Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Journey Ends

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But that's just the start!
I'm not sure how many miles we've traveled but I know it's over two thousand - well over if you count the flight from Hawaii. We flew from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California then drove to Reedley, California then down to Bermuda Dunes (the Palm Springs area) then to Tucson, Arizona. All three of those stops were visiting with family and friends. We ate too much and talked story a lot. We also got to meet some very interesting people, especially in Arizona with Paul's nephew.
After visiting, we struck off across the desert. Our first stop was Socorro, New Mexico, then Vega, Texas a tiny whole-in-the-wall with about three places to eat. The lady at the Dairy Queen there was very nice, and the food was hot, fresh and delicious. Next we went on to El Reno, Oklahoma, a half hour outside of Oklahoma City. That was way bigger than Vega (pop. 880) with a population in excess of 15k. Paul had his first experience at Braum's, a little ice cream shop/general store that I've seen only in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Yesterday we arrived in Springfield, Missouri where daughter Cari and her excitable Golden Retriever, Lego, were happy to see us. The weather was warm but overcast. This morning it's sunny but cold. Go figure!
We'll arrive at Mom's house early this afternoon. We're almost done with our journey, but the adventure is only beginning. The extent of the adventure is up to us. As we drove the two thousand miles to get here, we saw how vast and diverse this country is. There's a lifetime of exploring, millions of people to meet and more stories to tell than I'll be able to write, even if I still had a hundred years left.
What we see and do is limited only to God's leading and our willingness to follow. We expect to have some wonderful adventures, made even more fun by the long drives between!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 2 in California

Yesterday morning as we were getting ready to leave our hotel in Oakland, we found out that during the night, protesters down at the Port had rioted. Thankfully it didn't have an effect on Matson's car pick-up location. We were able to get our car with no problem, other than waiting for fifteen minutes since the union guys had to go on break at the precise moment we arrived.
Since we were in Oakland, with a car and plenty time, I wanted to go see the Golden Gate Bridge. Other than changing planes at the airport, I'd never been to that area before. Paul grumbled some, but we headed northwest, and immediately got stuck in a traffic jam at the toll booth for the Bay Bridge. It took us a good 45 minutes to drive a little more than a mile. Why we gotta wait in line so they can take our money?
Our GPS took us right through San Francisco, so we got to see some of the cool architecture up close and personal. We also climbed a few hills. Though it was rainy and cold, and the total tolls for both bridges was $10, it was still worth the time, effort and money, especially since Paul now has confidence in the GPS, and in his ability to use it.
It warmed up on our drive south toward Reedley. The scenery also changed a lot as the hills became more barren, then we finally dropped down into the valley, but we couldn't see the mountains because the air quality was pretty bad.
This morning it was even colder than yesterday morning, but we can see the mountains now. It's pretty, but I still miss Hawaii.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Adventure Begins

I guess you could say that Paul and I are homeless now! Yesterday afternoon we closed the door on Twin View Drive, dropped off our keys, went to the airport and hopped a plane for Oakland where our car is waiting for us to pick it up this morning. The last few weeks have been very hectic, right now I've only got the time to look at one small part.
On Tuesday, they came and picked up our three pallets to ship to Missouri. We were up until midnight on Monday, trying to finish up but still had boxes to add to the pallets that were in our carport. It was pouring down rain from sometime early in the morning, so by the time I went out at about six-thirty, it was starting to leak into the carport. I was irritated and ready to sit down and cry. I didn't. Instead I grumbled and growled at God about 'How am I supposed to get this done? If this is what you want, how about a little help?' Suddenly it dawned on me that I had some plastic sheeting and boxes that I could put over the top of the clotheslines in the carport, so I made a tent of sorts and was able to get the last pallet finished up without anything getting more than a drop or two of water.
Our driveway was on a small hill and rather narrow so most trucks don't bother trying to come down. The guys who came to get our pallets didn't hesitate. They also weren't too concerned about the little dip at the front of the driveway especially since Paul and Brother-in-law Milt had rigged up a little bridge of sorts with some one-by-twos and a large sheet of pressed board. Though we had some light rain, whenever they pulled one of our pallets out of the carport, it was dry, at least until after the guys had shrink wrapped the pallet!
There's been a hundred little wrong-made-right things like that in our journey thus far, but I don't have time to share them all. Right now I'm going to have to start getting ready to go. We have to pack our bags again, get them down to the hotel storage area and go get our car from Matson. Then the adventure really begins. We're planning to see the Golden Gate Bridge before we leave the area!
Tune in later for more of our adventures.
God bless you all!!