I’m so thankful for the internet! When I woke up this morning, I could hardly wait for the time for worship with our family and friends at Northridge Friends in Wichita. And then we worshipped with my home church, Mt. Ayr Friends, while we walked two miles in the neighborhood. The distance seemed so much shorter than usual! After we got home, it was time to “meet” with our Yuma family at Desert Grace Community Nazarene. All the while, we were aware of God’s presence! The internet doesn’t care that I can’t sing like I used to or even if I don’t know all the words. I don’t think God cares about those things, either! Maybe later I’ll watch Adam Kemper at Northwest Community Friends in Tucson.

The buildings may be empty, but the people, the REAL church, are doing their job. Jesus told the disciples that they would do greater things than he had done and that’s hard to do sitting in our “assigned” places in a sanctuary. Sometimes it’s messy out there, but we’re doing our best. The church has left the building!

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What does “quarantine” look like?

Technically, we are not under quarantine or even shelter in place, but I wanted to share what this time of mostly staying on our own property looks like.

First of all, LeRoy has a white board in the garage on which he has several to-do lists, one each for the RV, the property and the pickup. Now, it seems, that he is adding to them just so he can cross them off!

In the last couple weeks, he has recoated the flat roof on the garage and the top of the RV, which also included taking off all the rooftop covers, taping off the sides, painting and then reattaching all of the things he had removed. Earlier, he had moved a long, very heavy work table off the patio and into the garage. This week, he took a few boards loose and fashioned a way to put his saw at table top level and added lighting above it.

He also put together that enclosure to the right together. We now have a “bathroom” in the garage!

Yesterday, he washed the awning on the RV and lots of other things I don’t remember. Of course, it hasn’t all been work. Early mornings also include time for him in the hot tub, as well as time in the evening when I may or may not join him.

Take care, all our friends, and trust that God is still in control, no matter what you hear on TV and Facebook!

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Marked safe in Yuma!

We have had a blessed morning of social distancing, going for a walk while each of us listened through our own earphones to the same worship service. Actually, we listened and watched two other services before we were even done with our coffee! Technology is a wonderful thing when it allows us to connect no matter the miles between. We shared a virtual pew with Heidi and Tim and their family. Other things may have changed in our world, but God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

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Polynesian Cultural Center

Many years ago, i read James Michener’s book “Hawaii”. At more than 900 pages, it is not for the faint of heart! The narrative begins with the formation of the islands themselves eons ago and follows the arrival of various cultural groups through the mid-1950s. Hawaii is a mixture of cultures, each with its own influence. After we had our tickets for Hawaii, Robert and Shelly told us that they would take us to the Polynesian Cultural Center as our Christmas present and we were looking forward to it. It was an all afternoon and evening experience! The view on the drive in is of the Laie Hawaii Temple of the LDS church.

We purchased an upgrade that provided a guided group tour through the villages representing all the blended cultures of Hawaii. Our group of about 16, called our family, was led by a young Philippine student at the Mormon college on the grounds.

Each of us got one of those bead leis and were instructed to introduce ourselves to someone in the group we didn’t know and place the lei on our “lei buddy”. All of us were asked periodically if we could see our lei buddy, so the group wouldn’t wander off as we went through the various cultural villages.

Each area had a presentation of dancing or games typical of the culture and after the presentation, we got a chance to participate in said dance or game. Eye-hand coordination is not my long suit! I can, however, wear a temporary tattoo with the best of them!

There was a pageant performed on canoes. At either end of the water stage, the people on board had to duck under very low bridges. You’d think they had done that before, because no one was knocked off!

Our evening meal was a luau with another stage presentation about Hawaiian culture. Each of us received a beautiful orchid lei.

I would recommend this experience if you are planning a trip to Oahu!

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Make a long story longer

(I just discovered this post from January never showed up on my computer. If you’ve seen it, disregard. If you haven’t, enjoy!)

My husband would have made a good horse trader. In fact, many years ago, when we still had kids at home, LeRoy made the statement that everything he owned was for sale except for his wife and kids, and don’t catch him on a bad day with Rob! It has sometimes been frustrating for me to have him chase a car/buggy/you-name-it, only to sell it after he finally gets it. This all leads us back a few years to when he took the old generator out of Liberty and tried to sell it…and tried and tried, to no avail. Last spring when we were in Kansas, he found someone who would trade him that old generator for the shell of a 1951 F-1 Ford pickup. He immediately offered it for sale and fairly quickly, it went away! LeRoy started looking for a dune buggy in Yuma, found one in Kingman, and we went to buy it.

It needed an engine, so he found one locally and bought it. Before he could even begin to take the old one out and put the “new” one in, he started trying to sell or trade it. Hence, the other yard art in our already full yard!

Hopefully, the new owner of the buggy will be back today to pick it up and we will be down to one toy, at least for the time being!

Friday was a busy day for us. We had a service tech come to work on the RV furnace and then LeRoy’s cousin Phyllis Mosher stopped through on her way from San Diego to Phoenix and we had an enjoyable visit with her. A year ago, she gave us a “grow your own saguaro” kit and she bought one for herself. We had this 2-inch square plastic pot full of soil and a little packet of tiny seeds, which we sprinkled on top. There was a clear plastic top that went on after you watered, to keep the seeds hydrated. They sprouted within a week or so and we had LOTS of seedlings. The instructions said to transplant after a year, but the plants were using up the soil to the point that we decided to try to plant them outside right after we got here. We planted them under a “nurse plant” in our yard and I think we have about 4 tiny seedlings still struggling to make it. Phyllis is going to plant hers in Phoenix. It remains to be seen if any will survive the summer with only the water God provides!

Through the past several years, we have run into fellow volunteers that we met at Golden Bell here in Arizona, escaping cold weather just like we are. Yesterday we drove back up to Quartzsite to spend some time with Denise and Arlan Hoskins from Greeley, CO and enjoyed catching up, since we weren’t at Golden Bell last summer when they were. Good times!

Our weather has been lovely this week and we enjoy being out in it. I hope all our friends and family will excuse us while we bask in the warmth as you are freezing!

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Scenic Hawaii

We’ve learned over the years that when people describe a part of the country as “scenic”, what they really mean most of the time is that there are lots of trees. That usually means to us that you can’t see the scenery for the trees! Here in Hawaii, though, the trees accentuate the scenery rather than hiding it. Everywhere you look, there is another flower or tree or flowering tree. So much beauty to soak up!

One thing I had specifically asked Shelly to arrange was a trip to the Dole Plantation. We browsed the gift shop and watched a demonstration of the right way to choose a pineapple and an impressive way to cut and serve it. We took a train tour on the Pineapple Express and evening had our picture taken together.

My favorite thing at the Dole plantation was eating a Dole Whip, which is definitely worth the calories!

More on the more active parts of our journey later. Aloha!

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What an adventure we are having! We left Yuma on Thursday morning with layovers in Phoenix and Los Angeles and arrived in Honolulu that evening about 6. The flights were blessedly uneventful, just a bit choppy on the takeoffs and landings. Robert and Shelly picked us up at the airport with beautiful leis for each of us.

The next morning bright and early (we left the house at 4:45), Robert had arranged for us to go with him and some friends deep sea fishing. Dramamine pills and patches were no match for the rough seas and not too far into the trip, we took turns hanging over the sides of the boat. We spent several hours unsuccessfully trolling the waters for the big guys, but only one nibble. After noon, though, any thought of seasickness quickly vanished when the fisherman yelled “Fish!” All hands on deck! Well, except for me. I was the only woman and I doubt I would have been much help cranking the reel.

It was all worthwhile when they brought in a 90 lb. marlin!

We called it an early night and slept like babies!

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