Thanksgiving Prayer

covenantmtnfall-copyOur Father in Heaven,

If ever we had a cause to offer unto Thee our fervent thanks, surely it is now, on the Eve of our Thanksgiving Day, when we, the people of this Nation, are comfortable, well fed, well clad, and blessed with good things beyond our deserving. May gratitude, the rarest of all virtues, be the spirit of our observance.

Let not feasting, football, and festivity end in forgetfulness of God. May the desperate need of the rest of the world, and our own glorious heritage, remind us of the God who led our Fathers every step of the way by which they advanced to the character of an independent nation.

May the faith and conviction of George Washington be renewed in us as we remember his words:

…there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…

For if we do not have the grace to thank Thee for all that we have and enjoy, how can we have the effrontery to seek Thy further blessings? God, give us grateful hearts.

(a prayer from the Senate of the United States, November 26, 1947, by Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain)

Borrowed from Bob Hostetler’s blog – One Prayer a Day (which I highly recommend ANY day!)

Photo creds to my talented niece, Christiana F., taken from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, TN

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Now where were we?

Right – just leaving the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and heading to Page, AZ for our next National Park visit.
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And what a beautiful drive it was!! Most of it was a very scenic drive along the Vermillion Cliffs,
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across the Colorado River
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up a couple of ‘hills’
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and then down into Page, AZ.
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Page is a fairly new city, having been founded and then developed only during the building of the Glen Canyon Dam.
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And of course, the dam created Lake Powell, which is a huge recreation (boating, camping, hiking, etc.) area.
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Now we didn’t take in ALL there was to do the area, but we gave it our best (scratching the surface style) shot!
There was the Dam Tour –
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which was made all the more interesting by our tour guide, who was a Page ‘native’ and had lots of stories from ‘back in the day’. Like when he and his buddies would cut school and explore the inner tunnels of the dam, before security shut that down. (He was also a retired policeman, so that added a bit of interest too!)
We took in one fairly long hike to find some “slot canyons”.
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It was not only a beautiful drive to GET to the hike –
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(more of those beautiful Vermillion Cliffs)
but since the hike was through a “wash’, there wasn’t much of an elevation change to deal with (our nemesis!).
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Although the slot canyons at the end of our Wire Pass hike were probably not as impressive as perhaps the more well known Antelope Canyon (Wire Pass – Free. Antelope – almost $100 for the two of us), we certainly were impressed!
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We absolutely love the sculpture of these rock walls

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A wonderful reminder of the creative beauty of our God! (And the power of moving water!!!)
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We checked out a bit of lake shore camping,
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(maybe next time!)
enjoyed another short hike
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and just generally enjoyed the beauty of the day.
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As the sun was beginning to sink and hoping to catch the sunset, we checked out another highly recommended (and short) hike – Horseshoe Bend.
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We were not alone in our thought process!
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(I confess – this picture really cracks me up!! And – they are ALL too close to the edge!!!)
I guess I’ve seen more beautiful sunsets –
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but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen more people hoping it would be (more beautiful)!
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So that about wraps up our time at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. There was so much to see and do here (not to mention that it might have been nice just to sit on the beach and stare at that lake) that it might warrant a trip back! But for now – it was pack ‘er up and move on down the road.  Still to come – Four Corners, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, and the Petrified Forest.

Next time, okay?

As always, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for your patience as I work on getting this ol’ blog up-to-date between lovin’ on these cutie pies!
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I’m sure you can understand my distractions!

Steph

Oh – and if you’d like to see some additional photos from our time in and around Page, Arizona, you can check them out HERE!

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So, 65

Maddie
One of my granddaughters turned 9 on Tuesday. Nine. How can that be? As we were chatting with her (after our traditionally awful Happy Birthday rendition) I (not so subtly) reminded her that MY birthday was the next day.
“How old do you think I’ll be?” I asked.
Being the wise 9 year old that she is, she hemmed and hawed and finally came up with a 50 something number. When I said that I was turning 65, her eyes grew wide in astonishment. I don’t think it was so much that I looked so great for 65, but rather that 65 was so OLD.

I’m pretty sure when I was 9, 65 WAS old. And it was still pretty old when I was 20. By the time I turned 40 – well, my mom was 65 by then and she was was still playing tennis as often as she could find a partner, was involved in several musical groups (she was a cellist), and was certainly not ‘old’ by any standard.  In my 50’s, the big 6-5 still seemed pretty far away. But many of my friends had already crossed the threshold, and they seemed ok about it all! Here are some random thoughts about turning 65 in my world –

  • When we started out in SOWERs, we were on the young side of the usual demographic. (In fact, some referred to us as the Youth Group!) So in a way, we’ve finally caught-up with our co-workers! Yea!
  • We both have now successfully navigated signing up for Medicare. If you’re not there yet – just wait. It’s quite a maze and there is a certain sense of accomplishment when you finally figure out A-B-C-D, and all the supplemental plans also referred to with letters just to keep you confused.
  • The government is actually sending us money. We’ve been enjoying this ‘refund’ of our many years of payroll deductions for a couple of years, but crossing into the 65 Club made it seem more official.
  • For the first time since we’ve been on the road, we are actually with family for my birthday. This has been a goofy week of coughs and stomach upsets at the house, and a minor out-patient procedure for Gary at our place, so I can’t actually say that we’ve spent tons of time WITH the family this week, but still and all, just being close has been a joy.
  • My tradition of celebrating all month has also been playing out well! We had a great gathering of Waco friends, along with the surprise appearance of some dear SOWER friends, last weekend. Waco friends
    Gary & I celebrated the actual day with a yummy lunch at In-n-Out and dinner at a steak house and the kids have promised a dinner out with them when everyone is healthy and home from work at a reasonable time. Plus there’s that Thanksgiving bash later in the month – yes, I claim that too!
  • All in all – 65 seems to be working out just fine.  My weight is down some (as is Gary’s!), my hair is short and our health is good. Gary & IWe have a beautiful family that loves us and supports us in this craziness we call ‘retirement’, and we’ve made so many wonderful friends from around the country that we continue marvel at God’s goodness to us. I ride around the country in our 300 sq. ft. home with this hunk of a driver and we find purpose in our lives by serving others. I thank God daily for these blessings and please don’t think for a minute that we take these things for granted.

Several years ago I shared a “Birthday Prayer” that, as the years go by, seems more and more apropos. And so I share it again today, as it is still my prayer –

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen.

(Borrowed from Bob Hostetler’s One Prayer a Day blog.)

Thanks for stopping by! Oh – and Happy (blogging) Birthday to our sweet Maddie!

Steph

 

still celebrating!

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The North Rim

Back in late April of 2010, Gary and I did what we affectionately called the Grand Rock Tour. We took two weeks and visited the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Capital Reef, and any number of lesser known National Monuments, Navajo sites and other POI’s along the way. But since it was, after all, late April, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was not open yet for the season. So as we made the trek to Waco from California, it was one of our very first stops. Now you might think that seeing the North Rim is just like looking into the Grand Canyon from the “other side” but it really is quite different. Well, we thought it was, anyway!
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The South Rim is certainly the more developed area, while the North Rim is definitely the “road less traveled”. We were there during the last month of the season, and some hospitality areas were closing the next weekend. We were thrilled with the beautiful yellow Ash that lined the roads as we made our way to the canyon, not at all disappointed with the lack of crowds and traffic!
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Our day started cloudy and gray, and we were worried about how the ‘viewing’ would be, but all was well! We took in a couple of hikes, followed all the roads we could and were just.plain.amazed at the beauty and majesty that was before us! Here is just a sampling of those amazing views –
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(Just for the record, we did hike to “Angels Window” – that big hole in the rock!) Can you see the Colorado River peeking through the window?
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It really was a spectacular day and to remind us that the season was just about over, what started out as a late afternoon shower
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ended up as this –
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One last picture – not so much of the canyon but of the view from the other side of the plateau –
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Ahhhh…..
So you know I took a bazillion pictures and I did my best to whittle them down to a manageable number, and then only shared a couple in this post. But if you’d like to see more of the beautiful ‘less traveled’ North Rim, you can check them out HERE!

And if you’d like a little refresher of that Grand Rock Tour of 2010 – here is a link to one of the first posts in that series. Feel free to check it (and others in the same time frame) out!

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Getting there

If you’ve visited here before, you know I take an inordinate amount of “Road Ahead” pictures. I take them when we’re driving in the truck, and I especially take them when we’re in Lizzie (our RV). And heaven forbid we are on NEW (to us) road – man, is that shutter clicking!
Our drive from central California to northern Arizona was no exception. Oh, my – how those “Windshield Shots” added up!
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Sometimes just pointing the camera out the window worked pretty well, too!
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But my favorites are usually just the Road Ahead.
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You know I could go on and on (and on and on), but for now, I think it’s time to move on to just what we were aiming for as we drove from California to Arizona. (But if you’d LIKE to see more “Road ahead” pictures, you can check them out HERE! 🙂
So next up will be the Grand Canyon – North Rim!
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See ya tomorrow! (I hope!)

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