Category Archives: Mondays are for Memories

Mondays are for Memories – Mississippi!

Since we are heading to Mississippi and our November SOWER project at the end of the week I thought I’d look back to one of the first times we visited the state, fifteen years ago also in November. Here’s a little report from ‘early on’ in our Rving adventure –

Nov 11, 2005 –
I’ve been a little frustrated getting a good internet connection here in southern Mississippi. Even Starbucks let me down today! But we’re in Hattiesburg and someone directed me to a Kinkos/FedEx store where I could connect. Enough whining – just an FYI if you don’t hear from me very often!
I never mentioned our time in Vicksburg, did I? It really has something for everyone – Casinos, Outlet stores, History….. We just concentrated on the History – and after our visit to the Vicksburg National Park, we took a nice drive down through the town. We were glad we were just in the truck – those little city streets would have been a nightmare! Here is just one shot of the battlefield….
Vicksburg National Cemetery
There was so much information about the battle there – I get lost in all the details!

We’ve been busy this first week at Harvest Ministries. Previous to our getting here they removed 62 trees that were on the drive alone. Once the utilities were back they were able to house some of the evacuee, but now they are getting ready for some official “guests” this coming week. The men are busy with building repair, and we ladies are doing “housekeeping” – stuff we’ve all done before! Lots and lots of clean-up (inside and out) to do.
Here is a shot of the view from the dining hall where we meet for devotions each morning…
Morning at Harvest Ministry
I’ll try to get some shots of the damage that is being repaired, but that will have to wait until my next visit to a wireless connection!
Weather has been wonderful – cool nights and beautiful sunny 70 degree days.
And Diesel this morning was only $2.50 at Walmart.

Here’s a link to the original post!

Mondays are for Memories – Fast Friends

Early in our SOWER adventure we met Jim and Lillie Walker. They were a tad bit older than us, and had years more experience! We pretty much fell in love with them at first glance! Lillie was as sweet as could be and Jim – well, Jim was his own special brand of crazy fun! We worked with them several times (and loved each one) and shared many wonderful memories, on and off SOWER projects.
Eshbaugh party
3D fun

We have so many more memories than pictures with this dear couple, and through the years we’ve managed to stay connected even as their time as active SOWERS slowed down. They’ve been retired for several years now (maybe even 10?), but even just last winter we were talking about the Christian Motorcyclist Association (yes, he’s still a biker!) with some new SOWERS, and their name came up. With great fondness, might I add!
Jim and Lillie settled in at their property in Western Maryland and a couple of years ago, due to her failing health, Lillie moved into a nearby care facility. When we realized we’d be going close by their location on our way to Ohio from West VA, we couldn’t resist stopping for a visit. Needless to say, given Jim’s love of All Things Fast, we were not surprised when he met us in a stunning candy apple red, souped up 2015 Mustang convertible!
Oh, Jim – you are still so crazy fun!
(No – I did not drive this. This photo is for demonstration purposes only!)
We loved our day with Jim! We got to visit with Lillie, though with COVID restrictions we could only visit through the glass door. We spent the night snugly tucked in on his property
and were so very thankful to have been able to connect with this dear, dear friend!

People often ask us what’s the Best Part of this adventure we’re on. Oh, there are so many wonderful things, but as we were reminded so vividly recently, the friends we’ve made along the way and the memories we’ve made with them will always rise to the top of the list!

Mondays are for Memories – National Lazy Day

Did you know that today was National Lazy Day?  I’m not sure how that actually translates in our world, but I looked back at a day that had Gary in a chair more than he was on a ladder, so that seemed pretty close to a Lazy Day to me! Here ya go –

Dec 26, 2013 – Making the most of it

Since we wouldn’t be spending Christmas day with our kids and grands (although there are only 5 more sleeps till we’ll be there, hugging their necks!) we decided to plan something special for the day. We packed up our favorite picnic goodies, loaded up the folding chairs and headed to the beach! Fortunately, there IS one only about a hour and a half away!
Christmas Day on SPI-2
South Padre Island – here we come!
The weather was a bit on the cool side (though compared to Minnesota, I guess it would seem quite tropical at 65!) and the sky was more overcast than sunny, but still we had a lovely day!
Did you know that all public beaches in Texas are also considered public roads? Yes, for a small fee ($5.00), you can drive right down the beach. Crazy, isn’t it!?
Yes friends and family, we're driving on the beach on Christmas  day! Merry Christmas, everyone!
While we were looking for the perfect picnic spot, we did spot some hardy folks taking their Christmas swim –
Christmas Day on SPI-3
but I confess there was never even a moment that I wanted to join them. They were very young. Or very crazy!
We passed lots of fishermen, including these guys who definitely weren’t in the very young department,
Christmas Day on SPI-4
so they must have been in the very crazy group. Brrrrr…. (and put a shirt on for goodness sake!!)
It was really neat to just drive down the beach
Christmas Day on SPI-5
and we finally came to the spot that Gary deemed the perfect truck-bed picnic spot.
SPI Christmas 2013
Christmas Day on SPI-6
It was early for lunch, so Gary got all settled in with a book and I set off with my camera to try and capture the day. First I headed back toward the dunes –
Christmas Day on SPI-8
Christmas Day on SPI-11
Christmas Day on SPI-12
Sand is so incredibly fluid, isn’t it? Does that make any sense?
Christmas Day on SPI-14
After a bit of dune exploring, it was back to the waves for me!
Christmas Day on SPI-17
(Just as a side note – this is a such beautiful area it was distressing to see so much trash peeking up through the sand or mixed in with the shells. Grrrrrrr.)
Christmas Day on SPI-22
And another young/crazy person in the water. Christmas tradition, maybe?
Although I love the big picture shots
Christmas Day on SPI-28
I also love getting up close and personal with some of the interesting things along the shore –
There were lots of the beautifully colored Portuguese Man O Wars washed up (another reason why staying out of the water (in my mind) was a good idea!)and the little shells stuck to the branch had something moving inside of them. Every now and again an “arm” would stick out!
As I was headed back to the truck
Christmas Day on SPI-29
the trusty phone rang and we got to do some Face Time with T&T and the Ohio grands.
Christmas Day on SPI-34
Ah sweet technology!
After that came lunch! And with lunch came the neighborhood seagulls!
Christmas Day on SPI-40
Whatcha got? Huh, huh, anything for us??????
Christmas Day on SPI-35
Such fun company!
As the clouds thickened,
Christmas Day on SPI-39
it seemed time to get things packed up and head back to the paved road.
Christmas Day on SPI-42
Christmas Day on SPI-44
I did have to make it very clear that regardless of who CAN park on this beach, we were NOT going to bring Lizzie with us next time. No sirree, that isn’t going to happen on my watch!
We decided to drive to the end of the road (going north), but we were glad there wasn’t too much traffic –
Christmas 2013 - SPI Road End
since there wasn’t too much road available!

It was a really fun day! Just enough 4-wheel-driving to make it interesting, but not too much risk of needing a tow! Lots of fun with the camera (and practice with my new 50mm lens I got for Christmas :)) and perfect timing with the weather –
Christmas Day on SPI-48

Add in calls from all the kids and then home in time for a quick nap before we indulged in leftover picnic goodies for dinner (i.e. I didn’t have to cook!) and it can be firmly stated that it was a fine day. Not a traditional Christmas in any sense of the word, but one that we are very thankful for nonetheless! Hoping that yours was filled with joy also!

(I won’t even confess to the number of pictures that were taken today, but along with the ones in this post there are just a couple (;)) more HERE! I really pared it down, honest!)

Mondays are for Memories…12 years ago!

Since we just ‘celebrated’ our 16th anniversary of Life on the Road, I thought it would be interesting to look back on some other early August posts to see where we were, and what was going on! So here is a post from August 1, 2008 as I reflect on the beginning of Year Five for us! (And as an editorial note, Gary still does his daily journal, and that spreadsheet is still going strong (though Gary manages that now!)! Oh – and the plant lives on too!)

First Day of Year Five – August 1, 2008
Can that really be true? Today begins day ONE of our fifth year on the road. And it is only fitting that we spent part of the day actually ON the road! 🙂 We made our short trip from Green Forest, AR to Springdale, AR without event – but I did manage to take a good “on the road” shot of our faithful traveling companion – our jade plant –

Year 4 plant
See how she’s grown?
Jade 2007

For virtually every day since we have been on the road Gary has kept a journal. He records what he read for devotions, where we stayed, and what he did (or we did if we did something together). Sometimes he notes where we ate, and he always notes where we stayed (or at least where the RV was parked).
It looks like this –
God’s truths are eternal and unchanging
Devotions – Millers (the Sower couple that led our group devotions)
-closed up fence near barns
-worked on horse feed troughs
-covered A/C cond. fan
-checked on equipment shipments (A/C)
Played cards
Lunch & Dinner at TC
Sower (that’s where we were parked).

He has done this every day since we left on August 1, 2004. And since he has kept such good records, I can tell you that we have been parked at Sower projects for 984 nights, campgrounds -82, Flying J – 7, Wal-marts – 70, at friends and family – 191, Rest Areas – 16, Home – 36, miscellaneous – 26. When I’m trying to figure out just when we were at such and such a place, he says – “wait, let me look it up”. And he does. Amazing.
On the other hand, I have been the keeper of the spreadsheet. We have tried diligently to record all of our expenses, from the diet cokes we buy when we travel to the insurance we carry to the money we spend in tolls. It’s not nearly as interesting as what we did when, but we do try to be careful with what we spend – after all, we’re spending the kids’ inheritance! 🙂
And hasn’t it been fun!

More reflections later…….

Mondays are for Memories – Drive to Washington, Day 2

We’ve been on the East Coast more summers than not during our years full-timing, but we have enjoyed a couple of spells out on the West Coast.  One of our more memorable times out west was when we drove up the Oregon coast on our way from California to Seattle. Enjoy the drive!

3/29/2009 – Drive to Washington, Day 2

Before I get back on the road, I wanted to share just a little about our campground last night. We were just a little “over dressed” for this lovely state park. Believe me, it was absolutely beautiful. But when the first several campsites were reserved for “hikers and bikers”, it just stands to reason that a 40 ft. motorhome might have trouble maneuvering between those big redwoods. The camp host assured Gary that we would fit – but believe me, it was a “just barely”. Here is a shot as we were making our departure –
Drive to WA - Day 2
It was beautifully quiet, and we slept well and the good news is we took no bark with us!
We also stopped at the visitors’ center right next door before we continued down the “Avenue of the Giants”. We love visitor centers with their 12 minute videos and interesting facts about the area. Inside this center was Charles Kellogg’s “Travel log”
Drive to WA - Day 2-1.
Made from the trunk of a giant redwood, it was his mode of transportation as he traveled the country promoting conservation (and giving concerts of bird songs. Really. He even made records of bird songs. Who knew?). We decided we like our “mode of transportation” a whole lot better.
But, back to the Avenue –
Drive to WA - Day 2-2
The rest of that drive was lovely. We looped around those big old trees, crossed the Eel River a time or two
Drive to WA - Day 2-3
and eventually made it back to good ol’ 101 North.
Drive to WA - Day 2-4
We drove through downtown Eureka
Drive to WA - Day 2-6
and eventually caught a glimpse of the ocean!
Drive to WA - Day 2-7
(Even though I know we’re heading to the ocean, it’s always – “look, there’s the ocean!” when it comes into view.)
Except this wasn’t quite the ocean, it was Humboldt Bay. Hmmmm.
Here it is out my side of the rig –
Drive to WA - Day 2-8
Still kinda pretty I think!
But, eventually, the ocean did come into view –
Drive to WA - Day 2-9
And this time I was pretty sure of my identification!
But it was just a tease, ’cause before I knew it, we were back in the trees.
Drive to WA - Day 2-10
Look – more Elk –
Drive to WA - Day 2-14
And they were right by an “Elk Crossing” sign again. I think they’re on to something out here!
I’m going to throw this picture in here –
Drive to WA - Day 2-15
so you’ll know that Gary does occasionally get to look at the view. I should say GLANCE at the view, since he’s usually pretty darn busy keeping us on the straight curvy and narrow.
We did finally come to a pull off where I could walk to the beach and then later we stopped at another visitor center (with a great 12 minute video) and had a little more beach time. Here is a selection of those shots

Drive to WA - Day 2-17Drive to WA - Day 2-18Drive to WA - Day 2-19Drive to WA - Day 2-20Drive to WA - Day 2-21Drive to WA - Day 2-22Drive to WA - Day 2-23Drive to WA - Day 2-24

Back onto another scenic drive –
Drive to WA - Day 2-26
(kinda looks like that other one, eh?)
We crossed the Klamath River,
Drive to WA - Day 2-27
waved at Paul Bunyon who was out for a walk with Blue,
Drive to WA - Day 2-28
saw a little more rugged coastline,
Drive to WA - Day 2-29
and climbed back into the mist in the trees.
Drive to WA - Day 2-30.

We called it a day when we made it to Crescent City, and found a friendly Home Depot who gave us permission to spend the night in their parking lot. 🙂
Drive to WA - Day 2-32
Not quite as nice of a view as last night, but still, the price is right.

If you’re reading, (and thank you if you are!), someone has suggested that I try to post some maps of our journey. So, by special request (you know who you are….), this is where we traveled today –
WA-Day 2

And our entire “Drive to Washington” looks like this –
wash TRIP

I’m not sure how far we’ll get tomorrow. Right now we are looking to get as far as Beachside State Recreation Site and spend the night there. It looks like they have campsites right on the beach. And we think that would be pretty cool!

One final “out the window” picture. Today I took 221 pictures of our travels. This one truly demonstrates the risk of taking pictures from a moving vehicle:
Gotta love digital cameras (and that delete button!).

Sleep well – it’s off to bed for me!

PS – I might have missed a photo or two of the set that I uploaded from today’s journey, so if you’d like to see the whole set (in order no less) – they are here!