Monday, March 12, 2018

A Song and a Super Hero

This lovely young lady is named Sabra too! When we introduced ourselves to the school secretary at one of our long ago stops when my hair was brown, I was informed that a student had transferred recently and her name - Sabra. My response was, "You are kidding, I have NEVER met another person named Sabra." It was a treat to have our picture taken together.

When I was growing up I never had a license plate for my bike that said, "Sabra." In high school all my friends laughed at the way sports announcers massacred my name. It became a team joke. I have had mail come to me addressed to Sabarbara, Sabrina, Salora, Zombra, Sandra or even Debra and thought it is a good thing I answer to anything close!  My son, Travis, directed me to a great song, Sabra Girl by Nickel Creek. It is my morning alarm. :) My word of wisdom for this young lady would be - don't take yourself or the correct pronounciation of your name too seriously and WE have a Super Hero! 

Super Hero - Sabra

Saturday, March 10, 2018


 We have witnessed many "close calls" over the years, and some of them could easily have been us.  It only takes a little distraction and wham, you back right over a stump.  

I took these photos while sitting at my desk after knocking on my window and yelling, STOP, but it was rather a lot like yelling at your TV. 

The RV owner was able to move forward with minimal damage to the undercarriage and much wiser.  
The RV park maintenance man showed up shortly after with a chainsaw in hand.

There can be a lot of drama watching people move in and out.  Colorful language and lots of yelling are always fun, but you can spot the seasoned RV'ers: barely a word passes between them, just hand signals and nodding of the head - poetry!

I have found myself running after folks waving my arms as they are pulling out of their campsite with a door open, the TV antenna extended or even air vents open.  

We have been through two TV antennas, lost fenders, a broom fell out of an open door - "Excuse me," said the nice lady in the car in the next lane, "but your broom fell out." We have even driven over a plastic wheel chock. Those things can explode, given enough pressure.

We have a checklist of sorts and never celebrate moving day in a hurry.  It takes about 2 hours to prepare the move, including hitching up haRVey. 

And always as we hit the road we say responsively, 
Initiator:       Lord be with us as we travel, 
Respondant:  that our house may not unravel.

Good Stuff We Love

We are celebrating ten years of this joyful journey and I can honestly say that almost every day is my favorite. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ascension in Apple Valley

A nice tribute

We have parked our house at Ascension Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, California four times.  With each visit, we become better acquainted with the people and the town. Our Google maps app can take a break while we knowingly travel around Apple Valley.  

The biggest claim to fame for the area is Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who were both civic-minded and contributed much to the area. 

I celebrated my Birthday in Apple Valley at ...
Pamparara! A great Birthday meal.

Perhaps you have noticed

I have nothing to add

Fifi? Fifi, where are you?

...or make it stop

I love Wisconsin


Do you smell that?

Star Wars Then and Now

We went to see Star Wars in 1977, one of our first dates...

...Forty years later we went to see Star Wars, we still like dates!

Trains and Jeeps

 In December, we stayed at Verde Valley Thousand Trails RV Park. The nearest town, Cottonwood, Arizona was a western small town with a downtown still in working order. Nineteen miles north is Sedona, Arizona. Beautiful!

While browsing storefronts in Sedona, we were lured in and hooked into going to a timeshare presentation.  The reward was a Pink Jeep Tour AND a Verde Canyon Train ride. The timeshare sales people were kind, yet managed to apply a bit of pressure while trying to set the hook, but we managed to get away.  We were firm in our resolve and ended up buying nothing except a $40.00 jeep ride, which we planned to do anyway.  The train ride was a freebie. :) 

In the photo on the right my fashion statement: I am wearing, long underwear top and pants, a tee shirt, a long sleeved shirt a warm vest and a coat, pants, warm hiking socks, with mittens in my pocket. The weather was perfect.

My phone photos do not even come close to the colorful beauty of the Sedona area. If you can't have family for Christmas, make it memorable. :)

Riding the Verde Canyon Railroad was just plain fun.  Dave spent lots of time on the four-hour tour on observation deck listening to Don, our guide who knew EVERYTHING about the area. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018


In our travels we have met so many people! We have also reconnected with friends from all over the country, which is wonderful. 

Willa and I met when we were trying to get our children to be homeschooling friends... turns out we became friends instead while living in Juneau. In this picture we are getting together in Post Falls, Idaho. 
My friend from grade school, Steph, whom I had not seen in 35 years. This was a sweet reunion!! She looks exactly the same. We picked up as though it had been yesterday. We attended grade school at St. John's in West Bend, Wisconsin. This photo was taken while Dave and I were visiting cousins at Kelly Lake, where Steph and hubby Mike have a place just across the lake. We were able to get together because of a FB comment. Crazy!  

Pictured here are my siblings. My sisters and I get together for a weekend every year and last year we thought Jesse needed to be included - it was so much fun. No one knows you like your family and loves you anyway. 

We first reconnected with the Else family when we met them at Peace Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
Gary and Dulcy Else, and their daughter, Megan, live in Newport, Oregon, now. Of course, we first became friends before they were married and we all lived in Juneau, Alaska. 
Our friends Pastor Rick and his wife, Kim, (on the far right) live in Boerne, Texas.  We met them when we were all at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, years ago. We have many, many more friends we could share, but there is just no room for the treasures!!
When I met Renee Kalberer, she was our daughter's second-grade teacher in Fulda, Minnesota.  The kids and I lived with Dave's mom and dad while he was on deployment in the Navy.  Now, of course, we met Renee again in Walker, Minnesota. She is married and has kids! What?!  

This is my dear friend Barb Schelp.  She has not moved at all, and I am quite thankful I get to visit her in Corvallis, Oregon.  She took care of us when we were first married, folded us into her family without missing a beat!  Left to our own devices, we would have lived on Ramen Noodles and toast.   
Reuben and Nancy have been parents/friends at the same timeline point as Barb Schelp. They served as mentors, counselors, friends, mom and dad. They are still the same - treasures! 

Pastor Tim and Charlotte Renstrom (on the far left), live in Brahms, Minnesota, now.  When we first met them we were just off the ferry, literally, in Juneau, Alaska.  Next to Tim and Charlotte, the Jensen family, you guessed it from Hannover, North Dakota. No surprise there.  The Jensen's are members of St. Peter's Lutheran in Hannover where Dave served as pastor for a few years. How these folks all ended up at the same church on that Sunday - Wow. 

This is a small sampling of our last ten years of life on the road. We don't collect much stuff, but these pictures show what do collect along the way and they are all keepers. :) 

We could be friends

I have long been a fan of Mark Schweizer. He writes slightly irreverent books with characters who remind me of folks I know. When I meet organists who are not too hooked on only "church" music I will angle around to talking about The Liturgical Mysteries.
Ruth Ann, is the church organist at Ascension Lutheran, in El Paso, Texas, and a Mark Schweizer fan.  Ruth Ann was walking by me and I noticed the cover of her book. "Oh, I love his books," said I! She replied with a bit of a smile, "they are good but on the edge of churchy." 
I hope you are sufficiently curious and will follow this link: Author Mark Schweizer.
I met Nancy in Bullhead City, Arizona. We talked about hospitality, Jesus, travel, and downsizing.

A few years ago shortly after the death of her husband, Nancy took a road trip with no destination in mind and no word to her family she was leaving.  She ended up in Oklahoma City, at the home of a friend. She called her daughter at the end of her first day of travel, just to let everyone know she was taking a break and safe.
Nancy has the gift of encouragement. A friend of Nancy's wanted to visit her daughter on the outskirts of Los Angeles but was quite nervous about freeway and big city driving. In the end, it turns out after that first hour of nerves and striking out alone, all went well.  She has since visited her daughter a number of times.

Nancy has many trips under her belt. In her community, she drives folks to their appointments around town, but still has time for the occasional road trip. Nancy put about 8,000 miles on her car last year visiting family and friends across the country. Get out there and have no fear!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Moving On

It was a hot and steamy day in July, and the clouds resolutely remained at bay. Old haRVey and new haRVey were both EZ-bake ovens.  This is the day we moved.

New haRVey is five feet longer than old haRVey it includes a studio/bonus room, exactly what we were looking for in an RV.  Dave has a studio!  The trade-off, which we have happily made, is less kitchen storage and fewer drawers in the bedroom and bath. 

I had envisioned our move to be leisurely, filled with thoughtful pauses as I considered where we would store each item. When the real world slammed in, much to my chagrin, it was more throw and throw! The temperature hovered at 95 degrees with no wind and the inside of each RV was even worse.  By the time we loaded the last of our stuff, some of which we would have gladly pitched just to be done, we too, were done.

Our first stop with new HaRVey was St. Ignace, Michigan, because who wants to suffer moving all your stuff, then drive through Chicago on your way to Wisconsin? We enjoyed two days at a nice campground with 50 amp hook up (air conditioning :), while we sorted through everything ...again. 

I can honestly say six months later I love our haRVey and so thankful to have an RV that is not falling apart. :)  

More photos to come stay tuned.

A NEW haRVey?

July 2017 was an emotional month!  It may sound strange but, saying goodbye to haRVey was much harder than we thought! At the dealership, Haylett RV, in Coldwater, Michigan, we felt compelled to share information about our quirky RV.  Strap the steps or they may fall open; use a bungee cord on the cupboards or they WILL fall open while on the road; the furnace does not work; the greywater tank... well, do not, do not overfill - just saying. Can you believe this - they did not even care!  

When I asked if they would even be able to sell the thing, they said, "Oh, yes. We'll sell it easily." 
"Who would buy it?", I queried. 
"Oh, someone will place it in the woods as a hunting shack, or on a lake for a fish camp. This is Michigan!"
At this point, Dave, who was signing papers, picked up his head and with a furrowed brow, asked, "But not for traveling over the road?"
"Oh. No!" said the salesman, with much concern in his voice, as if a child had suggested we ride on the hood of the car down the freeway. The furrow on Dave's brow increases. He thought for sure we could squeeze another three or four years out of it.

Months later I find myself having to pause and think about where the water bottle or the backpack is stored or where do we keep the AA batteries now? I forget.

New haRVey: our first time hitched and ready to go!
We do love our haRVey 2. We have discovered a few quirky behaviors which will only endear us to our new home and moving on. 

I wrote this post awhile back; we have since traveled about 1000 miles and moved probably 10 times. I can happily report that haRVey 2 is broken in and is just like home. :)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Darth Vader Wins

Dave and I saw this epic aftermath of a battle a year ago while walking the neighborhood near Bethlehem Lutheran, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, where we were parked. 

Clearly, the snowman, the reindeer and Santa did not stand a chance against the powerful light saber wielded by Darth Vader.  

Show a Little Kindness

This dear lady whom I do not know and only spoke to in passing while having morning coffee at McDonald's was so very kind to her customers. She sought out only those who were alone, sat when invited, shared a ready smile and listened.
She had an unhurried manner which was quite refreshing. It was the highlight of my day to watch this gal at work.  
It was a busy truck stop where we had boondocked the night before. I don't remember where - Oklahoma perhaps. Anyway, not everyone is able to put themselves out there, but those who can should. It makes a difference even to those who only observe.