Sunday, November 15, 2015

Adventures At The Beach

In my last post I showed you our new-to-us home-away-from-home.  Thank you for your sweet comments.  Yes, it seems like a palace instead of a travel trailer.  I’ve already begun to add a few of our own touches here and there but there will be many more.  I’ll share them with you soon.  It will be an ongoing process.

We picked up our trailer from the dealer on a Friday.  We were given a tour of the trailer, complete with explanations of all most of the ‘systems’ involved.  Some things we knew from our years with our little trailer.  Those things weren’t new to us.  Other things were new because our little trailer didn’t have all the bells and whistles this one does.  That was Friday.  On Saturday I moved things I wanted to use from the little trailer to the big trailer.  It wasn’t long and we had everything we would need for the first trip in the new trailer.

In September we made reservations to return to our new favorite campground on the Oregon Coast in October.  I shared our late summer adventure at this campground here.  We planned to take our little trailer for one last excursion this year before putting it ‘to bed’ for the winter.  Then, before that happened, we bought our new trailer.  I quickly called and changed our reservation to a bigger site that would accommodate the longer length of the new trailer.  When we arrived we were thrilled to spend a few days with wonderful views of the sea from inside our cozy dwelling.  I spent a lot of time looking out the big back window. 
Tillicum Beach - Through the Window
At times I opened the door and just stood there to savor the view.
Tillicum Beach - Through the Door That area was our own little ‘yard’ – just for our site.  It was just a few steps from the door of the trailer.  We could stand at the fence along the edge of the bluff and see –what seemed like - forever.
Tillicum Beach - At the FenceWe had some pretty amazing adventures with our new-to-us-trailer.  Things didn’t start out well!  Because we are seasoned trailer people we knew the basics.  We knew exactly what to do to get a trailer ready to roll and we knew how to work most of the systems in this big trailer.  Or, at least we thought we did.  The dealer had walked us through the trailer and around the outside and explained everything.  Or, had he?  There were still lessons to be learned:
  • Not everything in every trailer the same.
  • Be sure that the refrigerator and freezer doors are firmly latched before you take off!  Don’t take anything for granted.  Just because the refrigerator door looks like it’s closed and latched securely doesn’t mean it is.  You have to check it to be sure.  Double-checking wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
  • When the refrigerator door opens and a dozen eggs fall out on the floor while you’re going down the road, they roll – and break.  And scramble.  And get all over anything in their way.  You may be surprised how far broken eggs can run in all directions as you merrily make your way to the beach!
  • A good egg wash shines vinyl floors!
  • Don’t assume that the fresh water pump works exactly the same way as in the old trailer when you are ‘dry’ camping (camping without being hooked up to a water faucet – drawing water from your big fresh water tank that you fill for times like this). 
  • Water pumps  in trailers need to be primed when they’ve been ‘run dry’ when tested by the dealer. 
  • The service manager at the dealership where you bought your trailer will be happy to talk to you on the phone and tell you the ins-and-outs of priming your fresh water pump.
  • You can go for a day and a half without water in a travel trailer – especially when there’s a water faucet across the street and you have a couple of big pans or a jug to carry it to your trailer. And it’s a good thing you are parked just across from the very nice restrooms!
  • Not all hot water heaters work the same way in all trailers – but, with another call to the dealer’s service manager you can learn what someone should have told you when they walked you through and showed you how all the systems work.
  • Once you have fresh water pumping through your faucets and hot water you don’t have to heat on the stove – be grateful!  Don’t take it for granted.  There are people in the world who would give anything to have the luxury of fresh water.
  • After all the lessons are learned – LAUGH!!!
We had guests visit us while we were at the beach.  We didn’t expect them but they must have decided that we were pretty nice people because they came by more than once.  One little kitty seemed a bit braver than. . .
Tillicum Beach Kitty The other two.
Tillicum Beach - Two KittiesWe saw them resting in the sun near our trailer.  Then we saw them again when we returned from a walk on the beach the next day.  They were waiting at the door for us - relaxing in the sunshine on our welcome mat!  They let me get fairly close before they scampered off down the road and into the bushes.  We wondered if they belonged to someone who lives in the homes next to the campground.  One evening we saw a mama cat strolling through the campground like she knew where she was going.   Maybe, she was rounding up those babies to come home for dinner.

Our last day at the beach was different from our first two.  The weather changed and dark clouds rolled in.
Tillicum Beach CloudsIt rained in the night and we woke to a gray day the next morning.  As I looked out my little kitchen window I was glad to see that the rain had stopped.
Tillicum Beach - Kitchen Window ViewThere was time for one more walk on the beach before we packed up and headed home.
Tillicum Beach - Gray DayWe enjoyed our time on the beach but it ended too soon and it was time to head back to our trailer to get ready to head home.  From the beach we looked up and saw our trailer.  It was hard to believe it was really ours.
Tillicum Beach - Trailer From the BeachWe have a process for getting things ready to travel.  My sweetheart takes care of the outside tasks and I make sure everything inside is situated so it will travel safe.  This time I made sure the refrigerator door was securely latched – now that I knew what to do! - and I checked it several times. My sweetheart came inside and he checked it, too.  We’ve had enough experience cleaning up raw eggs that have broken all over the floor.  We don’t need to do that again!  Just to be safe – I hard-boiled the remaining eggs shortly before we left.  Just in case!  Soon everything was securely in place, the trailer was hooked up to the trailer and we were ready to go.
Tillicum Beach - Truck and TrailerI never want to leave the beach but I always know I will return again.  A piece of my heart is there and there’s no doubt it will call me back again.  Each time is special.  We’ll always have sweet memories of those few days at the beach with our new trailer.  And lessons learned.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Unexpected New Adventure

I’m a dreamer!  There’s no doubt about it and my sweetheart does a bit of dreaming, too.  Together we have begun to dream and plan for future days when we will be free to roam a bit farther from home than we can these days.  Our dreaming always includes travel to see parts of our continent we’ve never seen.  Those dreams also include a trailer – what I lovingly call ‘a cabin-on-wheels’.  In the past I’ve shared our sweet, little trailer that we’ve enjoyed for a few years.  I moved right in and made it a home away from home.  It’s been such a gift to us and, if the walls could talk, you would hear of adventures filled with joy and laughter and a few experiences that might make good comedy.
Little TrailerOver the past couple of years we’ve become more and more aware that we needed to have a trailer with some benefits our little one couldn’t provide – like a bed we didn’t have to make up from the sofa every night.  And a bed we could walk around so one person didn’t have to climb over the over (sleeping) person in order to get up.  Space was at a premium but we were fine with that.  We began to dream about the long-term.  In that quest we’ve attended every RV show in our area.  Two every year in Portland and two every year in Salem, Oregon.  In between the shows we’ve often stopped by dealerships to look and dream.  Some of the dealers began to recognize us at the big shows.  In our hearts we knew what we would like to have in the future but we didn’t dream about or consider what we needed now.  We just didn’t know how that could all happen soon.  But, it did!  And we believe God put it all together for us. 

When we go to the shows we don’t look at anything that we wouldn’t consider buying.  We tried to keep our attention focused on real possibilities.  At a recent RV show we had walked miles and miles through two humongous buildings that were packed full – and I do mean full! – of RV’s of every sort.  I don’t know how they do it but the trailers and motor homes and fifth wheels and toy haulers are parked just inches from each other.  You can go into one and look right into the window of another one beside it.  Rows and rows of RV’s with aisles in between can get pretty overwhelming.  Then when you’ve seen everything inside you go outside - there are more parked between the buildings and in the parking lots around the sides and back of the buildings!  Two weeks ago we went to the last RV show of the year.  We looked and enjoyed, stopped for lunch, and then looked some more.  We talked to dealers.  We talked to people who had models we saw and we talked to some who didn't have a clue what they wanted but were having fun.  Just when we thought we had seen the last one I looked around the corner and there were two more parked nearby.  I was tired, my feet hurt and I was ready to go home!  I hoped my sweetheart wouldn’t want to walk over and look at the last trailers.  But he did and I did, and we are SO glad we did.  Our Trailer at the RV ShowIn all of our looking, there’s one model that we’ve loved since we first saw it more than a year ago.  We began to compare everything else to that one.  When I stepped in the door of the first trailer of the two I called out to my sweetheart who was still outside.  I told him he had to come quick – he wouldn’t believe it!  This trailer had the exact floor plan of the one we loved.  It was a different brand but every square inch was the same!  I could hardly believe it.  We looked it all over and soon the dealer came by and noticed us sitting inside.  We talked with him and learned a lot about this trailer.  It had been gently used but in great condition and the price was great!  We looked and talked and looked some more.  All we could talk about as we drove home was that trailer.  The conversation continued through the evening and I was a bit surprised the next morning when my sweetheart said, ‘I really believe that’s our trailer!’  Would you believe we drove back to the RV show, looked it over again, found the dealer and bought it?  Yep, we did!  A few days later we picked it up. . . Blog - New Trailer Heading HomeAnd took it home.
Blog - New Trailer At Home I can hardly believe it.  It still doesn’t seem real – it seems like a dream when I look outside and see it sitting where our little trailer was parked.   I have all kinds of plans for decorating our new-to-us home away from home.  Ideas fill my head and, at times, they just don’t stop. 

I’d love to give you a tour.  Here are photos from the dealer’s website so you get an idea of the space and how things are laid out.  This is a rear lounge model with big windows at the back of the trailer.  The sofa folds down into a bed if we have overnight guests.  Some rear lounge models have a pair of recliners where the sofa is.  We think we will probably replace the sofa with swivel recliners some day.  We want them to swivel so we can turn around the enjoy the views out the big back window!  The shades are down part way in the photos but I keep them up under the valances during the daytime.  I have plans to ‘remodel’ the window coverings one of these days.
Ad Photo - Living RoomAcross from the rear door – which is really the front (entry) door – is the slide out with the dinette, which also makes down into a bed, and a roomy pantry.  There is storage under both sides of the dinette.  You may notice a blur on part of the valance.  It’s not deformed - I tried to erase a huge, red sale price sign that was hanging there when the photo was taken.  On the right you can see part of my little kitchen.  The counters are a composite with a granite look. From here you see part of the entertainment center, which is wonderful. 
Ad Photo - Kitchen and Dinette This gives you an idea of the layout of the main living area.  This photo was taken from the middle of the trailer looking back into the living area.  I call it my open concept ‘great room’!Ad Photo - Living AreaFrom the back – looking toward the front of the trailer you can see more.  On the right is the kitchen – complete with a three-burner gas range with little oven, microwave, a nice refrigerator with freezer and, of course, the sink.  On the left next to the dinette is the pantry and – my favorite – the entertainment center.  The entertainment center has a nice TV and a surround system that includes a radio, CD and DVD player.  It sounds incredible.  There are speakers in the main living area, the bedroom and outside so you can choose which area – or all three – where the sound will be heard.  Give a musician (me) surround sound and she thinks she just may be in Heaven!  The big black ‘thing’ in the lower cabinet is a sub-woofer speaker, part of the surround sound.  It enhances the bass tones.  That’s the speaker you hear when a car goes by with loud booming music coming from inside when the windows are all closed.  We haven’t turned it up to make things rock and roll – but I just might try it someday when nobody’s looking.  Just beyond the refrigerator is a door into the bedroom ‘suite’.  There is a pocket door that goes into the wall behind the entertainment center.  It can be closed (and locked from the other side) for privacy.  The door on the right goes into the ‘potty’ room.  Yes – that’s what's in there.  Just the potty.  Maybe I should call it the powder room.  It’s small but quite adequate.  From here you can see the bed at the front of the trailer.  Ad Photo - Entertainment Center and Kitchen Let’s go into the bedroom and I’ll show you around.  Straight ahead, at the front of the trailer is the queen-size bed.  It’s a bed – a real bed – that we can walk around!  It has a great mattress that is very comfy!  No more pulling the sofa out every night to make up our bed, which we did in our little trailer.  The bedspread and shams are gone now – they are put in trailers just for show.  I imagine there may be people who actually use them but the spread is fitted and quite awkward.  They usually don’t go with the décor new owners envision for the room.  I’ve ordered a new quilt for the bed.  It should arrive in a few days.  The valances match the old spread and they will be recovered or replaced when I get inspiration from the new quilt.  The lambrequins (side pieces on the windows) are going away.  Not only are they too formal for me but they are fabric over a stiff cardboard-type material.  They are clumsy and, at times, seem to be in the way when we walk around the bed.  They will be replaced by a nice tie-back curtain that will give a softness to the window décor.  We will keep the day/night shades.  There is a lot of storage in this bedroom.  The end of the bed lifts up and there is a lot of storage space underneath. You can see the closets on each side of the bed.  Toward the lower right side of the photo you can see a little bit of another closet.  Between that closet and the window on the right is the back door (really on the front of the trailer).  Ad Photo - Bedroom In the lower left corner of the photo above you may notice a sink and a bit of counter.  Many of the new trailers have the bathroom sink outside the 'potty' room these days .  It gives access to the sink when someone else is using what my grandmother called 'the facilities'.  There is a privacy curtain that goes across the entire room on a ceiling track  between the end of the bed and the corner of the sink.   We won’t use it unless we have guests (grandkids) with us.  Next to the sink is a very roomy shower.  Above the shower is a nice skylight – opaque, not clear, so birds and people flying overhead can’t see in!  You may wonder why we like the sink and shower in the bedroom.  My sweetheart was adamant that the next trailer we bought must have a nice dressing area.  This accomplishes that and it works for us.  The pocket door is to the left of the shower, between the bathroom/bedroom area and the living area. Ad Photo - Shower and Sink There you have it.  Our new-to-us trailer where adventures await.  We’ve already taken it to the coast and had some – should I say ‘interesting’? – experiences adjusting to life in a different trailer.  It doesn’t feel like home yet.  It still feels like I’m in someone else’s trailer but I’m told that is normal.  It won’t be long before it’s cozy and familiar and will feel like home.  I’ll share our first outing together at the coast soon.  It was quite an adventure!
Ad Photos - Collage Just so you know, we will be selling the little trailer and – before you ask – NO!  I will not be selling Daffodil.  She is my very own trailer.  She and I have more adventures planned together.

Monday, November 2, 2015

An Autumn Day In The Mountains

I didn’t mean to be gone for so long.  I’ve written a hundred blog posts in my head since I was last here but they never got to my keyboard and on to you!  Everyone here is fine and doing well.  We’ve been busy with a million things that keep us coming and going – things like grandsons’ football games; appointments, shopping and errands with my dear little mother; day trips and a few days away here and there with my sweetheart; and business dealings that take time and energy.  Oh, and a new something in our life that has become part of our life and is giving us adventures we never dreamed possible at this season of our lives.  I’ll share more on that tomorrow.  I will – because I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  It’s a good thing!

A few weeks ago my sweetheart and I took a day trip into the Cascade mountains not too far from home.  My sweetheart wanted to check out a new-to-him deer hunting area that a friend had recommended.  I wanted to scout around with my sweetheart and enjoy the day in the mountains.  It wasn’t long before we began to see familiar scenes that I love!
Up the HighwayThe road took us from the valley where we live, around corners and turns in the road, alongside a beautiful river that flows from the mountains to the valley where it joins two more rivers and heads toward the sea.  Partway to our destination we came to a gorgeous, big lake.  Well, not really!  It’s where a beautiful lake should be – a lake that is usually filled with marinas and boats and people who are enjoying all kinds of water sports.  That’s the normal thing at this spot but it’s not that way anymore.  Instead, it looks like this.  Normally I would have been standing at the edge of the lake to take this photo.  But not this year!  You can see a bit of the lake - really just a river now - at the base of the hills.  The lake should be up to the tree line on those hills across the way.Dry Lake BedTwo years of drought have brought devastation and loss – loss of most of the lake and loss for the business people whose lives depend on the income that life on and around this lake brings.  A river exists where there was once a lake.  The tree stumps you see are all that’s left of a forest that once stood tall here.  The trees were cut down and many years ago a dam was built downstream to control flooding in the valleys below.  The drought has pretty much returned the land to its former state.Lake and MountainOur trip continued as we began to drive higher into the mountains.  The first signs of Fall became evident.  At first, just a little. . .Color in the MountainsAnd then more and more as the altitude changed and the temperatures cooled.More Fall ColorWe stopped along the way several times to walk on trails or see sights we didn’t want to miss.  All the while my sweetheart was checking for signs of deer for his upcoming hunting trip.  My camera seemed to find more places where the colors of Fall were on display.  Oh, how I wished we could stay longer and explore.  Fall Color
We stopped at a place where we expected to see the headwaters of the McKenzie River, a rapidly flowing river that comes from high in the Cascade Mountains.  I have lived by this river twice in my younger years and I was excited when we saw the sign directing us to the place where the river begins its descent down the mountains.  I love bridges and it didn’t take me long to get out of the car and head walk to the middle of this one.
Mountain Bridge Imagine my disappointment when I looked down to see the river and this was all I saw!
Dry River Bed No water!  More signs of the drought that has hit the West Coast over the past couple of years.  The Cascade Mountains are made up of volcanoes that erupted many, many years ago.  Lava flows that covered the countryside are evident everywhere.  It always amazes me to see trees and shrubs and flowers growing in the middle of lava beds.   Lava rock is extremely hard.  You don’t want to walk across the lava beds because the rock is so rugged it will destroy the soles of your shoes in no time at all.  Yet there is beauty in the middle of all of this hard rock.  It seems a bit impossible, but it’s true!
Lava and Color 2 Color and Lava 2
There were other adventures from our day but I’ll save them for another time.  I always enjoy sharing my corner of the world with you.  Oregon is a state of breath-taking beauty.  We have it all – sandy ocean beaches, fertile green valleys full of abundant agriculture, gorgeous high mountain vistas and deserts that have a beauty of their own.   I‘ll return and share more with you soon.  Before I do I want to show you our latest ‘adventure’.  Please come back very soon so I can tell you all about it.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Home Can Be Anywhere You Go

Trailer Birdhouse
There’s a new post up on my vintage trailer blog.  You can go there from the ‘Daffodil – My Vintage Trailer’ tab at the top of my blog.  This sweet, little birdhouse belongs to a dear friend of mine.  It hangs from the front of her vintage trailer whenever she sets up camp.

Monday, September 7, 2015

An Unplanned Blog Break

I’m amazed that it’s been two months since I wrote my last post.  A blog break was not intended – but necessary.  All is fine here but life has been busy and some new things were added to our ‘plate’.  My sweetheart’s schedule has become crazy at times and that always affects mine.

In the middle of life it’s easy to forget to stop and take care of ourselves.  It's important to make sure we have time to relax and refresh.  We hadn't been able to go away together this year and we knew summer would soon be over.  A couple of weeks ago we quickly decided we simply must get away.  Our schedules are full with upcoming commitments and two hunting seasons that take my sweetheart away.  Winter will arrive shortly after he returns and the holiday season will begin so we knew we had to make it happen right away.  We did a quick search for a campground somewhere on the Oregon Coast with space available at such a late date, and – viola! – we found it.  A new-to-us place – Tillicum Beach Campground (between Waldport and Yachats for those who know the Oregon Coast) - is now at the top of our favorites list.  It’s a wonderful place and we plan to go again and again.  We couldn’t complain about our site – it was just right for us.  See who is enjoying the sunshine and sea breeze? Tillicum Beach - CampsiteThe weather was wonderful!  Two mornings we had brief rain showers but the rest of the time was sunny and warm and absolutely gorgeous.  We had nice views from our front window. . .Tillicum Beach Front ViewAnd our side window.  Pardon the reflection from the kitchen window.  There was no other way to capture this view.Tillicum Beach - Site Side ViewThe stairs down to the beach were just across the road from us.  The view from the top of the stairs would have been worth the walk from anywhere in the campground! Tillicum Beach - Stairs ViewThis beach is incredible.  Wide sandy beaches go on forever - to the north. . .
Tillicum Beach - North And to the south.
Tillicum Beach - SouthOur days were relaxed and without stress.  We walked on the beach more than once a day, talked about whatever came to mind, dreamed dreams, and marveled at the beauty of God’s ever-changing creation.  Our constant companion loved it all.  We didn’t have to say the word ‘beach’ twice before he was ready to go!Tillicum Beach - JoeyWe didn’t want to come home!  But we knew we must!  There are many things to share – and I will – but now I must be busy with ‘real’ life once again..

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

Fourth of July Quote - Peter Marshall God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

‘God Of Our Fathers’ – United States National Hymn
Words written by Daniel C. Roberts, 1876
Music composed by George W. Warren, 1888

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lemons, Lemonade and Life

I’ve been gone for a bit and I know you understand.  Life has been filled with things that needed my attention.  Family needs always come first and the routines of daily life must continue if we are to survive at home. 
Lemons Someone once said, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.  Maybe some of what we’ve been doing lately has been like making lemonade.  Tough times can tear us apart or they can make us stronger.  As you know, our family recently had to deal with the loss of our little born-too-early grandson.  We have held each other close.  We have grieved and we have cried – but we are healing.  Our daughter is moving forward in the middle of her loss and we are very proud of the way she faces each day.  Thank you to each of you for your kind words, your prayers and the cards we’ve received.  You have encouraged our hearts more than you know with your love.

In the middle of the ‘lemons’ of life, my dear, little ninety-two-year-old mother fell again.  She fell backwards in her kitchen and landed hard on her tiny backside.  The amazing thing is – and this is a miracle – she didn’t break anything.  She is so tiny and frail.  She has no padding on her little bones but she got herself up, went to the phone and called us.  She was quite bruised and extremely shaken up by the fall but able to go on with life as before.  At first my sweetheart and I thought this would be a major turning point in her living at home, but we have come to realize that she is where she belongs.  For now.  Even though she didn’t break anything, this fall was a wake-up call for all of us, including her.  We are at a new place in her situation, but we’re not sure what that means.  It may be that there needs to be more involvement in some of her daily activities.  We don’t know, so we are praying for wisdom and direction. 

Not long after she fell her doctor of many years retired and it was necessary for her to find a new doctor.  She chose to see my doctor – and my sweet mother loves her!  She is very glad with the choice she made.  The process has been time consuming.  We had to be sure we had everything in place without a moment of lapse in her medical situation.  To exit one doctor at the same time you enter another required many phone calls and much paperwork.  I had to be sure there was nothing left undone incase she needed the services of the new doctor soon.   It was a big relief when everything went smoothly and the task was accomplished.

My sweetheart and I were able to go out of town for his fiftieth (ooh, that sounds like a long time!) high school reunion.  As we arrived at the venue for the first activity, one of my sweetheart's high school buddies saw us and gave advice:  'Don't go in there - that room is full of old people!'  It was a wonderful weekend.  To watch him enjoy his long-ago friends and listen to their reminiscences of past doings brought such joy to my heart.  And - in the middle of it all - I was able to have lunch and do a bit of antiquing with a dear friend who lives near where we stayed.  She and her husband met us for lunch after church on Sunday just before we headed home again.  Our time away was relaxing and we realized we need to do that more often.  

During a routine appointment with my doctor this week she gave me, shall I say, an assignment!  Walk twenty minutes every day!  So, I have been up and out early these last mornings because we’re having a hot spell and I like to breathe while I walk!  My sweetheart decided he would walk with me and we enjoy that time together.  It's good for both of us!  We have walked in different directions from our home each day and it’s amazing what we see when we’re walking.  Early yesterday morning we weren’t far from home when I rounded the corner – and stopped!  Couldn’t go on.  Had to take photos to share this darling sight with you. What stopped me in my tracks?  The cutest, little lemonade stand I ever saw.  Somebody’s daddy or grandpa must love Savannah very much!  What a work of art.  And it’s yellow, of course!
Lemonade Stand She has two choices – regular or berry.  Isn’t that cute? 
Lemonade Stand 2 She wasn’t open for business.  It was quite early and I wouldn't be surprised if she was still sleeping.   I think she must be quite the business 'woman' - she wanted to be sure passers-by would know that she would return - with lemonade – soon.Lemonade Stand 3I found this cute sign on Pinterest.  It’s something to remember when life hands us 'lemons'. 
It’s a cute sign but when hard times come the answer for me isn’t lemonade – although it’s a good idea to take a break and stay calm.  Through these past weeks a Scripture verse has come to mind many times.  The words of King Solomon are true:

‘Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring.’
Proverbs 27:1 NLT

I’m not afraid of the days ahead.  Whatever life brings, my faith will remain strong.  I will be calm because God has done good things in the past.  And I know He will do it again!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Path Of Peace

Sometimes we see or hear something that touches our heart but we don't realize the impact it will have on us in the near future.  That's what happened for me while I was away at a camp-out with girlfriends early this month.  We spent some time in a few antique malls and shops and we enjoyed every bit of it.  I was upstairs in by myself in one shop when I turned the corner and saw this chalkboard.  For some reason I knew I wanted to take a photo.  Little did I know how much the words on this chalkboard sign would come to mean in the weeks that followed.  These words have come to mind over and over since I first saw them.

This Scripture is taken from Luke 1:79.  What a comfort - and a blessing - to know that God will lead us in paths of peace.  No matter what is happening all around us.  

You keep him in perfect peace
 whose mind is stayed on you
 because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

(Scripture passages from the English Standard Version)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Miracle Of A Tiny Life

Recently I told you that I was going to be a grandmother again in October.  You can read a bit of that story here.  The last weeks have been like a roller coaster in some ways.  Our daughter has been in and out of the hospital.  The events that began early this month continued and each time seemed worse than the time before.  We prayed and we held firm to hope and we clung to the knowledge that God was in control and that we could trust Him no matter what.  Each time a crisis came, word from the doctors was pretty grim.  Not much hope for this baby to make it.  They believed labor would begin soon.  Bed rest was the plan for our daughter and she did everything she needed to do to make that happen.  Each time she went to the hospital the doctors couldn’t understand what was happening – our tiny grandson was alive and well and doing what they didn’t expect him to do.  The prognosis wasn’t good and then last Thursday morning the high-risk doctor said she believed our daughter had ‘beaten the odds’.  With a small degree of confidence she said it was possible that our grandson could ‘hang on’ for a few more weeks until they could help him survive if he should come early.

Not many hours later, on Thursday night, everything changed.  Things began to happen and labor began.  It was different this time – but our faith was still strong and we knew we could trust our daughter and her little son to the care of our Heavenly Father.  Many long hours passed before news came that we had so hoped we wouldn’t hear.  Our tiny grandson, Levi, was born early Saturday morning at twenty-one weeks.  Still, he defied the odds and clung to life for about an hour – something the doctors had said couldn't happen.  And, then, he slipped gently into the arms of Jesus.  His tiny life had made an incredible impact on our lives.  We saw miracles happen.  Things the doctors said were impossible became real.  We don’t understand it all but we know there is a reason we can’t see.  Tears have flowed much through the past days.  Heaven seems a bit closer.  And our trust in God is even stronger than before.  The miracle that a tiny life could touch our lives in ways we never dreamed possible is amazing to me.  I learned things from Levi’s brief life that I needed to learn.  God showed Himself real through the weeks and months – we can’t deny that.  And that’s a miracle - God’s love shown again through the miracle of a tiny life. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Hills Are Alive. . .

With the sound of music.  My all-time favorite musical is ‘The Sound of Music’.  I think I can sing every word by memory.  Recently my sweetheart and I visited a beautiful state park in the mountains between our home and the Oregon Coast.  When we got to this viewpoint at the top of the hill I felt like singing the opening song.  Instead, I took a lot of photos!Mountain View
The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
That rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime
That flies from a church on a breeze

To laugh like a brook when it trips
And falls over stones on its way
To sing through the night
Like a lark who is learning to pray

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more

Next month I will be joining several girlfriends from my camping group at this beautiful park.  Please come by Daffodil’s blog to take a peek inside and see how she looked when I took her to a  recent camp-out.  She will look different by the time I take her camping next months - we are working to finish some things before her next trip.  You can go to her blog by clicking on the ‘Daffodil – My Vintage Trailer’ tab at the top of this page.

Song: ‘The Sound of Music’
written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Detour, News and A Grateful Heart

Stormy Sky When I last shared with you on my vintage trailer blog (Daffodil's Journey), I said I was planning to leave that morning for a trip to spend the weekend with some of my camping girlfriends.  Well, it didn’t happen exactly that way!  Sometimes we don’t understand why plans are changed or delayed – and we may never know.  But I’ve learned to accept those changes as something God allows in my life for a reason.  That’s what happened last week just minutes before Daffodil and I were about to drive away for the weekend.

There’s something I haven’t shared here.  I am going to be a grandma again in the Fall!  You would think it would be news I would be shouting from the housetops, but I haven’t told many people.  Our daughter is expecting baby number five.  To say this was a total surprise would be an understatement.  This is a high-risk pregnancy because of her age and multiple problems she had when she was expecting our precious Miss H. five years ago.  This time we’ve been holding our breath almost from the beginning.  Every day without ‘bad’ news or events that make us believe this baby isn’t going to make it, well – that’s a day to breathe a bit easier.  In many ways it's one day at a time!   She is seeing a group of high-risk obstetricians and from day one their observations have been negative – doom and gloom for this little one.  There have been diagnoses of things that made our hearts ache and suspicions of things that were quite unnerving.  In this age of technology we can ‘see’ things that, in the past, we never knew about until our babies arrived.  Now we know things we wish we didn’t know.  But God hasn’t had the last word!  He is at work and we believe we just might be watching a series of miracles happening before our eyes by way of multiple ultrasound images.  Everything that has been diagnosed or predicted so far as ‘resolved itself’.  That’s what the doctors say, but I really believe we are watching God answer the prayers of many people for our daughter and her little guy.  Yes, it’s a boy!

I was literally on my way out the door – with car keys and purse in hand – ready to drive away with Daffodil when my cell phone rang.  Our daughter said, ‘Mom, I know you’re out of town, but you need to know what’s happening.’  It looked like the much-too-early birth of her tiny son was about to happen.  She was about to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  My plans changed at that moment!  I knew there was no way I was going to take Daffodil and drive away.  A quick call to the camping friend I had planned to meet nearby so we could travel together and call to a dear friend who was expecting my arrival a couple of hours later – and all of my plans for the weekend were on hold.  I sat and waited for word.  And I prayed.  Oh, how I prayed!  Tears poured down my face as I thought of my dear daughter and the anguish she must feel.  And more tears fell as I thought of the tiny grandson I might not get to hold until some day in Heaven.  A phone call came and I was off to the hospital.  Actually, two hospitals before the day was over.  She was transported by ambulance to a large hospital where the neo-natal intensive care unit was ready, if he should be born. The news was more encouraging than we ever hoped to hear.  What had happened – what we could see and understand – wasn’t what it appeared to be.  The ‘symptoms’ of imminent birth were not that at all!  Tiny baby boy was still safe and sound, snug as ever in his fluid-filled sac.  Everything was exactly as it should be.  Needed fluid that surrounds him measured exactly perfect!  Contractions were not of the labor type and they weren't doing anything to be concerned about.  We were amazed!  The high-risk doctor at the hospital was very encouraging.  He sent her home for bed rest until her next appointment a few days later.

I took away a lot of things from that day when God changed my plans.  Again, I was reminded that HE is in control.  No matter what things appear to be, He sees it all.  And He knows.  I was reminded again how much my dear ones mean to me and that I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else than with them in moments of crisis.  I was able to spend quite a bit of time with our oldest granddaughter and we shared our hearts in ways we’ve never done before.  Our daughter’s younger children were scared, so we sent grandpa to ‘rescue’ them and be with them. (He took them fishing!)  And, through it all, I kept remembering my dear father’s version of a Scripture verse that he quoted often.  Psalm 37:23 says, ‘The steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way’.  My sweet dad always said that our ‘stops’ are ordered by God as well as our steps.  I’ve found that true more times than I can recall.  And that was what happened again last week.  I know God stopped me from heading south with Daffodil.  I had planned to leave earlier that morning but was delayed a bit.  The friend I had planned to travel with was also delayed.  I know His plan for me was to be here with my dear daughter and her family.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

It’s been over a week since that day when we all held our breath, waiting for news of a tiny, little guy who has already worked his way deep into this grandma’s heart.  I’ve seen many ‘still’ photos of his ultrasounds, but to stand beside the doctor and watch itsy-bitsy fingers move and the valves of a tiny heart open and close as they should – and to see this precious grandson moving and stretching before my eyes – was a gift to my heart.  A few days later there was another late night run to the hospital with even more scary things happening that also turned out not to be as they seemed.  The doctors assured my daughter that things that had been of concern were ‘shifting’ and ‘making themselves right’.  It wasn't an accident.  Not a coincidence!  I know it’s because God is shifting and settling things for her and her son.  She is taking it easy – obeying the doctor’s orders’ and all is still going well. 

Early the next morning my sweetheart helped me hitch up Daffodil – again – and Daffodil and I headed south to catch up with the gals who were already enjoying time together at a gorgeous farm setting.  There’s so much I could share about my trip there, the time with my friends and the trip back home again, but I will save that for another time.  Early next week I will give you a tour inside of Daffodil.  She’s a beauty!  There’s more work to be done but she was just the sweet haven I needed over the weekend.I can’  t wait to share her with you. 

As I look back on the events of last weekend, my heart is filled with gratitude.  I can see God’s fingerprints all over those days – and I have a much deeper sense than ever before what it means to ‘give thanks with a grateful heart’!

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Touch of Color

Azalea 2015
We live on the corner of a busy street.  On the corner of our property is a very old azalea that spreads her beauty once a year to all who pass by.  She is a bright spot there every day.  She doesn’t worry if raindrops grace her petals or if the sun shines to make her color even more vibrant.  Every Spring I wait for see her beauty and I’m never disappointed.

My vintage trailer has a new look.  There’s been a big change!  If you select the ‘Daffodil – My Vintage Trailer’ you can see it right away.