Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beach Time – Again!

Ocean ViewWe’re at the beach.  Again!  A few days ago I shared about our trip to the Oregon Coast where I met gals who were camping there with their vintage trailers last weekend.  I mentioned that we made a stop on the way home.  We headed up north up the coast a ways to stop and see friends from our church.  They have a beach house and we’re there with them this weekend with another couple from our church.  Last weekend we stopped to say hello and to have a glimpse of their lovely home.  They were there with friends from our church.  We had a great time together and made a few plans for this weekend before we headed home.  I took the photo above from their driveway just before we left for home.  It’s really just a teaser!  The view from their home is fantastic.  I’ll share it with you when we return in a few days.  If you didn’t already know that we love the Oregon Coast – you may suspect that now.  We've left a piece of our heart there!

In the meantime, stop by to see more of Daffodil’s journey.  You will be amazed – I’m sure – at the next part of her road to restoration.  You can see it here if you’d like to find out what happened next.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Value Of Our Stuff

Early this morning I sat and wrote thoughts that just flowed from my heart.  I am taking an online organizing workshop with professional organizer Aby Garvey (Simplify101).  Over the past few years I have struggled to let do of ‘stuff’ – to simplify our lives.  My heart said that’s what I wanted but when it came right down to it, I just didn’t do it.  Something happened last night – really, maybe this morning as I thought about what happened last night.  These are the thoughts I shared on the workshop forum this morning:

In the course of life, things happen that get our attention - 'wake us up'. That's what happened last night, maybe it really happened this morning as I thought more about the meaning behind it. I want to share it because it may impact someone else the way it has touched me.
What is the real value of our stuff? Not the value we think it has, but the real, true value when all is said and done. Let me illustrate with something that happened next door to our home last night.

We have lived in our home for over twenty years. Our next door neighbor was one of the nicest men you could ever hope to meet. He was a highly educated man - a man whose life experiences held your attention when he shared them. He was a veterinary research doctor doing research to improve the life of the animals his research involved, as well as the lives of human beings through what was learned. I could listen to him talk about his life's work for hours. He was a quiet neighbor, a friendly neighbor who treated everyone in the neighborhood as if they were family. He loved our children, applauded our accomplishments and enjoyed meeting anyone who passed by.

His parents built his home in the 1970's. He never married so he was free to move in with his father after his mother's passing. The day came that his father was gone and he continued to live there by himself. The house and the yard were kept in pristine condition. Nothing was changed from the day it was built. It was a vision of the 1970's, right down to the dishes in the cupboards. He planted fruit trees and gardens that produced fruit and vegetables for his delight. Then, suddenly, one day a few weeks ago, everything changed. He could no longer live alone. His eyesight had failed so much that it wasn't safe for him to be there by himself. In what seemed to be the wink of an eye, his nephew found an assisted living apartment for him, a for sale sign went up in the yard and soon he was gone! He's not far away and we will keep in touch, but it's just not the same without him next door. He took very few things for his tiny, little apartment. I'm sure family took some things that had meaning to them. Most everything was left behind. The house sold quickly and rooms needed to be emptied.

Late yesterday afternoon a truck pulled up and people began to work next door. In about an hour's time an 'Auction Today' sign went up out front and another one down the street. I was gone when the auction started. I came home to find that my hubby was not at home. I was certain he had gone next door to be part of the auction. Soon he came home with some tools he had purchased and what he told me has made such an impact on the way I view my stuff! There were things that went for two dollars and five dollars and entire walls full of things in the workshop that went for ten dollars and fifteen dollars. Not many attended the auction and those who did weren't interested in some of the things at all. Afterwards, my hubby and I went inside with the neighbor who was overseeing things for our former neighbor. The furniture was still there, things were still hanging on the walls. The kitchen was in tact - no one wanted anything in there at all. As I opened cupboards and drawers and closets I saw things that would bring some big dollars on EBay or Etsy - things that are 'hot' items right now. But no one wanted them. Vintage bone china teacups and saucers that had belonged to our neighbor's mother still stood on the shelf where they had sat for many years.

This morning it all dawned on me. The value I place on things isn't their real value. When all is said and done and I have no more use for them, the only value they have is what someone else sees in them! I have a garage full of stuff and an attic full of stuff. And cupboards and closets packed with stuff! When I begin to go through boxes and shelves and try to simplify my life, I just can't seem to let go of much. Some of my family members tell me I 'can't just give it away' - because it's valuable. It’s worth something!  Today I would have to ask, 'to whom?'  Yes, I could hang on to things and let my children deal with them sometime in the future. Or, I could spend hours and hours of time and energy to have a garage sale. But I can't stop wondering, 'what is the real value of all of this stuff?'  Some has sentimental value. But it has been in boxes for years and years! Some has been saved 'because I might need it someday'.

After taking Aby's workshops through the last couple of years I thought I was getting it. But I was only just beginning to get it! This morning I think it has all come together - and I am ready to let go. I don't want an auctioneer to stand in my home, or garage, or yard and ask, 'does anyone want anything in this kitchen?' and then sell it for less than what he charges to ask the question. It's time to let go of the things that 'weigh' me down. The clutter, the things that I don't use or truly love enough to use or to give them a place.

This has been long but I wanted to share the big 'aha' moment that has finally gotten through to me. The things we value so highly may never be valuable to anyone. Over the next weeks and months there will be big changes in my home. My longing to simplify life - and stuff - will happen. For once I really understand the value of my stuff. The quote by William Morris will be my guideline: 'Keep nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.'  I think I've got it! Finally, I think I really understand!

This morning the house next door sits quiet and dark. In a day or two everything left from a life lived well will be put in a truck and taken away. The new buyers will soon begin work to make the house their own and it won't be long before it is full of stuff again. I hope they treasure everything that graces the house and yard. If they don't, it really has no value at all!

There’s no way to tell you how deeply this has touched my heart.  I have two beautiful teacups and saucers – a gift from our former neighbor.  I think every time I look at them I will think about what may be left behind when no one sees value in the things that mean so much to me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Journey Continues

Williams CraftThere's more activity happening on Miss Daffodil’s blog.  Her journey continues.  There have been big changes!  We’re working hard to make her road-ready.  She has plans to rendezvous with other vintage trailers this Fall at a place a ways south of here.  Stop by and see what’s happening at Daffodil’s Journey.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sand and Sea

Last Saturday my sweetheart and I drove ninety miles to the Oregon Coast where I met some girlfriends who were camping in their vintage trailers by the sea.  One of the gals owns a wonderful beach house just above the waves. She had invited me to join her and the other gals for lunch at her beautiful home.  My sweetheart dropped me off a bit early.  When she invited me to come in I thought I must be in Heaven!  Oh, to have a place where the sand and the sea is just steps away!  The view from her living room was breath-taking.  The sun was shining bright which made it hard to get good photos.Lincoln City LunchThe house wasn’t large but when I stepped out on the deck it seemed the whole world was at their doorstep.  The view from the side deck would have been enough to capture my heart. . .Lincoln City Lunch 2 But the deck wrapped around the side and entire front of the house, giving the feeling we were on top of the world!  To the south – as far as my eye could see – the sea.  And sand.Lincoln City Lunch 3And there was more to the north.  See the wooden walkway?Lincoln City Lunch 4It leads to stairs that take you down the side of the bluff to the sand below.Lincoln City Lunch 5After a lunch of salad – made of sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella cheese topped with chopped fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil – chicken served with rice followed by Marionberry pie with ice cream, and a good, long visit, we went back to the campground.  Some of us headed out to see The Connie Hansen Garden – a beautiful garden in the heart of the coastal city.  It’s hidden from view but well worth seeing.  You can read more about it here.Lincoln City Lunch 6We didn’t get to see much of the garden.  It was closed for a wedding that was about to begin.  We saw a little corner that was in bloom – and we saw the bride.  I decided I must go back to wander the paths and take in the beauty there soon. Lincoln City Lunch 7Two of the gals in the car that I rode in had never been to the Oregon Coast before.  Our driver decided it was time for them to be initiated – they must walk in the sand and stick their toes in the chilly, cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.  Off we went to a favorite roadside beach.  The sun was warm but a strong wind was blowing.  It didn’t stop people from enjoying the beach – and it didn’t stop us.  Off came our shoes and into the sand we walked.  The sand was very fine.  And warm to our toes.  Down to the water’s edge for the gals to walk into the water for a minute or two and then back to the sand to warm our toes.Lincoln City Lunch 8We went back to camp where I had time to visit with the gals, to hear of their adventures over the weekend – and to know that I want to join them again when they return to the beach next year! 

What did my sweetheart do while I was playing with my friends?  He and Joey walked on the beach, had lunch (yes, Joey had lunch, too!) and enjoyed a couple of shops that my sweetheart enjoys.  He picked me up late in the afternoon and we headed for a favorite place for some chowder and fish tacos.  Then home again (with a stop to see friends on the way).  It was a gorgeous day – a day with friends and my sweetheart at the beach.  We will return soon.  Very soon.  And I can’t wait!  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Beach Is Calling

 Oregon Coast My sweetheart and I are headed to the beach!  We’re off for a day trip that was a pleasant surprise.  Some of my Sisters On The Fly Sisters are having a gathering on the Oregon Coast this weekend.  I wasn’t able to be there with them and I didn’t know when I would have a chance to see them again before the end of summer.  One of the Sisters owns a beachfront home near the State Park where the gals are camping.  She invited everyone to her home for lunch today and a couple of weeks ago she sent me an email.  She asked if there was any way I could drive over and join them for lunch.  It only about ninety miles from my home so my sweetheart (and Joey) are going with me.  While I’m having lunch with my Sisters, they will do whatever they decide to do.  I suspect there may be some beach-walking in their minds.  After lunch we gals will take a garden tour together.  Later I my sweetheart will pick me up and I will say goodbye to the girls and head home.  What a sweet treat – an unexpected surprise.  I’ll tell you all about it after I return.

While I’m away you might want to check in and see the latest adventure in Daffodil’s journey.  My little vintage trailer is making progress.  You can see more here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Giving Back

Sand Sun and Sister Fun 4Last week I took you on a tour of vintage trailers from the recent Sisters On The Fly Eighth Annual Northwest Gathering.  I haven’t told you much about our activities and I can’t wait to tell you what we did during our days together.  Of course you know we camped with our trailers – vintage and otherwise.Sand Sun and Sister Fun 2We ate wonderful meals together, shopped and played a bit in the coastal towns nearby, chatted and visited until we dropped into bed late at night and we played on the beach.Sand Sun and Sister Fun 3We enjoyed ‘welcome’ bags full of goodies that greeted us when we arrived and we looked forward to special gifts at breakfast time each morning.  We laughed.  And we talked.  And we shared stories.  We made new friends and deepened ‘old’ friendships.  We sat around campfires long into the night. Sand Sun and Sister Fun 7 We even had a vintage swimsuit contest!Sand Sun and Sister Fun 5Did I say we had fun?  More fun than anyone?  The days went by so fast.  The people of the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State were incredible.  They gave of themselves and their businesses for us.  We visited some shops more than once.  The local paper did an article about our visit.  People came by to see our trailers – and to talk a bit.  But before we left the area it was time to give back.  To leave a bit of ‘us’ in that area.   Each year the gals at Northwest Gathering raise money for a charity that is local to the area where the gathering meets.  We leave something behind to benefit the people who live and serve that part of the world.  The Gathering Hostess – the Sister who is chosen to head it all up each year – chooses the charity.  An auction is held near the end of the gathering and all proceeds – every single penny is given to that charity.Sand Sun and Sister Fun 8Sisters all bring items to be auctioned.  This year some items were chosen for a silent auction.  We raised seventeen hundred dollars through a two-hour silent auction on Saturday afternoon.  Saturday evening was the ‘big’ auction.  It was an incredible experience – one I’ll never forget.  But I’m getting ahead of myself!  The charity chosen this year was Camp Victory, a private nonprofit organization that has created a special place – a camp - for girls from the Long Beach Peninsula who have been sexually abused. This year they added their first boys camp.  You can find more information on their website here.  The director and staff spent Saturday afternoon with us.  They looked at our trailers and visited with us and joined us for dinner.  After dinner – before the auction – they told us about their program.  We laughed and sang camp songs with them – and our tears fell as two beautiful young ladies who had been part of the program for several years told us how Camp Victory changed their lives and why it means so much to them.  Then the auction began!
Going – GoingGone!
I have never experienced anything like this!  I have been part of fundraisers before but there are no words that can adequately describe what happened that evening.  I was not prepared for what was about to happen!  I watched as women reached deep into their pockets – and their hearts – to give to children and teens who need someone to believe in them.  To help them believe in themselves!  I watched as gals bid against themselves, upping the total for some items.  I watched as competition was fierce for certain items.  I watched as the number climbed higher and higher and I saw tears roll down the faces of the Camp Victory staff members.  I could hardly believe the dollars that were given.  It was energizing.  It was something to be proud of!  The auction went late into the evening.  When we headed for bed we didn’t know the total money that had been raised but we were anxious to know.Sand Sun and Sister Fun 9 After breakfast the next morning our Hostess stepped to the microphone to make her ‘usual’ morning announcements.  Tears began to roll down her cheeks as she began to speak.  She told us she had set a personal goal – an amount she hoped to raise for Camp Victory – and she had told no one what it was.  She said we had exceeded what she had hoped for!  She said she didn’t have the bids all tallied yet  - and her tears came faster and harder.  The total count so far was thirty thousand dollars!  We stood.  We cried!  We jumped up and down.  We clapped.  We hugged each other.  We cried some more and we laughed with disbelief!  One hundred and fifty women had done something SO special – and we were proud to be Sisters together for this cause.  Sand Sun and Sister Fun 10A few days ago an email came to each of us from our Gathering hostess.  She told us that the grand total – the amount of money that would be given to Camp Victory to help boys and girls who so desperately need a place to be kids – was thirty four thousand, one hundred twenty dollars and twenty two cents!  My tears started again as I read that email to my sweetheart.  It happened again a few days later when an email came to tell us that the check had been delivered to the staff at Camp Victory.Sand Sun and Sister Fun 11 My heart has been so touched with the needs that are met through this organization.  They emailed each of us shortly after they received the check.  The email was sweet – filled with gratitude for our gift.  We knew it would make a difference in many lives – lives that have been touched in ways no child should have to comprehend.  I stand a little taller – and prouder – because I’m part of a group of Sisters On The Fly Sisters who chose to give back to the community that provided so much to our lives for a few days at the beach one summer.  We were filled with emotion as we headed home that day.  Our hearts were overflowing.  So were our tears.  We will gather again next year - in another place – and we will give back again to make a difference in that place. Sand Sun and Sister Fun

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Come On Over

DaffodilI'm not here today - I'm out working on my little vintage trailer.  There is a bit of work to be done inside before my sweetheart and I can begin the process of putting Daffodil back together.  He’s working on her exterior today and I’m busy removing the last pieces of interior paneling so the wiring can begin.  Then – very soon – big changes will happen.  It won’t be long now and she is going to start ‘sporting’ a new look!  Don’t worry – you will get to see the whole thing.  Come on over here to see more the first part of Daffodil’s journey.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

Let Freedom Ring Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vintage Trailer Favorites

We’ve had a great time on our tour of the vintage trailers.  It's been fun having you along.  Now I want to show you my favorites.  Here are two that called me back time after time. It was almost as if I couldn’t see enough – I had to go back.  I saw this trailer almost as soon as I arrived and I knew right away that I wanted to see more.  Kathy's TrailerLook a little closer.  We need to see all the wonderful things she has around the trailer.  We haven’t even gone inside yet and her style is obvious.  There's a ‘banner’ of vintage aprons –vintage coffeepots and cookware – things found in a home.Kathy's Trailer - Outside Let’s get a little closer.  Then we'll go inside.  Oh, wait – look at this gorgeous vintage robe that's hanging on the door.Kathy's RobeThe inside is as intriguing as the outside.  There’s a lot to see.  The table has been set – she must be waiting for us.Kathy's TableHer kitchen is equipped with just about anything you might need.Kathy's KitchenEverything inside this trailer fascinates me.  And a lot of it brings back memories of my childhood – from the curtains to the vintage luggage overhead to the Raggedy Ann that sits on her bed.Kathy's BedWasn’t that a fun place to visit?  There’s one more nearby that I want you to see.  It is different and it shows the style of the owner in a way we haven’t seen yet.  Heads turned when she arrived. She’s a beauty!  You have to see it – you’ll be glad you did!  Disoriented ExpressMeet the ‘Disoriented Express’!Disoriented Express DecalShe is exquisite!  Her owner told me she wanted to make her trailer reflect the beauty of the Orient Express so she studied all the details of the original luxury train.  Then she adapted them to fit her trailer.  She didn’t miss a thing! Disoriented Express - Logo
She even added details to the tongue (front hitch area) of the trailer!  Here's a train light that really works. . .Disoriented Express - Train LightA brass railroad piece that replaces a standard tongue jack handle. . .Disoriented Express - Tongue HandleAnd a brass handrail beside the door.Disoriented Express - Brass HandleHer screen door is beautiful!  The stains show off the beauty of the wood.  A brass light shines to show our way at night.Disoriented Express - DoorI can’t wait to see what she’s done inside.  Let’s go in.  All aboard!  As soon as we step inside you can see that she has done this right – she’s left no detail undone.  We’re greeted by a grandfather clock!Disoriented Express - ClockAnd the dining area is exquisite.  From the grain of the woods. . .Disoriented Express - Table To the pretty chandelier overhead.Disoriented Express - ChandelierThe details continue in the kitchen. . .Disoriented Express - KitchenAnd the bedroom area. . .Disoriented Express - BedTo the brass and copper luggage rack overhead. . .Disoriented Express - Overhead StorageAnd the beautiful mirror on the closet door.Disoriented Express - MirrorThank you for taking this tour with me.  I loved having you come along.  It was fun.  There are little bits and pieces of things we missed.  We may have to come back and look around again sometime.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vintage Trailer Tour – Part Two

If you joined me for the first part of the vintage trailer tour, we’re ready to go again.  It was nice sitting for awhile to rest our feet and have a good chat – so let’s go.  There’s more to see!  Here’s a cutie.  She’s still in process but she’s almost finished.  I love her aprons on display.
Breezin AlongI think she’s just darling – with her scallops and quilt block painted on the side.
Breezin Along - SideAnd her bright colors inside are so cheery.
Breezin Along - InsideLook at the darling mirror on the closet door.
Breezin Along - KitchenI saw this one when she arrived.  I was so intrigued I could hardly wait to see more.  She’s a new trailer that has had some incredible artwork added. 
Seuss 1We have to walk around – up close – and read the Dr. Seuss sayings that have been added on every side.  I love her ‘childhood’ theme.  It’s so sweet.  Beside the door. . .
Seuss 2 On the back. . .
Seuss 3And on the side.
Seuss 4Here’s little Fifi – all pink and silver and black.
FifiThere’s no doubt about this gal’s plan – she’s going to keep moving.  She even brought her mailbox!
Keep Moving Before we take another break – because there’s more – I want you to see a ‘new vintage’ trailer.  My sweetheart and I recently saw this trailer at an RV show and I was intrigued.  It has all the comforts and bells and whistles of a new, up-to-date trailer, with the look and feel of a vintage trailer.  New Vintage 1 I talked to the gal who owns this trailer.  She wanted a trailer that didn’t need any work done – a trailer she could depend on.  She’s begun to make it her own and it's cute! 
New Vintage 2New Vintage 3There are a few more trailers I’d like to show you but I think we should enjoy a spot where we can take off our shoes, put our feet in the water and watch the world go by.  I think this will work.  What do you think?
Sit A SpellI’ve saved my three favorites for the end of the tour.  We’ll see them soon.  I’m sure you’re going to like them.  It will be worth the time to see them.