Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Reflections


As we began our southbound trip last fall, I was very moved by this tribute to the men and women that have served this country.  If so many had not given their service so willingly, Bob and I would likely not have had the freedom to travel and see the back roads of this fine Nation.  

Freedom is something I have always taken for granted, however as I get older, I realize the value of  service and most of all sacrificial payment in order for us to enjoy those freedoms.       


Growing up during the Vietnam War era, many  high school friends left right after graduation and sadly never returned.

Although  I never served in any of the Armed Forces,  I remember very well marching in the High School Band for every Memorial Day Parade.   We marched over a 1.5 mile route,  wearing very hot, elaborate wool band uniforms while standing  in formation during the entire celebration and dedication speeches from the Mayor and VFW officers.  I also remember very well the military gun salute which seemed to shake my body all the way down to my toes and small aircraft flying overhead dropping small flags and ribbons to the folks attending the memorial.

I guess my memories and contribution to the many  “hot and humid” Memorial Day  Parades are my way of showing respect and saying “thank you to all of our hero’s” past and present.

Enjoy those freedoms, but most of all, respect them! 



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cohabitating with my honey-do list


You know the old saying…the work will still be there waiting!  My list patiently sat waiting all winter while we played and now it is time  to pay the piper.   Little by little I am making headway and, thankfully, I am not as over whelmed this summer as I was last summer.   In my opinion that in itself is a HUGE accomplishment.


We usually have very humid weather due to our proximity to Lake Michigan but lately the days have been very comfortable.   This morning, after a few very cool days and rain, the sunny skies returned and it is a beautiful 70 degree’s.    I grabbed the camera and enjoyed my morning coffee on the deck listening to the many birds that were as happy as I was to see the sun.   Life had been pretty hectic the past year and a half and I had not taken the time to just sit and enjoy what is here right under my feet.  


Since I bought my new camera I also had not used the  300mm lens often so this morning was a learning experience.   Usually the birds enjoy the large pine tree and a little pond that are just off the corner of the deck.   They didn’t quite know what to do about me invading their territory so the usual variety of  visitors was not as interesting.   Nonetheless, I enjoyed the peace and quiet and was able to capture a couple shots even at quite a distance.  I still have lots to learn…but isn’t that what life is all about?   


I was very surprised at how well the colors showed as pictures were taken at such a distance.   I love this camera



This past week I have been busy cleaning up the remains of a demolished mobile home that was on the property.   Our thinking is to make use of the remaining cement slab along with the electricity, water and sewer possibly as a spot to either park our coach  or possibly for other RV guests.   Who knows, maybe even future income!

We have an abundance of Blue Racer snakes due to our wooded land and they are loving the remains of that old mobile home.   Being the city girl that I am (was), they were a surprise to me…actually, surprise is an understatement.    The first day I went up there I ran across a couple that scared the bejeebers out of me.   I had only been cleaning the area for about 15 minutes when a couple snakes about 4 ft. long scrambled past me.  It scared me so much that I was nauseated and had to stop for the day.   The next day I went back up on the hill, this time, equipped with a pitch fork, tire iron and chains to pull things away in order to separate scrap from junk.   Lesson learned !   I am determined to clean up the mess. 


Bob is back in physical therapy again for a few months.   His physician feels as though he has had improvement over the winter to warrant more therapy.   It was very nice to see the old gang again and we enjoyed hugs all around.   I am so pleased with the traveling we did this past seems to have really helped the brain wake up a bit more.   He has even managed to work on his classic cars a bit.  Yahooie Louie!!  


I have seriously fallen behind in my blogging and I find that I can’t devote much time on the computer, so it is my hope that everyone is doing well and finding time to enjoy their summer travels.   All is well with us, just very busy .

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Michigan Hometown Pride ~Allegan


This is a peek at our summer back yard.   I hope you will enjoy the  armchair tour.   Many of my blogging friends, whom I may never meet, have inspired me to continue with my limited chicken scratching's more commonly known as “Just BS!” 

I have enjoyed countless hours reading  their blogs, many of which were  written about local interests in their own back yards.   Although  I had not given any thought to other people possibly taking an interest in our surroundings,  I must admit for a small town of just under 5000 folks, there is a lot of beauty and history.  

Allegan dates back to the early 1800’s and was developed along the banks of the Kalamazoo River.   It served as a  source of water power, steamboat routes and timber production.    A dam and sawmill remain standing that dated back to the late 1830’s.  As the town progressed,  a one lane bridge was erected over the river for easier access to the downtown area in 1886.   It is now known as the Second Street Bridge, but more commonly called the Old Iron Bridge by the locals.

IMG_0314       IMG_0315



We enjoy a very pretty waterfront boardwalk along the river with continuous fountains which are active year round.


Often times, Bob and I will go down to the waterfront to share an ice cream and be carried away by the peaceful sounds of the water splashing from the fountains.  We not only have a waterfront boardwalk but also a great little gazebo where we can enjoy free concerts during the summer months.



When Bob and I got married 6 years ago, one of the things that I loved about this town was the impressive architecture of homes in the Historic District.   We even have a local Bed and Breakfast which  is my type of eye candy.



There are many sites to see around old Allegan, and I have only touched on a couple.   We boast a historic old theatre that still has the original atmosphere and interior with up to date movies.   Although it has been a while since we have gone to one of the movies, it still remains a bargain at 2 for the price of one,  Monday night movies.   I think the last time we went a few years ago it was a whopping $4.00 with free popcorn. 


So I guess after all is said and done, we too, have something special right in our own backyard.  

Still Alive and Kicking


Prior to leaving Hot Springs Park, we made a day trip to a small community in Arkansas that houses a classic car collection.  Bob was in heaven for a few hours drooling over a 1956 Mercury Montclair . We own one also but sadly ours is not a convertible and not quite in the same pristine condition.


It was fun to see the full potential of his car as he is once again working on it little by little. Thank God for his determination ! (This picture was taken of his car at our local car show last summer)

We have been back home again  for three weeks and if I had my way about things I have to admit that I would hit the road again in a New York minute.    In as much as this was my first experience of being a snowbird, I didn’t expect the feelings of “let down” upon coming home.   Wouldn’t one think that we would know ourselves inside out by this age?   I think it is more a case of…OK, we came home, gathered with family,  enjoy seeing everyone… they are all doing fine….now let’s go !

Much of the past six months has been quite warm here in the Northland and I assume the seasonal cold and flu germs thrived.    Bob and I have managed to find a few lurking that knocked both of  us off of our feet  for the past week.   Kim, Bob’s oldest daughter,  came to the rescue and  made a pot of chicken soup…what a gal !  Thanks toots, we are back on the mend.

My intention has been to continue blogging,  taking the suggestion of other blogging  friends with ramblings of local pictures and events.     Just prior to catching our bugs, we took the camera out to do just that and headed out to the community of South Haven on Lake Michigan.   I am afraid that Murphy was  riding shotgun because suddenly the wind and rain picked up dampening  the camera as well as the spirits. 

Sherri and Randy, the couple we met as we left Hot Springs, have kept in touch and I really believe that Sherri and I have become one another’s lifeline.   I feel such a relief and confidence knowing we will enjoy traveling in tandem next winter not only for Randy and Bob’s continued therapy but also the tremendous caregiver support we have to offer each other.    It is such a gift !

Life truly is like a box of chocolates.   Have a good day