Walter Ray and Paige slide into Tacoma

by Paige's Mom

'Paige,Get in the motor home! It's only 3,600 miles', said Walter Ray.

She once wrote an article about getting ready to go on the road. Her Dad and I are living in their home while our house is under construction, and experienced departure preparations first hand. That was a truly exhausting experience.

'Around Noon, New Years Eve' was the scheduled time and after several flurries of unexpected activities, they pulled out of the driveway about 3pm.

We slept 3 solid hours after they finally left. The feeling was rather strange. Sort of like when house guests leave after extended stays. But wait a minute! We're the house guests.

Paige said our being here made it easier on her because she didn't have to clean out the refrigerator. But she did anyway! She took all the good stuff so that she didn't have to food shop for the motor home.

Leaving home for 12 weeks to go on tour is more than picking up the bowling balls and throwing a few clothes in the motor home and I'll leave the details to your imagination. Take the golf clubs? Is their room? Winter clothes, spring clothes, stay on your side of the closet....some of the conversations were really funny.

As the door closed they were negotiating the promise he'd made the night before. He agreed (or did he?) that she could have 45 minutes each day to do whatever she wanted to do. Now he was telling her that included meal stops.

When they phoned on New Years Day I asked where they spent New Years Eve. "In my bed somewhere beyond Biloxi, MS" was Paige's reply.

Next day, Texas, Texas and more Texas, which included a stop to visit Mark and Debbie Williams at their bowling center. Walter Ray and David Ozio bowled a few games. After a nice group dinner, they were back on the road again.

'We're in AZ, somewhere, and I think we're trying to reach somewhere to have dinner with somebody,' was the message her dad passed on to me. 'I've been saving up my 45 minute stops for a big outlet mall here. Walter Ray made me get up at 6:30 in the morning. He said we'd have to leave that early in order to make up the time we'd lose shopping!'

They were busy visiting family in Southern and Northern California so our next phone call came on Jan 6. 'We got within 85 miles of Tacoma before the snow stopped us. We're at a truck stop now trying to decide if we can make it up and over the hill. Walter Ray is trying to get info about chains, and I'm talking to truckers who just came from where we're going. We'll call you back if we decide to do something.'

'We're here, and man are we happy to be out of the motor home. We're driving around now looking for a place to eat. I picked Red Lobster, but he just drove on by it.' They both sounded a bit giddy. They had driven the 85 miles, without chains, at speeds of 20-25 miles per hour, and literally slid down the off ramp when they reached the exit to the bowling center.

So that's the story of their slide into the 2004 part of the season!

Here is a peek at Christmas before they left

Walter Ray tries out his gift from Paige.

Paige displays her gift from WR.

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