Category Archives: Mondays are for Memories

Mondays are for Memories – Joy in the Journey

CraterLake-19I was talking with our kids in Waco today, and they are chilled.to.the.bone. The roads are snow and ice covered (have you ever seen a snow plow in central Texas?), the temps are barely reaching the twenties, and there are ‘rolling blackouts’ as communities try and conserve electricity. As my dear daughter-in-law (who moved to TX to escape winter) said – “Texas, you have betrayed us!” Since I am not chilled to the bone these days, I thought I’d look back to a time when we came across some crazy snow in late April, 2016.

Joy in the Journey – May 2, 2016
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Sometimes we drive just to get to our destination. Sometimes it’s even a long drive. But this last week, while our drive was long (almost 1300 miles) and we were pointed at a final destination (Lake Retreat Camp in Ravensdale, WA (SE of Seattle)) we tried to take that road less traveled when it was possible and take time to stop and smell the roses (or walk in the snow as the case may be) along the way.
Want to come along?
Heading on our way! After 4 months in the desert we're excited to be heading to some trees! Washington, here we come! Oregon, we'll be enjoying you along the way. 🚍 🌳 #ontheroadagain
Although we did have to hop on to Interstate 5 for a bit to get through Sacramento, we mostly drove on Route 99 and then 97. Rte 97, in fact, took us from Weed, California right through Oregon and almost up to I90 in Washington. We drove through valleys, scaled (or so it seemed) mountains, crossed rivers and drove along beautiful lakes.
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Along with the gallery of pictures below, HERE is a link to the album on Flickr. (I’ve put captions on most of the pictures, but apparently unless you click on each picture, you won’t be able to see them. I’ll have to talk to Flickr about that!)


Our two main stops were –
Lava Beds National Monument
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Have you ever heard of this place?
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It was very interesting – lots of lava, beautiful views
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and lots of caves to explore. We weren’t really expecting to go spelunking, so we stuck with the one lighted cave (Mushpot) and one other that seemed pretty easy (Skull). As in no duck-walking or crawling easy. Yeah, we’re not into that. Of course, my phone died just as we were entering the Skull cave – so you’ll have to trust me that it was pretty cool!
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The caves found in this park were created by flows of smooth lava thousands upon thousands of years ago. In another part of the park was a huge rock outcrop with petroglyphs –
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I’ll confess that the petroglyphs were a little disappointing, but the rock itself was fabulous!
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(Full album can be seen HERE!)
and (continuing the sentence back a couple of pictures!)
Crater Lake!
We’d heard about how stunning it was – and I’m sure there is a lot more to do in the summertime when things are actually open,
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but draped in the beauty of snow – this was still a crazy beautiful experience!
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We are so glad we bundled up and stopped to see this amazing lake that was formed when a volcano erupted and collapsed upon itself. So beautiful!
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More snowy pictures HERE!

We thoroughly enjoyed our drive from the desert to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The scenery was varied, fuel prices were low(ish), our stops were outstanding, and arrival at Lake Retreat welcome!
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We caught sight of Mt. Rainier today on our way home from church –
Mt Rainier
Looks like there will be more ‘sploring in our future!

PS – Here’s a music video of the song “Joy in the Journey” by Michael Card. It’s not so much about RV travel (not at all, actually), but about our journey with Christ. It’s worth a listen if you have a minute (or 3).

Mondays are for memories – The Birthday Month

Ah, November! While I am fully aware that there are a couple of other things going on this month, I’ve always loved November because it is chock full of birthdays (mine included)! Here’s a little post from a couple of years ago where I reflected on some of the November birthdays that I hold so dear! Happy birthday, Connie and Bonnie – we can’t meet together this November, but we sure can ZOOM!!

November 29, 2018
Long, long ago, in (what seems like) a galaxy far, far away a young bride met with a ‘more experienced’ bride once a week for lunch. And encouragement. And prayer.
Time passed, babies came, and schedules changed. But the friendship and encouragement and prayers never ended. Our little twosome grew to include others as we changed from being young brides to being young moms.
Friends moved, babies grew, and life happened. Things changed.
But through it all, three of us somehow, by hook or by crook, managed to continue to meet once a year to celebrate our November birthdays. We’d often meet at church on a Sunday in November, enjoy lunch, catch up with each other and end the day in prayer. It was a very precious day for me, as I would often go the whole year without being in contact with them. But that thread of friendship never broke. Never even frayed!
Since we’ve been on the road, we three birthday buddies haven’t always been able to connect during November. But whenever we can work it out, we work it out!!

birthdaygirls08 ConnieBonnieandme
birthdaybuddies Connie Bonnie BonnieConnieand me

I didn’t make it to back to Hometown this past summer, so being able to connect with these precious Birthday Buddies, these Sisters in Christ was especially sweet this past October.
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I’m so thankful for these friends from that galaxy far, far away!
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So Thankful for US!

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.
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Eshbaugh party
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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!
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Oh, Jim – you are still so crazy fun!
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(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
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and were so very thankful to have been able to connect with this dear, dear friend!
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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 –
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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,
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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
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and we finally came to the spot that Gary deemed the perfect truck-bed picnic spot.
SPI Christmas 2013
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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 –
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Sand is so incredibly fluid, isn’t it? Does that make any sense?
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After a bit of dune exploring, it was back to the waves for me!
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(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.)
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And another young/crazy person in the water. Christmas tradition, maybe?
Although I love the big picture shots
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I also love getting up close and personal with some of the interesting things along the shore –
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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
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the trusty phone rang and we got to do some Face Time with T&T and the Ohio grands.
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Ah sweet technology!
After that came lunch! And with lunch came the neighborhood seagulls!
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Whatcha got? Huh, huh, anything for us??????
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Such fun company!
As the clouds thickened,
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it seemed time to get things packed up and head back to the paved road.
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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!)