Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Activities Continued

I had planned to continue my blog, but got sidetracked by Bill's training sessions on the computer.  He has been at the computer for as much as 12 hours a day for the past week.  In addition to his job for the testing company, he was offered a music teaching job with Oklahoma Virtual K-12 School.  It is part of the public school system.  He has to finish his training within in the next week because we were gone on vacation.  It will be a 10 hour per week class.  The on-line training has been so intense that Bill is now trying to decide why he ever agreed to teach it.  He admitted is might have been for his ego.  If it is too much, he can give it up. 

Last night, Galen and Sondra brought Gramma over for a pot roast dinner.  They showed off their new sport car.  It's a beautiful Hyundai hybrid.  When coming back from California this week, the car got 42 mpg.  Not bad!  Sondra loves the leather heated seats.  Galen loves the push button ignition.  I still miss the convertible.

I feel like I'm still catching up from our trip. My piano students did very well and practiced while I was gone.  That was a surprise.  When I went back to the hospital last Tuesday, the fellow who is interim chaplain told me that he is divorcing his wife.  I was surprised because he is nearly 50 years old.  He wanted my advice.  That's a tough issue when you don't know the people well.  While at the hospital, I entered a room where a tech was working on the TV.  I just ignored him and prayed with the patient.  After, the tech thanked me and told me that the TV began working at the moment I began to pray.  That made the patient happy as well.

I complained to Bill that I needed another pair of blue pants to match my hospital smock.  He suggested we go to Red Lobster for lunch with my coupon and then go to Dillard's.  I'm so glad he went with me!  While there, he saw a  teal blue pant suit that he thought would look great on me and bought it.  I wouldn't have thought of buying anything else but the blue pants I needed.  Later, when I thanked him, he said he is proud of me when I look nice.

Well, I guess I should write a bit about the train ride in North Conway, New Hampshire.  We rode in the dining car and had lunch with another retired couple who were from New York.  I laughed when the lady told us she thought people in New Hampshire were ignorant.  (We had to agree with her because while eating breakfast in a restaurant on Sunday morning, Bill asked the waitress who the State's governor is.  She had no idea and had to ask about 4 or 5 more people before she found the answer.  I thought of "Watter's World" on Fox News.)  After our train ride, we bought some Hampshire Pewter from a nearby shop.  Bill got hooked on pewter while traveling in Europe.

Before heading back to Michigan, we took a ride on a paddle boat on Lake Winnepasaukee in upper New Hampshire.  Many famous people live there.  We saw summer homes that belonged to Mitt Romney, the CEO of Black and Decker, the owner of NASCAR, and  several old movie stars.  In the winter, the lake freezes over and the ski resorts open.  It was just fun to enjoy the water, the fall colors and just relax with many new friends.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for me and I'm glad it was on my bucket list. God's world is a big place and I'm blessed to have seen so much!  I don't take it for granted.  I guess I will put pictures on later.  I haven't forgotten.      

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Incredible Journey to the North

Bill and I left Kelli's home in Michigan at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, October 14.  After stopping for the night at Hampton Inn in Lebanon, Missouri, we arrived home at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15.  Fall is a wonderful time of the year to travel because kids are in school, and the weather is about perfect. 

We began our journey on Saturday, September 28 and arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday evening.  Monday morning, I peeled freshly picked apples and baked an apple cobbler while Kelli worked on a magazine at Cornerstone University.  That afternoon, we joined Keri's family, Kelli and Hannah at Caleb's tennis match.  He is a senior this year, and it was great to see how tall and athletic he has become.  Caleb is also a great writer like his mother.  After the match, we all went to Sparta (Kevin's hometown) where we had pizza at a beautiful Italian restaurant.  For dessert, we had the apple cobbler.  Then, Bill and I handed out birthday gifts.  Selah put her bracelet on and told me she would always take care of her "precious gift".  Selah just turned 6 years old.

On Monday, Bill and I took Sofia, Selah and Isaiah to the lakeshore.  We all love Lake Michigan!  However, there was a cool breeze blowing so we just ate hamburgers at Wendy's and enjoyed the scenery from the car.  The kids enjoyed telling us about their trip to Virginia for 10 weeks of training at Missionary Orientation. They had toured Washington D.C. and learned a lot of history.  That evening, I made spaghetti at Kelli's for the gang.  Kirk called and we got to watch Ezekiel.  The family was enjoying their pool.  That pool is huge!  It looks like a hotel!  We learned that Kirk and Tamra both have new motorcycles and Tamra was taking riding lessons.  Be careful, you guys!

The next day, we took the kids to a park playground that was super!  Then, it was time for everyone to cry and say goodbye.  Before leaving, Keri and Kevin gave us a big wooden butterfly that Kevin's father crafted.  It is beautiful!  We plan to put it on the wall of our screened patio. Keri, Kevin, and the kids have arrived safely in Africa now.  The girls have enrolled at the British school in the city.

The next morning, Oct. 3, Bill and I flew to Buffalo, New York to see Niagara Falls.  A taxi drove us across the border into Canada where we stayed at the Embassy Suites for 2 nights.  Our window was complete glass and a perfect view of both the American Falls and the Canadian Falls.  We were on the 35th floor and couldn't believe the colors on the water at night.  We floated on the "Maid of the Mist" in pouring rain right next to the falls.  We were given blue raincoats with hoods, and looked like aliens.  On our last evening, we ate prime rib in the Keg Steakhouse which overlooks the falls.  I watched people from all over the world enjoying one of the great wonders.

On Oct. 6th, we flew from Buffalo, New York to Manchester, New Hampshire.  After renting a blue Nissan, we drove in the dark past the city of Concord to our mountain resort an hour away.  We arrived safely at the Steele Hill Resort which dates back to the 1700s.  King George granted the mountain to Bryan Steele.  It became a resort for the rich and famous in nearby Boston.  We were given a 2 story condo with a fireplace and a large deck for taking pictures.  We spent an enchanted week in this colorful paradise.  It was peak season for the fall trees.  I have written so much that I will continue tomorrow.  I'll write about our train trip, our boat tour and the Shaker Village.    Then, I will put the pictures on the net.  Only God could create such organized beauty!   My "bucket list" is shrinking!  My life has been so blessed!