Wednesday, May 30, 2007


This map of the eastern half of the USA is marked in red along the route that we've travelled since September. The first three months of our retirement we spent in Alaska, but the map isn't big enough to include that whole trip, so this is just since we returned from Alaska in September and took off south. We've been through Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio. Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennyslvania, and a quick jaunt into Deleware, just to say we've been there. What beautiful scenery we've seen, and what super people we've met! We've been asked which place was our favorite, and each time I think I reply with different answers. God has given each part of our country its own beauty, and each place is unique and special. If forced to answer one place though, I would probably have answer with Maryland. I loved the area around Haggerstown (hi Carole and Glenn!) and could see myself living somewhere in the mountains along the Apalachian Trail.

We will be heading back on the road next Tuesday, first stopping at our son's place east of the Cities for a couple of nights, then cutting back across Minnesota to Grand Forks North Dakota to see another son and family. On the way we are stopping in Grand Rapids to have satellite internet installed in our RV. I am so excited! It will be wonderful to again have my computer available 24/7 instead of having to drive to a restaurant or coffee shop (or bar!) where they offer wireless. Maybe then I will be a bit more regular in my blogging.

Actually when we leave Grand Forks and head east to New Foundland, Nova Scotia, PEI etc, I will have so much to share with you all that I don't think I'll have any trouble coming up with something to blog. We've never been there and are so looking forward to exploring more of God's wonderful creation. I promise many pictures.


This is part of our family that we had out to our campground on Memorial Day. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, and not everyone could come, but we had a good crowd anyhow. I found it to be a hard day. Our daughter that has distanced herself from the family for quite a few years actually came this time, and that's the part that was so hard for me. It was good to see her but it makes me sad to see her. She used to be so healthy and athletic looking, and her current 93 pounds is really tough to see as she weighed more than that when she first came to live with us in 1982 at age 13. All through school she was active in sports, softball, basketball, swiming and diving, and now she stumbles when she walks. She knew she was at risk for addiction because of her Native American heritage, but the powerful urges were too much for her to overcome and she now can't live without her drug of choice, alcohol. It's so hard to watch her go further and further downhill into the abyss, but until she wants help there is nothing anyone can do. So I continue to take her phone calls, I continue to tell her I love her, and I continue to pray for her daily, waiting for the day when she returns to us. Maybe some day we can again have family get togethers and not wonder if she'll show up, or if she'll call with some excuse why she can't come. Maybe some day she'll realize what she is missing by living the life she is and will want to rejoin the family. Maybe some day she'll love herself as much as we love her and will accept the help that is available to her. Please dear heavenly Father, keep her safe and bring her back to us. We miss her so!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


The first picture was taken a month ago. The second one was taken yesterday. Quite a change has taken place in the past month! This is our home, 34 feet long with a slide on each side of the living room and the slide in front is the head of the bed that slides out. It's small, but so far it's large enough. We sure don't collect much stuff!

Friday, May 25, 2007


I've just returned from a doctor visit that I was a little (well, a lot) worried about and I received good news for which I am most thankful. I had an oval shaped dark red spot that just appeared last week Thursday on top of the spot where I had a squamous cell cancer removed two years ago. Needless to say, I thought it was the same thing, returning with vengeance. It proved to be a broken blood vessel and I have nothing to worry about. The skin covering the spot is a little more delicate than the surrounding skin, and I must have bruised it when toweling off after my shower. However, there were two skin tags on my neck that the dermatologist removed, one a little nothing tag, the other slightly suspicious. He did biopsy that one but said not to change plans (we head back on the road in a week and a half), that they would track me down if need be. I am so thankful!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


We are out of coffee. Not a pretty picture! I was up late last night and slept a little later this morning, and then couldn't wake up because of the coffee outage. I sat in the rocking chair, staring at the TV screen where FOX NEWS was trying to educate me on the war, the missing woman, the kidnapped little girl, etc, and nothing was getting through. I ate my normal breakfast of yogurt and strawberries and drank a glass of tomato juice, but none of those contains the drug I was craving so I was still in zombi land. I figured my shower would help jar me awake, but it was a nice relaxing shower, not what I needed today. Finally we headed into town and are now sitting at Dunn Bros coffee shop, a 20 ounce Americano in hand. Relief! I'm awake and functioning and am now able to deal with the bad news I just received. Three friends from the college where I used to work were planning to meet me for dinner at Olive Garden, but we've had to postpone our plans because of the illness of a family member of one of the gals. We were all looking foreward to our get together tonight, but it will have to be rescheduled for next week. That's a bummer, and it's a good thing I have caffeine surging through my veins to console me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yesterday I planted my garden. I have five pots filled with chives, sweet basil, rosemary, and cilantro. They are all sitting in a window box so I can move the garden into sun or shade, and take it in when we are traveling. The picture also shows the garden stepping stone that our daughter Kari and family gave me for Mothers Day. And my chives were from son Chuck and his family. I love my little garden and will now have to think of a way to get it across the border into Canada so I can use the herbs this summer during our travels.

And just so you know........I didn't sleep last night because in my mind I went over and over the steps to linking to another blog. I'm a quick learner. It only took 3 lessons to get it down but I think this time it actually works!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Monday was the birthday of our second oldest son, Chuck. He turned 37. This son has made us so proud of him and his family, and I want to make sure he knows how much we love and respect him. You see, he wasn't born to us, so we haven't been able to let him know from birth that we loved him, so now I need to tell him often that we couldn't love him more if he had been born to us.

On Mothers Day I always think back to the moments that made me a mother, and I was thinking of the first day we met Chuck, or Charlie as he was known then, in May of 1978. My heart melted! His almost black bowl cut hair and black eyes and Native American coloring made him the cutest little guy I had ever seen and I knew immediately that he belonged in our home with his two little brothers who were already living with us. It was 1982 before Chuck and his sister joined our family, but we had already grown to love him.

Now I never tire of watching him with his son, who looks just like he did way back then except for red hair instead of black hair. Chuck has become a wonderful father, so caring and loving, that it brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart just to think of it. He spends all his free time with his boy, fishing, hunting, playing sports, and just being together which is the greatest gift a man can give his son.

Way to go son! You could be the poster boy for how to raise great kids. And they could also list on that poster that you are a great husband, son, and son-in-law, too. I pray that you never doubt our love for you because it is forever love. God bless and keep you and your family, and we are so thankful to Him for giving you to us. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.


We have been really busy for the past week or more. Our time has been filled with visiting kids and grandkids, 2 preschool graduations, 2 Confirmations, a trip to the Cities and wedding dress shopping with our grandaughter, graduation at the college where I worked, a trip to see our son and family east of the Cities, a get together for my mom for Mothers Day, and lunch yesterday with one of my oldest and dearest friends. Boy, for retired people we sure do keep on the go! But I say that's what keeps us feeling young and healthy. Most of the people down in Florida where we spent most of the winter were so old! All they ever talked about was what was hurting that day, and the table prayer at the Tuesday pot-lucks was mostly a prayer for those who were sick in bed or were hospitalized. Our plan is to keep busy and thus to keep healthy.

Right now we are checking into satellite internet. There is a special going on for purchase and installation at a nicely reduced price, and the monthly charge is $59. That's a lot compared to our old DSL connection, but hey, we're mobile now and not connected by a phone line. And I figure we've spent more than $59 in the last month going to coffee shops and eating lunch at places that offer free wireless. We haven't connected yet with someone in this area who installs it, but we have a call coming from the company to give us options. I hope we can get it done before we leave here the first part of June. Until then, it's Dunn Bros!

I pulled a real ooops this past weekend. We were headed east of the Cities to our oldest son and daughter-in-love's place to go to church and attend communion with their oldest son, our grandson, who was confirmed the week before when we were at another grandson's Confirmation. We packed lightly, just for overnight, but I remembered my dress shoes and a a sweater/shrug to wear with my dress on Sunday. BUT, I forgot the dress! So us gals were forced to go shopping while the hubby, son and the two boys went golfing. We had a nice time, found clothes on sale, and solved my problem of no clothes for church. I was accused of purposely forgetting my dress so I could get something new. Well, it wasn't on purpose, but it's an idea for another time, isn't it?

The rest of the week ahead is looking to be busy too. Tonight we're invited to our daughter and son-in-love's for dinner, Friday night is dinner with hubby's two brothers who live in this area, and Sunday is installation at church for our new second pastor. Seems every activity is connected with a dinner or lunch, and we need to get back on the road so we can eat a bit healthier. But it's sure fun to get together with everyone we've missed so much these past 4 months!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


We have been home in Minnesota for two weeks now and as each day goes by I am reminded how much I love Minnesota in the spring. The bright blue sky with the white fluffy cotton ball clouds is a beautiful compliment to the new green grass and the trees bursting into blooms of leaves and flowers. The perfume of those flowers hangs over the park on the heavy humid air, and the bees and butterflies are darting back and forth in the garden God planted for them. The State Park where we are living for now has changed tremendously in the those two weeks. When we first arrived we could see all the camp spots down the road from our spot, but now the brush has filled in, the leaves have popped out, and the RV just next door is barely visible. The birds have picked the neighborhood they wish to live in, and we are fortunate that we have a beautiful pair of cardinals that decided on the area right outside our window. We also have a blue jay and a yellow rumped warbler that hang out with us. Each evening the frogs and toads thrill us with their spirited choral numbers, and so far the pesty bugs haven't made their presence known. Yes, it's good to be in a Minnesota park in the spring.
We have seen all the grandkids in this area except for one and we hope to see her soon. We will see two more this weekend when we head east of the Twin Cities to visit them and we will see the last one around the first of June when we head back out on the road, stopping where he lives in North Dakota before again heading east to Nova Scotia and the Maritime Provinces. We received wonderful news last week. Friends that lived across the street from us at Grand Forks Air Force Base, twenty five years ago, are going to meet up with us along the way and will travel to Nova Scotia with us. It will probably take us most of the summer to catch up on each others lives.

Last week we went to the college where we both worked until last June 1, and we saw many of our old friends. They have graduation this Friday, so next week I hope my dear coffee buddies can break away from their work for a long lunch at our favorite spot. Then we need to visit hubby's brothers in the area too. So many people to see, and such a limited time to do it in. But I am so glad we are here at this time of the year because I love Minnesota in the spring.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Last night we had the honor of attending THE event of the year in a small town just south of here where our son, daughter-in-law and their two daughters live. There was an open house at the school where the hard work of the past school year was showcased. In addition, some of the students displayed their talents. The absolute best of these talents, of course, was our grandaughter who twirled three hoola hoops at one time! What beauty, what grace, what athletic ability! The sparkley water filled hoops were a blur as she kept them suspended in mid air for several seconds, to the oohs and aahs of her grandparents, mother, and little sister. Good job sweetheart! Thanks for inviting us. After the main event, we visited the preschool classroom where we were able to watch future great masters creating awesome works of art. Of course the big winner in this category was also a grandaughter. She will graduate next week with her PsD, preschool degree. Our plans are to attend this grand occasion also. Thanks for asking us to come along to your school event, girls. We love you!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Today is the birthday of a great man. He is an intelligent, kind, and caring man who is a wonderful husband and father, and a super son. Today our oldest son is FORTY! Have a wonderful day, son. We'll celebrate with you next weekend when we come up.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


On our way home to Minnesota, we spent a couple of days with our friends in Hagersburg, Maryland. They were kind enough to take us to Gettysburg, Pennyslvania to view the historic battlefield, and the monuments and museum that have been erected there. The countryside is beautiful; quiet and peaceful farms nestle among the trees on the hills. At first glance it does not look like the greatest battlefield of the Civil War, but as you listen to the tour guides tell the history of this place, part of which looks much the same as it did in 1863, the stories come alive. You can imagine the troups coming out of the woods, climbing over the split rail fences, and marching across the cornfields. You can imagine the sound of the cannon booming through the once quiet pastures. You can even imagine the smoke of the guns so thick that you couldn't tell the North from the South. But in no way can one imagine the stench that must have hung over the valley as the tens of thousands of troups lay wounded and dying in the hot July sun after the bloodiest three day battle in the history of the United States where 51,000 were killed, wounded or missing. Within a few months of the battle, 17 acres of the battlefield became Getteysburg National Cemetery, and was dedicated on November 19, 1863, with a two hour oration by a Mr. Edward Everett, and a 2 minute, 272 word speech by President Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Address, as it became known, is considered a masterpiece of the English language, as it gave meaning to the sacrifice of the dead, and inspiration to the living. This place will stick in my memory forever.

The next day Carole and Glenn took us to Antietam (or Sharpsburg) where the bloodiest day of the Civil War took place on September 17, 1862. Over a small area of only 12 square miles, 40,000 Southerners were pitted against the 87,000 man Federal Army. The battle began at dawn and by evening it was over and Lee began withdrawing his army across the Potomac River. The course of the Civil War had been greatly altered. More men were killed or wounded at Antietam than on any other single day of the war. Federal losses were 12,410 and Confederate losses were 10,700. Union General Joseph Hooker reported: "In the time I am writing, every stalk of corn in the northern and greater part of the field was cut as closely as could have been done with a knife, and the slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before."

A piece of history that I didn't know before this visit is that Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, treated the wounded at Antietam during and after the battle.

These two historic battlefields were very interesting to visit, and even 150 years after the guns were silenced, are filled with emotion. Often father fought against son, and brother against brother. It must have been horrible. It's hard to even think about it. And it must never happen again.