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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Catawba Expedition: Phase III, Push To the Finish

1 May 2012 - 3 July 2012

On May 1st the campground @ Tall Timbers opened. So we went from the moldy, musty, "Fish Camp" into the familiar surrounds of our beloved 30' camper, 1996 Layton Skyline. Familiarity, memories of giggling children, shadows of the previous "Hounds of Thomas Haus" permeated every square inch.The bed, kitchen, couch, dinette were all our own. In a way, it was returning home, making the transition less heart wrenching for me. Change is always a challenge, whether we seek it, or it seeks us. I prefer the former. :)
The weather was slowly warming, leaves were returning to the trees. This May I would not be planting flowers for the first time in over 28 years. Rick is happy....he doesn't have to cut grass or tend to the yard.
Spring rapidly turned to Summer and it was June. The days became longer and the air warmer. Thank goodness for the functioning air conditioner on the camper!!
Because of construction and the logistics of the move, we canceled our plans for our two weeks in Hatteras on the North Carolina Outer Banks. We opted to enjoy moving to our local vacation spot instead.
July 1st a nasty storm hit us. That afternoon we were basking in glorious sunshine, poolside @ the Catawba Island Club. An ominous blackness was silently building on the north and western horizons. Erroneously we thought it would pass us to the north. The staff @ CiC closed the pool early, sighting the impending storm. Reluctantly we packed up and headed back to the camper. Well, it was 5ish and suppertime anyway. As we sat down to supper, I saw a very strange cloud formation and ran out into the field next to our camper to get photos. The air was still and warm, not particularly troubling. Our neighbor came out yelling that we are under a tornado warning and get to shelter quickly. The stillness was a disconnect to Carrie's hysteria. Rick then came out and said his cell phone beeped an alert for a tornado warning. By the time I got to the camper everything was swirling and blowing hard. We ran to the cinder block shelter of the bath house. Looking to the south, I saw a column of black-grey clouds just over the tree tops, swirling furiously...a tornado. GADS!!!
Once the wind died down, we returned to the camper to find a 6-8" branch from the maple tree on our campsite, lying twisted and broken exactly between the truck and my car, missing both by mere inches. Catawba Island didn't fair as well. Huge trees were uprooted, some were through roofs and garages. Tree limbs and debris were everywhere. The condo was fine. The aluminum fascia on the north side was peppered a bit from the hail that came with the storm.
Two days later, on July 3rd, the furniture from Basista in Cleveland and Homestead in Mt. Hope, Ohio were delivered. We were once again home! would take a while to acclimate, it was like living in a furniture store, nothing familiar to imprint on.
Submitted by, The Baroness of Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Catawba Expedition: Phase II; "Fish Camp"

5 March 2012 - 1 May 2012   The Adventures @ "Fish Camp"
"Fish Camp", definition: that little musty, cottage on the banks some body of water, where a gathering of menfolk go for a specified length of time, usually a long weekend or a designated week, to cavort with fishing gear, boats, and a myriad of beverages. Bathing and personal hygiene are usually optional during these sojourns.
Ah yes..."Fish Camp" @ Kamp Kozy

March 5th began our official move into the temporary quarters that I "affectionately" tagged as "Fish Camp". Through the maneuverings of the campground manager, Sally, (Tall Timbers, where our camper is permanently stationed)  we rented a small two story cottage with an enclosed porch on the grounds of their other facility, Kamp Kozy, in Marblehead, Ohio. The location, directly on Sandusky Bay, with a perfect view of sunrise, was absolutely stunning.

The cottage itself was basic and clean with one bedroom downstairs and an upstairs loft furnished with 4 single beds and 1 full size bed. The giggling granddaughters would commandeer the loft as their personal oasis when they came for overnight visits. The kitchen was another story. There was a distinct odor of mold that hit you in the face every time you entered the front door into the kitchen. Only rudamentary meals were prepared and eaten there. The enclosed front porch held a large picnic table and yup....the washer and dryer! Yessiree, Mama T. did many a load of laundry on that thar front porch!

The campground of Kamp Kozy wasn't officially open during those months, so it was rather deserted. The dogs and I would begin our day early in the morning with our walk as the stunning sunrises presented themselves on the eastern horizon. At the close of the day we would do the same, often witnessing the sunsets over the marsh at the back side of the campround. Elegant Great Egrets (white cranes) as well as stately Blue Herons would regularly frequent the marsh. Over the 2 months there, we came to see a myriad of migrating waterfowl as well. God seemed to give us these little tidbits as consolations it seemed.
Spring Sunset @ "Fish Camp"

The cottage also came with a resident raccoon. A huge fellow who had been living in the attic and decided he wanted to move back in. Every evening he would try to get into the attic by peeling off the aluminum facia. The maintenance men kept setting traps to catch him only to find a mournful local feline instead. They caught a raccon on one occasion, however, I don't think it was the big boy!

The end of March we also witnessed a phenomenon called the "shad dieoff" hundreds of dead fish washed up on the shore and into the marina cove of the campground. The nauseating "perfume" of dead fish assaulted our nostrils for weeks.
1 May finally came and we moved into our beloved camper. It had been "home" on so many family trips. The familiarity was comforting and it didn't stink of fish or mold. Progress!

Submitted by; Die Baroness von Thomas Haus, Empress, Yours Truly!