. An easy drive through Happy Jack, through the forest and past Mormon Lake which has more water than I have seen in a long time. Saw a fox cross the road about thirty-yards in front of my coach.

Now in Flagstaff the coach is in a nice space here at the Lake Mary Country Store and RV Park. My new address for the next month or so is Gene Redman, 480 Lake Mary Road, #25, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. (Mail sent to my home is being forwarded, for the time I am here.)

Al and Dorothy Coir are in the next space. They have had their Holiday Rambler 5th Wheel here off and on for a number of years.
  Al is Webmaster for the Arizona Region of Lions International and the Holiday Rambler Owners RV Club, Arizona Chapter. I am Webmaster for the Family Motor Coach Ass'n., Arizona Chapter. Just a couple of conversation starters. We both are long time members of AMUG, Arizona Macintosh Users Group.

They and I have Happy Hour almost every afternoon. We watch the various birds at the feeders in their "yard" and throw them peanuts. Watching the birds interact at the feeders is a beautiful and relaxing sight.

I found a coffee shop in Flagstaff with WiFi. I had 2400 emails waiting. My first time on the Internet since last Wednesday. It was nice to hear from some of my friends. Of course 99% of the incoming emails are junk and went straight to my Junk mailbox. Thanks be, for filters.

Limbo: It is nice to be in a sort of limbo right now. I am waiting for my mail to catch up. I am expecting only a few bills to come in.

The only thing on my social calendar is a pot luck Al and Dorothy are throwing this Friday, July 4th. Brats and potluck. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered. They estimate 15-20 neighbors will be present.

This is a nice quiet RV park. Al seems to know most of the people here. If you don't know someone, just wave and he or she will wave back. I am learning fast.

It was so nice to hear today from Sherry and Steve. I hope the others call or email me. I feel a little out of touch up here in Flagstaff...

More later...

   Chapter II, The Past and the Future...


















Kathleen's 50thh Birthday Party Pictures.

Kathleen's 50th Birthday Movie

Rachael & Michael's Wedding Snapshots

Christmas '06

Aurora's Day

Pictures from England '6-06

60th Anniversary
Chuck & Betty Wescott


Arizona Movie Clip