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".

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Special Dinner


Yesterday morning Stephen called us and wanted to know if Gerri & I would be able to meet him for dinner. He wanted to eat with us, but he also wanted us to meet the young lady he has been seeing. As a no brainer, we gladly agreed. So Monday night we met at Longhorn’s for a “late” dinner. Now late for us is anything after 6:30pm. Jennifer is an attractive young lady who is also in the National Guard. She is studying Criminal Justice and wants to do something in a related field. We spent about an hour and half eating and visiting. She is a delightful young lady and we are glad they have the opportunity to get to know each other and “hang out” together.


I am still struggling with my back pains. A year and a few months ago I hurt my back and after an MRI we found I have a herniated disc. I went through a long series of spinal decompressions and a few lumbar epidurals. All of this was done to hopefully avoid back surgery. It worked and so far I have avoided having back surgery. It seems that I aggravated the back while hosting at the state park and I am trying to resolve an old back problem. I might have to repeat the same process as last year…? We will see!




Enough of that! The weather yesterday and today hints of fall in the air. Gerri and I sat out and just enjoyed a gentle breeze and a beautiful sunset just a few minutes ago. The temps are in the mid to upper 70’s and low humidity…. Makes for a great evening on the patio. We might just build a campfire this week and just chillax under the stars. Seems like a good idea to me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hot & Steamy


It’s been the kind of heat and humidity you have when you walk out of an air conditioned room or car that your glasses steam up and you can’t see. We’ve been having that combination of weather most of the week. With that said, Gerri and I have been staying inside a lot of the time. I’m not sure Al could doctor the pics of us in our recliner with Picasa enough to make them look exciting, so we didn’t take any.



Today we decided to go to Callaway Gardens Sibley Center and stroll through the seasonal display of flowers and plants. The Gardens do an incredible job with the landscaping and their displays throughout the property. They change up the foliage during each season so there is always something different to see and experience. It was quite warm to say the least, but it was a pleasant visit. We didn’t even see many bikers on the 10 mile paved bike trail through the gardens and woods; I guess it’s just too hot and muggy for the bicyclists.

DSC_3779            DSC_3788



Update on my grand nephew Hunter. They hope he will be able to go home from the hospital by the end of next week after being there for a month. He is still taking chemo and will return to the hospital several times over the next few weeks. His 4 year old sister is a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant, and that will take place sometime in November. At that time, he will return to the hospital for 4-6 weeks.



We hope you have had a great weekend, and I know we all hope that fall weather is not too far away from being here.


Take care and thanks for joining along with us.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our First Anniversary

It’s been a year! My how time flies when you are having fun. One year ago today we met at the attorney’s office and signed the papers to close on our house. In doing this we ended a long history of “stationary” home ownership. We still own a home….its just on wheels.


The other day I read a very touching post by Donna of (Cave Dwellings) where she explained the love she had for her RV….a 5th wheel Hitchhiker. She wrote about how being inside her rig made her happy and peaceful. I encourage you to check out her blog and the post entitled - Spiffing Up the HitchHiker….Makes me Smile!…I Needed That.

Bridge in Vicksburg


Dealy Plza

Cowboy Stadium 2

How does this fit in with our one year anniversary?? Our new home, the Dutch Star, has become a place for us to feel happy and peaceful. A place to relax in and just be…


We haven’t traveled great distances and we knew we would be limited these first few years. Mike took an early retirement and so now we wait for his retirement money at the appropriate age. We have my teacher’s pension which includes terrific health insurance and if all goes well…one day Social Security. Until then we knew we would be doing some volunteering, sitting and slow moving. That is ok by us.

anniversary 1 ftMusic Jam3




The last few years of our lives in the sticks and bricks were anything but great. Mike was working very long hours….beginning at 4:45 in the morning and putting in as much as 12 to 14 hours. His back was almost gone and he was in great pain. He had two lumbar epidurals and several (30) treatments of spinal decompressions. We were lucky in that these treatments helped the pain and kept him off the operating table. His left knee is bad and he has already had minor surgery on it. More than that was the sheer exhaustion. We hardly had a relationship due to the fatigue of his grueling job in food service.


We had tried several times to sell our home to pursue our dream of full-timing but the economy was bad and the housing market was heading south at a rapid rate taking house prices with it. We finally took the house off the market and decided to try as best we could to make the most of this situation. That is when I received the phone call from our realtor that she highly suspected that she had the house sold. We showed the house and through the next few weeks the house sold. We sold the house for our asking price and we didn’t have to assist in closing costs. The folks purchasing the house had no problems with financing. It was really a dream closing.


Life is short… its longest it is a short ride. I was already retired from 35 years of teaching and Mike was working himself into an early grave….for what??? Nothing meant as much to me as having him alive and well and happy. We decided to take the offer, sell the house and go ahead and purchase a motor home and give this elusive lifestyle a chance.

Hagerman Road

So here we are one year later. Any regrets? No, we are able to enjoy this lifestyle on our terms, move when we can, volunteer when we find something neat to do and enjoy family and make many new and wonderful friends. Most of our new friends are RV related in some way and many are right here in blog land. Some of the most wonderful people I have ever gotten to know are right here on this blog and Mike and I value your friendships.


I once wrote that every full-timer has to establish their own unique rhythm. We are working on that and think we are doing pretty good. We’ve made a few “timing” errors but we are learning. We may not be moving as fast as some but we are still very much in love with this lifestyle and if we have to be stationary for a few weeks or more I would still rather be here in my little house on wheels than anywhere else on earth.

Thank you Donna for your honest account of your love for your rig and what it means to your life. I applaud you and so totally agree.

Thank all of you for reading and sharing in this adventure with us. You make it special!

On to year two!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Plans Change….


We have made a batch of jello. Yep, that is what full-timers say when their plans go awry. Way back on Tuesday, we had planned to stop over at Pine Mountain RV Resort for a short time to help out with their website links. Well, that was Tuesday!!!


Today all of those plans are up in the air. We received a phone call from Mike’s brother that his grandson, Hunter, had been admitted to Vanderbilt hospital. This grandson is only 7 years old. He has been diagnosed with juvenile leukemia. We are all devastated. It seems juvenile leukemia is very treatable and the prognosis for survival is 80% or better. We were going to make our way toward Nashville to see Hunter and the rest of the family when we left this area. Mike’s mom lives in Nashville and we haven’t seen her for too long. Then we received another phone call telling us that Hunter’s form of leukemia fell into a 5% bracket and this puts him in the 60% survival rate. He will also have to have a bone marrow transplant. Needless to say, we are all very upset about this news and are keeping Hunter and the rest of his family in our prayers.


That’s when the jello really began to take a different form.

When we began the planning stages of this lifestyle we both knew that our love of travel and exploring history would NEVER take precedence over family. First and foremost we are parents, son, brother, sister and daughter-in-law. That always comes first. If family needed us we would be there. After all we have wheels under us and can move our home to wherever it needs to be.


We have heard so many people talk as if when a person begins full-timing they will be entering into a utopia of sorts. A dream like existence of perpetual vacation. This is just not true. When you become a full-timer your life comes with you. It is indeed a lifestyle….not a vacation.

Right now, due to these family responsibilities, we will be content to stay and play at Pine Mountain RV Resort and then travel toward Nashville, Tennessee to support and encourage family.


We will have to put the Escapade on hold till another year….and there will be another year. We will continue our current website links responsibilities here at Pine Mountain RV Resort and head for Nashville beginning of September. We will stay there for a couple of weeks and when we leave Nashville we’ll see where we can find some new photo opportunities.


Our plans changed but the adventure didn’t. We will use this detour to explore some new areas, enjoy some history and take a few pictures.


Thanks for coming along with us on this crazy adventure called full-timing. We appreciate your time in reading our blog and hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave us a comment and let us know you were here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moving Day

DSC_3700                                                          Sunset at Our Campground Pine Mountain RV Resort

We finished our time at FDR State Park August 1st but decided to remain a little longer to help the guys out. We have noticed a huge drop in campers over the last couple of weeks.


Two large areas of the campground is now closed until fall.  This past weekend we were about 20% full and by Sunday evening there were NO campers in the campground. Just us and the other campground host in area 5. The only reason they are in area 5 is for security. The electric gates that are supposed to close at 10:00 don’t work. In the past these gates were closed at 10:00 p.m. and opened at 7:00a.m. and the only way you could enter was to use the key code pad.


Mike and I have never felt unsafe in the campground but when it is empty and the gates don’t work you do begin to feel a little weird. We tried to call security once for some weather related reason and nobody ever answered….GREAT!!

DSC_3641                                                              Barn in the Vegetable Garden at Callaway Gardens

The campground host that is taking our place will be arriving in the next few days so we decided to take the manager of Pine Mountain RV Resort up on his offer to work on the website here for a few weeks. He has a few things he wants us to work on and we agreed to help out. The campground is really nice and they are doing more landscaping to enhance the facilities even more. SO TUESDAY WE MOVED…not far mind you but we moved. This is more or less a stopover with perks.


We do not plan on leaving this area until around Labor Day weekend, pending we find a place to park with the Labor Day holiday upon us. Our plans are to head toward the Escapade in Indiana. The Escapade is a huge rally sponsored by the Escapees Club. We plan to meet up with some great friends, meet some new friends and have lots of fun and fellowship.


Hope you are having a great week! Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog. We want to welcome a couple of new “friends” to our readers. We are so glad you found us and hope you enjoy following along.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Nick’s Back Home


We picked Nick up at the pet hospital Sunday afternoon around 5:00. We were so excited to have him back home that we arrived at the pet hospital almost an hour early. He is special and we missed him.


He had acute colitis. According to the vet this can come on quickly and they really don’t know what exactly causes it. He did say the little dogs have such small tummies and intestines that they need to stay on their dog food and not change things up too often and NEVER give people food.



I confess he MIGHT have gotten some people food every now and then….but not often. I promise. I MIGHT have dropped a potato chip or small piece of bread from a sandwich every now and then. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be so careless and drop things anymore. Of course he’s gonna hate my new found carefulness.


He was a pretty sick little boy for about 24 hours. They put in an IV and gave him fluids because he was badly dehydrated and then he started passing a little blood. That was the part that alarmed us all. With the great medicine and a calm evening in the hospital he was much better by morning.


He is getting better each day! He hasn’t gotten back all his strength yet but it is coming. He is eating his prescription dog food pretty well and he is now using the bathroom in the normal manner. Yea!

I thought about Rick (Rick and Paulette’s RV Travel) when Rick related the story to us of his dog, Rylie. It sounds very similar and Rick….when we got the bill it was way too similar. Nick’s one day in the hospital cost $459.00. He is worth it!!


We are so glad he is ok and home with us. He is a special little boy that fills up our lives with lots of devoted love and laughter.

Thanks to all of you for your sweet comments wishing Nick well. We appreciate your kind thoughts and always for taking time to stop by and visit. Have a great week!!


"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."

-Roger Caras