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More of our adventures

During one of our ‘travel days’ while we were staying in Florence we drove to a place known as Shore Acres.
It is beautiful to visit and take pictures and hike around. There is a trail that leads down to a very private beach.
We went there a few years ago and really wanted to go back and see it again.
This visit brought more tourist visitors, we were not sure why since it was in the middle of the week.
We were anticipating less people but it wasn’t bad, maybe a dozen were on the beach the same time we were.
The grounds around Shore acres have water falls, and beautiful flowers planted like a English garden.
Very beautiful.DSCN1387
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When walking around the grounds you will notice there are a variety of roses, dahlia’s, perennial plants, all surrounded by carefully cut box woods.
It is a beautiful site to see and I have heard that at Christmas time it is even MORE outstanding.
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On one side of the gardens there is a gate that leads down the path to the beach.
I loved the many picture taking opportunities it gave us as we went down the trail.
DSCN1363 They have stairs that are pretty easy to navigate.
DSCN1364 I always look for blog pictures and see if they can help tell a story or two.
DSCN1368 As you walk the path if you listen really close you can hear ‘wild’ sea lions barking like a pack of dogs.
There is a place alongside the mountain you can climb while on an over look to see and experience them in the natural habitat.
We did that last time we were there, but this time neither one of us wanted to walk the uneven trail.
DSCN1371The beach is so pretty. The mountainside so rugged.
DSCN1381 The beach has a drop off I have not walked out to it but it is there, I am sure of it.
Where the beach is higher than the water.
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We want to go back when we can see the Christmas lighting and all the festivities in the park.
We have heard it is amazing and beautiful with thousands of lights and decorations surrounding the grounds.
Perhaps next year I can post some ‘holiday lights’ to show you the beauty of this wonderful place.

More of our adventures

In our trip down in Florence we were able to go sight seeing a bit.
Hubby is still recovering from his knee replacement, almost 11 weeks but still learning how to manage it.
I am dealing with a few new health issues so our hiking walking days are minimal at this time.
We did manage to do a bit of sight seeing. I love to look at watch clouds. They are fun for me.
Guessing what could they be or what do I see. I guess the child in me still loves it.
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It is a very fun adventure for me and it is also a way for me to remember how grand and glorious OUR God is to make such beauty.
We discovered a path that went pretty high and my hubby said ‘let’s go find the ocean.’
I was not sure since we are not hikers in sand and it looked like a new adventure for us.
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It looked like a lot of climbing to me. In sand which is way more difficult going UP. I was right because about half way up I was clinging to the grass for stability.
Both of us did it and we found ourselves pretty tired when we got done, going down was a lot easier than going up that was for sure, although going down you gain more speed.
I found myself digging my heels into the sand as I stepped in it to not lose my balance.
While we were UP a young ’20 something guy’ came walking up the trail as if it was smooth walking. Yeah NOT us. We told him he made it look really easy.
Hubby couldn’t figure out why he was so sore the next day and I went to bed that night at 9:20 totally exhausted.
Us old folks just can’t do the hard hiking right now.DSCN1341
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The view when up on the high side of the hill was amazing. But we were done looking and all things had to come to and end, we needed to go back to our car.
The adventure continued and we planned on a new one the next day or later that evening, whichever we felt like on this ‘journey away from home’.
We do really enjoy the time together and our ‘long term’ vacation called ‘retirement.’

 

Another summer adventure

After our adventure to Winema beach we came home for a short time then left again to the coast again.
Only this time we headed to a town on the southern Oregon coast line called Florence.
It was a port that is used mostly for fishing but there are also dunes there where people ride dune buggies.
We found it to be very strange when we saw large sand dunes right behind the local Fred Meyer store.
So much for beach life, very different from our ‘scenes in the valley.’
DSCN1284 Our drive down was fun as the clouds were very dark and even rainy. Making a very good ‘picture taking’ opportunity for me.
DSCN1285I always anticipate the drive with joy and a bit of anxiety as I know traffic can create issues and especially with a trailer behind our expedition.
DSCN1291 We followed hwy 101 all the way down the southern coast, with it’s windy roads and scenic views.
It really was a nice drive although it took us about five hours from our house to our campsite.
We had many bridges as we drove I think it must have been close to six and they varied in size some short and some longer.
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DSCN1297 The water was all around us on some occasions and we just had to keep driving till ‘solid ground’ reappeared.
DSCN1301 We arrived at Port of Suislaw in the heart of downtown Florence and set up our camp. We would spend the next three days there exploring.
After getting settled I took a final picture of us, on our couch watching a bit of night TV before the evening got dark.DSCN1306 The view from our trailer on the outside near where we sat in our chairs, and then the view from the inside of the trailer.DSCN1310
Our home away from home is very cozy and we are really enjoying our time away.
Each time it is easier to leave and each time the ‘cats’ realize we will return.
Stay tuned as I share more of our ‘summer adventures.’

Sharing some pictures

The first trip we did out in our new ‘home away from home’, was at the beach. Our favorite place to go is a place called Winema.
It is a Christian camp and it has such quiet and beauty most of the time when campers are not there.
We happened to get there between activities and the weekend so it was pretty quiet and nice.
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Our trailer is very comfortable and we enjoy goingDSCN1192 out as much as possible now that we are fully retired.
The view from our trailer looking out from the campsite heading towards the beach.
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It is a quiet pathway, not too rough of a walk and over the ridge is the ocean.
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There are a few a memorial benches where one can sit and enjoy the oceans beauty if you don’t have your own chair.
We can sit there for a long time just watching the waves, and feeling the fresh air on our faces.
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Sometimes we see birds and boats and other activities like kite flying or kids playing.
The beach is not private but the camp is.
IMG_0519 (5)IMG_0513 (3)IMG_0522 Way on top of the hill next to the main driveway to the camp are the crosses I love to look at. Have always told my husband should I leave this world before him I want to be placed up there. I don’t like heights but it is a perfect place of peace and freedom.
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The view from the beach side, high up on a hill are the crosses.
The view from the high perspective looking down.
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The view of the camp to the left, and the bay outlet where one can use a kayak or canoe. IMG_0587
It will always be our ‘favorite place’. Quiet and peaceful and most of the time very few people.
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Small trips… short outings.

We have been testing our cats out when we leave for a few days then return.
Always having someone coming in to feed them and make sure the water is still bubbling.
They have a continuous fountain. It was the best thing I ever purchased as it gives them fresh water and I don’t have to worry about it.
We purchased a 2017 travel trailer and for the last few weeks we have been taking it out and enjoying it.
Part of that purchase was a ‘new to us’ Ford Expedition to pull it with.

God blessed us with a great deal.DSCN1035 The trailer is really nice, a 19 foot with a murphy bed and a table. Nice shower bathroom area and when the bed is in the wall a couch appears.
So we really are very comfortable in it when we go out.
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We love the colors and it has a decent size shower and a nice ‘little kitchen with a table’ where we eat our meals if we are not outside.
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It has been a relaxing place for us, a retirement gift for my husband who loves to go and I like to stay.
It has been a nice compromise for us. We are trying out short outings to see how our ‘inside’ cats do.
Originally we thought it would be fun to take them with us, but now we are realizing it might be more worrisome.
They don’t go outside and they might not be relaxed out of their normal familiar home life.
We are hoping to go out more in our vacation home on wheels. With our ‘furry children’ taken care of we can leave.
Off into the sunset we go, in our home away from home.IMG_0569 (6)

A season of change

It has been quite sometime since I have written here.
My husband retired, then he had surgery on his knee, and then we were in recovery mode, as he began to feel better, we purchased a 2017 travel trailer. We  have taken it out two times now and both times we have been very happy with the purchase, it sure beats hotel/motel staying, which I am not going to enjoy.
I am writing on his lap top and it is not working like my computer.
When we get home from our current trip I will update this with pictures.
Just needed to check in and say hello and thank you for being a faithful reader.IMG_3339

We have all been there

I am often amazed at how much the word of the Lord integrates and feels familiar in our lives.
There are very few problems we cannot find in either the Psalms or the Proverbs.
I love the way they relate to us on many levels of our heart cries, or our hunger for something deeper.
In Proverbs 17:22: we find these words:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Have you ever had a broken spirit? It is heavy and it weighs you down. I was in this place before.
It was deep and empty like a well, you could not see the bottom or see where it would stop.
I had to keep trusting in the process even when the process wasn’t clear.
I had to push forward and past the terrible darkness I felt deep inside my spirit.
It was like breathing with no air, walking with no energy. At the time all I wanted to do was sleep.
My heart cries often felt like this: in Psalms 77:1-6 :
I cry out to God; Yes I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me. When I was in deep trouble I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted towards the heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. You don’t let me sleep, I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
We have been there. All of us. Even those who don’t admit it. Darkness has followed us at some point in our lives.
Each of us have had nights of lost sleep, we have walked the floors with a deep heaviness of soul. From the depth of emotion there is a difference.
There is a deep unsettling. A deep stirring and agitation of spirit. We wait. We pray for healing and we heal slowly.
Then in time we begin to realize, as we heal, that we have never been alone. He was always there.
But he was waiting… for us to ask him to remove our heart ache and turn it to a deep appreciation for HIS deep love for us.
It is hard to imagine but, sometimes when we are in our dark places that is where we grow the most. In the unseen places of spirit and soul.
When it happens and we feel restored, than we can once again say, what we find in Psalm 108:1 :
My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart.
And I love this visual ‘representation of His love for us.’
I can see it, the imagery of HIM who loves us… bending down.
Have you ever allowed yourself to go to a child’s level? leaning in to listen?
Psalm 116: 1-2 :
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayers for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

A quiet voice

As I was going through some old writings of mine I found notes about the passage in 1 Kings 19:11-13:
Our Pastor shared with us.
[“Go out and stand before me on the mountain” the Lord told him. “And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there as an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”]
This passage gave me much to think about.
It is a logical question when Elijah was supposed to be with the people. Only he was fearing his life and didn’t want them to harm him so he decided to hide.
God knows our hearts and sometimes he has to ask us the hard questions, even when he already knows the answers.
If you read the passage Elijah tried to explain to him what the people were doing and how it frustrated him. In order for God to have Elijah ‘get the point’ he had to show power and gentleness in the same lesson.
The thought I had tossing in my mind like a dryer full of warm clothes, God addressed him in a whisper. In order to hear a whisper we must lean in and focus.
God whispered… whispered in a soft quiet voice. It is that spoken word, we read about in Genesis when he SPOKE life into existence.
We have all heard about the horse whisperer book, and maybe even watched the movie. Then there was a baby whisperer book, dog whisperer book and perhaps more that I don’t even know about. But the thought I am trying to share is this. In order for someone to hear a whisper, one has to slow down and quiet their heart.
The purpose of those books is to teach the reader how to calm down and quiet a scared and unruly behavior.
In a very quiet way, teaching gently in order for trust to take place.
I would love to challenge us today to ask how often we slow down long enough to hear a ‘small soft whisper?’ Do we unplug ourselves from the phone chatter or other daytime noises to really listen? We make time for other voices but do we make time for the gentle voice of God?
This passage tells me how much God will do to get our attention. The powerful then the peace. Both are effective only one is more intimate.
To be relational from the standpoint of silence. It is calming. It is ministering to the inside spirit of us.
When you think of a whisper it is intimate. Private. For just a few.
One day my grand daughter came into the den where I was doing some writing. She said “grandma I have a secret, let me tell you.” As she came closer to me to whisper it in my ear, I realized it was for her and I only.” She told me and then she giggled. Knowing that her secret was safe and heard and I wouldn’t share it.
Isn’t that kind of like what God is doing? In order for us to hear him we must stop what we are doing, lean in and listen.
It’s a holy hush moment.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still, know my power. Pay attention I have something important to ask or share with you.
God showed Elijah power before he showed him peace.
The calming effect of a whisper is a gift given to us. I challenge you today to grab a piece of paper, brew a cup of tea and quiet your heart, so you can begin to hear the whisper he is sharing with you. Be quiet, settle in, listen with your spirit as He says to you: “Be still and know that I am God.”

Fathers day reflections

Today would have been my dad’s birthday..HPIM1048
He was born in 1927 a long time ago. He saw many changes in the world he was born in.
He was a cowboy and a good one too, and was well known in the area where he lived, a sheep shearer, auctioneer.
He was one of the best and many people knew his name.
I have shared on this blog how, when we were little he left us. It was always a hard thing to realize he was gone.
As far as we knew he just went somewhere.
They were married about 10 years and then, he was gone, just drove away not knowing if he would ever return.
Soon our reality came to be, just our mom and us little girls.
I never went through a lot of blame and anger or accusations or bitterness. I just grew up without a Father’s love.
That impacts a little girl. She learns confidence from her dad, she learns many things from a dad who walks beside her.
When he was gone we had to fill in our own gaps, of self esteem, of hope and life lessons.
Kind of hard when you are a little girl, confused and not always capable of understanding adult decisions and choices.
I would love to have given him cards and gifts, throughout the years.
I couldn’t as we didn’t really know what he was up to or where he lived.
Questions followed me for years, as to why a dad would leave?
Feelings felt deep within could never be shared or felt.
Crying was not ok in our home. The deep sorrow and sense of loss, were hidden very deep and life was hard for us as we began a new life without him.
Sometimes I remember having the thoughts of ‘was I not important enough?’ for him to stay and be with us.
I know it was the thoughts of a child, but abandonment reaches deep inside the core of who we are, and teaches lessons we were never supposed to learn.
We were left unprotected and vulnerable. I don’t know why it has never angered me, I learned after years of therapy, I didn’t need to know the reason why he left our little home.
Our mother was lost and confused herself so she really couldn’t reach out to us, her three little children.
She managed. We had grandparents too who helped, but that could not fill the void of a dad who was never there.
Years went by, many schools, many experiences and many birthdays, came and went.
Dad’s birthday is the same as Father’s day to me. His day, his time to be special.
Only we had a day in May and then a day in June, filled with a quiet time of reflection.
No celebrations. No cards or gifts. Later on as he grew older he entered back into our lives.
They even remarried. The first love never left, it was just put on hold.
I could send him a card then, and even call. It was nice to say ‘Happy birthday dad.’
For the first time in years we could build a relationship as adults.
I can’t do that now. He passed away three years ago. The deep loss returned only this time it was more resolved.
They were living in an assisted living home together.
It was hard for him to give up his independence, but he did it for her.
Life changed for them by the time they were in their 80’s their bodies were broken and worn, and the energy just to survive was all they could gather, and between the two of them they needed caregiving in a secure setting. 
Today I wish to say Happy Birthday dad. It is your day, just like Father’s day. A day to reflect and remember.
I learned to forgive and heal and grasp hold of the memories of a dad I had come to know, but perhaps HE was the one who gave me a gift.forgiveness-b
When he healed my heart.heart-for-blog.

Reflection on Mother’s day

This was my second year without a mother. DSCN1032DSCN1032IMG_3462.
She died two years ago from a terrible condition called Parkinson’s disease.
It takes so much away from the ‘one who is ill.’ She managed it for a few years until it got more than she could handle and my dad was pretty weak.
So they ended up in an assisted living home. It was a big sacrifice for my dad as he was a cowboy who loved to be outside.
He had COPD and couldn’t breathe without oxygen, and then he got congestive heart failure.
So for them to be in a care setting was both safe and good for them.
Although he grumbled about the food, and the ladies who lived there. Most of the time ladies are the one’s who are in these places since they tend to live longer.
Mom progressively got worse and got to the point of needing help in standing, walking, feeding and bathroom duties.
It was very different to see her so dependent on others.mom alone (2) She could stand but not for long, she could walk using a wheeled walker with hand brakes, although she would often forget the brakes needed to push down in order to work. She could talk in little whispers, and she sometimes had a very funny personality which was a new ‘experience for us’.
When we were growing up as little ‘kids and older’, she made it very clear to us she didn’t like animals. Didn’t like the hair or the mess.
So when she became older in these care homes, she softened and began to be both fond of and fascinated by the house dogs.
They had two pugs that were slightly round. Very sweet and very friendly.
When I realized the fact that she liked them, I began the process of knowing she was not the same mother I have known.
Parkinson’s took a lot of who she was away, and most of the time she could not process the words she wanted to share.
We would ask her, “do you like the dogs?” and she would say, “yes”.
Not a lot of chatter just a  simple answer to the question.
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My husband lost his mom 6 year’s ago. My mom left two years ago, we don’t have our dad’s either.
So Father’s day and Mother’s day are just not the same now, even though we are parents and grand parents.
It is different. Each year brings new and old memories. Our thoughts drift back to years ago when it used to be a big deal
to present the mom’s with pansies and viola’s and geraniums too.
It became a tradition until it wasn’t anymore.
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