Category Archives: Mondays are for Memories

Mondays are for Memories – FAQ #3

I checked back to see what I was writing about on this date 10 years ago, and found this. It seems surprisingly current!

Since you live in a house that you drive around the country, isn’t the price of gas KILLING YOU???
Of course!
Isn’t it killing all of us????
Here’s the thing. Yes, we do drive our house around the country. But we do NOT drive it to the grocery store. Or to the bank. Or to pick up a burrito at Chipotle.
Last year we traveled just about 6400 miles. (And some of you came along for all of them! Thanks! :)) It’s true that when we fill up, it really hurts. Let’s face it, anyone with a 100-gallon gas tank is in pain when he fills up!
Gary at Work
We spent a whopping $3172.11 on diesel fuel in 2012. Yowzer. So (last year, anyway) it cost us about fifty cents a mile to drive the house.  Now that might seem like a lot, but there are a couple of big expenses we DON’T have.
Like property taxes. Or utility bills. Oh, we still have some of the same expenses you have – food, clothing, phone/internet-, but all in all we feel that our house on wheels is a pretty economical way to live. We try to be smart about our travel choices (the days of crisscrossing the country are over for most RV owners) and will try to work SOWER projects on our way to different destinations.

As for driving around our truck and the expense of that, we’re quite fortunate on that front also. Most of the time, when we’re on a SOWER project anyway, we are within walking distance of our jobs.  The majority of miles we put on the truck are pleasure miles.  Miles of choice, not necessity.  And that’s pretty sweet!

One more thing that’s related to the whole “price of fuel” discussion –

We NEVER have to buy gas for a lawnmower!

FYI – our diesel cost for 2022 was $2425.24. That surprised me too! But then again we only put 3899 miles on the rig, so the price per mile was (as expected) higher. I guess we followed our ‘drive smarter’ rules! I’m pretty sure we’re not ready to hang up the keys just yet!

Mondays are for memories – The Way We Were

Sometimes when you’re going down one bunny trail, you come across a batch of old photos and your heart begins to melt…
1981 – The Cabin
1986 – our Jamison House
1987 – Mt. Washington, NH
1989 – The Cabin
1993 – The Living Room
1997 – Back Porch
2001 – B&B at Mike & Robyn’s wedding
Late 2003 – Back in Jamison
Fast forward 20 years….
Yes, my heart is melting.

Mondays are for Memories – South Florida Green

Since last week (here in Texas, and in many other parts of the country) was pretty yucky, I thought I’d do a little walk down memory lane from when we were in the Florida Keys. It was a while ago – January 2011 – but still the memories are sweet!
that gardening is not one of my favorite things. I don’t especially like the prickly, itchy sweat that usually happens, I don’t really like getting my hands dirty, and I’ve never felt like I really knew what I was doing. On my SOWER skill sheet (we fill them in every year), I give “landscaping” a 1. Which in Sower-speak means I “Do not have experience in this area, but am willing to help someone doing a project including these skills”. (They don’t have a skill level for – “I just plain don’t like to do this”. That’s a good thing, I’m sure!) So of course, in God’s providence, there has been plenty of “landscaping” (weeding, trimming, clean-up) to do here at Island Christian School. 🙂 My trusty partner in gardening crime, Marlene, and I have been tackling some of the front gardens this week, and I confess that while I’ve gotten hot and sweaty and even a little rashy at times, it’s been fun. Today was especially a treat.
First of all I got to drive a golf cart.
Always fun.
Even though neither Marlene or I had any experience with this particular type of shrub, we jumped right in, snipping away and trying to make the whole bed just a little more manageable.
But this hedge of whatever it was held a very special treat –
Can you see it? I had just climbed out from back by the fence when I turned around and saw that this little fellow had been keeping me company.
His tail reaches to the bottom of the picture!
“Do you like my ruffles? It’s the latest in Iguana Wear.”
“Will you be finished soon? You’re kind of in my space.”
We left him/her to dump our load of debris and take our morning break, but when we returned he/she was still there. Just trying to be one with the tree, it seems.

Looks like next year I might have to “up” my skill rating on Landscaping to a “2” – “Have done this type of job in the past but will need supervision and/or instruction.”
Who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick!

Mondays are for Memories – Christmas Memories!

One of the fun holiday things we did while daughter Lara was living in Waco was her Annual(ish) Cookie Extravaganza!

Cookies, Cookies Everywhere – December 14, 2011.

Last Saturday was the “2nd Annual-ish Cookie Baking Extravaganza”. (It was the 2nd annual-ish because, as you might recall this is what her kitchen looked like last year. No cookie baking here!)
But this year she was back on track. Not only on the track but with two ovens this year, thanks to the “summer kitchen” out on the porch (leftovers from her old kitchen)! The recipes were chosen, the invites were out, and the stage was set.
This was the plan – Lara would get all of the ingredients, make up most of the cookie dough ahead of time and have everything ready to go Saturday morning. Everyone pitches in $10.00 and after a day of baking, they all go home with 6-8 dozen fancy Christmas cookies! It was a great deal – and it was great FUN!
Lara got 4 different recipes (4 batches of each) ready Friday night.
And the cookie bakers arrived Saturday morning and the real fun began!
Cookie Extravaganza-1
Let me tell you, there was some heavy-duty cutting and rolling and dipping and decorating going on!
The first cookies were in the ovens by 10:30 AM, and the last batch came out at 6 PM. Now that’s a full day in the kitchen!
Cookie Extravaganza
And I think when all was said and done, only two trays of cookies got a little overdone and didn’t make the distribution cut. Not bad for the total number of cookies that were baked (about 23,879 I think). 🙂
If you’re looking for some great Christmas cookie recipes, here are links for the recipes we used-
Toffee, Homemade Thin Mints, Cinnamon Roll Cookies,
Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints, Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies,
Soft Gingersnaps.
Phew, that there is a lot of cookies.

And what, you might ask, was Gary doing while we ladies were being kitchen mavens?
He was happy as a clam, building a wood rack for the new fire pit, and then enjoying the pit as he burned all the scrap from the fall projects!

Definitely a good weekend for all involved!

If you want a closer look at the pictures in the collages (along with a couple other random shots) feel free to check them out here.

Mondays are for Memories – A String of Pearls

Since we’re still in November – the Thankful Month – I was reminded of a blog post I did many years ago about the blessings of dear friends from our “previous lifetime” blending with some of the precious friends we’ve made since we’ve been on the road. So I tracked it down, and here you go – from August 15, 2013

A String of Pearls –
We’ve returned from our weekend (+) excursion to see friends and family in Lancaster and Doylestown and I don’t think we could have had a better weekend. Each day seemed to represent a perfect slice of the different stages in our lives. Friday we were hanging out with some of our most precious SOWER friends. We did “Lancaster things” – a farmers’ market, a quilt shop, an Amish hardware store, and the like, and then a traditional potluck rounded out the day. A good day with good friends – what a great start to the weekend!
weston and the train

But then –
Saturday we spent with our sweet grandson, Weston (age 2), and his mom and dad (also some of our favorite people!). Abigail and I did some girl things while the guys ran some errands, we ate out and took naps and delighted in watching Weston watching the trains at the Choo-Choo Barn.
A beautiful day with our beautiful family – who could ask for anything more?
But then –
Sunday we drove to Willow Grove to worship at our old church. The church we were married in and the church where we found Jesus (or rather, He found us!). We expected that many faces would be different (we left that church when we moved to Jamison in 1981, so aside from some occasional visits over the years, it HAD been a while), and they were. But many were the same too. Oh, the sweet hugs from that morning! To worship with folks who had come to our daughter’s 1st birthday party and then to enjoy an impromptu lunch with those dear friends.

Oh, does it get any better than this?
But then –
Sunday afternoon we dropped in on some other friends and before we knew it we were enjoying another unexpected gathering. Sweet corn and sweet conversation and a bottle of red wine shared among friends.
Oh, the delight of it all.
But then –
on Monday I started the day with a coffee date with a dear friend, followed by lunch with my work buddies, and an afternoon hanging around with my BFF from our Doylestown days. BLTs made with thick slices of fresh from the garden tomatoes – Oh, now that was a great day.
But then –
catching up with my quilting buddies Monday night. Oh, my. Our days of quilting for the kids’ school are long over, but still, we start up right where we left off those many years ago. Oh, these days we might talk a bit more about our grandchildren than our children (to their great relief)and we might not spend quite so much time solving the problems of the world, but those precious friends will always be a safe place for me. Being the last ones out of Panera (almost an hour after they officially closed) and then still talking in the parking lot for another 30 minutes (honest, it wasn’t really that late! Panera closed at 9 PM – who knew?)came as no surprise. Regardless of our different places in life, we are truly kindred spirits. It was crazy wonderful!
But then –
just to add a bit of icing on the wonderful weekend cake, before we headed back to Montrose on Tuesday, we managed to squeeze in a quick visit with friends we don’t usually get to see. As we sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee (and were thankful for the rain that freed up her morning schedule) it was so wonderful to hear about their lives over the last two years. Sweet times, indeed.

So as I was trying to somehow quantify this weekend I was having trouble finding just the right metaphor. Was it worlds colliding? Not really. Though we saw folks from many different stages in our lives, there certainly wasn’t any colliding going on.  Was it picture-perfect? Actually, yes. Though I failed to take many pictures (you know I must have been distracted, right?). A medley of friends? A potpourri of relationships?  As I thought about how those five days strung together just perfectly, I remembered the lovely string of pearls I have in my cupboard. And I thought, yes. This weekend was like a string of pearls – each one smooth and delightful, strung together to make a thing of beauty.  And that’s how our weekend was – beautiful days strung together and filled with people we love and who love us back.
Just sorting through some pretties!