Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Oh What A Week!

(Disclaimer: All photos were taken with my cell phone. Quality is what it is! 😊)

Life has been busy for us over the last few weeks but this last week has been a very busy - and exciting - week in a lot of ways. And we've had some sad memories, too. 

I've shared through the past few years about our oldest grandson who was a high school football and basketball star.  He's a fine young man and we are so proud of him.  Through the spring and into the summer he was actively recruited to play football by three mid-sized universities and he spent a lot of time talking with the coaches on the phone and in person and checking out the schools. When all was said and done he made a commitment and he signed a letter of intention to play football for Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. He graduated from high school last spring and made a decision that was a hard one, but wise. He chose to stay at home for the Fall Term so he could work and save some money. His plan was to go to Missouri to begin school this month so he could go through Spring Training with the football team and begin to play football next Fall.  Part of that decision was influenced by the fact that there will be more athletic scholarship funds available to him this spring than what was available for last term.  Last week that plan became reality. Our son and daughter-in-law traveled to Missouri with him to help him move into the dorm and get settled so he could begin classes. We were happy that this day had finally arrived for him but it was hard to tell him goodbye and know he will be so far away.  We miss him but we're so happy he is pursuing his education and we know he is exactly where he is supposed to be. Thanks to technology we are staying in touch!

Last Tuesday was a big day for us. It was a day filled with some sad memories and excitement at the same time.  A year ago last Tuesday my dear, little mother walked through Heaven's gates! Our memories of that day will always stay very clear in our hearts and we reminisced and shed a few tears and missed her all over again. At the same time we were very aware how much healing has happened over the past year. That's just what she wanted for us - healing and for us to move forward with life. A few weeks ago I told my sweetheart that I wanted to do something special on that day. I didn't want to sit at home and be sad. Little did I know what God had planned.  Only He could have orchestrated the events of that day!

If you've been following my blog you know about the fire that destroyed our travel trailer last August. Long before we had settled with the insurance we knew what we wanted for our next trailer. We have always planned to upgrade one more time and, in that process, we have enjoyed going to big RV shows in Portland and Salem for several years. During that time we quickly narrowed it down to the dealer we wanted to work with and we ruled out a lot of RVs and amenities that we did not want.  We visited our favorite RV dealer often through the years so it was easy to know where to start. Shortly after the fire we began our search. Long before our insurance claim was settled we knew exactly what trailer we wanted. In October we ordered a brand new trailer that was scheduled to be manufactured in Eastern Oregon shortly after the beginning of this year.  We ordered it - and then we had to wait! And wait we did. It seemed that it would be such a long time before our trailer arrived but while we waited we planned and bought things we knew we would need. We were getting ready!  A couple of weeks before Christmas we drove to the dealership to sign the final papers before our trailer arrived. We didn't need an appointment, we just chose a day and and went in unannounced. The salesman we were working with saw us coming and he met us at the door with news. The factory had started production of our trailer model right after Christmas! In December - not in January, as planned. Just that morning the factory had called to tell them the date that our new trailer would be completed and when it would arrive at the dealership. When our salesman asked if we would like to pick up the trailer the morning of January 9th (the anniversary of my dear mother's passing) I immediately said yes. My sweetheart questioned me - he wanted me to sure of my decision. I told him I was sure - it was time for us to make a happy memory on that date. And I knew if my dear, little mother could talk to me she would say, 'Don't you dare put your plans on hold! You get that trailer and you start going again!' And so that's what we did.

My sweetheart and I counted the days and then he began to count the hours! And before we knew it, the day came for us to pick up our new trailer. To say we were excited would be the understatement of the year. Our salesman saw us drive into the parking lot and he met us at the door of the pickup. He did a fanfare with his voice and his smile was almost as big as mine! Normally, each day they park the RVs that are being picked up that day behind the service department. I was tempted to run around the corner of the building and look - but I didn't. I made myself wait! We went into the office and our salesman told us it would be a few minutes before we could see our trailer. I was a bit surprised it wasn't ready because we know their normal routine. He said because it was raining he was having one of the service men move our trailer into a service bay so we wouldn't get wet! Give that man an extra bonus!! Within a few minutes he opened the back office door and we stepped right into the service department, turned to the right - and there sat our brand new trailer. In real life! Tears filled my eyes - this was what we had waited for.  The trailer was really here and we were about to step inside and see what had only been a dream until now. We had spent a lot of time in this same model on the lot but the interior color wasn't what we wanted, plus we had several optional amenities added. As I stepped through the door all I could say was, 'Oh-h-h, I LOVE it! It's perfect!' And smile and smile and smile. Everything was just as we imagined. Plus a few small extras the dealer had added as a surprise. I know I must have touched every surface and opened every cabinet and closet door and smiled at everything I saw. One of the lead service men did a 'walk-around' with us to show us everything inside and outside, how it worked and how to maintain and handle things.  Much of that information wasn't new to us because of our previous travel trailer experience. After our tour was finished we went back to the office to sign the final papers - and then the trailer was officially (finally) ours! We talked to the dealer, to the gal in the office who had handled all the paperwork and financial business and to our salesman. I hugged each of them and told them 'thank you' didn't seem adequate for all they had done for us. In turn they said the thanks was really to us. We stepped back outside - and there was our new trailer - hooked up to our pickup and ready to take home. Even though it was raining I wanted a few pictures of it in the parking lot. Our salesman offered to take pictures with us by the trailer. And he did!

I couldn't contain my tears as we drove out of the parking lot and turned onto the street toward home. They were tears joy! My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude and it spilled out of my eyes and flowed down my cheeks. There was a sense closure to the long journey from the trailer fire - and there was anticipation of new things to come. I've told people over the past months that, without our trailer, we have felt like we had our wings clipped. The day we drove home with our new trailer we knew we were free to fly again!

It wasn't long and we were at home. In the empty spot by the driveway where my memory always saw a burned, charred, ruined trailer, now I saw a beautiful, new trailer. And my heart sang! I wouldn't be surprised if I sang out loud, too, because that's what I do.

We got busy and began to move into the trailer. Things came out of closets and out of storage places and into the trailer. We made the bed with our fun new bedding and set up housekeeping. I'll give you a tour soon. Things are very different from our last two trailers and our decor is different, too. Clue: when I asked my sweetheart how he would like to decorate this trailer, he said, 'Like a hunting cabin!' After discussing that idea we decided to make this the cutest cabin-on-wheels. Not so much 'hunting' - focus on the 'cabin'. We're still in the process of deciding and figuring things out but we have a good start.

Last year after my dear mother's memorial service we spent a week at the Oregon Coast with our trailer. We went to a wonderful RV park right on the bluff above the sea. My sweetheart surprised me the day we checked out. When we went into the office to let them know we were leaving he reserved a week for our anniversary this year. Never in our lives have we ever reserved anything a year in advance but it was fun to know that we would be back and enjoy the incredible view and the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below. When we first heard that our trailer model wouldn't begin production until after the first of the year we thought we might have to change our plans. We asked our salesman if he could find out when we might have our trailer so we could change our reservation, if needed. The day in December when we walked into the dealership and he told us when we could pick up our new trailer he said, 'you don't have to change your reservations - you can go to the coast.' So, we had two and a half days between the time we brought the new trailer home and the time we left for a week.  That's where we are now - we are watching the winter waves crash on the beach and the rocks below and listening to the refreshing sound of the surf. Here's where we are.

And our view from the back of the trailer on the driver's side.
The first two days we were here were gorgeous - almost unheard of on the Oregon Coast in January. The morning after we arrived we woke to sun and warm temps. And this was our view from our big dining area window. (This window is one of two exit windows if both doors are not available to exit in an emergency.)
A couple of evenings ago we were out for a walk with my little dog, Joey. We stopped and had a good, long visit with some other RVers. Late in the afternoon the clouds had started to roll in from far out at sea and it wasn't long before all traces of sunshine were gone. The cloud cover was getting thicker by the moment and we knew there would be no possibility we would see the sunset that evening. But were we ever wrong! As we stood and talked to our RV neighbors all of a sudden we looked and were totally in awe of the scene we saw.  It was obvious that God had taken out His paintbrush and painted the sky!
We knew that the maiden voyage of a brand new RV can reveal problems or adjustments that need to be made. We thought we had arrived with no issues but when my sweetheart came inside to sit down after he had all the outside setup things finished he discovered something that had happened as we  traveled. The big shade on the window behind our recliners had fallen down. It wasn't just the shade that fell down - both of the brackets that hold the shade in place had come unscrewed. At first he thought we would have the dealer repair it when we got home but new neighbors arrived that evening and their living area windows looked directly into that window. My sweetheart decided to look things over and repair the shade himself. The next morning he drilled two more holes in the bracket so he could add extra screws. Then he put it back up and it has worked great without falling down ever since then.
There were quite a few options we could choose to add to our trailer. There was no question that we wanted to add a fireplace! Early in our RV show experiences a dealer had told us one of the benefits of having an electric fireplace in an RV. Electricity is included when we're in a park with full hookups. He told us it makes sense to use the park electricity to heat an RV instead of using our propane (furnace). We liked that idea, plus I love the cozy feeling of our fireplace. And Joey thinks it's absolutely wonderful, too! I'm sure he thinks we did this for him. (You can see the reflection of the rug I added in the living area but this gives an idea of the fireplace.)
The best part of our week was yesterday when we celebrated our anniversary. Number forty six! Forty six years and I'm often asked the secret of a long marriage. I always say, 'the grace of God and a very patient man!' We are just a few miles from where we spent our honeymoon all those years ago so yesterday we went there for a late lunch in their wonderful restaurant. We were the only ones there at first so we were given the corner table with the best view. After lunch we drove to a neighboring city to the south where we stopped at an antique mall to browse, made a few other stops, drove to a parking area that overlooks the sea and we ended up at a favorite restaurant beside the beach. We had a wonderful dinner and a decadent dessert - something we don't do very often. It was a sweet day - we were together and in a place we love.
These mugs were a Christmas gift from my dear cousin. We thought our new cabin-on-wheels would be a good place to enjoy them.

Very soon I will share a couple of long-overdue posts and then I will return to The Grand Trip so I can share the rest of the journey we took last Spring.  And I will give you a tour of our new trailer. When I share it with you I think you will understand why we are so in love with our cabin-on-wheels. We are appreciating every little detail about this place that is going to take us to places that up till now have only been a dream.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my dear friend, I have enjoyed so much reading this. Just melted my heart. Your grandson is one handsome young man and I know that you all are proud. Love, love, love your trailer. Now you need to stop with all this or you are going to have me wanting to retire and travel! LOL! Love the coffee mugs. So glad you shared. And yes!!!! Our God is an awesome God. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  2. What a wonderful adventure you are on. Enjoy every minute!

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  3. Happy Anniversary! You have had quite a year so far! Im envious of being on the coast - enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! ~Jeanne

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  4. So very happy for you and look forward to hearing and seeing all of the wonder adventures you will have in your gorgeous RV! Happy anniversary too :) Best wishes to your grandson as he pursues his dreams.

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  5. i'm smiling ear to ear while reading then re-reading portions of your blog post, ad. God has blessed the two of you to the brim and overflowing in certain respects. what a delight! your grandson is a handsome young man and God has important things in his future, i'm sure. seems as though his plans were most certainly made in wisdom .. and that trailer. seriously?! gorgeousness even from the outside, but the fireplace raised my eyebrows and now i'm wondering about putting a wee fireplace in our newest vintage camper. wink.

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  6. i'm smiling ear to ear while reading then re-reading portions of your blog post, ad. God has blessed the two of you to the brim and overflowing in certain respects. what a delight! your grandson is a handsome young man and God has important things in his future, i'm sure. seems as though his plans were most certainly made in wisdom .. and that trailer. seriously?! gorgeousness even from the outside, but the fireplace raised my eyebrows and now i'm wondering about putting a wee fireplace in our newest vintage camper. wink.

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  7. This is so great, Adrienne. I'm so happy for you, and I think it was absolutely providential that you picked up your new RV on the anniversary of your mom's passing. I can't believe it's been a year. I'm sure every day of the past year has been painful for you, but I'm confident you will experience joy with your new RV and that your mother somehow knows about it and is happy for you. Hugs, Nancy

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