Sunday, November 17, 2019

Return to the Sky after 44 years

On Thursday, 14 November I returned to the sky.  It was my 39th jump, but it was my first since May of 1975.  And it was my first tandem jump.  I jumped with El Paso Skydive at the Santa Teresa Airport in southern New Mexico.
                                                 The plane was a King Air A-90K
 It was equipped with seatbelts for 6 or 8 people, but no seats (except for pilot and copilot, of course)
I still have my jumpsuit from 1975, and over it went the harness with which I would be strapped to my instructor.

Here is the video of the jump. It is about 4 minutes, 45 seconds long.

and here are a few pictures taken from the ground as we landed.

On all 38 previous jumps, I was in charge of controlling my chute.  This time I was simply a passenger enjoying the view and the ride.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Mom Downs' 100th Birthday

If my mother, Eleanore Downs, were still alive, she would now be 100 years old!  Born in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1919 she graduated from Fitchburg State Teachers College in Massachusetts and married my father, Herb Downs, soon after.

Here she is

                                                          With the whole family

                                 With Dave, Bev, Allen & Lois at the St. Lawrence Seaway

                                                  With Dad and Allen at WPI in 1962

                                              With Dad at their 25th wedding anniversary

                                        With Dad, Allen, Bev, & Lois in Newport RI in 1967

                           With Chris, Allen, and Dad at Allen's graduation from WPI 1971

                                 Mom's birthday party with Tammy, Lois, Saucy, Dad, & Jane

                                              With Fred and Dad at Allen's wedding to Saucy

                                                     At the log cabin with Dad & Allen

                                                   At Lois' wedding with the whole gang

                                                  With her sister Stella after going on oxygen

We miss her and want to remember her as we note the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Allen Tries the Elio

Allen in the driver's seat of the Elio prototype
A while back, I discovered an interesting car online; the Elio.  It is not yet in production; the first cars are now scheduled to come off the line in mid 2016. It is a three wheeler that is expected to seat two people (one behind the other), get 80+ MPG and cost $6,800.  It interested me enough that I signed up on the waiting list (I'm number 12,149) and last Friday I drove to Tucson to see the prototype.
Martha, Mike, and the Elio
 My old navy buddy, Mike, and his wife Martha are full time RVers wintering in Tucson, so I swung by his place and Mike, Martha, and I checked out the Elio prototype at the Tucson Mall.
Three view of the Elio

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From Fall to Winter

Most of the year Las Cruces is hot.  But we do have some change of season.
Our back yard in fall (December)

And in winter (January)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


When we moved to Las Cruces in 2007 we bought a house on Geronimo trail
Dinah at our new Geronimo Trail home in 2007

In 2008 we moved to our current home on Ralls Road and rented the Geronimo Trail house.  Orlando and Dolores moved in about five years ago and have become our friends as well as our tenants. And on 21 January they became homeowners, purchasing the Geronimo Trail house.
Orlando, Dolores, Escrow agent Billy, and Dinah at closing.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Out with Herb - In with Lulu

Herb - our 1998 National Tradewinds 37' diesel pusher motor home
This past summer Dinah and I decided to downsize our RV. We have owned Herb since just after we were married in 2005.  We felt we were ready for something smaller.  I wanted much smaller, Dinah not so small. It turned out that our friend Jeanette Fisher had a 30' class C motor home for sale which we eventually decided was just right for us.

Lulu - our new 1998 Lazy Daze 30' class C motor home
Inside Lulu
Shortly after we got home from the Panama Canal cruise, we drove to Las Vegas to meet with Jeanette and bring Lulu home.  So now we had two motor homes.
We advertised Herb for sale and in early December we got a call from Marcia from Albuquerque who asked a million questions, came down to see Herb and spend the night in him, decided to buy, and drove him back to Albuquerque in January.  She plans to rent out her condo then drive Herb to Mexico where she will spend a year or so with Herb as her new home.
So now we are back to one motor home with plans to head east for our summer travels this year.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cupcakes for Firemen

Dinah with the fire crew leader
While shopping at Walmart, Dinah felt weak and slipped to the floor. Someone called 911 and the Las Cruces fire department responded. She was taken to Mt View Hospital where she spent 3 days being checked out. The problem was diagnosed as probable BradyCardia (an episode of slow heart rate). Since everything seemed fine, she was released and we hope it doesn't happen again.

Dinah checks out the fancy cupcakes she brought to thank the firemen
Dinah was impressed with the professionalism of the four firemen who helped her and with the thoughtful care they delivered, so she recently visited the fire house to thank them and deliver some cupcakes.