Tag Archives: Windshield Shots

The New Neighborhood

When we left our January SOWER project (Highland Lakes Camp) on Thursday morning
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the sun was shining brightly. It’s a 15 minute drive just to get to the main road and we were blessed with beautiful glimpses of Lake Travis.
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We had less than 50 miles to travel, but they were all taking us toward Austin and one of my least favorite parts of RV’ing – Traffic!!! And we also noticed that our beautiful sunny day was about to run smack dab into a cold front –
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Oy! The traffic wasn’t really too bad since we had timed it for after rush hour. (Although it did bring to mind a trip I made into S. Austin last Monday with a sweet 91 year old behind the wheel during rush hour. Did I mention the blinding sun glare. Now THAT was a ride! Many prayers of thanksgiving were offered once we arrived at the doctor’s office. And yes, I did drive home! But back to THIS drive…) It went off without a hitch and soon we were tucked into our February neighborhood.
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Even though we’re the only SOWERs at this ministry this month, there is another long-term volunteer couple here, and right now there are other campers that came in for a weekend retreat. I think the neighborhood will look different come Monday!

As you can see by the cloud cover in our parking picture, the cold front did arrived along with us! But a fun dinner (at the famous Salt Lick BBQ) with friends (yippee for a bit of overlap!) warmed us right up!
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Friday morning we said good-bye to our buddies (though we’ll be working with them in March, so it wasn’t too sad!), and we spent the rest of the day learning the lay of the land (both in camp and the area)and getting a bit more settled. Today continued cool and drizzly, so we just stayed inside ALL day. Nope, didn’t get out of my yoga pants all day! But I did get a good start on Weston’s quilt!

All cut out, and ready to sew. Well, not quite ready to sew – I still have to arrange the layout. But still, it felt good to it cut and organized. And it felt really good to have a total stay at home, no place to go Saturday.
Hope you’re weekend is going well too!

PS – there’s a map showing our location over on But Where Are We Now? page if you want a bit more detail! 🙂

So let’s start with Christmas….

Since I have lots to catch up on and Christmas was pretty recent and I DO have some pretty cute pictures of the grands, I figured Christmas was a good place to start! And if I’m going to start at Christmas, I figure a couple of “on our way” shots is a fitting beginning.
We started early
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Covered lots of country
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a couple of cities
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and lots and lots of road.
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1200 miles (give or take) each way – but let me say right now – it was SO worth it!!!
We started out at our daughter’s house, celebrated Christmas day with her and then two days later had a Joint Family Christmas with both families.Ah, the beautiful chaos of it all!!  Then we moved to the other side of town to finish off our Columbus holiday with our son and family. I confess that I didn’t do a really good job of documenting all the fun – guess I was just too busy having all that fun!! I did get some pretty cute shots of all the kiddos, tho –
The two sweeties from the first part of the week –
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Alexandra
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and the five darlin’s that completed our visit.
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Ellie
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Hayley
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Maddie
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Noah
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We are so blessed to be able to claim these kids as our grandchildren. (We’re pretty blessed to call their folks our kids, but I didn’t do such a great job of getting pictures all of them!) But I did get some pictures of the festivities –
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Trying to get a picture of the girls in red on Christmas morning. Looks like I was the only one interested in actually having that happen!
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Pops helped little Alexandra with some boo-boo care.
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The girls (and Herbert) waiting expectantly for the present opening to start!
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Finally!!!
Once we moved north to the busy household with the five kids, our days were filled with acrobats
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And others who were oblivious to acrobats.
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There were games to be played
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And then there were GAMES TO BE PLAYED!!!
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It was a great holiday – and of course it went by too fast. There are more pictures (naturally!), so if you want to see more adorable kiddos, some cute adults and then some more amazing youngun’s – feel free to check out the batch of ’em HERE!

Although it was hard to head back to Texas, we did have some pretty wonderful littles waiting for us back down the road.
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So there it is – the Conrad Columbus Christmas in a nutshell. Giggles and snuggles and even some “pie in the face”.
Lord, let us never take for granted the beautiful, crazy, loving family you have blessed us with!

Mondays are for Memories – January 2010

Since so many of our family and friends are posting snow pictures, I checked back in the archive to January 2010 when we were working at Cherry Valley School in Beaumont, California. We might not have had a ton of snow at our location, but it wasn’t far away!

January 31, 2010 – The Round About Way

Since this was our last weekend in the “Pass” (as this area is known), we figured we’d better take the advantage of a beautiful day on Saturday to take a drive to some of the nearby spots we’d been wanting to check out. Big Bear Lake and ski areas were only about 45 miles away according to our GPS, but of course we wanted to stay away from major interstates and congested areas. “Let’s go up the back way, through Oak Glen (a quaint town of orchards and all things apple only 15 miles or so up the road), maybe check out a couple of geocaches, and then make our way over to Big Bear Lake.” Sounded like a plan, so I grabbed the camera, a couple of bottles of water and some snacks, and off we went!
First Stop – Oak Glen.
OK, so we didn’t actually stop (it’s not exactly prime apple harvest time), but the views were impressive as we were heading out of town –
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And we really enjoyed the signage!
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Trust me, they really know how to do “curvy” here in California!
Oh – and I wish I knew exactly what mountain that is in the distance. It was in my viewfinder for most of the day, but the best I can do is “San Bernardino Mountain”. And it’s a guess, folks. Just a guess.
But I digress with my lack of geography knowledge…..
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See, there it is again!
Since we were headed to Big Bear we knew we would be coming into some snow. Remember last week when we had 2-4 inches of the stuff? Well, the mountains near here got 2-4 feet. Or so it seemed by the look of this car coming toward us on the highway –
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Uh, sweetie – the snow was LAST WEEK, and maybe you could have cleaned a little more off the driver’s side??????
But for us, the roads were clear.
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And even though the plowed piles got higher and higher, the drive was lovely!
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We did take a little detour to do a geocache, and while Gary was walking around with his trusty GPS
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I was busy clicking away at the beautiful snow covered landscape.
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(I think this cactus was a little concerned about the blanket of snow….)
Finding the cache with all the snow presented a little bit of a challenge (and we hadn’t done much geocaching lately, so we were a little out of practice), but I finally noticed a straight edged thing under a root.
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I made Gary do the groping (I’m not really fond of sticking my hand into dark “what just might be there” spaces, and we were rewarded with our first “find” in several months.
There were several other mountain roads that Gary had hoped to explore, but they were all closed. Such a disappointment for a guy who was really hoping for some dirt road adventures.
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Anyway….on to Big Bear Lake.
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All along the way we saw cars pulled over and folks getting ready to find a sledding hill or strapping on their cross-country skis or just plain having a snowball fight. Those are some renegade snowballs on the lake ice!
And there certainly was snow enough for everyone.
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Maybe they are waiting for spring?
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We literally crawled through the town Big Bear Lake – not only was last week’s snow the first BIG snow in a couple of years, but this was the first weekend day that the roads were open. It took us 2 ½ hours to drive the 10 miles along the south side of the lake. (We stopped for lunch thinking that maybe we could “wait out” the traffic. Not only was the lunch the slowest meal we’ve had in a loooonnnng time (2 hrs. for a burger and a bowl of chili), but the traffic was still waiting for us when we were (finally) done.) I have to tell you, 4 ½ hours of Big Bear Lake is just a little bit too much!
Not wanting to go back the same way we came, Gary chose to head north, pick up a cut-off road that went over to Yucca Valley, and return from the East. It was a great plan, except we never found the short cut road. Apparently the plows had never found it either. The road we thought was “it” turned out to be a little connector road that took us back to Baldwin Lake and was only about a ½ mile long.
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But it did (almost) give him his dirt (mud) road fix.
Almost.
Enough chatter – here, in the order of their appearance, is the rest of drive home.
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Baldwin Lake
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Down the other side of the mountain until we ended up in the “high desert”.
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We were losing daylight fast –
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Caught the sunset going through Yucca Valley
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(sorry for the blurry sunset. It’s very tricky taking sunset shots from a moving truck!)
That trip home was definitely the “long way home”!
Here’s our day’s journey on the map –
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(You can see our missing”shortcut” home – it goes east above Big Bear and heads over to Pioneertown and Yucca Valley. It would have been sweet if it had been open!)
Zoomed out a bit –
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And here’s a zoom in –
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Yeah, there were a lot of those curves!
You know, not everyone can take what should be a 100 round trip drive and turn it into a good 200 miles. And even with the crawl through Bear Lake and the incredibly slow lunch service, it was indeed a Very Good 200 miles!

Here’s a link to the original post – The Round About Way

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!)

Let’s get started!

OK — the kiddos have been hugged, I’ve caught up with my email and financials (well, mostly), and I don’t need to think about the SOWER newsletter for at least another week. AND – I have good internet and Verizon signal! And that seems like a perfect mix to finally get this blog back on track!
Way back, when I wasn’t so far behind in this blogging thing, I had every intention of doing a post about how different the drive from Idaho to California was from the Curvy, Curvier, Curviest drive we had from Montana to Idaho. I was going to post pictures about how Straight the roads were
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even though there were a couple of these signs to get my attention –
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and
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(Donner Pass on I80 in California)
But mostly our two day drive from southern Idaho to central California was beautiful and peaceful and without incident.
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Just the way we like them!
And then I was going to say that if you wanted to see more “Road Ahead” pictures of that beautiful drive, you can check them out HERE!
But it seemed so long ago that I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested.

But I knew I didn’t want to skip over our time at Sugar Pine Camp! We were officially there by ourselves,
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but there was another SOWER couple who had been there all summer as “SOWERS on Assignment” – SOWERS who come for an extended time, usually with a specific job in mind. So while we weren’t necessarily working directly with them, it was great fun to hang out with them whenever we could!
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Our work at Sugar Pine was pretty varied. I did some housekeeping, some office type chores, and lots and lots of laundry.
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Gary did some electrical work, some A/C and refrigeration stuff, and then settled in (with lots of help from the other SOWER guy) with building a shed on the back of a staff house.
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And if you were wondering how they were going to get into the shed….
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Yeah, he’s smart like that!
Interestingly, except for the T-1-11 on the outside, all the lumber used in the shed was milled right on the property. That was pretty cool!
So it was a busy and beautiful month. There were retreats going on every weekend, and even during the week there were groups coming and going. (Hence, my housekeeping and on-going laundry duties!).
But for all the activities, it was a very peaceful spot.
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Once again, it was a great month. We were in a beautiful part of the country (more on that later), serving at a dynamic ministry “Impacting Lives for Christ”, enlarging our SOWER family, and enjoying a nice quiet month after such a ‘social’ month back in Idaho (which is always welcomed by my sweet introvert hubby!).
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