Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Repetitious living?

About five years ago I started a post on what was at that time my new iPad mini, an alternative to my much heavier MacBook Pro laptop which had developed issues.

Learning to use my new techie toy was slow going; and when my attempt to post did not bear immediate fruit, I left that draft languishing. 

In a recent rare spurt of clearing out old blog drafts, I read that  rough draft from half a decade ago. It struck me that my life may have become repetitious. From that old draft:

"Less than a month is left for me to build up stamina for travel that Hubby and I have planned for May.

"Earlier this week my walking buddy Ann and I made it to the Biloxi Bay bridge for the first time in what seems like forever. My issues with toes and Bioness foot-drop system are, I hope, on the way to being resolved.

"I only made it to the .3-mile marker and back, but being outside and moving was worth the sweat and fatigue. And immersion in the sunshine, breeze, beautiful scenery and nonstop conversation with a dear friend was a dose of pure joy."

I realized I was becoming repetitious when I found a draft I started Monday April 5, of this year:

"Hubby and I walked the bridge for the first time in at least six months."

Yep, repetitious writing and repetitious habits. Once again I have been blaming weather, packed schedules and those dratted toe issues for not walking as much. 

And I only made it to the two-tenths of a mile marker that Monday morning in April. But being outside on a beautiful day with my beloved once again sparked the surge of pure joy I had described five years earlier.

Now it is six months later. I never have gotten back to walking the bridge. Even though I have yet to ramp up the purposeful walking, Hubby and I are still traveling, thanks to his determination, organization and willingness to help me cope with physical challenges.

Recently we packed up our van and joined other family and friends for the wedding of our youngest son and his intended at a ranch in Wyoming's Teton National Park. 

Afterwards we headed to Oregon's west coast and are now on our way along the California coast. We are enjoying van camping in gorgeous state campgrounds with rare stays at motels.

Hubby and me with Golden Gate Bridge in background

The Pacific coast terrain is not kind to my keeping my balance--or keeping control of my rollator. But what a joy that Hubby helps me experience the raw beauty of this environment so different from our Mississippi Gulf Coast!

Hubby's pattern of travel is him, me, the road, and intriguing environments and experiences. So this is sending best wishes to western blogging friends that I won't get to see in person and catching up on the posts of all blogging friends when WIFI is once again available. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021


One of the principles on finances that my parents drilled into me throughout my childhood was "Never, ever co-sign a loan with anyone." 

Hubby and I have followed that advice to our benefit.

In my teen years their admonitions of "Don't co-sign on loans" also included examples of the tribulations of friends and relatives who struggled financially when the individual they "helped out" couldn't make their monthly payments.

Those examples stayed with me.

But only when I was an adult did I realize that their financial principle passed down to me was from the Bible. 

Eventually two verses related to my parents' financial admonitions caught my attention.

Proverbs 11:15 NIV Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe. Proverbs 11:15 NIV 

As I started reading the Bible through each year, I found more of my parents' pithy sayings that came from the Bible.

Another verse of wisdom that has guided our decisions:

Romans 13:8 ESV Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 ESV 

And our parents' stance on co-signing did not mean they ignored the financial or health challenges that friends and relatives faced.They found other ways of helping rather than totally assuming someone else's debt.

I am thankful for the firm foundation that our parents gave us.



Sunday, August 22, 2021

Creative Camping

July 4, 2019, in the Smokies was a hoot.

That summer for the first time, Hubby and I joined a coastal Mississippi contingent of more than 40 relatives and friends. 

We all booked campsites at Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for July 4th week.

A nephew and his fellow firemen whipped up delicious breakfasts and suppers with others in the group contributing tasty sides and desserts.

The Independence Day rule that year was to join the group costumed as an American icon, whether real, fictional or non-human. 

Lady Liberty, Hollywood stars, fast-food items and well-known TV characters were among costumed campers gathered for breakfast, photos and a morning parade through the campground. 

Son Walt as the wrestler Rick Flair

Marilyn Monroe, AKA daughter-in-law Sarah, works on
our grandaughter Stella's braid for her Wizard of Oz character Dorothy

Nephew Ryan (right), as exercise guru Richard Simmons, leads the parade of campers.

Sister-in-law Anita with her husband and offspring

Anita came as a Brownie complete with the authentic beanie. Her costume choice triggered memories of days in the second grade when my mother and other moms volunteered to lead me and my friends in crafts and adventures. 

Eagle Scout and Rosie the Riveter
That's me as Rosie the Riveter next to my Eagle Scout. Never did get Rosie's polka dot head gear tied right!

Hubby joined his sister in the Scouting theme. He actually is an Eagle Scout. He earned all those merit badges on his sash during his youthful scouting years. 

When 2020 rolled around, everyone congregated in Elkmont again. With COVID uncertainties, plans were fluid. That held for the 2021 Smoky's gathering, too.

Several things didn't change, though--good food, good fellowship and good fun!