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 us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".
Friday, February 26, 2010
This evening twelve of us met at Big Daddy’s Grill to eat terrific food and enjoy great fellowship. Jesse and Ginger Haman were passing through RP on their way to Maryland and some of the group wanted to reconnect with them and some of us wanted to meet them. Mike and I have been reading their blog (http://kram-a-lotinn.blogspot.com) since they started full-timing about a year and half ago. Darrell and Judy worked with them last year at Lake George Resort and Glenn and Sylvia had met them in Kerrville Texas last year. So Randy and Terry Guiler, Mike and Peggy Evringham and Mike and I met Jesse and Ginger tonight for the first time. You would never guess that we had just met because we all sat there and talked and laughed as if we had known each other for many years. It is just that way with RV friends.
Tomorrow is our last day at Rainbow Plantation for this season. We will be heading back to Pine Mountain, Georgia for a few weeks to take care of some doctor appointments and spend some time with Stephen before moving on to our volunteer position. It takes awhile to get doctor appointments scheduled for times when you are in a certain location. We have been working toward getting these appointments scheduled for the time when we are home for the holidays - November/December. That didn’t quite work out this year but we are hopeful that next year we will have it right. We will work on giving our “so long” hugs tomorrow and taking one last drive to the ocean and then prepare the rig to pull out Sunday morning.
Even though it has been a cold winter, Mike and I have been warmed by the love and friendship at Rainbow Plantation.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We stopped at the Fairhope Museum which depicts a cross section of Fairhope’s history. Fairhope is a utopian style community with a vast array of shopping, dining, city parks and brick paved sidewalks accented with seasonal award winning landscapes. Since it was quite windy and cool, we just drove through downtown and some of the surrounding streets including the Scenic Highway 98. There are many older homes with beautiful trees and landscapes.
We got back to the plantation and rested for awhile and then headed up to the clubhouse for the afternoon social. On the way up there we stopped to visit Randy and Terry and were having so much fun visiting, we missed the social. Well, since we were visiting with them, we had our own social. We left around 5 pm because Randy was playing in The Baldwin Pops later that night.
When we got back to the rv, we got ready ourselves to go to the Baldwin Pops which was going to be at the Fairhope Civic Center. Since Darrell and Judy, Mike and Peggy were going too, Darrell graciously asked us to ride with them. The Civic Center was packed for the concert, and it was an incredible concert. There were about 65 members of the orchestra and they played magnificent. The performance is strictly a volunteer performance because they love to play.
There is so much to see and do in this area; we have not been able to do it all. I just guess we will have to return next year…………yea!!!!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
With all the Mardi Gras activities at the Plantation and opportunities to eat we have been lax in the entertainment department. We finally had the opportunity to have Darrell and Judy along with Mike and Peggy over for a chat and chew this evening. We have really enjoyed getting to know both of these terrific couples and have had a lot of fun times together and tonight was no different. We sat and talked for several hours taking time out to eat a little along the way. Mike E has been very helpful with his expertise in helping us set up our cradlepoint router and then today he gave us some help with our handheld GPS. Thanks Mike!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I especially enjoyed the bluegrass music by Glenda and Larry and a visiting banjo picker from Livingston, Texas.
This was our last Sunday night gathering here at Rainbow Plantation for this winter. These wonderful people have taught me a few important lessons. They taught me to always stay young. I know we have no control over our age and the years will continue to be added on but those numbers don’t mean a thing. Stay young in spirit. Live each day to the fullest. Laugh often and hug a lot. Don’t take yourself too seriously and love each other. Stay busy and gather to eat often with each other. There is a spirit here that words can’t describe. These good people honestly care about each other. How refreshing in a world that seems to be in such a hurry that we sometimes don’t even know our neighbors.
We will be moving on to new adventures soon but this adventure will never be forgotten.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Last night we ventured over to Darrell and Judy’s rig for a visit along with a show and tell. Darrell has just completed the installation of a new inverter in his fifth wheel. Mike wanted to take a look at what was installed and how it was wired. Their new inverter allows them to run both televisions, computers, router and some electrical outlets. Along with their generator and now the new inverter they are set for several days of dry camping. Darrell is very pleased with his new setup. I am sure it is far more technical than what I described so check out his website and read about what he did at www.wanderingamerica.com.
We invited Randy and Terry Guiler (http://guilertravels.blogspot.com ) over this evening for dinner. As always the food was good but the conversation and fellowship was even better. It’s not about the food. In fact, we had planned to play a little Mexican Train but we preferred to just sit and talk with each other instead. Randy and Terry are a wonderful couple that we are just so blessed that we have gotten to know. This is what is so great about this lifestyle……the wonderful friends you make for life.
Our time here at Rainbow Plantation is coming to a close. Next week will be our last week here and then we will be heading back to Pine Mountain for a few weeks while we complete some doctor appointments. We have had a great time and have met some wonderful people. We plan to spend next winter here and perhaps experience some of that normal winter weather.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
After leaving the restaurant we decided to check out the Baldwin County Heritage Museum located in Elberta, Alabama which is just east of Foley. This museum shows items from everyday life of the people that founded this county. It shows a hard working culture and items from a time long past. The area was complete with a little red schoolhouse, a church and blacksmith’s shop among other buildings. We had a nice afternoon just walking through history.
Upon further reading I discovered that it was a place worth exploring. The story goes like this -
local author Sonny Brewer tells the true story of 62 year old Henry Stuart who was living in Idaho when was told that he was dying and had about a year to live. It was recommended to him to move to a warmer climate so that the “end” wouldn’t be so painful. This is when he made his journey to the quaint city of Fairhope. It is said that he “left his shoes out west, and lived barefooted in a round concrete house made by himself with his own two hands.” He lived beyond the predicted one year, he lived twenty-two years in his handmade round house and yes, he was barefooted. Clarence Darrow, who was his friend, visited him many times in Fairhope. Henry named his house after his favorite writer Tolstoy. Henry was a poet, writer, a gardener and above all self-sufficient. A man after Thoreau’s own heart. Sonny Brewer tells Henry’s story in his book, The Poet of Tolstoy Park.
Mike and I took a drive to the area in Fairhope that Henry Stuart called Tolstoy Park. It was a little difficult to locate since there have been many buildings erected around it. I was glad to see the little hut was left untouched by progress. There it sat beneath a huge live oak tree. A little round hut built by the hands of Henry Stuart. We walked inside and imagined what it must have been like to live such a simple life. I can only imagine that he was happy and content with his life and had learned to life well. It was here in this hut that Sonny Brewer lived while writing this amazing story of Henry Stuart. It was nice to see this reminder that life can be lived simply and beautifully. After leaving we immediately went into town to a local bookstore and purchased the book. I can’t wait to read it.
This evening we joined about 21 Rainbow Plantation friends for dinner at Vallarta’s Mexican Restaurant. I can’t describe the fun these folks have together and we are just so glad they have opened their arms to Mike and I and allowed us to have a little fun with them. Tonight was Ray’s birthday celebration so he got the usual “happy birthday” sung to him Mexican style complete with a little whipped cream on his beard. The food was great but the fellowship and fun was even better.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This has been an amazing five days of fun and frolicking by everyone. Mike and I have really enjoyed participating in the fun of Mardi Gras and now we can honestly say we understand this celebration better because we have experienced it….wow, isn’t that what this lifestyle is all about…. .experiencing things first hand and learning more about different cultures and making lasting friendships. We certainly accomplished that in the past few weeks.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The parade began promptly at 11:00 complete with an honor guard at the beginning and a fire truck to bring up the rear. There was a lot of bead and moon pie throwing along with waving and fun. Several people even had their pets dressed up in Mardi Gras colors and walked them in the parade.
Immediately following the parade we all converged in the clubhouse for lunch. Chef Larry and crew prepared yummy barbecue, baked beans and cole slaw. After lunch the king and queen paraded into the clubhouse and sat on their throne. The entertainment consisted of a skit followed by the dulcimer group playing several tunes for us. Following the highly talented dulcimer players there was a performance by the group that calls themselves The Chenilles. There just aren’t any words to describe this group of crazy ladies. They came out dressed in their best chenille robes some complete with curlers in their hair. They sang their own modified versions of several songs….mostly off key. As you can surmise it was all in fun and we all laughed so hard we cried. Good fun!
Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday. This will mark the ending of Mardi Gras and the continuous party that has been going on since Friday. I hate to see it end but I am confident that the fun will continue here at the Plantation. Thanks for stopping by and allowing us to share with you the fun of this celebration called Mardi Gras
Monday, February 15, 2010
Well it happened again…..another great day! It started out with Mike and I visiting another church in the area. Today we attended services at Summerdale Church of Christ. We had spotted this church when we first arrived and had wanted to visit. It was a good service centered around the topic of “love.” What else on Valentines Day? After this we went back to the motorhome and before we could prepare our lunch Randy and Terry Guiler called and invited us to join them for lunch at where else….Big Daddy’s Grill. As usual the food was terrific. I decided to be a good girl today and order something besides fried shrimp. Yea me!! In fact Mike and I both ordered the Big Daddy hamburger with sides. Even though Big Daddy’s is known for its seafood I must say the burger was superb!
Norm Payne along with Don Martin came down to our motorhome this afternoon around 1:00. Norm has owned Newmar motorhomes since 1999 and currently owns a Dutch Star. He volunteered several weeks ago to come down and go over our motorhome with Mike and show him various system, how to service different things and tips we don‘t have the experience yet to know about. You can see I am not very technical!!! There is so much about these diesel machines to learn and there aren’t any better teachers/mentors than Norm and Don. Even though Don owns a Winnebago it has many of the same systems as our Dutch Star so his input was also invaluable. These two super friends stayed and talked with Mike for over two hours. We just can’t say it enough…..there is nothing better than RV friends. Thanks so much guys!!
This evening we went to the clubhouse for our next round of Mardi Gras activities which included the usual ice cream social at 6:00. The king and queen entered the building and took their seats of honor just in time for the line dancers to perform.
Mike and I went a couple of times to practice with these guys and I can tell you that it takes a lot of energy and foot talent to dance some of the line dances. These guys are good and really enjoy dancing. After this was karaoke time.
It never ceases to amaze me at the talent of RVers. Our friend Terry Guiler sang two songs and what a wonderful singer she is. …..a great voice!!
I have always wished I could just open my mouth and beautiful music would come out. Not the case I can assure you. We sat with our friends Darrell and Judy, Mike and Peggy, Glenn and Sylvia, and Randy and Terry. We never get together without tons of laughter and lots of fun. What a great night of fun, laughter and fellowship. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Tomorrow is the Mardi Gras parade here at Rainbow Plantation. This is an energetic and hilarious group of people that just love to have fun and with the theme of “Fractured Science Fiction” it should prove to be a most interesting parade!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
We pulled a couple of tables together and had some delicious barbecue with Darrell and Judy, Glenn and Sylvia and Mike and Peggy. Good friends, good food and good times. Life is good.
Happy Valentines Day!!