Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, what we thought at first would be a barren, woodsy hike, became a realization that you need to open your heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

It's the Little Things

What do you do in a very small mountain town when you have a few days to kill??  You start with a place to stay especially when your home is going to be in the factory.  The good folks at the Oliver factory paid for our stay at the Commodore Hotel.
                                 

The Commodore is located right downtown in the very quaint town of Linden, Tennessee.  We drove up Tuesday evening and noticed the sidewalks lined with trees covered at the bottom with tiny white lights.  Mike went in to register and when he came out he was smiling.  The lobby was like something from a time capsule. You could close your eyes an imagine Archie Graham from the movie Field of Dreams walking out the door and down the street.  I'll let the pictures paint the story.
                                             




The nice lady at the desk took us outside and to the corner adjacent to the main part of the hotel.  There we found a glass door entrance to a huge foyer that obviously housed the remainder of the Commodore Hotel.  This part had been purchased later and added to the existing hotel.  We opened our beautiful wooden door to a very large room....nicely appointed with a pencil post king bed, beautiful tiled bath and a kitchenette.  We also had a 32 inch TV with Direct TV channels.  Nice!!
The Commodore is a Linden landmark since 1939.
                                                 



Across the street from the Linden is the Perry County Courthouse which was built in 1928.  The locals say the courthouse is a great meeting spot for all kinds of town activities.
                                              

Another day we did a little exploring at a nearby state park, Mousetail Landing.  It got its name during the Civil War period when an area tannery caught fire and the exodus of mice fleeing was so great that the area near the park became known as Mousetail Landing.
This park is located on the Tennessee River.  While we were there we saw this barge going down the river.  This is a nice area but the camping sites didn't impress us much.  A nice day use area though.
                                           



One day we decided to drive over to the small town of Centerville.  Centerville's claim to fame is the birthplace of Minnie Pearl.  Some may ask....who is Minnie Pearl?  She was a country comedian that appeared for 50 plus years at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  She also appeared on the TV show Hee Haw for over 20 years.   Mike is from Nashville, Tennessee and just so happens his father actually knew Minnie Pearl.  She bought furniture from Pop for several years and I remember Pop saying what a fine lady she was.
                                       
So we excitedly set off  to see her birthplace . The only problem was we were a little late.  The old homestead burned down just a few years ago.  Not  wanting to waste a day we decided to eat lunch at a place called The Fish Camp.   Obviously known by the locals for their home raised catfish.  You can see their pond in the picture.  We opted for the BBQ which is also one of their specialties.  Unfortunately we had to picnic in the car because we were traveling with our furbaby, Nick, our little Shih Tzu.  The food was good and with our bellies full we made our way back home.
                                     

                             
So how do you entertain yourself in a small mountain town in Tennessee?  You explore areas of this awesome country that you would not normally know about or see.  These places are just as much of what makes up our country as the big name places we all hear about.  It's all a part of the adventure!!!






Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heading in the Wrong Direction


With the temperatures in the chilly range heading north is NOT the direction of choice.  Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Several weeks ago after a major rain storm of several days Mike and I noticed a small leak at one of the side windows. Then we began to notice a leak on the other side.  Not a good thing at all for a brand new travel trailer the quality of the Oliver.  We called the factory and the service manager walked through several things with Mike and nothing seemed to work.  The only way to really fix this issue was to let the folks at Oliver put their eyes on the Oliver.  So off we went to Hohenwald, Tennessee to visit the mother ship.  
                      

              

                                   

I can't begin to say enough good things about the people of Oliver Travel Trailers.  They have been there for us giving us a place to stay at the Commodore Hotel in Linden Tn.  More about that in another blog.  
               
         

They found a couple possible places that could have caused the leak.  In mounting the surround that houses the day/night shades a longer screw than necessary was used and it pierced the window.  
                 

Also, the two outside lights above the windows were found to have some water behind them.  Instead of putting a bandaid on the issue Oliver decided to replace all of the double pane windows.

They re-caulked the lights and double checked all items on the roof and added more caulk if necessary.  If something needed to be done they did it.
I could be upset by all of this, after all it was a new trailer, but all things built by man can and does have issues.  They have never had this issue before and I believe them.  How do you say....Murphy's Law!!!


All is well that ends well!!  We picked up our Oliver and headed back to our site at Chewacla!!
                

Monday, January 9, 2017

Baby It's Cold Outside



Baby It's Cold Outside...But who do I need to tell this bit of information to?? The entire country has been blasted with cold and some with lots of the white stuff. No, I'm not talking about sand!! In our area, Auburn Alabama, it has only been the wet clear stuff called rain. Rain...now we've gone from drought conditions to flash flooding conditions. If only we could just pace ourselves.

During the drought time last month, there was a fire ban at our current location, Chewacla State Park. That really disappointed Mike and I because we love to build a nice fire in the firepit, sit back and relax and just let the flames mesmerize us.  As soon as the ban was lifted we immediately built a fire. 
                  







When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 33:14 
                        

This verse came to mind as I was looking at the fire and the heat it was producing.  This verse helped me to walk through the fire of my cancer treatment.

Friday, January 6, 2017

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A SEASON MAKES


Seasonal changes are so very visible in many ways, but there is one I never thought about.  Toward the end of fall, usually a dry season, in the first part of November Gerri and I were staying at Chewacla State Park and visiting our son.  We walked to the dam to see the waterfall from the lake…wrong.  It had been so dry for so long, there was no water coming over the dam.

November pic of water approaching the dam



January pic of water going over the dam






We came back to Chewacla for the holidays and walked down to the dam again…and boy what a difference the rainy season makes.



Man walking below the dam early November

Below the dam in January
      
Similar pic as above but I played with the film speed


Sunday, January 1, 2017

REFLECTIONS







Most people take time to reflect on the past year on new years eve.  For us, it's been more than a year since we were active in this lifestyle.  A lifestyle we grew to love in the short time we full-time.  So perhaps a short reflection might be in order.


Where did we go?  We returned to a permanent home, a sticks-n-bricks as it is called by many.  We needed to take care of some family type things that we felt then and still do were God's calling.  
Much happened in those 6 years but to sum it up....God healed and all was taken care of.  



Why return to full-timing?  Now that explanation might be a little harder. The good part is those reading this will probably "get it."



Gerri was diagnosed with cancer August 2015. She underwent surgery and even though the pathology report was a great one with all margins clear and no lymph node involvement she underwent 12 chemotherapy treatments.  Those of you that have experienced chemo either personally or with a loved one know how difficult it can be.  We are happy to report she finished March 14th and all scans and blood work since has been clean and clear.  




Because life is short at its longest we decided that sitting in our home with little or no real activity was not a healthy idea.  We needed to be more active.  That is when the thought came to both of us to return to the RVing lifestyle.  Something we truly love and enjoy.  A place we can explore, hike and become more active with photography again.  After all, God's creation just screams to be photographed and shared.  

So, you know the rest of the story. We purchased an Oliver this time around to do our living and exploring in.  Yes, it is quite a bit smaller than our previous Dutch Star but it is an awesome little machine of double hulled molded fiberglass.  The good news, we haven't killed each other yet!



WISHING EACH OF YOU A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR

Friday, December 23, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS






                  FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, 

                  TO US A SON IS GIVEN,

                  AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS.

                  AND HE WILL BE CALLED

                  WONDERFUL COUNSELOR,  MIGHTY GOD,  EVERLASTING FATHER,

                  PRINCE OF PEACE.


                  ISIAH 9:6

                                 MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 17, 2016

About Our Oliver

The Oliver is a “full custom molded fiberglass interior and exterior insulated shell” rv.  The windows are thermal pane and it is a true 4 season rv.
The best way to explain this rv is to go their sight and read about how it is made on this sight.  www.olivertraveltrailers.com

Since this is a build to order rv, we had the opportunity to add whatever options we wanted. Below is a list of those options:

320 watts roof mounted solar panels
2000 watt power inverter
4 trojan T-105 wet cell batteries
hard wired surge protector
mobile 4g cell phone amplifier
wifi ranger elite
Fiber-granite counter tops
4 reading light package
an awesome Truma Aquago Comfort Tankless Water Heater
Front and rear propane quick connects
Additional electric outlets
Dexter E-Z Flex System
The Anderson Hitch

Gerri and I have been in our new Oliver now for 5 days and we are adjusting quite well.  Thursday night the temps got down in the upper 20’s and we had no problem staying warm.  One of the best things we added was the tankless water heater.  That enabled us both to take long back to back hot showers and not worry about losing the hot water.  We are sorting through where we want to put things and get them organized, and we are getting there.
This is at the Campground in the town we picked up our Oliver

Our Dinette




This is definitely different living quarters than our motorhome, but we are pleasantly adjusting…besides there are some amenities in our Oliver that our Dutch Star didn't have.

Kitchen / Dinette and the wet bath behind the mirrored door.
Closet is just to the right of the mirrored door.


Our sofas and night stand between the twin beds at night.  The cabinet on the right with the red
towels is the pantry.