On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘RV Travel’

Roadblocks | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on Tuesday, July 19, 2018:

roadblocksLast week I wrote about our project to get the motor home road ready and about our less than successful beginning. Actually, we checked the first task off the list as a success when the new house batteries enabled us to turn on the lights. However, our first two attempts at finding LED bulbs to replace the halogens netted us two postage bills for returned items. This task was temporarily put on hold in favor of the generator.

You may remember that, although the new house batteries didn’t get the generator fired up, a new fuse did – but not for long. A magnet of some sort shattered into several pieces causing collateral damage in the process. When I left you last week, David was researching replacement parts.

He was not pleased when an RV dealer told him that parts for the almost twenty-year-old generator were no longer available. Since then, he has found that the dealer was either mistaken or dishonest. He has found the parts on-line, but as feared, they are not cheap. Now we have a decision to make: do we buy parts hoping we can find someone who will install them for us and hoping that fixes the problem; do we buy an entire new generator; or do we buy a portable generator. David doesn’t make decisions quickly, so he moved on to holding tanks. (more…)

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On the road again? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 3, 2018:

Campsite up closeIf you’ve read my memoir, or if you’ve driven through our neighborhood, you know that David and I have a 40-foot motor home. After we purchased it in 2007, we spent many happy weekends at Florida state parks and campgrounds. We went on several two-three month adventures, and after we sold our Florida house just before Christmas in 2010, we made our way slowly west, arriving in Emory in mid-February, 2011. In July of that year, we went back to Florida for a couple of months to visit friends and doctors.

By the time we returned to Emory that fall, the price of diesel had risen so high that we parked the Eagle in the back yard. For several months last year, she was moved a few miles east where she provided temporary living quarters to a friend who lost his home in the tornado. Aside from that, she has served as our guest room for the last several years. (more…)

Recent reviews of A Long and Winding Road | by Linda Brendle

CoverSome special marketing this year for A Long and Winding Road has resulted not only in lots of new readers but also in a number of new reviews. Here are some excerpts:

5 stars: Heartfelt by JaneReads * January 2, 2018 *  A Long and Winding Road takes you along on a heartfelt journey in a caregiver’s tale of love.

5 stars: Life as we will know it by Prairie House * January 14, 2018 * This is a very well-written book relating the humor, sadness, and inspiration of dealing with aging parents with memory problems. I also could relate to the relative simplicity of living in an RV and the joy of wanderlust. (more…)

FREE – This week only – A Long and Winding Road by Linda Brendle

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Free! Monday thru Friday this week!

Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and A Long and Winding Road is a love story—not a boy-meets-girl love story, but a family love story:

The story of the love of a daughter for her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves;

The story of a mother and father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why;

The story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time.

It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home—a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

Free! This week only!

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Bats and Bones (A Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery) by Karen Musser Nortman

Cover Bats and Bones

About the book:

Camping can be murder. Oh, sure, on the one hand there’s the stunning scenery, socializing with old friends and new acquaintances, amazing food cooked outside, and so on. But what if a dead body turns up on one of your hikes-for-fun-and fitness?

Frannie and Larry Shoemaker, retired baby boomers, are looking forward to a relaxing Fourth of July weekend with friends in beautiful Bat Cave State Park. They begin the weekend with a wonderful meal and some laughs over the antics of nearby novice campers. But when someone kills the campground host and Frannie’s group discovers the body, their favorite getaway becomes a quasi-prison, and the eccentricities often seen in a campground are viewed as suspicious behavior. A severe weather threat and the possibility that the murderer could be either a campground resident or an intruder from the outside compounds the danger. Frannie, while naturally curious, is warned off by her retired-cop husband, but still stumbles on information making her a target of the killer. At the same time, Frannie is working through the recent loss of her mother and an uncomfortable relationship with one of her own camping group.

My review:

I have been a mystery lover since I first discovered Agatha Christie in the Weekly Reader Book Club at school. After finishing the exploits of Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot, I moved on to tougher detectives like Parker’s Jesse Stone, Patterson’s Alex Cross, or Baldacci’s team of King and Maxwell. But after reading Bats and Bones by Karen Musser Nortman, I may become a cozy mystery fan all over again.

The first book in the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries Series immediately drew me in. My husband and I fell in love with the RV lifestyle shortly after we retired, and we have met many campers like the Shoemakers and their friends who are easy-going, fun-loving, gregarious, and all around nice people. The scenarios in Bats and Bones were reminiscent of many of our camping trips – minus the dead bodies, of course.

Karen Nortman’s writing style captures the laid back atmosphere of the campground while still building the tension as the plot thickens and Frannie becomes involved in spite of her best efforts to heed the warnings of her husband Larry and local law enforcement. Nortman’s characters are well developed and likeable – except for the bad guys. She offers a reading experience that’s fun, engaging, and flinch free, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

About the author:

Head Shot Karen Musser NortmanKaren Musser Nortman, after previous incarnations as a secondary social studies teacher (22 years) and a test developer (18 years), returned to her childhood dream of writing a novel. Bats and Bones, a cozy mystery, came out of numerous ’round the campfire’ discussions, making up answers to questions raised by the peephole glimpses one gets into the lives of fellow campers. Where did those people disappear to for the last two days? What kinds of bones are in this fire pit? Why is that woman wearing heels to the shower house?

Karen and her husband Butch originally tent camped when their children were young and switched to a travel trailer when sleeping on the ground lost its romantic adventure. They take frequent weekend jaunts with friends to parks in Iowa and surrounding states, plus occasional longer trips. Entertainment on these trips has ranged from geocaching and hiking/biking to barbecue contests, balloon fests, and buck skinners’ rendezvous. Frannie and Larry will no doubt check out some of these options on their future adventures.

Karen has three children and eight grandchildren. She also loves reading, gardening, and knitting, and can recite the 99 counties of Iowa in alphabetical order.

Visit her website at www.karenmussernortman.com
Buy the Bats and Bones HERE 

Or buy it with two other Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries in the Camping Can Be Murder Boxed Set HERE 

Blessings,

Linda

Recent reviews of A Long and Winding Road

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Free on KU!

The July re-release of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos has stirred up new interest in my story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels. Following are two recent reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars heartfelt

Byjaneon January 2, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Caregiver for her parents, Linda Brendle takes her Mom who has Alzheimer’s and Dad with vascular dementia on a seven-week road trip in their RV. Together with Linda’s husband David, they travel a 16-state circuit in an eight-year old forty-foot American Eagle motor home, stopping to visit with David’s mom Betty and his sister Sharon, Linda’s son Christian and his wife Amy, grandson Mattias Christian Piatt, Grandma Suzie, Aunt Fay and her family, Linda’s brother Jim, his wife Jo Lynn, and other family and friends.

Ms. Brendle writes “…there are nice people everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes and your heart open.” “Life on the road and caregiving are both full of surprises.” A Long and Winding Road takes you along on a heartfelt journey in a caregiver’s tale of love.

Donna L. Young

5.0 out of 5 stars God’s greatest gifts can often be found on a Long and Winding Road.

January 28, 2018

A Long and Winding Road by Linda Brendle was a pleasure to read! From the very first chapter, I was hooked. I often found myself giggling my way through the many similarities that drew me in. Much like the author, I married a Navy Man, road on the back of my husband’s motorcycle, lived in an RV and for the past year worked with seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia. With so much in common between myself and the author, including our Faith in Jesus Christ, at one point I began to wonder what God was doing when He created the two of us.

I wasn’t able to read the book cover to cover. Yet, each time I picked the book back up, I was immediately lost in another familiar story and left smiling. All of my favorite moments involved an honest interaction between the author and a family member. My favorite moment was an early morning feeding session when author heard her baby boy, Christian crying. While rocking and feeding him, she says, “I love watching his blues smile back at me as I talked or sang to him, and laughed when he stuck his fingers up my nose or mouth.”

Blessings,

Linda

New 5-star review for “A Long and Winding Road”

Linda Brendle’s A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos cleverly uses a fifty-three day RV road trip as a vehicle for readers to glimpse the ups and downs of Alzheimer’s erratic world. This heartwarming story of a daughter’s devotion to her mother and father is inspirational. The author draws upon spiritual courage to meet nonstop challenges. She tempers the seriousness of the subject matter by sprinkling pages with humor. And, Linda Brendle flawlessly weaves her personal growth journeys to add depth to this enjoyable read. I highly recommend this work.

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On sale for 99 cents!

Blessings,

Linda

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