Mountaintop Mama! 

Mountaintop Mama! 

I am certain that you remember the Queen of the Ravine. Okay, you’re right, it’s not likely to be something, anyone else but me, would remember, but you can certainly look it up. That’s the title of a post, that I wrote a few years ago.   I was so excited about the progress I had made in my health, that I wanted to tell the world about it! That’s what blogging is like to me, sometimes.  Like I am shouting from a mountaintop!  Continue reading

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One Dirty Dog! 

It starts with an itch. But as you can probably tell, this is a second go around.

A little bow to indicate that you are ready to start the show,

Finding the right piece of dirt and,

Rub!

Rub!

Rub! Ah ecstasy!

Presto! One Dirty Dog!

Wait, I think I got something in my eye. How did that happen!

Then there is the tangling process.

At this point, she is ready to go inside!

One last look. Surveying her domain! Which always happens whenever she is on the pedestal of any kind!

Then nudge the screen out of the way, so she can rub all that dirt into her blanket!

You see Macha, does not mind at all, that we have not been able to stay at that beautiful place. As long as she is with me, and has a great place to roll in the dirt, she is content. I could learn a lot from her. Yes, I am back on the road again. Yes, another camper came in with a trailer full of mold and I had to leave.  The owners of that property are still hoping to find some way to let me camp there, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I do know that this experience, has helped me to realize that I really do need to find a place to stay. I do want to be up in that area north of Benson. The air is so clean, and that no radio zone is so very good for me. Being still, in one place, allows me to keep a much better routine, and that helps my health improve. But in the meantime, I am content that I have my little Macha girl, and my beautiful Little Gypsy. My gorgeous new van can take us to new places, every two weeks.

Where we are now, is just fine with Macha!

Still looking for just the right place. A place I know the good Lord has waiting for me.

A place to call home.  

A Place to Stay?

A Place to Stay?

Where are you now?  

That’s a question that a dear friend just asked me. Yes. I’m kind of behind in letting everyone know what’s going on, but I may have a place to stay. I don’t want to use that H O M E word yet, officially, because Charles says I’m not allowed to use that word, until I’ve managed to stay someplace for an entire year. Yet, I find myself hoping that I have found the spot. But whether it is just a place to stay for a little while, or a place to stay until I’m called to my true home, it’s been very good for me here, so far.  

It is so good here! Clean air, beautiful, quiet, safe. Okay, I am still out on ranch land, and we do have that herd of javelina! But I promise you, it’s a lot safer for me here, than most of the places that I’ve lived at over the last 4 years. There have been so many times when I have been very alone, and very far, from any kind of help. It has been a joy to become a part of a little tiny Community here.

It kind of funny, because the good Lord may have answered that prayer my pastor prayed, in an interesting way.  Continue reading

The Mad Dash…

The Mad Dash…

… “Mom, I’ve been thinking”…

Now you have to understand, that whenever I heard those words, during the eight months, Charles and I, were together, this last go around, I had learned that I’d better listen very closely, or run very fast! Of course, anytime I said those words “Charlie? …I’ve been thinking?” Charles had the same inclinations!

Charles came to me with the idea of the Mad Dash while we were at the Rhea Campgrounds. He said, “I’ve been thinking, Mom,” (those dreaded words!) “What we really need to do, is get across the country in one Fell Swoop. Just put all of our energy into just getting across the country in one Mad Dash”.

Continue reading

The Eclipse

The Eclipse

Charles getting ready for the eclipse. The umbrella was to keep the camera safe, until just the right time!


We were there! Tennessee, right in the zone. The center of the zone. That would mean two full minutes, or more, of witnessing the total eclipse of the sun. I have seen a partial eclipse before. There is something eerily awesome about watching the moon take a bite out of the sun. But I had never seen a total eclipse before.

No words could ever describe the awe that I experienced that day! Even these incredible pictures that my son, Charles L A Smith, took, cannot portray the incredible impact of actually witnessing that glorious event in the heavens. That dazzling image, and the fact that I was able to share it with my son, will be a cherished memory, tucked safely, in the corner of my mind, for the rest of my life! 

That first bite out of the sun.

Watching, waiting, anticipating!

The sun is almost gone, slowly being hidden by the moon.

Soon, soon!

There was that tiny bit of sunlight left, still too bright to look at with out the special glasses. Then suddenly, immediately, the sky, which had been getting dim, went dark, and you could see the stars. But that was not the reason for the collective gasp, that was followed by a moment of awed silence, before everyone broke into ecstatic cheers. That was caused by the shift from golden, brilliant, sunlight, to extraordinary, long, silver, rays, flaring out from behind, what was to us, the dark side of the moon! 

The heavens do indeed declare the glory of the Lord!

SPECTACULAR!

The Journey

The Journey

A Record.

For you, gentle reader, who did not know, this all started when my father passed away in February, and Charles and I took a train back for the funeral. I was doing better there, in Kentucky.  We didn’t realize that it’s because it was the winter time. We went to Kentucky and it didn’t work. Looking back at my emails, I believe we left Arizona somewhere around March 14th. One of my emails to my pastor in Arizona was talking about the fact that the van was overheating a few days later.  It got more interesting as we went along.  We arrived in Kentucky on April 12th, we found the property that we were renting on May 1st, and then the creek dried up! You can read a previous post called, Saying Goodbye, to see what happened there.

After we left Kentucky, we set out for Arlington, Virginia, and that was … interesting. Going to Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia, was actually very healing.  It was the trip getting there, that was downright interesting. We were at Gentry Auto in Corbin, Kentucky, which is a great auto shop if you ever need one. I think that all of the work was done on our vehicles by the 24th. Even now it’s becoming a blur, which is why I want this record of what happened! I think we actually left Corbin, Kentucky on July 25th and we did not get to Arlington until August 13th. 518 of the toughest miles we traveled. If we got in 60 or 70 miles a day, we were grateful, because I was not doing well, the van was not doing well, Charles was not doing well, and we were still fighting a mold/mildew issue in Charlie’s truck. We actually wound up going to a remote free campgrounds in Virginia, to take care of the issues with Charlie’s truck. The Pines campgrounds north of New Castle, Virginia. There were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure the van was going to get up the hills, or should I say mountains! This is the Appalachians were talking about. There were also times when I was smoking the brakes getting down the hills. But the campgrounds itself was beautiful, quiet, remote, with no cellular signal at all, and no electricity around for miles. I slept better the 3 days that we were there, than I have in a very long time.  They even had a totally cool, old fashioned, hand pumped, well, that had the most delicious water! 

We found this on our last day there. Here you can see Charles mugging it for the camera. He is such a pistol!

The situation was difficult at best. Mold is something both, Charlie and I, are extremely susceptible to. There was one bright shining spot in the middle of that madness. I actually got to meet a friend of mine, in person, for the first time! Someone who I have only known online. That was quite a surprise, but a wonderul one! Thanks to my friends good help, we were able to clean up, and paint the bed of Charlie’s Truck, and continue on our way to Arlington. For the record, my van does not like mountains, and Virginia has them everywhere! But we got to Arlington, and had a very special time together at my husband’s gravesite.

 We left Arlington, Virginia on August 13th, and limped our way down to the Rhea Campgrounds, near Spring City, Tennessee. It took 4 days of what seemed like very hard pushing to get through that 548 miles. By that time, the van was not running well during the day, and was starting to choke down going up hills. But when you consider how long it took for us to get to Arlington, we thought we were doing pretty dag gumb good! We were at Rhea Campgrounds for two weeks and had a chance to recover, from a lot of difficult issues. While we were at the campgrounds, there was one spectacular event!

We were also able to witness the total eclipse of the sun. We were right in the center of the zone!  Yes. That was a deliberate choice on our part. When we realized that we were going to be in the right part of the country, at just about the right time, we started looking for ways to get to a good spot so that we could see this incredible Heavenly event. When we first got to the campgrounds there were just a few campers. That number increased greatly that weekend, but on the day of the eclipse, it was crazy!   At least double the number of people came, from what they thought they were going to get there in Spring City, and they knew it was going to be packed. 

Here is Mr Photographer! Behind him you can see that there are people lined up on the boat dock. We had a Primo spot there at the campgrounds!

The total eclipse itself was awe-inspiring. I didn’t know it would be that way. I have seen partial eclipses, where the sky gets dim, and seems almost like an old black and white photo, but this was incredible. We had been watching, as the moon slowly crept over the face of the sun. Until there was just one tiny bit of golden sun, still shining out from behind the moon.   Then suddenly that disappeared, the sky got very dark, and you could see the stars, but it was the sun itself that caused the collective gasp, and then cheers, from the hundreds of people who were there. Incredible, long, silver, tongues of fire, came leaping out from behind the dark circle of the Moon. It was extraordinary! I did get one picture, which I have yet to download, but even if I showed you, it would not be enough.  If you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon, you know that seeing it in a photograph, or even seeing it in a movie, cannot compare to actually going there, to see it, with your own eyes. The eclipse was so far beyond my first awe inspired glimpse of the Grand Canyon, that it’s hard to describe the sense of wonder and awe that came over me!

The heavens do indeed declare the name of the Lord!

Most of our time at the campgrounds, was spent taking it easy.  It was certainly a great place to do that!

I did mention we had a primo spot! Can you believe it! This is a free campgrounds!


Beautiful, simply beautiful!


Here is The Boy, kicking back, while working on some photos!

Laughing with children as they put the rope swing in my camp to good use!  

That grin says it all!

Oh my! Hold on tight!

 

Yes! Those rocks made me very nervous too! But they all did well! Except for Charles! Ask about his swing off the rope! Okay, I will give you a hint on how it went. He is 6’2 tall!

It was there at Rhea Campgrounds, that Charlie came up with the concept we called The Mad Dash!

More on that next time!

Things that interest me? 

A dear friend, and fellow camper, asked recently, what I was seeing along the way, that interested me.  They were not concerned so much about where I was, but what it was, that I saw, that interested me. He claims he had no interest in my flat washer collection, though I do have one, that I am fairly certain had an unfortunate meeting with a bulldozer at one time. 😉 

I had wanted to send this privately, but it seems that I don’t have that ability on this little tablet. I cannot afford to turn on my computer, at this time, for a variety of reasons, so everyone gets to see, a little, of the nonsense of me!

When I realized it was going to be an actual post, I found myself adding some of my thoughts with you as well, gentle reader. Little odds and ends about this crazy life of mine out here on the road.

Things that interest me 🙂

Being there at just the right time, for when a leaf falls down from a tree. 

Looking for four leaf clovers in a patch of the tiniest little Clover leaves I’ve ever seen.  Nothing like exercise, not even very difficult, just glancing down at your feet and seeing a little patch of clover.  Then looking to see if there’s one that has four leaves. 

Astronomy, anything to do with the heavens is always fascinating to me. Not astrological signs, and are you a Pisces, but the heavens and how they work. Mysterious and glorious Grandeur, that do indeed declare His name!  We are here! In the solar eclipse zone! Charlie is hoping to get pictures.  We both have our $2 sun viewing glasses, one of which, he is using to make a poor mans lense for his camera. Exciting!

This is a borrowed picture, but isn’t it beautiful! 🙂

Fascinating pictures of what they are calling the Eye of God, found by the NASA Hubble Telescope a while back.

Obviously this is not a picture I took either, I borrowed this from that favorite site called Google

Daisies! Of every color and variety. Though I must admit these simple, beautiful, white daisies, with that golden sun in the center, are my favorites!

We are right next to the boat launch. Watching people as they get their boats into and out of the water is fascinating. There were a couple of squeakers! One gentleman tried to put his boat in the truck, instead of on the trailer, as they came back up out of the water. Oh my! But mostly I was in admiration of some of the men who came out here with their boats.  One young man was very excited.  You could practically see excitement rippling out of his body as he double-checked everything at least three times. Then, when his boat finally dropped into the water, you could see his hand grab for the rope, and then realized, yes, it was okay, he did have it tied to the back of the truck. Then he got it off to the side, went and parked his truck and got in his boat. When he headed out into the bay, he had this huge grin on his face. There was another man later, an older gentleman, who had obviously been doing this for years. Pull up, move this, click that, back the boat into the water, release it, get it off to the side, park his truck.  This whole time, he was just doing his thing, no great excitement, no big smiles, just doing what needed to get done, until he actually got in the boat and started to head out towards the bay. You could almost see his body relax, and the smile he had, was a gentle smile of deep satisfaction. Quiet joy, in being on the water again, came across his face.

Being right next to the water, hearing the sound of the waves lapping up against the stones.  Having a breeze that comes across the water ruffle my hair.

Watching the sun light up the waves with bright, pinpoints of light. Like diamonds, hidden in the water. 

Time spent laughing with Charles, over the nonsense of this life. Silly things, fun things, or unusual things, like this. We found this, in a parking lot, and even though we were both exhausted, and it was the middle of the night, at a truck stop in Virginia, we took a few minutes to laugh together.

Photo by Charles L A Smith

Charlie got this picture.  I guess wherever they going, they wanted to be sure, they could get some place else, in a great big hurry! Talk about bringing a ‘run around for errands’ vehicle with you! I still chuckle when I think about that one.

To walk in the water, not on the water like the good Lord, just be in the water. No. Actually I love being near the water, or on the water in my little boat, or just my feet in the water. In the water my whole self? With all the little fishies sharing the water? Maybe that’s not so much my favorite thing, though it felt wonderful to get in the water and soak when we first got here. The lake was so warm, that it was like I was taking a bath. You would have laughed to see me out there. I took my chair out, set it down deep in the water, plunked myself down, and splashed and played like a child!

 Sailing here, in this beautiful place, is on the agenda, after we get through this weekend. They are a lot of people here, to watch the eclipse, and I am somewhat overwhelmed, but the fact that I am here, helps. It is indeed, a beautiful place here by the water. It is hard to believe that I am heading back to Arizona, and leaving this land of Many Waters, but there is water in Arizona too, and a place to sail my boat. But the continued exposure to mold that we are experiencing here will be greatly reduced in Arizona. I’m praying the changes I’ve made in my little world will work, then I will have a place to spend the winter, and that is a good thing.

 Looking out my window and only seeing the water, because I’m so close to it, I can’t even see the ground. It almost makes me feel like I’m in a tiny little ship, and the front of my Little Gypsy is a great prow, taking me sailing to far away places!

Of course, my eyes can ignore the screen and see only the water. The camera sees life in a much more realistic fashion, but I prefer the way the good Lord made us. To be able to see past those barriers, that are in our way, to see past, even the past mistakes and heartaches, and look out to the Horizon and find beauty.

The satisfaction of looking at your camp, and knowing you are fully deployed! I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a great feeling when you get some place, any place, you get everything out, you’re set up, and know, that you have two full weeks at another location.

See? My little trailer does indeed look like she has a bow, and she could very well be a ship at sea! As my fellow camper will attest, that is one of the first things I noticed about her! 

Macha!  Lol! She is a continuing source of joy and amusement. There was some little creature down in that crack. She was bound and determined to wait there until it came out. She even laid down, with her nose stuck down in there, so she wouldn’t miss it. Dippy dog!

An old rope swing, still hanging from the tree at my campsite.  

Oh, the temptation!

The butterfly that landed on my shoulder.  

Charlie making friends.

Speaking of horses,

There was a Pegasus statue. A Pegasus in full flight, but the difference with this one, is it was up on a narrow pedestal that was probably 50 or 100 ft high in the air. It’s not far from here. Pegasus Barn? Pegasus Farm? Something like that. I would love to meet the person, who came up with that concept. One hind foot on that long narrow pedestal and the rest of them pawing, in free air. Wings spread, and ready for flight.  They understood that Pegasus is not a creature that is bound by this Earth. In a way, as Christians, we too, are creatures that are not bound by this Earth. We have a Heavenly home. I would love to meet who ever it was, and talk with them about that concept. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that. But, reality intruded. I was driving a van that was overheating, and we were trying to get to the campgrounds, before the sun got too hot for it to handle. So there was a short sigh of frustration, for my limitations, but mostly the rest of that drive, was a time of admiration, for someone who truly understood my view of Pegasus. Pegasus is a creature that could only be ridden by the Greek gods of Mythology. In fact, when a human tried to ride so high towards the Sun, that he could be with the Greek gods, Pegasus threw him off his back and he fell back to the world, while Pegasus went on to bring forth the dawn. Now, in reality, I have no wings, but I have an imagination, capable of incredible Flights of Fancy.  As a child, I would often envision myself on the back of a great winged horse, flying so high in the sky. It was either that, or a giant butterfly! But that’s another story. 

Pegasus, an unbridled creature, bound by the gods, seeking the Sun.

 As I am, a Child of free will, bound to my Lord, seeking The Son!