Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our 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 would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today was Mike’s last day of work!!!! Yes, Mike is now officially retired. He told me today that he felt more tired than retired. Stephen and I met him at the door of his place of business to get the wonderful exit photo. Mike has spent the past 37 years in food service of one sort or another. He was the food director at several colleges with a company called Aramark. He was the Recreational Food and Beverage Director with Callaway Gardens Resort and currently the Food Management Director with Five Star Foods which does vending type food as well as commissary feeding. He has catered for many folks but his most famous was Bob Hope. He has a great reputation in the food industry but it was time to STOP. He has worked hard and we are so glad and thankful to God he is able to retire a few years shy of 62. Now we are both retired and together. We are a great team and look forward to many years of fun and happiness together.

For our special celebration dinner we went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Pine Mountain called San Marcos. We have dined there off and on for almost 11 years and have developed a great friendship with the owner/workers there. We have celebrated many occasions at San Marcos and tonight was no different. The owner surprised Mike with a special treat of fried ice cream to top off our dinner. We had a great evening and enjoyed being with Stephen.
Today was another milestone in the Jones’ family. Isn’t it wonderful when you see dreams coming together!!!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


After the events of the past weekend Mike and I decided that we needed a few days of R & R. As someone put it on the forum - moving into and cleaning out the motorhome is now our biggest problem and we have all the time in the world to do it. That certainly puts it in perspective.

Mike now has two and a half days left to work!!!!! He is so excited, like a kid in a candy shop. Each morning he gets up and tells me how many days are left. I remember doing the same thing during my last week of teaching. Since he still has to get up and go to w_ _ _ each morning, today I decided to sleep late and start my morning slowly. I met him in LaGrange for lunch and then went to Wal-Mart with our son. A slow relaxing sort of day. When we got home Mike and I went up to the pool area and he sat in the hot tub for about 30 minutes.

We are staying at Pine Mountain RV Resort in Pine Mountain, Georgia. About two years ago this campground went through a huge renovation. They purchased land next to the original campground and expanded. Now there is a new section and an old section. Neither of which are really even close to an "it" factor. It does have some nice perks such as the pool area complete with a hot tub and a children's area where there is a big umbrella with pool water raining down and a gradual walk into the pool such as in a beach. There is a workout room and a sauna room. At the time of this entry there are NO campers here except some long term folks. We are staying another two weeks because I have my yearly doctor's appointment on September 8th. We will be leaving on September 9th to make our way toward Texas.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Tribute to Molly

In everyone’s life a little rain must fall. Yesterday we had an outright thunderstorm. It doesn’t matter what type of lifestyle you live the reality is “life happens.” This lifestyle is NOT a vacation from life. That reality hit Mike and I hard yesterday.
Molly. What can I say about my special friend? She was a few months shy of 18 years old. A beautiful brindle Shih Tzu. In her early years she held her head high and body proud. The typical Shih Tzu face. If we had chosen for her hair to grow long and pulled a top knot back she would have looked like a show dog. She was my constant companion. Always there for me. We held each other during some very dark moments in my life. I clung to her and she to me. She slept with me every night. That all began to change about 3 years ago when suddenly I noticed she was getting old. She had a major health issue that needed surgery and we almost lost her at that time but she pushed through and recovered when even the Vet thought she might not. She was a fighter. There comes a time in life when it doesn’t matter how hard you fight the “circle of life” takes over. She was diagnosed 8 weeks ago with a mammary tumor. Her death sentence had been written. We kept her comfortable through the last 8 weeks but we could tell she was struggling to exist. She had terrible dementia and painful arthritis. She didn’t know much and had gotten to where she didn’t know us. It’s a cruel thing that our furry pets don’t live as long as we do. Oh how I wish they did. Yesterday we made the hardest call I think I have ever made in my life. We chose to give Molly peace. We said our good-bys and allowed her to go. Today there is an enormous empty spot in my heart. Oh, I know time will heal and it does. But I think that it will take time and she will always be a huge part of my life. She gave me her love and that never goes away. She gave me her courage and I am better for having her in my life. Sleep well my love I will miss you.

A few of the lyrics from “Circle of Life” says it best.

In the circle of life It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Celebration Brunch and Exhaustion

Yes, we did close on our house as scheduled on Friday, August 14th. We had until the following Tuesday, August 18th to be out of the house. The exciting part was our son was also moving into his new apartment. He was suppose to move on Monday, August 10th but that was delayed until, you guessed it, Monday August 17th. The really best part was he wasn't going to be able to actually move into the apartment until around 4 o'clock. So we all started helping him move on Monday and worked well into the evening. Did I mention that we are good for the environment?? Yes, after days with no rain it decided to pour that evening. By the time we got to the last of our stuff on Tuesday it felt like junk was just crawling out of the walls. I know I have asked this question many times but where does this stuff come from?? I have already discovered that my purging just wasn't enough. As we get settled in the motorhome we will be doing more purging. Everyone has told me that this is normal so I don't feel too bad. You wouldn't believe how many dishes I brought. Who am I going to feed? Oh well, this is all a learning curve and I am learning daily.

Sunday Mike and I and our son Stephen decided to celebrate by having a wonderful Sunday brunch at Callaway Gardens Resort. This is a special place for our family. Mike was the Recreational Food and Beverage Manager there for over five years. Without a doubt, that was the best position and place he ever worked. We always enjoy "going home" so when we were thinking about a place to celebrate that was a natural. The food was superb but the three of us at the table together was even better. We have always been close so for us this marks a milestone in all of our lives.

So a chapter in our lives has closed and we are so excited about the new one about to be written.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Big Day

Tomorrow is our big day! For several years we have been working toward this day and quite frankly we had gotten to the point we thought it would never happen. It is really hard to put words to how we feel tonight. Maybe TIRED would be a good start.

Yesterday we went to Coachcraft by McDonald in Columbus, Georgia to pick up the motorhome. We had taken it down there to have a few things done to it. We had the top of the coach repainted and new clearcoat applied. The sun had started to break down the old clearcoat and basically it was just going away. We also wanted to have the steps redone. When the old Bluebird factory in Fort Valley, Georgia closed Coachcraft was able to purchase alot of their supplies and accessories. We were able to benefit by getting the material they use on some of their steps. It is about as close as we will ever get to owning anything Bluebird. We had them install our Tire Pressure Pro also. We then drove the motorhome to Pine Mountain RV Resort where we will stay for a month before moving toward Texas. At least now we have the motorhome so we can begin to move our things into it.

We continue to clean the house out. We sold much of the furniture to the buyers so that has been a big help. The garage has three piles - one for a Goodwill pick up, one to be taken to the motorhome and one very large pile that is going to the dumpster. I just have a few things left that we are currently using that will stay until we walk out the door. As we empty out rooms I am beginning to do the cleaning so I can check that room off as completed.

Somewhere over the rainbow dreams really do come true.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boxes and Bags and Junk Oh My!!!

Today was another busy day. We have totally cleaned out the outside storage building. It is amazing how much stuff we just hold on to. Tonight we brought all the Christmas decorations down from the attic. Oh my!! How could this have happened? It is kind of like gaining weight. You don't realize just how much you have gained until one day you take a good look in the mirror and there it is just staring back at you. Well, the Christmas stuff is the same way. You don't realize how much you have until one day you bring it all down at one time and see the multitude of boxes staring back at you. Now I know you are thinking how could I not know how much stuff I have since I decorate for Christmas each year? Well, I don't know! I think I bring it down a few boxes at a time so it isn't such a big deal. Ok, so tomorrow I go through all the Christmas stuff and make my usual three piles - one to toss, one to pack into a large tub to take to the motorhome and one pile to pack and send to the storage building. Christmas in August! I am so tired it probably won't be too hard to get into the toss mode.

Four more days till closing!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our Last Yard Sale!!

Yard sales are so much fun! NOT. I know I said this last time we had a yard sale but that is a lot of work for such little money. The good thing about yard sales is that somebody gets a great deal and we are able to get rid of more "stuff." One person's junk is another person's treasure. In all honesty, we did very well today. We sold most of the stuff we placed in the yard sale and the rest is going to Goodwill and the dumpster. Our neighbor, who loves plants, took many of our potted garden plants so now they have a great home. The family buying our house has decided to purchase all the furniture that we did not want to store. We stored all the furniture pieces that were family heirlooms. Now the only thing left to do is the attic. We need to sort through all the Christmas decorations and pack those that we want to keep. Mike and I have decided that we are not going to try to recreate the same "look" we had in our sticks and bricks for Christmas. We want Christmas to become a little more simple. This is all part of the simplifying of our lives that we are looking forward to. We are almost done!!!

Our closing is scheduled for Friday, August 14th at 4:00 p.m. I wonder what song the fat lady is going to sing??

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Our New Home

We spent this past weekend traveling to Orlando and back to pick up our new to us rig. We had located a very well kept Dutch Star a few months ago on line and have been talking with the owners off and on during this time. We made our first trip to Orlando July 20th. We left LaGrange, Georgia around 2 o'clock in the afternoon and made the 8 hour drive in our Jeep Wrangler. A vehicle definitely not made for long 8 hour trips. We were traveling with our Shih Tzus which made it even harder to stop for any length of time. In fact, they are like children, when they are asleep you just keep driving and don't stop. We were able to stay until Thursday which gave us a little R&R between the drive down and back. We returned the following Thursday, July 30th, to pick up the coach. This trip was much harder because we arrived Thursday evening late and made the return trip on Saturday. Again, we traveled with our furry children. All went well. We were able to pick up the coach from the previous owners and do a walk through with them before they left to return home to Wisconsin. This couple has taken extremely good care of their coach. We feel good about the coach and the deal we got on it We have owned three other motorhomes but there was something different this time when we walked inside. This time we were HOME!! Mike did a great job driving home and the coach drove and rode fabulous. We have never owned a Spartan chassis but the drive was a good one. Of course I have to get used to co-piloting a motorhome again. I don't know how many times I said, "Mike be careful." I know Mike must have gotton tired of hearing me say it over and over. I have included some outside pictures in this entry and will take some of the interior as soon as we get moved in.Move in is scheduled for August 8th. We plan to stay for a few weeks at Pine Mountain RV Resort while Mike finishes up with his job. Then our journey truly begins.