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!

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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!

Saying Goodbye

Is indeed hard to do.

I found out recently that all of the areas that I usually stay at, in Arizona, have had huge fires and they’ve been using fire retardant, that Red slurry, everywhere. If I was there right now, I would probably be in the hospital, or worse, because I have such bad reactions to fire retardant. So yes, the good Lord did want me in Kentucky, but I think now it was more a way of getting me out of Arizona for the summer.  

There are Things we have had to let go of.  Practical Things.  Charlie’s mattress, we have both lost a lot of clothes, my doormat.  Seems silly. Right? To be upset about Things?  The fact that my son did not have anything to sleep on was definitely a concern, but a doormat? Well, that was the first doormat I ever bought. I remember, I thought it was so cool that it was for my Little Gypsy.  There are practical Things that have memories attached. Some may seem silly to you, but my step from, Suzy, and my table from, Elizabeth, meant a lot to me.  That crazy step ladder that turned out to be such a great little work bench.  A couple in Winterhaven gave that to me.

Something about the combination of that mold and rust, was really bad.

 All three of those Things have been such a blessing, but the mold issue that sent us running back to the Camp on the Kentucky River Campgrounds, invaded our world, in hard and unexpected ways. Kentucky may be where I’m from, but it is not, home.  Some Things, like the ones I mentioned, are a little hard to let go of.  Some have caused such deep sorrow.  Things that both Charles and I have had for years, gone.  You can tell yourself they are just Things, but it’s the associated memories, that make them so hard to lose. Old photos, precious things from Charlie’s childhood.  Gone.

There was the fear of Things that might be lost. Incredibly important Things.  My trailer, Charlie’s truck. Our homes.  Both invaded by mold.  

You can see where mold was actually starting to grow in the canvas on my Little Gypsy. Bringing a little trailer that is made out of canvas, to an area where they have 46 inches of rain a year, was just not a smart thing to do. I just didn’t realize how much of a problem it was going to be.

But, by the Grace of the Lord, and an extraordinarily difficult time of cleaning, with Braggs vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, for months now, we believe they are safe.  We are praying it is so.  We have both been so grateful, for our little homes in special ways. Now? Even more so. 

There have been other goodbyes.   We sold Charlie’s trailer, so we could afford to get necessary repairs done on both our vehicles. We were even going to sale my sailboat, but another sailor stepped in to help. I am so blessed! After seeing what happened to my trailer? Charles has decided that a very old, well used, Casita, might be in his future.

Saying good bye to kin.  I got to see my mom, one brother, his wife, and all three of my sister’s, and most of their children. Charlie’s cousins. They came down to the campgrounds, to say, So Long, for now.  They did not know, and neither did I, that it may be Goodbye. At least until we meet again, in heaven, by and by.  

One sister asked, as she was leaving, if maybe in a few years, we might be able to come back. I guess that was the moment I started to realize, that we could not do this again.  Knowing what we have been through this last couple of months.  I won’t, I can’t, risk this kind of battle for my health again, and especially, for the health of my son.  In some ways, in many ways, I wish we had never come. Not just because of what we have lost, but because it got my hopes up. I thought, perhaps, I might be able to live in Kentucky, buy a piece of dirt, and get to know my brothers and sisters again. Saying goodbye to that dream, was tough. The reality, even if we could have stayed, would be so different. But I was hoping that, Charles, would be able to have family around. That he could get to know, The Cousins, and his aunts and uncles. That’s something he has never had. I have those memories. I was even able to reconnect with one of my dear cousins while I was there. I was hoping that we would be able to get to know them all over again. Yet.  I’m glad we came back, because it means that they’re in touch with my son, and even though its going to be a long distance, and likely sporadic, relationship, at least, Charles, knows he has relatives in abundance, in Kentucky. Who knows, maybe one of these days he might be able to visit his Dad’s relatives in Pennsylvania.

So we are saying goodbye to Kentucky, in fact we’ve been gone for a while now. One good thing? I have come to realize, through this latest adventure, that I already have a home. My beautiful Little Gypsy. 

After a lot of scrubbing, and a new paint job she really is beautiful again. 

She’s the best possible kind of home that I can have during these difficult times. Although I must tell you, it does not seem like difficult times right now. We are at an incredibly beautiful campgrounds, here in Tennessee. I’m going to be able to stay here for two weeks, right on the water front, for free!

Something so many people long to do. At times like this, I will agree with people and say that I am living the dream. These last few months has made that hard to believe, but this place is beautiful, quiet, and filled with peace.

So, although these last couple of months have been filled with hard times and goodbyes, tough decisions and painful places to stay, places that made us both so ill, there are incredible times of beauty and joy, as well.  I hold on to this kind of Joy, dearly, during those tough times.  Knowing that around the corner, or just down the road, the Lord will provide a place of incredible beauty. A place of rest. A place that brings such Joy!  Joy! Pouring out of me. I wish you could hear my voice, and see my face, and know that joy that is just ebbing up out of me! It is so good here.

 There was one more goodbye, that happened in Virginia, just a few days ago. Charlie and I, were able to get to Arlington, and see my husband’s headstone. Although our pastor and friend of many years, took some wonderful pictures for us, once the headstone was in place, we had not seen that in person yet.  There was something very warm and wonderful about being there. It felt like Mick, was really there with us. It is both wonderful, and very hard, how memories can fill your heart and mind. But while we were there, all of the hard memories slipped away, and all of the joy filled memories filled my heart. There were stories, about his Dad, that I told Charles while we were there, that Charlie had never heard before. 

Both Charlie and I were talking to that headstone as if Mick was actually there. 

Sharing those stories, talking about him, filled our hearts and minds with those wonderful memories about his Dad. It really did make it feel like, Mick, was there, listening, smiling, even chuckling.  As a follower of Christ, I believe that when someone dies, they rest in the Lord until the Lord comes back again. Then the dead in Christ will rise first. My husband knew the Lord. He told me, one of the last times I saw him, not to worry about him and the Lord, that they were okay.  So I know that someday, Charlie and I, will see, Mick, again. I know, going forward, that there will still be tears, that will catch me at unexpected times, but, thanks to a friend, I also now have this memory, this precious memory, of time with my son, at his dad’s graveside, that will help to ease the hurt, and the sorrow, of loss. 

They say that hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t believe that’s an accurate picture. I think that when we are in the middle of loss, or in the middle of greatness, we see things a certain way.  I think our vision is a bit blurred, at times, because we are too close to that moment.  After a little time passes, that way of seeing those events; great, small, hard, sad, happy, and even joyful, changes.  You start to see them maybe 50/40. Then, depending on the event, a few years later you can probably say that you’re seeing them about 30/30. But I think some time has to pass, before you can really look back and say I understand, and I see clearly now, why, that happened the way it did. 

I’ve heard it said that with every goodbye, there is a new hello. I can tell you one of the, Hello’s, has been such a blessing.  I am content with my little home. In fact I am very happy with my Little Gypsy, and this traveling life again. For a while I was focused on buying a piece of land, but I realize now, that that’s just not an option, and it’s okay, because it would be a burden, instead of a joy. My little home is a joy. A gift from the Lord. It’s something that I can take care of.  The good Lord has blessed us with wonderful mechanics, when we’ve needed them, and the means to get things fixed, wherever we’ve been, and I know that He will continue to provide the help we need as we cross the country. 

So it’s goodbye to owning land, and hello to Road Life with Little Gypsy! 🙂 

I don’t know where the Lord will take me next, but I know, I too, am in good hands.

We are heading for Arizona. Eventually. Lord willing.  Hopefully, before it gets too cold out here in the rest of the United States. I know it’ll take us a couple of months to get back there, and there are problems with me living there, but it’s the only place that I can spend the winter, while I’m living in Little Gypsy. Hopefully, some of the modifications that I have made, will make a difference. They are a little bizarre, I will admit, but I’ll tell you more about that, at some future date. I’m hoping that they will be enough to allow me to get rest in Arizona the way I used to.  

Take care for now, gentle reader, and remember, it is time, quality time, spent with those you love, that make the best memories!

Comparisons are …

… invidious, insidious, often incomprehensible, and yet, inevitable!

Arizona! A land of incredible sunsets! Huge ranches in vast grassy plains. Tall pine trees on high mountain plateaus. Warm in the winter, desert lowlands filled with giant rocks and sagebrush. All of which has its own call to the senses. It is supposed to be the “Mecca” for those who are Allergic to the 21st Century, like me, yet, I was running out of safe places to stay.

Kentucky!
 It’s a beautiful, green, lush, land. Filled with streams, springs, ponds, rivers, waterfalls, and rain! Early morning mists to delight the eye. Birds of endless variety chirping sweetly outside your door.  

But then… 

There is the Creature Feature!

…there are the tics! Rude, nasty, disease carrying, blood sucking, creatures! However, my son said they did make him appreciate spiders. You will have to ask him. Yes, tics are in Arizona too, but I lived in the desert for over 25 years, and for the last, what, almost four years? Yes darn close to four years of living in the rough, and I was never bitten there. Now?  I have found those nasty things attached to me, at least a half dozen times, since we’ve been here.  Charles and Macha too!  Ugh! 

…there are the chiggers, which actually make the tics seem not quite so bad. At least you can see the tics!

…there are the mosquitoes, well, we already had those, although, perhaps not quite so abundantly!

…there are the snakes, over four feet long, coiled up under your van! It turned out to be a black snake, which is actually a good snake, because they eat rats and mice, but at that size, small dogs can also become prey! Okay, yes, Arizona has rattlers and sidewinders, but they have a large variety of poisonous snakes here in Kentucky, too. I would call that a draw.

…and Yet! When you are working on what may turn out to be your own place, so much of this gets insignificant.  

But then, it got downright interesting!

 Who said that?

I’m glad you asked! 

This is a quote from Charles, which seems to be repeated, lately, with startling regularity. He always has a half smile on his face, and a gleam of humor in his eye, as he says, with an ever so slightly sarcastic tone,  “Go to Kentucky, She Said. It’ll be Fun, She Said!” I am quite certain, you have already figured out by now, that I am the She, who Said! 

After that, he will make other amusing pronouncements, often producing hysterical laughter, which correlates with what is happening at the time, or just after another minor disaster has been survived.  “See the Country, She Said.”, “Meet new people, She Said!”, “Find the Right Piece of Dirt, She Said!” Oh my! It keeps us laughing. 

Now this is not the same exact look.  This is his, “Mom, you’ve got to be kidding me!” look, but, upon consideration, for the purposes of this post, it is darn close! 😉

This is a classic.  Face to Palm. There are times, I am certain, when he wonders why (or If?) he loves me at all!  

Ah yes. About the dirt.  

Remember that beautiful place? Five or six acres? An old Barn and shed? Charlie’s pond? That creek flowing beside my trailer? Well.  

As you can see, after nearly two weeks without rain, the creek had almost entirely dried up. There were still a few puddles and pools, but the water had gone stagnant and it was making Charlie and I sick. What’s worse, is everything started to dry out.  Even the dirt around the barn, and the shed, and the straw on the ground inside the shed. This meant the land itself was putting off thousands of spores of mold into the air.  Now I think this should be a concern for most people, although, for some, it has no apparent ill effect at all, but for me? Ever since I lived in a mold filled house, I have become extremely sensitive to mold of any kind.  Even Mother Natures mold is very dangerous for me to be around.  You would think that it would be the other way around. The more wet everything got, the more moldy every thing would get. Which is true, but a friend told us, that here, because it’s wet so much of the time, (46 inches of rain a year!) that it actually helps to contain the mold. It’s when it dries out, that things get down right interesting! When it is dry, so much of the time, it means less mold to start with. That’s another point for Arizona. 

Its so funny. Well, funny strange. It never ceases to amaze me, how the Lord answers our prayers. He gave us exactly what we wanted. In many ways. Even though there were some inherit issues with that particular piece of property, it seemed too good to be true. Too good to be true, indeed! You will notice that everything, about the property, is in the past tense. There’s a reason. That property is in our past as well. We got an address while we were there. We did receive some much needed mail there. We were able to get our licenses, registrations, and insurance changed over to that address, there in Owingsville, Kentucky, and we can’t live there.  But. Praise the Lord that He gave us a gentleman who was willing to rent it to us for a little while. We were there for a month. Just over a month. A  month and 5 days. Which is exactly two weeks and 5 days longer than I had stayed any where, for over a year now. When we realized what was happening, I was still hoping, and I think Charles was too, that maybe a good rain would fix everything, and we wouldn’t have to move. Again. It did rain, that afternoon, and I got a little better, which showed our friend’s theory was correct.  But it was a good long rain, and the stream was still just puddles and pools. The algae was wet, the ground was wet, which made it easier to breathe, but there was no doubt now.  We couldn’t stay.  Charles helped me pack, that next morning, which is a story by itself, praying it would stay overcast, until he could get me off the property. So I left, horribly ill, desperately trying to keep from crying, because I had to drive, and I had to drive my van, with a U-Joint that was clunking badly.  Ready to go out anytime. That sound we were going to get checked out, eventually. That was a tough drive.  Praise the Lord! My van made it one more time.  Praise the Lord again, for good people.  I have been blessed with so many in my life! I called, and despite being totally booked, she created a spot for us. 

 You may recognize this view!  

Yes, we are back at the beautiful campgrounds on the Kentucky River. But we are on the side next to the river this time. So we have a little afternoon shade, and a lot of rain! Can you see us? The van is barely visible way down past the end of the boat. Beautiful, but unfortunately, their prices have increased, dramatically! Actually, they are now charging almost as much as what other campgrounds in the area charge. They have finally caught up with the standard. Which means that it’s not better to stay here, than it is at any other campgrounds in the area. But that makes the other unfortunate thing not so bad. They are improving their Wi-Fi, so that even where we are, out at the very end of the property, there will be Wi-Fi access, which means this is a very temporary home. We paid through the end of the month, we will see if I can stay that long.  Its not working right now, because they are still tweaking it, and, Yes, I got sleep last night! It is so incredibly beautiful here, and we are tucked away in a little private spot at the very end of the campgrounds. It is not a regular spot, the sweet manager here, knew we needed to be away from people, so she made a little place just for us.  I wish we could stay, but regardless of the Wi-Fi issues, this campgrounds is only open for the summer season. They close in October, so we would still have to find someplace else.

I would rather find some place I know we can stay. Just stay. A place, a piece of dirt, to call home.  A house? A barn? Even just plain dirt? I was already working on a design, to build a board and baton shed out of green wood. A good, continuous, independant, (Not City) water supply, is now on our absolutely necessary list.  Which means either a good well, or a good spring. A spring that turns into a creek might be really wonderful, but I think we need to leave that in the good Lord’s hands. How will I get through the winter here? Maybe we won’t, maybe we will have to head south. That’s now in the Lord’s hands, as well. My ideas on that are few, questionable, and none, of my ideas, are an option for this year.  Not in time for winter in Kentucky. Thoughts of an old house with a wood stove furnace still sounds so incredibly appealing, but I don’t know how to do that either. Except to make phone calls, once I get out where there is signal.  I am simply trusting the Lord to provide what we need and where we need it. That’s all I can do, and, after all, it is the best place to be. 

Right now?  I still want to go to the reunion tomorrow.  I know that we have to go to Fort Knox to get groceries, on Tuesday, to see if there’s financial help there. Depending on the base, you can sometimes get significant savings on grocery costs. If so, we may want to look for places to live, that are closer to the base. I know that we have to get the van work done, or at least identified, and we have to try to find someplace else to live.  All in the next six days. Sounds impossible? Not for our Lord!  We just need to knock on doors, and see which one He opens.  

We have learned a lot from this adventure. Charles said the first thing that we’ve learned, is that we want to rent some place for at least a year, preferably two, before we decide to buy. That way, we can see how I do, with all the different seasons, and with everything else in the area. We are both open to the possibility that we may need to rent a place here, and then rent someplace further south, for the winter, until we can find the right place to own, but we still both believe that the good Lord has a home in mind, for both of us.  There are many other things that we have learned as well. Important things like; Easy access to the property is necessary, not a nicety. Fun things like; Having a horse in the yard is a cool thing. One of the important things, is that we don’t want to jump at a place, simply because it’s available, and something we can afford to do.  I do know that my music, and a story that I need to write, have become very important to me.  The Lord has laid that on my heart, during this time, but the only thing I need, to answer that call, is to have working computer. The most important one? We want to keep our hearts and our minds open to what the good Lord has in mind, for both Charles and I.

 A friend of mine, who is also Allergic to the 21st Century, asked me today, if I was truly better here.  She said that she looks back over the last year and tries to remember where she was a year ago, to determine whether or not she is better in a new place. It’s kind of an interesting time for her to be asking that question, because I am so terribly tired, and still fighting the mold issues.  I am better, since we’ve been here at the campgrounds for just over a week. Despite the fact that I am terribly tired, so tired still, that I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go to that family reunion. Despite the fact, that I’m still recovering, from two things that hit me so hard.  Even with going through all of these different problems, I am better here. What’s the other thing? During this whole period, I had a fungal infection and didn’t realize it. An internal fungal infection, which is very serious for me. That’s serious for anybody, but I was, and am, actually doing better here, with all that was wrong, than I have been, for a long time, in Arizona. I know that I’ve had my son helping me, and perhaps you may think I am just deluding myself, that I am doing better here, but I don’t think so. I am still able to do for myself, and that’s huge! Charles was helping me in Arizona too, and I just double checked with him to be sure. He said “Yes Mom, you are doing much better, here in Kentucky.”

Add to that, the fact that the problems that I have with electromagnetic fields have been greatly reduced here. That is an added bonus of immense proportions!  Now I’ve come to realize, that being too close to a cellular tower, or a cell phone, is still a problem for me. Even though the effects are not as obvious, or painful, now that I’m back here in Kentucky, I’ve come to realize that it is still affecting me.  I think I am going to keep that margin of safety, with cell towers, up to at least 3 miles away, preferably four miles, away from where we end up living, because I do so much better, when I’m farther away from that kind of electromagnetic field. Which I just realized, as I was typing this paragraph, that means going to the reunion, is probably not a good idea. We couldn’t stay long, at all, because of the location. I just wonder if that is one of those doors I need to knock on?   Charles has been doing all of the running around for us.  Going out, anywhere, is pretty tough on this ole gal right now.  Well.  We will see how tomorrow goes. 

To answer my friends question and the questions I have myself? Yes, despite all the issues, Kentucky is the better place. Not just because of her beauty, which is extraordinary, it’s not the fact that Kentucky is home, it’s not even because I am so much better here. Ultimately, Kentucky is the best place for me, because this is where I feel the Lord wants me to be.

Please do keep us in your prayers, as we continue to search for the Lord’s leading. I know the good Lord has something wonderful in store, in His timing!  That’s all I really want, is to follow His Perfect Plan for my life. When I am doing that, even the tough times in life, and there are always tough times, they just get easier. 

12 Things I See Happy People Do (that unhappy people do not)

I liked this enough, to try to reblog! I hope it works! It is so inline with what I believe.

Rev. Shane L. Bishop

I have been thinking a lot about happiness of late, partially because so many people seem unhappy.  I think that was my first epiphany upon entering the world of Social Media; people are unhappy and there are a lot of them.  Now don’t get me wrong, we all know some people who wouldn’t be happy, were they not unhappy but I am not talking about them.  We will just let them be.  I am also not thinking theologically here (i.e. juxtaposing happiness and joy), today I am going to err on the practical and pragmatic side of things.  With that being said, let’s get going.

I think most people want to be happy; they are just not quite sure how to get there from their present location.  Many people honestly believe that happiness is a lucky bounce; a sunny disposition or favorable circumstances but I disagree.  Happiness is a choice…

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From Nuisance, to Project!

From Nuisance, to Project!

 It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

― Theodore Roosevelt 

Finally, after a very challenging trip across country, then weeks of wandering around Kentucky, we were finally looking at Dirt. Finally. Yup said it three times.  Made me laugh. Because the only thing that is “Final” in this journey called life, is when we get to go to our true home some day.  But I am hoping that the good Lord has brought me to a place where we can own our own piece of Dirt! Perhaps, more commonly known as, Land.  Specifically, land with a barn, and there is an entire story about why not a house, and the Lord’s timing behind that!  At this point, we just want something that we could turn into a shelter for the winter. Then later, I can talk about “Finally” getting, whatever the latest project is, done. 😉

Hopefully, for now, we can find a barn large enough to park my Little Gypsy inside, then, block off a stall, or one corner of the barn for Charlie, and one part for our main living quarters.  Actually, Shelter, from the rain would not be a bad idea either, since I have hardly been able to cook, without getting soaked, since I’ve been back in Kentucky. It is still raining!  Living in the desert for the last 25 plus years, makes all this rain, seem unreal!  

We had looked at literally, hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of places on line, but Monday, just this last Monday, we were out looking at possibilities in real life. There was that new Amish pole barn. The one we heard about before we ever left Arizona. It even had an outdoor privy and a couple of rooms, they had started to add on to the building, with 25 lovely acres, but they were asking a lot for it. Quite a bit more than I felt it was worth. Plus, it would be a nuisance, and such hard work, to clear all the brush. The two houses on one piece of land? Interesting! But, wait, right in town.  Nope. No good. What about that 2 and 1/2 acre piece that was cleared and mowed, yeah, but right on the highway, no barn, and still too close to town, which means people and cell towers would both be a nuisance. There was the house the sheriff told us about.  He showed us the board that had all the listings for the upcoming auction, homes that were now bank owned.  Sad.  The one that might have worked, had lots of old vehicles and trailers parked every which way, and the house looked as though it had been unloved and neglected for years on end.  How did we find out about all these gems? 

You see, one of my sisters, knew a gentleman, who worked with the Amish. She knew, Charles and I, wanted to settle in, or near, an Amish community, so we could have good, clean, organic sources of food. She knew that I wanted, and needed, to be in an area like that for so many reasons.  The Amish are a community of people who allowed the Industrial Age, to simply pass them by, and the Information Highway, is something others use.  They have quietly resisted any efforts from others, to bring them into the 21st Century.  Others, outsiders, people they refer to as The English, (that would be you and me) have tried to impose, enforce, or even occasionally, endorse, our new ways upon them, to little, or no, avail. 

I digress.  

Suffice it to say, these communities offer me the possibility of sanctuary, at least in part, from a world gone mad. Too many electronic gadgets and gizmos, and yes, I am working on one of those electronic devices now, to bring this story to you.  But as I can, I too, have been escaping from the 21st Century. Sometimes, literally running from more virulent pesticides and herbicides. Avoiding genetically modified and engineered crops and animals. I could go on and on, but let me get back to the heart of the matter.  

We may have found the right piece of Dirt! This gentleman, that my sister knew, from a church she was invited to sing at. Well!  That certainly sounds very southern, doesn’t it. He took us on a whirlwind tour of a little section of one of the Amish communities, in Bath County, Kentucky.  He introduced us to some of the Amish, while asking about land for sale.  But it was later, when we were asking the neighbors about the unloved house. Yes, I had hoped to find an old home built before 1960 or so, but kept getting blocked, one way or another, whenever I knocked on that door. 

Anyway, when one of the neighbors, who just came out to get his mail, asked what we were looking for, I said a barn, with a few acres of land, would work. He pointed to the barn, just down the road and said he was selling that. Six acres or so, a big old barn, a shed, a pond, a little creek, more like a brook, and a well, that might be a spring! I asked the good Lord for just one of those waterways. This one has them all. More importantly, he was willing to do an Owner Will Carry loan. That is the only way, Charles and I, can make this happen, without going into debt in a big way.  Someday, I may tell you our thoughts about The Better Mousetrap. Forgive me. I am wandering all over the place tonight! So. Anyway, he took us down to see it.

And…

Yes! We want it! When Charles and I compared notes later, he told me, “Mom, everything we looked at before, had something that would be a nuisance, to take care of, but when we looked at this property, that nuisance, turned into a project!” The gentleman who was driving us around, was also impressed.  So.  We will see.  We don’t even know the terms yet.  But, hey, it could happen!  Then? Surveys? Wood stoves?  A way to set it up? We already know of one way to get wood pretty cheap. Will all this happen before winter?  Oh my! But, Charles was so right about things happening fast. We are both excited about this piece of Dirt! We are here! The owner suggested the idea of renting the property to us, for a while, very cheaply.  We can live here for a while, to make sure it’s a place that we’re going to like. A place where I will do Well.  If we do, then we’ll talk about the terms later.   We’ll see how it goes, but I think this is the place. I pray it is so, but only if it is in the Lord’s will.  It will be a lot of hard work.  Right now both of us are stuck!  Yup!  You heard me.  The owner had to get his tractor out to keep Sassy from going into the brook. 

He wound up dragging the van back by latching onto Little Gypsy and hauling me into a spot that would work until the rain settles down.  

Hopefully, I will get her a little more level, after this rain quits! I keep sliding out of bed, or squished up down by poor Macha, who also keeps sliding to the edge! 

He was able to drag Charlie’s Olde Bleu, sideways! His trailer too, so he could get lined up, to get in the main driveway.

I really can’t complain! The barn is not leaning. Olde Bleu is! Charles spent all night hugging his computer, while practically standing on his head!

 The main driveway.  Sounds impressive, doesn’t it.  But the main driveway is currently two short rows of a few big rocks laid in a ditch, which Sassy wouldn’t make it through, even in perfectly dry conditions.   I came in on the other side of the barn, and hugged the barn, to stay out of the brook, but when I tried to back the trailer in next to the shed, yeah, well, thank goodness for his tractor, and his kind heart! 

Big shed too! I saw a great place for chickens or guinea hens, Charles saw a great shower room!  That would be a more immediate need.  

A lot? Did I say a lot of hard work? That hardly describes how busy we will need to be, just to make this work for us.  But oh, the possibilities!   Charles said he had a feeling that things would happen very quickly. He was right. Our first day of actually looking, and we have a good place to stay through the winter.  

This old barn has been here for generations, it was built in the 1800’s, and it needs a lot of tender loving care. I am praying that if we wind up owning this beautiful piece of Dirt, this old barn will see many more generations to come!

By the way, gentle reader, you may think that quote at the beginning was inappropriate.  After all. We were just moving.  Just moving? Seriously, was it that hard? We were already living in our campers? But with the issues I have, moving across country this way, was extraordinarily difficult.  If you read an earlier post of mine, a Possible Post, you know we were constantly moving into areas and situations that had me in such pain, and confusion, that I would wind up in tears. Charles would become my one man comic, my court jester, anything it took to help me find a smile. He took over most of my chores, so I could rest. In fact, he got very bossy! I would try, so hard, to maintain my equanimity, but all too often, I would fail.  Personally, I think Charles had the hardest job, knowing someone you love, so much, is in such pain, and not being able to fix it.  I cannot imagine anything worse.  But we can smile now.  My health is improving. What a joy it is to feel better! Plus, now that we can stay in one spot, Charles will be able to do our running around. By the Lord’s grace, we have found a place where I can heal.  A place that will be good for The Boy too.  

A place, I pray, if it is in His will, it will be a place, we can call Home.