"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Leaving Yuma

A Christmas full moon

These are our last few days in Yuma. On Thursday we will be moving to Tucson. I have mixed feelings as we are leaving some people we have totally enjoyed. The time with Evelyn and Kevin is always fun and now we have new friends too. Martha and Brad who have shown us the way in Algodones Mexico, Bob and Marie and Dick and Wanda. It has been a nice group to get to know and spend our holidays with. The park has been filled with activities and we have enjoyed this RV resort probably more than any we have spent time in. I’m still a campground kinda’ girl but this park has made me think about what we will do when our travels are over. If we return to Yuma it will be most likely to this park.
Our group at our favorite restauarant in Algadones Mexico, Rancharito!

Merry Christmas with friends!

All the tents in the background a
are Tamale vendors
One Saturday we went with Brad and Marthat to the Tamale Festival in Sommerton AZ. I wasn't that familiar with tamales but what a fun little trip. There were 40 some tamale vendors. Some had samples you could try before buying and we took advantage of that and found a great vendor with no line! I can definitely say we have become fans of tamales. This festival has a couple stages with bands playing and one of the first bands up was of all things an Irish Band. They say they are the only Irish band in the Yuma area and I have to say they were great. They had our toes tapping and wishing we knew how to do an Irish gig. It certainly made my Irish guy a happy man.

Here is thte Irish Band

This week has been chilly as Yuma goes. What's nice here is that even when a cold wind blows or the temps are too cold for just sitting outside the sun is almost always shining. A couple days ago we had a major wind storm with gusts 40-50 mph and we were really rocking but still part of the day the sun was shining. That day however there was enough dust to keep us inside.  This type of storm is one of the down sides to the SW but luckily they don’t happen that often.

We are looking forward to our time in Tucson and hoping the temps will start warming up before our friends Mike and Trudy join us mid-month. They will still think it’s pretty warm compared to Iowa but I’d like it to be perfect. John’s foot seems to be getting much better finally and he is ready to go on some short hikes when we get to the Diamond J. The thing we love the most about the Diamond J is that the hiking is right there. So we will start slow and hopefully have him in good hiking form by the time our friends arrive.
I am back using the 10K trainer and have been running again. I’m back at week 4 but that’s ok as long as I am out doing something. Without John to hike with and the hiking club on hiatus for Christmas I haven’t gotten much in this month. Not much else to report so I will make this a short one.

I hope everyone is ready for a new year…….make it a great one.

Happy Trails………………………………..

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Wish

Sunset over Yuma

This Christmas what I really want is  for the words spoken by the angels “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.” There is so little of it right now. If you listen to the news, read the paper, or pay attention to the internet what I see is people who wish each other ill, who say hateful things about those they disagree with. I see people who believe guns are the answer to whatever problem exists, not just having them but using them on each other. I see how poorly we treat those in need, who are poor, sick, or homeless.

What I really want is for all Christians to remember what the Christ child would ask of us: to feed the hungry, take care of the sick, love your neighbor as yourself (and I believe he meant this in the global sense). In conflict, Jesus asked us to love others and to turn the other cheek if we were wronged. In His ministry He didn’t see people with the labels (black, white, Jew, or Gentile, poor, wealthy), He saw them all as people he loved. I know none of us can do that all of the time, we certainly aren’t perfect, but can’t we at least try?

I hear there is a war on Christmas but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe there is a war within us. We let people with malice in their heart tell us what we should believe instead of showing us what Jesus would really do, not the catch phrase but the action. Jesus hung out with those that most of us would turn our backs on today- the poor, the hated tax collectors, a prostitute, and a bunch of lowly fisherman. We are not so different today than those people.Today we still have the poor, the sick, and the prostitutes as well as the drug addicts, gang members, and the migrant workers. If He were here do you think he would hang out with the minister at a mega-church, the politician, the owners of corporations, the wealthy? Or do you believe He would be with the homeless on the street, the drug addicts struggling to get clean, the children who are abused, the mentally ill who have trouble coping in life. I know where I think He would be.
I do think there are Christians out there doing that work but you don’t hear much from them as they are probably far too busy. Perhaps, just perhaps, this Christmas the rest of us could put down our guns, put away the ugly words of hate and do a little something for someone else. If we have time perhaps that can be our gift, if we have money perhaps we can give a little more, if we know others who are struggling in life perhaps there is something we can do to comfort them or make their lives a little easier. There are so many ways and many take precious little from us and mean so much to those in need. Look at the world a little differently this season. Looking at people as worthy of love even those who don’t look like us, talk like us, or believe as we do, because Jesus loves them all. What He cares about is how we treat each other. He came to teach us to love.

So my Christmas wish is for all of us to find that love that the Christ child came to bring the world and to pass it on. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Moonrise over Yuma

Monday, December 7, 2015


"Home" in Yuma
I've been thinking about home lately and what that really is. As a full time RVer there really is no "place" that we call home. I was reminded of an assignment that my son Gabe was given in middle school. It was a descriptive writing piece on your "home". Now Gabe doesn't necessarily think like other people and he rails against conventional definitions. Gabe informed his teacher that his home had nothing to so with the "house" that he lived in but rather the people that he lived with and were the core of his life and he refused to write the paper in deference to the fact that the instructions were wrong. If she wanted a description of the house he lived in that is what she should have stated in the instructions. Some of this was just the bluster of a middle schooler but what he said had merit though this teacher did not want to hear it. I agree with Gabe that home isn't the house itself but the people in that house and the memories that surround it.

This brown house was our 2nd house, I couldn't find a photo of House #1

We lived in several places with our children and each of those spaces have special places in my heart. The first house we shared as a married couple was the house we first brought Gabe home to and those memories make it very special. Our second house was an older and smaller home that allowed me to be a stay at home mom. It was also the place we brought our second child home to. It has lots of special memories as it was a wonderful place for our young boys to live and explore as it had a large wooded back yard with their own fort, sandbox and lots of area to run. The last house we shared with our kids was a house we had built for us and what a process that was! It really was a wonderful house that had the elementary school in the backyard. This is where the boys became young men and all the travails that come along with adolescence and young adulthood. So each house had its special times but, as Gabe pointed out, it wasn't the walls or the structure that made it home, it was the family that inhabited it.
The boys in front of last house as it went up.

Our last sticks and Bricks house.
I can honestly say that neither John or I miss the houses. They are lots of work and effort and for many people that is something they enjoy but it's just not for us. What I do miss sometimes is having a space where the kids can come to. They don't really stay with us and it would be a challenge in our little space and they are busy living their own lives but sometimes I do get nostalgic for that and it's usually this time of year.

For me, home is wherever John is- wherever we are together. I know it sounds cliche but it's true. I love my little trailer and all the places we have visited in it but if John weren't in this adventure with me it wouldn't feel like "home". As it is, together we have the necessities and some luxuries in this little space and we can just take it along with us. My backyard has been the mountains, the desert, the oceans, the prairies, lakeside, so many special places. We do keep an eye to where we might want to put down the jacks and stay once we are done wandering but so far haven't found that spot.
The flamingo says Brrrrrrr, glad that's behind us.

I have found that my happy places are many of the parks we have stayed in. I still favor that environment over an RV park. Here in Yuma we are in a very nice RV park with plenty to do and are enjoying that but we can't see ourselves in this type of place--yet. We would rather be in a campground where there is plenty of hiking and just a great outdoors vibe. So we have been here a little over a month and yes I have hitch-itch again. A month seems to be about the time I am ready to move on. We will be moving on to Tucson the first of January so I won't suffer from this ailment long. I don't think you can really call this suffering as life is pretty good here.

As Christmas approaches perhaps each of us should ponder what home means to them individually as I am sure it is different for each one of us. It should be a time we can reflect and be thankful for all the blessings of home and family. Also to be generous to those who lack home and family. I will make a little plug here for those red buckets of the Salvation Army, over $.90 of every dollar you give goes to those in need. When I found this out I made a pledge to myself to never pass one of those without putting something in it, even if it means digging the change out of the bottom of my purse. Here's a little Bell ringing video Christmas gift from me to you.
Bell Ringer Joy

So in case I don't get anything written before Christmas we wish the best this season...................
Happy Trails.............