November was the month of the Fuchs’ Home Renovation Project. Randall’s parents are trading in the RV life for the comforts of a home that does not rock in the Oklahoma wind and does not tend to freeze up with every Northerner. We traveled home to help. Well, Randall traveled home to help and I traveled home, apparently, to spill paint. The Fuchs Home Renovators (Carl, Toni and Randall) should have a reality show. What a crew. They really sort of enjoying tearing out walls and shimming in doors. Getting under the house for some foundation buttressing was the only job they kept moving until “tomorrow”. One of the funniest moments of the project came while we sat around the folding table, eating, surrounded by work but grateful for a break in the whirlwind. We were all kind of tired but a question came up which somehow required a closer examination of the plywood depth of the floor. Carl, Toni and Randall all jumped right up to take some measurements and discuss options, their love for problem solving winning out over lingering around the table. Faye looks at me, shakes her head and says, “Are they weird or what?”
We got to hang out with the Tipton’s too. We had long matches of Joker. Lily got to go back to Sweetwater School for a day of playing with former classmates and, of course, went to church and sang in the choir with Granddad. The weather was gorgeous so we rode bikes and three wheelers, too. On the way back, we spent Friday night with Darin and Lucinda Hamilton reliving our wayward days before kids intruded on our all night card games. Lily and Drake played like long lost friends late into the night. Lu and I won The Universe round so Darin and Randall had to wear sombreros for some 4-in-the-morning photos. The next day, I sent Lu a sombrero pic and she texted back that she gets some kind of crazy picture of Darin the next morning after any social event. I don’t doubt that one. I can picture her on Sunday mornings, looking at her phone thinking, “Look or not? I guess I better look.” We also spent several days as guests at the Jake Bachelor RV Pad. We made a couple of crock pot meals to demonstrate that real food could be produced in a RV kitchen and played a few games at his little table, too. It was a sad departure pulling away that day. Miss you Jake!
We got back to Harborage Marina just in time for the Tree Trimming Party. Everyone was encouraged to bring an ornament with their boat name written on it. Our shell ornament is quite the statement of simplicity. There are lots of cute little nautical ornaments covering the tree. Since I demonstrated such talent spilling paint during the renovation and creating an ornament at the last minute, Randall and Lily gave me a night out at Painting With A Twist for my birthday. Painting With A Twist is a Make-Your-Own-Art experience where they get you over your creative inhibitions via alcohol. This, of course, has been the secret of many artists through history so it seems brilliant to make it part of the art instruction process. The teacher walks you through creating your very own artwork and every fifth or sixth instruction runs something like, “Now sit back, examine your work and have a little sip. From the wine, now, not the water for the brushes!” My friend Christie Mistrot of Sea Mist III was so sweet to go with me! She is in the group pic below, front row, right in front of me. As you can see, we both have a talent … for holding steady the wine glass, anyway.