Sunday, December 31, 2023

What are the odds?

7:18 am - Sunday - December 31st - GNHS - 48° F. humidity 83%, wind 3 mph out of the east by southeast......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 63° F.  On this date in 2015 TLE and I were boondocking at Ocotillo Wells with our kids, and good friends....that is the Newell in the red circle.....↴

For the first time in two winters we had 11 advance bookings, which is everything we have that is running.  We could have rented 12 if RZR #1 is we weren't waiting the near left rear axle.  We opened the office at 8 am, because we had a lot to do before our customers began to arrive. Whenever we get more than 5 units out in the field I get antsy.  The odds, in my mind, seem to go up exponentially with 11 units in the field that there will be a flat tire, something will break, or there will be an accident.  Ten of the RZRs were scheduled for full day rentals beginning at 9 am.  The worst case scenario would be that all nine customers would show up at the same time, but on this day they spaced their arrivals out so we were never under any pressure.  Our first customer arrived at 8:15 am, and the final arrived around 8:50 am, and with that we had the first 10 units out by 9:10 am.  We had one half day rental beginning at 10 am, and they arrived around 9:30 am, so by 10 am all 11 were gone, and our lot was empty.

Shortly after sending out the 10 am rental TLE and I took another of our 1 mile walks, and my knee was feeling so good that we averaged 3.2 mph.  That's the first time we've been over 3 mph since my knee injury a month ago....

.....we had one all day rental return at 11:15 am, so I washed that one, and then took an hour lunch.  Most of the rest of the day was spent standing around hoping we would get no rescue, or accident calls.  Just after our half day rental returned I washed that one, and then TLE and I took another of our 1 mile walks averaging 3.1 mph this time.  My knee feels the best it has felt in a month.  I took a picture from the top of the hill where we turn around...

....the final 9 of our rentals began drifting in around 4 pm, and by 4:30 pm they had all returned....WITHOUT INCIDENT!  What are the odds of that? We all breathed a collective sigh of relief, and got busy getting them all washed, fueled and staged for Sunday, because all 11 will be going out again....

Fueling the last of the RZRs

The lineup for Sunday

.....Saturday had to be one of the most satisfying rental days for us since we began this adventure last winter.  Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, our bosses were ecstatic.  I'm sure they were sitting up in Durango all day expecting one of 'those' calls all day telling them there was a rollover.  Stay tuned for Sunday's adventures!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Here we go!

 6:52 am - Saturday - December 30th - GNHS - 45° F, humidity 90%, wind 3 mph out of the south by southeast......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this date in 2012 TLE and I were enjoying one of too man to count amazing sunsets at Cedar Key, FL.....↴

Friday we had our first ever booked 4 day RZR rental....yup, 4 consecutive days by one renter...but that was all when we opened the office.  By the time the day finished we had a total of 3 rentals, and all returned without incident.  Saturday and Sunday will be the big days for us on this New Years weekend.....11 rentals each day including the aforementioned 4 day rental), and many of those will also be multi day rentals.  Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, we will be extremely busy those two days.  We've never rented more than 7 units in any single day, so moving up to 11 for two days in succession is an exponential increase.  Will we get through the weekend with no rescues, or accidents?  Stay tuned.

Sitting waiting for rentals to return

Once our first rental was out I got busy washing the final two rental returns from Thursday, because we will need everything clean for Saturday and Sunday, but otherwise it was a lot of standing around most of the day.  We had numerous inquiries for Saturday, but, alas we are completely booked....a nice problem to have.  

Two of the three rentals returned just after 4 pm, and the final one not until 5 pm......about 30 minutes late.  Apparently, someone in their group (not one of ours) had a massive transmission failure around 4 pm.  At any rate, all returned without any issues.  

The initial sunset around 4:40 pm was nothing to write home about, but 20 minutes later the western sky lit up....

.....there was a lot of cloud cover most the day, so you just never know what the sunset will look like, or if you will even get one.  Sometimes the light display comes way after sunset, like Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 29, 2023

Seven for seven.....

7:25 am - Friday - December 29th - GNHS - 47° F, humidity 90%, wind 4 mph out of the east by southeast.....heavy cloud cover today with a forecast high of 64° F.  On this date in 2018 TLE had just arrived in Cedar Key, of our most favorite Small Towns, USA.....↴ 

It was back to work for TLE and I Thursday.  We began the day with a modest 3 rentals, and ended the day having rented 7, and to top that all off with a cherry, we had no accidents, or flat tires, or rescues.  That, my friends, is a good day in the RZR rental business!  All we did was send happy people out, and welcome happy people back at the end of the day (silently knocking on WOOD as I write).

I took more pictures of our advertising for the record....'re beginning to look like we're really in business.

We had pretty much clear, blue skies Thursday, and by the end of the day our Chocolate Mountains were being lit up by the setting sun....

....our last all day rentals returned around 4 and 4:15 pm respectively, and by 4:50 pm we closed the office on another successful rental day with no out, and seven back....that's 7 for 7!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Two times.....

 7:42 am - Thursday - December 28th - GNHS - 46° F, humidity 98%, wind 3 mph out of the east by southeast....partially cloudy today with a forecast high of 66° F.  On this date in 2021 TLE and I awoke to wet ground at had rained all night....↴

Wednesday was not a work day for us, but Hunter was out front around 8 am changing the oil in several of the RZRs.  As you will recall, these units are all brand new in October, and the oil needs to be changed in them after 30-40 hours of operation.  While he was at it he was blowing out the air cleaners, which were last done about a month ago by me.  

TLE and and I took the first of two 1 mile walks around 10 am.  My knee was feeling good at the beginning of the first walk, and I was hoping it would still the same later in the day.  I'd like to get back to walking 2 miles each time, and hoped a second 1 mile walk on the same day would give me a hint as to whether that would be possible.  The walk went as I had hoped, and we were back in about 21 minutes.  Usually we walk at around 3.5 mph, but since my knee injury we've been averaging a little under 3 mph, which is fine....walking on a regular basis the the point, not the speed....

....after that I headed down to the hot pools/tubs for my first soak since before Christmas....

.....the water coming out of the spigot was around 130° F (ouch!!) on this day so it took five 5 gallon buckets of pool water to get the temp down to 106° F.

Around 3:30 pm TLE and I took the second 1 mile walk of the day, and even though my knee was a little stiff, it loosened over the course of the walk.  On our way back we saw Hunter deploying some of the Polaris advertising we recently received....

....I forgot to take our usual post walk 'usie', but I saw TLE out by the office talking with Hunter so I snapped a picture....

....does that woman have great legs, or what?

By the way, Hunter got 3 walkup customers Wednesday....a two hour tour, and 2 four hour tours....not bad for an off day!  All three came back without incident.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Day to day...

7:56 am - Wednesday - December 27th - GNHS - 48° F, humidity 86%, wind 3 mph out of the southeast......very cloudy today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this date in 2021 TLE and I were at one of our favorite boondock sites in the Anza Borrego Desert.....we spent almost 3 months there.....↴

....we'll be back there next winter, for sure!

For the first time in 9 days TLE and I went for a walk....just a modest one mile see how my knee would react, and I am pleased to report that it was better than I expected.  I probably could have walked the full 2 miles we usually do, but TLE insisted I not overdo it, so I meekly complied.  Sometimes I need her to remind me I'm not 19 anymore....

.....Tuesday was the final day of the aforementioned 3 day RZR rental that began on Sunday, but since Hunter had handled the 2nd day by himself just fine, we let him take care of the final day by himself.  TLE and spent the morning watching, outdoors, three, count them, three English Premier soccer matches beginning to end, something we have not done for a very long time.  The weather was balmy, and there was just enough sun to make it pleasant.  It was nice to have a day to kind of unwind from our Christmas visit with our kids.  I neglected to mention in yesterday's blog post that most of the family pictures I posted were taken by TLE (the group picture was taken by Rochelle).....I wasn't very happy with most of mine, so having her great pictures to post was a blessing.

Around 11 am Hunter came to tell us he was going to drive down to El Centro to Coyne Power Sports to pick up some things for COA, so I clocked in to be available should we get any walkups, or should the all day rental run into problems.  Sure enough, around 12:30 pm we did get a walkup customer for a 2 hour rental, so TLE and I sprang into action, and got them on their way a tad after 1 pm.  Hunter returned around 1:45 pm, so we clocked out, and let him finish the day.  Both rentals returned without incident, so it was another good day for COA!

The temp began dropping around 2 pm, so TLE and I had to put on jackets to continue watching soccer outside.  All three games were interesting, but the most surprising outcome was the Manchester United vs. Aston Villa game.  Aston Villa is in 2nd, or 3rd place right now, and Manchester United has fallen on hard times having not won a match in a month.  When Aston Villa jumped out to a 2 - nil lead it appeared that they would win the match, but Manchester United fought back in the 2nd half scoring three goals in around 20 minutes, and ended up wining by a score of 3-2...I guess that is why they play the games, right?  Anything is possible on any given day.

My knee continues to improve day by day, and there was a period of a few hours where I didn't even think about it.  I've just got to be patient, and let the healing take its own course.  It will be better when it's better, and I'll just have to adjust my expectations accordingly.

I managed to get a picture of our somewhat subdued sunset, and with that another GNHS day wound down....

....TLE and I watched another Hallmark Christmas movie to finish the evening, and it was a good one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

A very Hockwald Christmas!

7:55 am - Tuesday - December 26th - GNHS - 45° F, humidity 91%, wind 2 mph out of the east by southeast......crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 65° F.  On this date in 2018 TLE and I were winging our way back to Nashville, TN after spending Christmas with our kids, grand kids, and great grand kids.....↴ 

And then there was Christmas day.  TLE and I both slept well Sunday night in Sharon and Rod's guest room, and were up just in time to see Brayden (son) opening his presents, including the main attraction, a new Dell computer.....

....of course, Mom and Dad forgot the username and password, so it took about 45 minutes to straighten that out, but in the end Brayden was very happy.

We were dressed and on our way over to Chris (oldest son) and Rochelle's home by 8:30 am, and after exchanging greetings and hugs I got down to business eating Christmas breakfast.....

....Pozole, Christmas tamales, and tortillas.....we've been having this breakfast at Chris and Rochelle's for well over a decade, and every year Chris seems to perfect it even more.  I added some cilantro, radishes, and a squeeze of lime to punch it up a tad....paired with a full bodied cup of coffee made the perfect breakfast!

In all we had 25 people in attendance, including Ed and Linda, Rochelle's parents, so there were many simultaneous conversations taking place all morning, and into the afternoon.  TLE and I are used to being by ourselves 24/7, so it takes us a while to adjust to the level of noise at a typical Hockwald gathering......

Rod and Brayden

Rod, Kate and Sharon

Jolene (7) and Levy (2) - two of Kate's kids

Kate, Rochelle and many amazing, beautiful women in my life

Chris and Dad talking about Raider's football....the Raiders, by the way, upset the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL morning game

Elijah (20), and Charlise (17) bracketing our daughter, Meredith.  Elijah and Charlise are also Kate's kids.....she has a wide age span running from 20 down to 2 years of age

Brayden (grandson) with Daniel (great grandson...son of grand daughter Cynthia)

Grandson Chris (Chris and Rochelle's son)  with great grandson Jameson (grand daughter Cynthia's son)

Courtesy The Amazing Rochelle the time we took our annual Christmas picture Ed and Linda (Rochelle's parents) had already gone home, so we had 23 present and accounted for in the picture.  Also missing are Tim, Laila, Crosby and Bowie who now live in Georgia....

Tim, Laila, Crosby and Bowie

....we miss them a lot, and are looking forward to our next trip to visit them.  TLE and I did spent about 20 minutes 'Facetiming' with them before we left Sharon and Rod's home Christmas morning.  If you add in all of our in-laws there would close to 40 people in this picture.  It always kinds of blows my mind to think that without TLE and I finding each other 56 years ago none of these pictures would exist.

This was the best Christmas ever, and our hearts were brimming with love, and satisfaction as we moved from one conversation to another.  By 1:30 pm it was time for TLE and I to bid our adieus and begin the 2.5 hour drive back to GNHS, where we arrived around 3:55 pm without incident.  As we watched another GNHS sunset, we continued to bask in the afterglow of time spent with our children, their children, and their children's children.  We are so proud of all of our children, the families they have forged, and feel extremely blessed to spend such quality time with them.... 

 ....we pray your Christmas was rich, and full of love as well....may God bless you all!

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

7:26 am - Christmas Morning - December 25th - Rancho Cucamonga, CA - 48° F, humidity 63%, wind 3 mph out of the north by northeast....partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 67° F.  On this date in 2018 TLE and I were celebrating Christmas with all our kids, grandkids, and great grand kids in Rancho Cucamonga, CA......↴ 

Christmas Eve began with three COA rentals....two 2 seaters for an all day rental, and one RZR 4 seater for a THREE day rental....a nice start to the holiday season!  TLE and I helped Hunter get them out, and then we worked around the office until noon before clocking out for the day.  We wanted to spend Christmas Eve with a few of our kids, and grandkids, so we were in the VW by 1:15 pm for the 2.5 hour drive into Rancho Cucamonga.  Traffic, for SoCal, on Christmas Eve was actually not bad at all...I just set the cruise control at 70 mph and held onto the steering wheel.  We arrived at Sharon (daughter) and Rod's home around 3:45 pm without incident.  Our daughter, Kate, her husband (Nick) and kids arrived around 4:30 pm, and by 5 pm we were enjoying a Chinese dinner courtesy Pickup Stix ala 'A Christmas Story'....

Left to right: Moi, Kate, Sharon, Meredith, Rod, Nick

Meredith, our oldest daughter

Charlise (Charlie), Kate's oldest daughter, and oh man...she is 17 now...where have the years gone?

Two of Kate's four children....Levy and Jolene

Brayden James (Sharon's son) and I....a very smart, articulate young man at 7 years old.  Seems like a few days ago he was a newborn! is very sobering to realize how quickly our grand kids are growing, and why these moments with our kids become more important each year.

Merry Christmas to all of you and yours from the Hockwalds!  As always, thank you for stopping by!