Tag Archives: Memories

Catching up – Second installment

We still had a couple of National Parks to check out before we made that final dash to Waco –
Canyon DeChelly
This was another one of those ‘lesser known’ parks in the Four Corners area of the country, but we’re glad we stopped!
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Here’s the opening blurb from the website –
For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tseyi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in these canyons. The National Park Service and Navajo Nation actively work together to manage park resources.
Because we were stopping here on our way to our next campground, we opted to do the driving tour rather than a more extensive tour of the valleys. Once again we were treated to beautiful views and lots of pueblo ruins.
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Here’s a bit of a zoom-in at the base of the canyon wall –
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Pretty impressive views all around!
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It was a great stop and we’re glad we put it into our itinerary!
(More pictures of the Canyon deChelly HERE) 🙂
Next up – The Petrified Forest and The Painted Desert.
WOW!!
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The petrified wood was so interesting –
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and very beautiful!
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The drive through the painted desert
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was spectacular, and the combination of the painted desert and the petrified forest
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was pretty amazing.
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Lots more pictures of this area can be found HERE. (Funny story about first world problems with the picture taking on this trip. Theoretically it was daylight savings time and I made sure my phone and big-girl camera were set to the same time so when I combined the pictures they would all be in order. HOWEVER, since Arizona does not do daylight savings time, every time we drove into AZ, my phone would change – but of course my camera would not. And then, if we were also in Navajo land, where they do do daylight savings time….well, let’s just say, getting these pictures in order was quite a task. Every park we went into in that Four Corners area had three clocks – Arizona time, whatever state we were in time, and Navajo time. Crazy!)

After the Petrified Forest, we put the pedal to the metal, and pointed the RV to Waco!
Back to Gary’s Journal –
[Following the Petrified Forest] we reconnected the truck and drove to the NM Welcome Center and stayed the night.
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UntitledLeft NM Rest Area @ 6:30. Stopped @ Denny’s for breakfast, drove East I40 to Rt 84. Stopped at Walmart in Lubbock, TX.
Left Walmart and drove East on Rte 84.
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Arrived Waco 2:30PM

And that finally wraps up our very long drive from California to Waco long, long ago…..

Thank you for your patience – and for coming along!

Mondays are for Memories – Canyon Lake and the Hill Country of TX

A good friend left a comment on my post about our New Neighborhood asking whether or not Austin was pretty. Well, truth be told, I haven’t actually formed any “pretty” opinions about Austin since what I mostly see in Austin is TRAFFIC. Perhaps we’ll get a bit more into town later in the month and can form a more accurate opinion (especially since I’ve heard that it really IS a lovely city!), but in the meanwhile I did want to report that the Austin Area is in one of the prettiest parts of Texas. Austin is located in the Hill Country, filled with lakes and winding roads and, yes, hills! Several years ago we stopped for a couple of days at Canyon Lake in the Hill Country, and I thought I’d share that post today. As you can see – it IS a beautiful part of Texas!

October 5, 2013 – Canyon Lake

Oooo-la-la!

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What a beautiful couple of days we had at Canyon Lake. It’s just outside (north) of San Antonio and in the beautiful Hill Country area of Texas. Our good friends Jo and Roy had raved in the past about the beautiful Corp. of Engr. parks on the lake, so we thought it would be a great stopping over place before we completed our final leg of our journey to the Rio Grande Valley. And the fact that Jo and Roy were actually going to be there = well, we couldn’t not stop!
Unfortunately, due to the partial shutdown of our dear Federal government, the COE campgrounds were closed, but J&R found nearby private campground (still on the lake) and soon we were settled in nicely!
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And look, nice quiet neighbors!
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Our buddies had some in-town errands to run on Thursday, so we were left to our own devices. It seemed like a good morning to check out Canyon Lake.
The morning walk at Canyon Lake. All good!.
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It’s always a treasure to find tiny pockets of color appearing in the pot marked surface along the water’s edge.

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Given the heat (it was in the 90’s) and the fact that we were on our own, I confess that we spent the rest of the day in the cool (relatively) of the RV. (I had a couple of deadlines to meet, so it was really a good thing!) But Friday was a play day for sure!
With Jo and Roy as our guides we set out to Gruene, TX (pronounced Green). It’s a quaint Texas town located along the Guadalupe River, just outside of New Braunfels.
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Along with interesting architecture and touristy shops and places to eat, it is also home to Gruene Hall – one of the oldest (if not THE oldest, depending on who you ask 🙂 )dance halls in Texas.
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Apparently, on this very stage, George Strait got his start!
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Oh, the historical significance of it all! But Country & Western legacy beside, it really was a fun little town!

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It’s all about tourism these days in Gruene, but they do it pretty well and Jo and I even found a bargain or two! After a lovely late lunch in Gruene (check out the Gristmill River Restaurant for great riverside dining if you ever get to town), we took a little drive to nearby New Braunfels but found we were too late to get into some of the historic buildings there. Besides, we had one more important stop to make –
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As you can see, Mrs. Bush also sells Texas sized cookies!
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But that Key Lime Pie – My.Oh.My.
Mrs. Bush's Key Lime pie. Oh yeah, baby!
We showed great restraint in not eating the whole thing!
So it was a wonderful couple of days. We shared meals when we could, got in a couple of games, and just hung around and caught up with each other. We love that we have such dear SOWER friends that we can go for years between visits, and still pick up right where we left off.
But – like many good things, it came to a prayerful end on Saturday morning. We hugged and prayed and promised to keep in touch (thank-you, Facebook, for making that easier than it used to be!).
And then we hit the road!
Final leg of our fall journey. The long road to the Rio Grande Valley!
300 miles later, we were parked and getting settled in the Flame of Truth Campground in Alamo, Texas.
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And here we will be for the next little while. Gary’s been asked to head up the A/C installation at the new school building for Macedonia Christian School. There is one small glitch, though. The actual building isn’t up yet. Soooo….we’ll see what the weeks ahead will bring. Right now we’re thankful for our safe arrival and are looking forward for tomorrow’s cold front. Right now, it’s 93 and the A/C is a humming away, trying to catch up from the hot drive. And I think it might just be time for a nap…….
…………….and I might just be dreaming about that pie……………..

Mondays are for Memories – More LBJ

Since we had such an interesting visit at the LBJ Ranch on Friday, I thought I’d go back and find the post about another piece of the LBJ puzzle. So here is post from almost five years ago, when we once again (or would that be once before) checked out a bit of Presidential history –

About those places and things…. 02/02/2012

We’re parked tonight at the Walmart in Port Lavaca, TX.  Tomorrow we’ll head into our February project at Texas Baptist Encampment in Palacios, TX (right along the coast between Houston and Corpus Christi). Before we get started on February Goodness, I figured I’d better finish up the “Places and Things” part of my post a couple of days ago.
So, the places…..
JoRoyButler We didn’t do a great deal of sightseeing while we were in Giddings, but we did make one trip into Austin to meet up with our good buddies, Jo and Roy.
And of course, not wanting to waste a 60 mile drive on just sightseeing, we met up at Costco. 🙂 We both did a little shopping and we got our tires rotated and THEN we decided to check out the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.
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Now, I confess that I’ve never particularly enamored with LBJ. But I did find this museum full of memories of my teenage years, so all in all it was pretty interesting. And, it was Free. I love Free.
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There were many interesting displays and places to explore
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but we couldn’t actually check out the Library –
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since it isn’t open on Saturday. It sure did look impressive (though I think I’d have had trouble finding any “light reading”)!
Here’s a view of Austin –
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and a view of the guys waiting for Jo and I…..
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🙂 We finished up the day with a late (great) lunch at Eastside Cafe (as much as I get frustrated with my “smart phone” I LOVE that I can find these fun places to eat when we’re out and about!).
So that was Austin. To say we scratched the surface is an understatement – but at least we can say we were there.
Now let’s see….what else did we do…?
Well, we met up with 3 SOWER couples in San Marcos for lunch one day.
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Can’t say we saw a lot of San Marcos, but it was fun to get together with friends at another fun spot (thank-you Yelp!)
And that, with the exception of a wonderful final (for this year anyway) trip to Waco to see Lara and friends and collect hugs(where Gary did not do ANY major projects and we enjoyed a lovely evening sitting around that firepit!) was about the extent of our “places” this month. All good. All very good.
Which brings me to the “things” –
And it’s really only one thing.
Every time we drove into Giddings we saw this sign-
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Really?

OK – enough rambling for tonight. Tomorrow we’ll be getting settled by the bay :), but even tonight, here in the Walmart parking lot, we were blessed with a beautiful reminder of our creative God.
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Sweet Dreams!

Mondays are for Memories – Our very first SOWER project!

Long, long, ago (or so it seems), we started out on our RV Adventure, with the goal of seeing the country and occasionally doing a SOWER* project along the way. We planned to be on the road for a year, maybe two. We were only enjoying the tourist life fir about 6 weeks, when we decided it was time to do something a bit more purposeful than sightseeing. And so, not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into, we signed up for our first SOWER project month at Faith Baptist School in Vienna, Georgia. (Don’t be confused – it’s pronounced Vie-anna (rhymes with Diana.) We were parked in the backyard of the school, with freshly mowed grass waiting for our arrival. And we were ready to see just what this SOWER Ministry was all about!
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During the next three weeks we worked hard – mostly doing some sort of clean-up (either inside or outside), building repair or school organization.
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And while the immediate surroundings weren’t especially beguiling, we fell in love with the people and the school and our fellow workers.
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And we both heard the still small voice of our Lord saying – THIS is what I have for you.
That was October, 2004, and truthfully we haven’t looked back since.
As I was looking through the blog archives, I couldn’t find one post that really spoke just about that first project. (And apparently, I was organizing the blog a bit differently and I must have been keeping my photos in some long forgotten file on the web. Oh well.)
But here is one from near the end of our time at the school that tells a little about that first project –

October 18, 2004 – Did we mention the trains?

We’re on the home stretch at our project at Faith Christian School, and Gary just asked if I’d mentioned the trains. The school (and our camp site) is located between two sets of railroad tracks – each about two blocks from the school. And these are very busy tracks – and since they go through town, they have to blow those whistles, loud and long. They say it takes about three weeks to get used to it. =)
It’s been a busy couple of weeks – as often happens, when we would go to work on a certain project, it just kind of funnels into another project. What started as Sharon and I organizing the bulletin board “stuff” turned into a revamp of the storage room and trying to make it into a “resource room.” It still has a way to go, but at least the teachers shouldn’t be quite so afraid to enter! The guys continue to busy with yard work and general maintenance/repairs and we managed to get a set of curtains made and hung. Hopefully one more set will get done before we head on our way. We wrap up our time here on Thursday, but will be staying in our little spot until Saturday, tying up loose ends and packing up to hit the road. It has been truly a blessing to be here – getting to know the teachers and students, working with our new friends Dick and Sharon Brittell, and being able to use some of our talents in furthering God’s Kingdom.


Gary and Dick taming the courtyard. The grass was high and the bushes were wild, but they set them straight!

That post, and the others from that first project bring back such precious memories. We’ve done 100+ projects since that October long ago, and have seen some beautiful parts of the country. But there’s nothing like that first SOWER project help us remember why we do the things we do!

*In case you’re new here – SOWERS stands for Servants on Wheels Ever Ready, and it’s a non-denominational service ministry that partners with other Christian ministries all around the country. During a project month, SOWERS help out in anyway that the ministry needs – from plumbing to painting to new construction to raking leaves. You can get more information HERE!