Friends, Family and the Open Road

By Virginia Parker Staat

As I write this, I’m sitting under a canopy of pines near Athens, Georgia. Yellow daffodils and the redbud trees are beginning to bloom. David and I are on our first camping trip with our new Golden Retriever pup, Samantha. Tomorrow we visit our granddaughter who studies at the University of Georgia. Then we turn south to visit our 16- and 12-year-old grandkids. We haven’t seen them since the spring before all the lockdowns began… nearly three years ago. I’m bracing myself for how much they have grown.

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New Beginnings

Text and photo by Virginia Parker Staat

Golden Retriever.
Samantha at 16 weeks on David’s lap – almost! © Virginia Staat

Every new year brings an opportunity for a new beginning. This is an especially true statement for David and me this year. We have welcomed a new addition to our family. Meet Samantha, our Golden Retriever puppy. For those of you who remember our beloved Roxanne, you will know this step was a long time in coming for us. We lost Roxanne over five years ago. We thought it was time to open our hearts again to another. 

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2021 Conference a Hit

By Virginia Parker Staat

It was wonderful to see so many of you in Alamogordo during last month’s RMOWP conference. We were delighted to meet new member Steve Cochrane and his wife Megan, and spend time with twenty-two RMOWP friends. For me, it was a true joy just to feel a sense of cautious normalcy as we reunited in camaraderie and shared interests. 

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Emerging from Hibernation

Text and photo by Virginia Parker Staat

The freeze was record shattering. Just before Valentine’s Day, South Texas received over four inches of snow. It stayed on the ground nearly a week. Winter storm temperatures plummeted and stayed below freezing for three days in a row. 

Texas hasn’t recorded this kind of weather since 1893. Everything froze… plants, roadways, and, especially, water pipes. In many respects the resulting impact was much like a very cold hurricane. The aftermath included the same kind of power outages and water damage. This time, however, the water came from broken pipes inside homes rather than from rain and flooding outside. 

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Rescues, Communications, and Connectivity

By Virginia Parker Staat

White Mountain, Wyoming, sunset
White Mountain Sunset © Virginia Staat

In our last newsletter, I extended a gentle challenge to each of you, asking for photos or articles to let us know what you’ve been up to during the pandemic lockdown. The ink was barely dry on that article when David and I loaded the camper on the truck and took a six-week road trip. We had planned to return to Alaska this summer, but with the Canadian border closed, we chose Idaho and its cooler climes instead. Over those wonderful six weeks, we drove over 8,100 miles, dodged fires and cities, and found hundreds of wild horses to photograph. 

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