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On the Road Again*

Okay, seriously, these past few months have been a bit different and any complaints I have are truly first world problems; I have a roof over my head (two right now, the RV and the cover above it), more food than I should eat

(Hello dreaded COVID-19 and I am not talking about the virus), and enough resources that I haven’t worried about paying my bills. So, unlike many others in this country, we have gotten through the shelter-in-place relatively unscathed. What we have had is way too much time to keep up on the news, lecture Charlie’s mom about going shopping, and (I am not sorry about this part at all), fostering three orphaned kittens that we found abandoned on a trail here at Fort Clark Springs, Texas.

What we need now is to continue our mission. With businesses re-opening it is time to get Badges back on the road*** so we can photograph and share stories of LEO’s again. While I am sure y’all have been enjoying our posts, just know that we have been doing our best to stay relevant during this time period. However, I am sure everyone is tired of seeing pictures of masks, mask making, or me wearing a mask. Even my sewing machine gave up the ghost after sewing over 300 masks. Funny thing about that sewing machine, Charlie bought her for me back in the late 90’s so that I could tailor his work uniform. The shirts were always too boxy (he has broad shoulders and a narrow waist – he is a cutie!) and would blouse out (which he hated), and he liked me to add a section on the other shirt pocket to hold his pens in place. If anyone from JeffCo needs thread to match the uniform, I have a spool or two that I would be willing to give away. Who knew that years later this machine would soldier on to help out our Badges friends and family?

Now, with the machine getting the rest she deserves (temporarily – she will be in the shop soon), we are packing up and hitting the road this Friday. So, what do you do to get two adults, two grown cats and three five-week old kittens prepared for travel? You make lists. Oh, my little heart squishes at the thought of creating lists.

We need to do laundry – like duvet cover level laundry – stock up on food supplies, including more for the kittens (who should weigh as much as our RV at this point with the formula they put away), do any small repairs that we failed to do over the last couple of months. We need to do a thorough cleaning, stock up on insect repellant (it’s that time of year again), consider re-stocking the liquor cabinet (I mean, it doesn’t go bad, does it?). Charlie needs to make his own list as he doesn’t take kindly to me asking if he dumped the tanks, gassed up the truck, recalibrated the flux capacitor, and that sort of thing. We need to say goodbye for now to our friends here at the Fort and we need to make plans with our friends up north*.

Day of is usually the same, Charlie takes the outdoor chores which I have a vague idea of what he does, and I take the indoor. That means taking everything down, putting chinet plates between our real plates, stuffing throw pillows into cabinets (reduces shifting – see, I told Charlie throw pillows were useful objects), double checking that all vents are closed, doors are secured, cabinets and drawers are shut all the way, water pump is OFF (just google that one, lots of RV’s out there with water damage), etc. I actually have a 16 point list that I check off and I am happy to share if you are really interested. I also will pack drinks, this time to include bottles of formula for kittens, pack the cats in their kennels, move the kitty litter into the truck (I mean, they still have to go), and then I usually get annoyed as Charlie double checks my work, almost always finds something (which annoys me more), and then we close up the RV. I then double check Charlie’s work which never annoys him as I never find anything missing, which annoys me (sigh)**. I then help Charlie back up and connect the RV to the truck. Once we have hooked up and plugged in, we can pull out. When we are on the highway, we let the cats out of their kennel, Wonkers will take over the center console, Butters will lay across Charlie, and away we go. For this trip, I think the kittens will stay in their kennel, three little ones may be a bit much, and will literally get underfoot.

When we leave here on Friday, we will spend two nights on the road while we travel north to spend a week at St. Vrain State Park in Firestone, Colorado. While there, Charlie will be meeting up and working with some old colleagues at both Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Denver PD while I meet up with my meetings team and occupy myself with the kittens, ahem, I mean work. From there, we have two weeks at John Martin Reservoir in southeastern Colorado where we will have some time with family (cannot wait to see two of our kiddos and our "adopted" kiddo! Once again, poor Audrey didn't have any idea what she was getting into when she reached out to us) before we head to Nebraska. Charlie has been working with Beatrice PD there, as well as a few other agencies in the area, to organize dates and times for Badges to come and give them the full Badges treatment (you know, portraits, action, interviews, etc). We dip back to Colorado for a week and a half where Charlie will be photographing a friend’s wedding (Woohoo – go Arnolds’) and attend our friend's daughter (more like our adopted niece - we love her) a delayed high school graduation and her promation party (I sold her on the idea of having a prom for her graduation party, we just haven’t agreed on a name for it yet. I think it should be, “Footloose”, themed however she has not seen the movie. Her parents need to work on her movie-cation). *

And after Colorado and Nebraska? Who knows, but we are open to suggestions from anyone except from Doc, as unlike his Dolorean, we do need roads. 😊

*disclaimer, I have zero control over the coronavirus and what our world will look like tomorrow, let alone weeks and months from now. It is therefore understood that any plans or arrangements made, can and will change based on the current status of the locality of said plans and/or people's current health. Stay safe, stay healthy.

**please be advised, we jokingly call ourselves the Bickerson's because whenever we pack up, we bicker (in a completely loving (cough, cough) manner) to the point that our friends have been known to come on over, grab a chair, drink a beer/coffee, depending on the time of day or how hot it is, all while enjoying the show. The best part is, as soon as we are on the road, it's like all the bickering never took place and a big sigh of contentment is had by all.

***please note that we are being responsible in our travels, are able to limit our physical interactions as we are fully self-contained, sanitize regularly, wear our masks in public, practice social distancing when out and about, and do our best to ensure that we are not part of the problem but also wanting to be part of the solution while we phase in re-opening. We regularly check current local policies and guidelines (and adhere to them), have a back up place to quarantine ourselves in our RV if needed and have done everything we can to be socially responsible individuals.

Pics below are all from my poor attempts at utilizing my iphone's camera. Left to Right, Top Row: Gandalf the Gray...and White, aka, "G"; Butters inspecting Rum Tum Tugger, aka Li'l Bit or Li'l Miss Thang when she's being sassy; Rum Tum Tuggers walking the "cat walk", get it, cat walk (ahahahahahaha! is there such as a thing as a mom joke? are they as funny/bad as a dad joke?);

Bottom Row: All three hanging out in my purse as we all went shopping; Butters, once again checking out the kittens - this time it's Jinx (so you can say, "Hi! Jinx", when you see him (this one is a dad joke as Charlie named him); and the three kittens in their secured area. When you travel in an RV and the littles outgrow their tub of containment but you still need them safe when you cannot watch them, you put them in your shower, with the drain covered with press and seal (to keep litter from going down the drain - lord only knows what that would do to your gray tank), a couple of puppy pads and the stolen (from Wonkers - he isn't a fan of these guys, I have no idea why) cat bed.

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