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My word of the year

In January I often move into a time of prayer and ask the Lord for a word for the year.
It is a pause for me, as I wait for the right word, and then later watch and wait as it comes to life during the year.
Every word has proven to be the right one for that particular season of life.
This year it was a deeply felt feeling that the word would be ‘reveal’.
I wasn’t sure what it was about or why, I just felt like it was the right one.
The meaning of the word is this:
1. to show clearly
2. to make known through divine inspiration
3. to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known
4. to open up to view: display
I struggled with the word reveal, it speaks to me of exposure.
Of opening oneself up when often it is not the right time, to do so.
I am by nature a very private person so when this word came to me it was hard to grasp.
This year has brought new changes for us.
Retirement has been an adjustment.
Revealing to us the ‘days and the hours’ of spending together.
This year has brought new financial decisions and practices for us.
Revealing a budget that is not tight but not wide open either.
This year has brought to us news of health changes for both myself and my best friend.
Revealing a life threatening illness for her and revealing a diabetic diagnosis for me.
She has to take medications to keep her from getting more ill and I am not needing insulin, just a diet adjustment.
This year has brought home the reality that life is short, and precious and not to be taken for granted.
I struggle with the changes and I challenged God at times and asked why?
He doesn’t have to explain anything to me, the questioning is only for my grumbling attitude to find a voice.
My friend has a beautiful home, a husband who loves her, a family who adores her.
She is a grandma and a precious friend.
She is an amazing women who loves God with everything in her. So why the new challenge for her?
My own diagnosis of diabetes is something I would never have expected.
It is a challenge for me to think of food in a different way now.
For years I didn’t think of food except for the fact I had to eat to live.
I weighed under a hundred pounds many years. It was not a priority for me.
This year I have learned food is my guide, my course, my way of keeping the numbers down.
Not being one who likes needles I tell myself every day when the little poke in my finger takes place,
“this could be worse.”
I suppose it could be life threatening too, if I did not pay attention and ignore the signs or symptoms.
It is a pause for me… to pray about and over this season of our lives.
My friends life and mine.
Oh and the above description of the word ‘reveal’. (to reveal a messy room)
Yes I do have those, in our home. Doors are shut so others do not see the disordered mess.
Exposure is hard when one is learning to reveal parts of themselves.
Whether that be exposing one’s lack of organization or exposing heart conditions that questions why, in the middle of trusting.
I do not understand or pretend to know why our lives are changing.
Those life altering moments I so often write about, is just as revealing as anything we can experience.
During those hard moments of truth, we must decide, I will remain in a posture of thanksgiving.
I will trust in a God who has reasons unknown to me, the why.
I will have faith in the process of living each day as a gift to unwrap and enjoy.
What those moments, reveal to us as the lesson is learned, will open up the divine purpose and inspiration.
As we come to embrace all that life has to offer us.

The next day we were out exploring the area

We set aside a day for exploring, planning meals out and snacks.
The weather was beautiful and we didn’t even have to wear coats.
We went down to the section of the beach that held the wreck of the Peter Iredale ship, the remains have been wrapped in sand for years and it is just a shell of what it was at one time. From wikepedia:[The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. It was abandoned on Clatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel. Wreckage is still visible, making it a popular tourist attraction as one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific.] There are many pictures in the history of Oregon beaches books if you are interested in the full story.
WE tried to get pictures when people were not standing around it.
After seeing that area of the beach by car, we drove down the road to a place where the intersection of the waters of the Columbia River and the ocean meet.
We had never seen this beach before so it was pretty exciting for both of us.
Powerful and moving, we saw the pelicans flying over head as we were watching dogs splash in the oceans waves.
The beach was calm and beautiful. We were able to see ships out in the ocean and the beauty of the majestic ocean surrounding them.
It is a powerful thing to see a massive ship moving through the ocean fast. It is one thing to watch I cannot imagine how it feels to be on it.
We never get tired of the ocean. It is beautiful and peaceful and ever so powerful.
We love the sounds of the birds, and the waves and the fresh air and occasional ‘person’ who chats with us as we watch the beauty around us.
This time it was a little Mennonite lady dressed in her homemade dress with shawl sewed in her collar.
Her hair pinned tightly under the hat that seemed a bit disheveled.
She was asking many questions of us as they were traveling from Ohio and was not sure which direction to go next.
We finished sharing and we walked back to the parking lot with her and I could not believe her husband was in the passenger seat with grown beard and looking like a typical Amish man or Mennonite man. It was very interesting to see her climb into the drivers seat as they drove away.
Life is full of surprises and we never know who we might meet in the process.
Our days were ending in the campsite and we were heading out the next day to head home.
It was a fun adventure and also relaxing and it also taught us to look at something differently in a new and exciting way.
Next time we will get the same camp site and be more prepared for a better, longer and easier walk.

The trail we hiked

At the campground at Fort Steven’s we discovered a great walking trail.
Since we both are in the ‘walking mode’ and so far like to do it, we ventured into the walk.
It was a clear and beautiful walk. The sidewalk paths were easy to climb and the pathways were amazing.
We walked and talked and enjoyed the occasional bike rider who would come by our way or another walker heading in a new direction.
The walk continued on and was every so beautiful, very peaceful and very easy to maintain our pace.
I love the natural tall grasses. They fill up the spots that might not grow.
There is a ‘beauty to them’ all on their own.
By the time we finished this walk we had made it over five miles. Not bad for older folk who are just trying to learn the fine art of walking.
The area was so pleasant and we just took in the beauty around us as we walked and talked.
Then headed back to our trailer for a rest before having dinner out.

Looking at life differently

Fall is here. Trees are starting to change and the air is becoming more crispy.dscn2054-2
Children are back in school and learning new classes and friends.
Expectations change for everyone. Life is a series of schedules and lists to do.
We have enjoyed this season of ‘relaxing’, and just got back from a trip to the coast.
It was good and surprisingly nice. Normally we didn’t care for the area we decided to stay in.
But this time it was different, we looked at it through different eyes and mindset.
Before we had tent camped in the setting and it appeared dark and overcast with trees.
This time we were in a trailer and we were proactive in finding a site that was open and sunny.
What a difference it was, then we learned the trails all around us and walked them.
One day we hiked over five miles before we headed back to our trailer.dscn2101
We explored the city of Seaside one day and it was much different than we had remembered.
There was a very long boardwalk where we added in a mile or two on our walk.
A lovely beach setting with historical markers.

I found it very fascinating that we had gone this direction with a ‘mindset’ of what we had seen
many years ago and thought we would not enjoy it, but decided to give it a try one more time.
We even saw a ‘old fashioned phone booth that actually looked liked it worked.
Isn’t life like that? Change and surprises.
For instance I am on a new diet program and must eat high protein foods and lots of vegetables.
I have heard that hummus is very good for you. If you don’t mind garbanzo beans it’s a great snack.
Most of the kinds I have found have not been good and thinking there must be one out there I can like,
I kept looking. One day while shopping this one was on the shelf.
I love black olives actually olives of any kind, and then to add fresh vegetables and use it as a dip was a pretty good idea.
In fact today the thought came to me as I was eating a salad, the hummus could be used as a dressing if stirred into the salad.
Thinking new thoughts and out of the normal box is good for us.
Just as we discovered to not believe everything we thought we knew for sure.
We liked the campsite, we liked the day of exploring and now I like this new hummus.
If you are asking how do they ‘all fit into the same blog post?’
It’s all about change. Thinking differently. And being willing to learn new ideas.
How is it for you? do you like change

Fall is here and I am happy.

My favorite time of the year is fall. I love the colors of the trees, the coolness of the air, I love sweaters and boots.
We even got married in the fall, so we could enjoy the season and also get the discount for fall/winter.fall drive b
Soon the season will be here for hot teas, and soups. Raincoats and umbrella’s and flannel sheets.
I don’t so much like winter other than the Christmas season but fall…brings many warm feelings for me.
This November we will be married 43 years. As I look back and reminisce about all the years. It is good.
I am not much of a baker but I do love to create soups and sometimes chicken pot pies.
Oh I also remember making applesauce with my oldest grand daughter, she loved helping me out as we stood by the stove smelling apples and cinnamon.
Warm fuzzy memories hoping she will remember it too, as something special.
Oh and when the children were in school fall was always a beginning point of the new year.
They would get new clothes, shoes, notebooks and coats. So much newness and fun anticipation of what was to come for them.
Fall is always a time to decorate with colors of the season, I bring out leaves and flowers in oranges and browns changing the roses to leaves.
It is fun to rearrange and re-do the house. If only for a few months. I am anticipating a good fall season this year.
My husband is home now and we can travel or do nothing. It doesn’t matter what we choose since we are in our retirement.
A season of change is good.fall-pic-5
I hope for you a wonderful fall. A time for reflection and for taking the time to be ‘thankful’ as we begin to move in this ‘season of change.’

Finishing our vacation finally

In the middle of the blogging and sharing our trip we took off for another one and the story got sidelined. So now I am back to finishing the vacation story.
We left Idaho and headed to Oregon one more time as we were heading home.
One more time through Baker and then one more time through North Powder which is where my grandma’s restaurant used to be.IMG_1753
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We had the opportunity to see beautiful birds, beautiful wild life and beautiful scenery and of course it is always nice to come home.
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It was so hot even the birds knew how to get into the shade to cool off.IMG_1839
At the Powder River we found a spot to remember our parents, my sister had purchased a bag of fresh flowers, she sprinkled into the water in honor of them.
We watched as they fell and then moved into the rivers edge, and some downstream.
It has been hard and sad to have our parents gone. In memory of them, the flowers fell and danced among the ripples and waves. It was a peaceful setting.
We then spent the day finding the old homes we used to live in, as little girls.
I remembered one, the rest of them I didn’t remember.
We found our grandma’s old run down restaurant. The powder club.
As little girls we spent a lot of days and nights in this place, grandma would make us many meals and we would sit in the round bar stools and twirl them around till we got dizzy… I can almost still hear her say, “You girls go play.”
The building across and down the street used to be some store.
The post office is still the same as I remembered it.DSCN1978
The next day we found a few of the old houses we used to live in as well as the houses in Haines and Baker. That night we had dinner at the Haines street steak house.
It was wonderful. Good food and great atmosphere.
The next day after doing a lot of sight seeing and memory making we ate at the historic Baker hotel. It was very good too.
The vacation was ending and soon we would begin to head home.
The next day we would meet very harsh winds through The Dalles and Hood River areas and also we heard later, there was a wild fire following us on both sides of the freeway which my sister and her husband drove near. It was a long and scary trip home.
It was a good trip and one we will remember for a very long time.
I hope it was a good ‘retelling of the story’ for you who have stayed with me on this journey. We travelled almost 2800 miles and through three states.
The miraculous part of it all, was when we got things all put away at home, we headed to the store for groceries and our car blew up. Yes we were 6 minutes from our house within range of AAA and cell service. You ask me if I believe in angels who watch over us?
Yes absolutely. The car is fine now and running better than when we left.
Thank God we were home. Thank God we were safe. Thank God our neighbor is a mechanic.

The last few days of our trip.

We had many good times on our two week vacation.
Took lots of beautiful photographs and shared our experiences on facebook and with each other. We tried to find small ‘mom and pop’ type restaurants and most were very good. Our favorite was run by a Mennonite couple in Buhl Idaho. It was clean and quaint with lots of cars in the front of it, which is always a good sign. The food was very good and I would definitely go back in there if we lived closer.
We saw beautiful landscapes and many old barns as we drove from Oregon to Idaho and even into Montana. The areas were parched and dry most of the time, but also green and full of life depending on where we went, it was amazing to see the difference.
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As we headed to Baker before going home we stayed at Farewell Bend state park for two nights, it was a very nice place but very hot outside and there were a lot of flies. We could not enjoy ourselves sitting outside so we dropped the trailer off and went site seeing in the truck, that was air conditioned. The best way to beat the heat is to find air.
That is when we saw the Four Rivers cultural center in Baker.
It was very interesting full of old artifacts and information just like the Big Hole museum in Wyoming.
A statue at the Indian museum. I so enjoyed the beauty of it along with the other oneeagle at cultural center
We headed up the mountain to see Hell’s canyon recreational area.
It was a long road full of curves and switch backs and up to a height of I am not sure, very high and very beautiful once we got up there.
We have a picture of my husband and I sitting near that brick wall facing the valley below and as we were getting our picture taken I said to him, “why am I smiling no one can see me?” we had a great laugh about that one!
hells canyon photo
This is also the country road we saw the old ‘cow’ walking with a few of his buddies in the middle of the road. He didn’t bother to move either and was not bothered by our car.
After we settled into Oregon again and stayed at a park called Mt View Rv park.
We connected up with my sister and her husband to see some of the Baker area together, she is older than I am and could remember some of the places we used to live in as little girls, many years ago.
We went to a Hotel that one can stay in now, Larry had seen it on Oregon art beat show and he wanted to see it in person. The history of it is interesting as it used to be the a very well known place in Baker county in the 40’s then they made it into a sanitarium for those who ‘could not’ live in the outside world. After that it became a hotel people can stay at now.
It was very pretty but a bit creepy at the same time. (just my opinion)
Our next days adventures would include walking down memory lane in Baker and then back into North Powder where our grandma had a restaurant. Stay with me as we travel down through some years of my childhood.

The next few days

After we left Montana area we headed back down the road towards Baker, Oregon.
We had already gone through part of the way on the way towards Idaho, but we didn’t stay long since we knew we were going to return there on our way home.
We found ourselves one night not knowing where to stay for the night, it was a bit unnerving to not find a ‘secure sight’. We drove through a few campsites and none of them felt ‘good to us’. They were small and kind of creepy.
Finally we saw a small forest service sight with park hosts and only three camps sites in the campground, one was filled with college kids doing a freshman adventure course.
We stopped and set up camp not even unhooking the trailer from the car. It was that short of a trip. The guys leveled it and we set up our ‘chairs’ and found some water to play in across the street. As I said before it had been a ongoing 95-102 temperature and we were anticipating a HOT camp night.DSCN1872
In the morning we decided to head down the road to Wagonhammer Rv park in Salmon Idaho. It as by far the best place we stayed at the whole time we were gone.
We unhooked our trailer and set up camp for three nights.
At this site we were able to do some laundry, do more sight seeing adventures while leaving our trailer and tent there, knowing it was protected and watched.
It was a good place to stay in fact we met people there who were staying a month at a time there. It was very nice and peaceful there. Very watched and we highly recommend this Rv park for anyone going that direction. They even had a small store.
On one of our day trips we actually drove pretty high into the mountains and saw these wonderful creatures. I was so excited. We took pictures and stopped our car and watched them until the dad started to stomp his feet and it seemed he was becoming a bit agitated so our best thought was to move on and enjoy them as we drove away.
I think seeing these majestic animals was the highlight of our vacation for me.
They were beautiful, and so graceful on the rocks.
Reminded me of my favorite book called Hinds feet on high places…by Hannah Hurnard.
After our relaxing stay at Wagonhammer we had to move on. We were heading to Baker and back to the North Powder area where my grandma had a restaurant.

More of our adventures

We were so close to the Montana border we felt we had to get there at some point in our trip just so we could say, “‘we did it.”
The landscape was not too much different than Idaho, and we actually would have gone further into the state, but time was an issue, we had to get back to Baker in a few days.
We found a great little meal in a small restaurant in the town of wisdom Montana.
The town itself was a post office, a general store that sold assorted goods.
A gas station which we needed, and a cute little church where we found a geocache, inside the bathroom. That was a strange place I thought, but I guess that is part of the hunt.
(In strange places which includes bathrooms)
Wonder who ever thought of that one?
Not far from this restaurant was the Big hole monument site where there was a big fight between the Indians and the white man. We drove to that site and explored the history within it’s walls and watched the movie provided with great information.DSCN1851 DSCN1865 DSCN1870
I always love to look at the detail of the blankets made by hand.
In the same time frame as this little trip, we were trying to get a night or two at red fish lake area but that was very full. There are few sites in each campground and they are taken very quickly according to those who we talked to.
So we found a spot down the road to camp and decided the water would be our play day.
We had spent a lot of time driving and site seeing and sometimes one has to just stop and play as we picnicked along the waters edge. Most of our team got into the water because the temperature was in the 90’s.  ‘I’ just sat and enjoyed the beauty around us.
Along the country roads we would often find interesting signs.
Of course I would often read them out loud, which is why ‘we had the nickname’ Gabby.
It didn’t make me feel too excited to be camping in bear country or even cougar country but unless you are in a city, that is the way it is most of the time.
Sharing ‘their space’…without their consent.
Tomorrow we will journey onward as we move from Idaho back into Oregon.

The next few days of our trip

We left Oregon and went into Idaho to see Buhl, where the grandparents were buried, then to do some memorial sight seeing of what my husband and his sister could remember as little kids growing up. Of course along the way you always find other things that peak your interest.  I loved this old building where we had a breakfast in a old fashioned, no fancy, no thrill restaurant. It was a sign on the wall.
In case you can’t read it,
“On this site in 1897 nothing happened.” Isn’t that funny?DSCN1665
After we left that area we moved into the Hailey Idaho area.
That is a little town I could actually move to, it was so cute. Very touristy and very expensive but really cute. I of course had to get a picture of the flag at the local post office.
It was such a cute little town with a huge rodeo grounds and a nice store or two and even a great skate park for the kids.
I can’t imagine who designed it with a darling statue in the park.
I had to get a picture of it, so adorable.
The skate park.
From Hailey Idaho we moved towards the Stanley Idaho area.
It was very nice and quaint. You could tell it was a community town probably about 100 people. On a sign by the road it said “children playing, no hunting.”
I found that rather funny.
Our dinner in Stanley outside on their patio. 
We dined over a river while watching horses across the field. 
Along our way I don’t remember the day or exactly where, I saw this sign.
Yep population 7.
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At one point we were on a very high pass on pretty gravel roads and found this little guy plus a few of his friends.DSCN1886
I wanted a picture of a cow. I guess I got one.
This is only part of our vacation and some of it might not be in order.
Amazing landscapes and small towns of America.
Our next journey will bring us to Montana.