We've been throwing a LOT of scenarios around in our heads, while waiting to hear the fate of our Pinnacle 5th wheel. (The truck is now in the shop undergoing repairs). After we got over the shock of the cost of parts and labor to fix the RV, which is just under what we initially paid for it, we started planning alternatives should they total our RV. We might rent an apartment and recoup some costs while Sparky teaches, we might sell our truck and get a smaller, towable car in the event we go from a fifth wheel to a class A motorhome (the drivable "box on wheels"). We might come off the road altogether, but that is at the bottom of both our lists of "what ifs...."
|massive burrito at El Maguey|
This past week there was an active shooter drill at one of Sparky's subbing assignments. In the old days, it was just called a drill. It might have been called a Code Red, or a Code Blue drill or an acronym, and we used to just have weather drills (!), but now, in many schools, there are ALICE drills. ALICE stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter (countermeasures), and Evacuate (when necessary). If you google this alert, it tells you all about the different steps when an intruder or active shooter is in the building and the pros and cons of such a program being used in the schools.
Because of the current events and school shootings, ALICE drills are conducted by announcing over the intercom using very specific scenarios, at least they are IN THIS AREA--like "There is an active shooter in the northwest corner of the building. He is wearing a blue hoodie. Take cover." Sparky was in a first grade classroom, helping the teacher. No matter how many times we tell the kids it was just a drill, there will always a couple of kids who constantly ask, "Is it real? Is this the real thing? I'm scared. I want my mommy." They cry or they shake like a leaf, with tears rolling down their face. It was so real. That's the idea, make it so real to expose the kids and staff so often in these drills, that it will become a habit to take cover silently or to exit the building as fast as you can and not cry or make noise the next time. Sparky witnessed a little girl comforting her classmate by stroking her arm, trying to soothe her as tears ran down her face. Geez, that's a lot for small children and their teachers to have to endure. A friend said to Sparky that whenever she goes anywhere any more, she always looks for hiding places and exit strategies thanks to her active shooter training when she was a teacher. Isn't that a sad commentary on the state of affairs these days?
On a more positive note--There are some interesting sights to see in the Elkhart area and Elkhart County. Most people know about the RV Museum, the quilt garden trail in the spring and summer, the Riverwalk, but there are also cool art installations all around town. The famous themed elk statues grace many corners of businesses and RV factories in town. They've been around for awhile but still are cool to see. This one is in front of a library.
We were driving around Nappanee, IN, and saw a short bike trail with art installations on it. This was called the Apple Orchard, and had "It's a-peeling" artwork to see. (Groan....) You can see the Amish and dairy culture is important here. Sparky will have to check out the bike trail on a nicer day.
Sparky liked this one...It's called "Work Until Dusk" by Karol Keller.
It's been very cold and rainy here, and occasionally sleeting. Temps are near freezing at night. We have seen little bits of snow here and there, too, so too cold to go ride the Pumpkinvine Trail. So when you can't ride, it's time to go get Amish "crack" donuts! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Rise and Roll Bakery. THE best donuts in the area, if you like yeast donuts. These are maple glazed....YUMMY!
The classic best seller is the cinnamon powdered sugar donuts. And, there are now more locations of Rise and Roll in the area for your donut eating pleasure--Rise and Roll Bakery in Middlebury, Rise and Roll on Cassopolis St in Elkhart, Rise and Roll on State Road 19, and Rise and Roll in Mishawaka. (Hmmmm...somebody has been attacking the cinnamon sugar ones, laughs Eldo.) Sigh....They are SO-O-O-O good.
Sparky and Eldo