Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Circuit Riding in 2008

We Catholics who spend a lot of time on the road know that “circuit-riding” preachers aren’t only a thing of western movies. They still exist. Our reader and my best friend from first grade, Father Ken Krall, is a circuit rider.
He is a teacher of Ancient Greek and Latin at Gonzaga University, and moves around the Spokane area on weekends hearing confessions and saying Mass. He’s a circuit rider all the way into northwestern Washington and northern Idaho. When we were in Newport, Washington, in August, he was the “Pend Oreille county priest” for that one weekend, saying Mass five times in as many communities. He regularly travels an assigned path, especially on major Holy Days. And he is as old as I am (sorry to disclose that, Ken – you look so much younger! Maybe 69!).

Suzy has found herself a circuit riding orthopedic surgeon! Dr. John Kline, from Tucson, travels a regular route around southeastern Arizona. On Tuesdays he’s in Benson, on Wednesdays he’s in Nogales, and we don’t know from there.

Dr. Kline says Suzy has osteoarthritis and bursitis plus two bone spurs, one of them large, in her left shoulder and doesn’t recommend surgery. And he’s a surgeon!!!! On Tuesday he gave her a shot of cortisone, and told us that arthroscopic surgery wouldn’t be helpful. If nothing else helps, a shoulder replacement would be the last resort, and he didn’t recommend it. The cortisone shot is helping her pain level.

Other circuit riders? We saw a lot of them as we traveled this past summer. We saw priests, of course, that came from a central city to the small towns we visited. We saw a different sort of circuit rider in a tiny town of Bowman, North Dakota.

David Sigurgeirsson from Iceland was part of World Harmony Run, running to advance friendship and harmony between individuals and nations.

We saw Dr. Solar, a ventriloquist and puppeteer with his traveling medicine show in a Thousand Trails Park in Morgan Hill, California.

What a fun time we’ve had! What a joy our life has become since we retired and took up full-time RVing! We have seen so much of the country, we’ve met people who think as we think (as well as a whole bunch who think differently), do as we do, and go where we go! We’re beginning to build a new home community in Benson, AZ, but we still think of the open road as our real home. We are Gypsies!

Will we ever complete the process of visiting all the states (except Hawaii), all the provinces of Canada? We’re not ready to give up on that, but we are ready to see what happens!
Hey! It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and the desert around San Pedro Valley is getting something to be thankful for! Rain! Thundershowers are predicted for today, and thunderstorms for tomorrow! We can hear the rain on the motorhome roof as we write this posting. Celebration!

In the meantime, we ask you to have a great Thanksgiving, but at the same time to remember all the people who need prayers and help. We have many friends who have asked us to pray for their family members or friends, very ill or perhaps on their way to a final destination. And for yourself, live every day fully, do for others and take good care of yourselves. You are an important part of ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving Jerry & Suzy... Great post... I never heard of the circuit riding.... very interesting... If you still want the video of the Christmas light I can email it to you... That is how I got it... We also belong to Thousand Trails and wondered what the parks are like out west... So far we haven't been too impressed with them... The one in Orlando is nice... That is where we signed up... Have a beautiful day...


  2. Jerry and Suzy,
    Yummm...leftovers! The best part of Thanksgiving not to mention all those delicious turkey sandwiches!

    Your travel map is impressive. We have not traveled to Canada or Alaska and do not know if either is in our future but we never say "never."

    We are headed for the east coast this spring. If you like history, you would love it there. This will be my 3rd and Phil's 2nd trip. We plan to winter in Florida in 2009.
    If not for the weather and family I would stay east permanently. Not sure Phil would agree to that however.

    Happy day after ...
    Joy and Phil


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