Technology

It’s great when computers work, isn’t it? It makes easy work of some tasks and makes others possible, like this blog. Updates are supposed to make the computer work better, but last week, my computer tried to restart after an update and hung up. “Don’t shut off your computer”, it said, then the little spinning wheel…interminably. I finally plugged the laptop back in and did what it said not to do. I shut it off. Since my frustration tolerance isn’t always great, I didn’t try it again until today and after patiently waiting for many minutes, it decided to finish the update and let me work. The good thing is, that shouldn’t have to happen again for a while!

I’ve been seeing some beautiful snow pictures from friends in Colorado and Kansas. That’s the way I like to see snow, on my computer while enjoying 70+ degree weather. The roads here may not be icy or snow covered, but the year-round Yumans complain plenty about all the winter visitors clogging the roads. Since I’m one of them, I try not to cause road rage from a local!

LeRoy’s been successful in his latest project, a Hi-Jumper dune buggy that he took as a trade last winter. It looks really good and drives well, too, or so he tells me. The only time I’ve been in it was to help him bleed the brakes. Do you know how long it takes a woman-of-a-certain-age to get in and out of one of those things?

Now, of course, it’s for sale or trade for the next project. It keeps LeRoy occupied and altogether, it’s been a pretty cheap hobby, and I won’t complain as long as he keeps making good trades!

I’ve taken up a new hobby, being an Instacart shopper. My friend Kevin Garber told me about it last summer and I filled out all the information then, but there was no availability until this past week. Instacart takes grocery or pharmacy orders from individuals, I choose to accept the order and I become a personal shopper. I have learned already that I definitely like some grocery stores better than others. I’m just not a Sprouts organic shopper by nature!

Other than that, there’s not much going on here at the Yuma landing. We did go to the Medjool date festival a week ago and we’ve kept the Tiki Hut frozen yogurt shop in business. We are just enjoying church activities, visiting with friends, eating Mexican food and being warm. Come join us!

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Hope you had a merry little Christmas!

What a lot of changes there have been to our expectations for this Christmas holiday! We thought Tim, Heidi and Jadelyn were coming to see us, but due to a combination of things, that didn’t work out. So we planned to have our Ohio friends over for Christmas dinner. That didn’t happen, either, because Larry went to the hospital on Monday and didn’t get out until this afternoon. But you know what? Christmas came anyway! Jesus is still our savior because of Christmas day!

Nakia, our friend in the RV, works two jobs and as luck would have it, she worked one job on Christmas morning and the other on Christmas night. She was off on Christmas eve, though, so we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet and then attended the candlelight service at our church, followed by driving around to see Christmas lights. We came home to read the Christmas story, open presents and eat dessert. What a special time!

Our present to each other this year was to replace our bedroom television set. The old one had been around for a long time and the picture had been dimming from time to time. The area the old set occupied was a very defined space and we couldn’t find a TV that small anymore. In order to use a larger one, LeRoy found a wall mount that would go in front of the closet doors.

Now we can watch TV in style, and LeRoy doesn’t hit his head on it walking around the bed.

When Tim and Heidi got married in 1996, we gained a granddaughter and since she already had a full complement of grandparents and great-grandparents, we had to have names that would distinguish us for her. That’s when we became Granne and Papa. Now think about all the souvenir shops that sell key chains with names on them, but some unusual names are difficult to find, like LeRoy. “Granne” is one of those names, as well. Grandma, Nana, Gigi, all those are found in abundance, but now I have my very own name on a shirt!

We are very thankful for technology this Christmas. We heard from all the kids and grandkids, which is the best gift we could ask for. Via FaceTime, we got to be with the Pohlman family twice on Saturday to open presents. It was almost like being there! Rob and Shelly called from Hawaii and we had a long conversation, partly planning for our trip to visit them for Rob’s retirement celebration in late February, early March. They took a helicopter tour of the island as their Christmas present to each other.

Heidi and Tim went to Ellsworth to Jordan’s house because no one wants to miss out on seeing Rae open presents! We’re very blessed to get to watch, too.

From our house to yours, have a blessed new year. May 2022 be the best one yet!

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Almost Christmas!

Six more sleeps until Christmas! I love this time of year, the lights and decorations and special things at church. We went to the Yuma Foothills parade of lights on Friday evening as we’ve done the last few years. This year, there were 113 vehicles entered in the parade, all the way from golf carts to a fire truck and a gigantic military vehicle, we’re guessing a Marine Corps wrecker although it was dark, all decorated with Christmas lights. Santa and Mrs. Claus came by in numerous dune buggies and side-by-sides. We have a traditional site where we like to park and we always take our evening meal with us to enjoy as we watch. It was pizza this year, a rarity at our house. I didn’t try to take pictures because I’ve had very limited success in the past due to darkness and bright lights in motion. I did, though, take a picture of the beginning of Story Book Lane, a neighborhood that is always decorated with a theme of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I’m sure it is one of those neighborhoods where the decorations are a part of the property when it sells, or at least the storybook parts. Some years, there is a grinch in a dark yard, but I didn’t see one this year. The rest of the story is spread out on both sides of the street for about a block. I think they had more lights than I’d seen before this year.

We usually take the long way home if we’re out at night, just to see what the Christmas lights look like. Our street isn’t nearly as festive as the next street over, but we and several others do have lights and/or inflatables.

I’ve been baking and cooking to get ready to give gifts to our friends and today we came home from lunch after church to find a container of goodies on the porch. It’s such fun to share!

All of our Christmas gifts have been mailed and most have been received. I’ve heard from half the grandkids this week and I enjoy that so much. One of the sad things about our traveling lifestyle is that we can’t have the whole family together for Christmas or Thanksgiving. If they all came, we would love it but we’d be bursting at the seams!

Merry Christmas to all! Have a blest holiday!

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Advent

This is the advent season, preparation for the coming of Christ. Today our society sees Christmas primarily as a season of gifts, both given and received, but the real “reason for the season” is Jesus. We were reminded in church this morning that we are not only preparing for the birth of Christ, but also for his return. Lots of preparing to do!

There have been record high temperatures here and all over the country this week, a highly unlikely beginning to the month of December. As you can guess, I’m loving every second! My sciatica is much improved as well as any residual lower back problems. LeRoy has been working (surprise, surprise!) at building a shaded deck for us to enjoy between the house and our motor home. We had planned to eat Thanksgiving dinner out there but the wind was way too much that day.

Our days with an Eagle bus gained us lots of good friends, most of whom still let us hang around even though we don’t have Liberty any longer. This week we heard that our gospel music friend Steve Weatherford and his family were heading back toward Oklahoma through Yuma after their California tour and we told them we had room for their bus (and them) here overnight. What a blessing! We haven’t seen any of them since Skylar was in elementary school and he’s 16 now. Standalee was the photographer, so she isn’t pictured but was definitely here. We loved having them.

This week LeRoy found a double reclining sofa on our local marketplace site. It’s a bit big in our space but so comfy!

My Facebook memories since Thanksgiving have been of past years’ Christmas decorations. It’s fun to remember where we were and how we decorated with many of the same familiar ornaments. I have several nativity sets of different sizes from tiny to larger and the mirrored area in the built in china cabinet is perfect to display them. The little tree is on the table along with all our keepsake ornaments. We used to buy a new ornament every year and lots of them were Hallmark ornaments with the date. What were we even doing in 1996? One special one was given to us by our friends Jim and Linda Anderson on the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary in 1990! Several have come from Johnny and Karen Schmidt whom we’ve known since high school. Such fun reminiscing!

This week the overnight temperatures are forecast to look more “winterlike”, well by Yuma standards anyway. Overnight lows in the 40s may have us turning on the furnace! Stay warm, my friends!

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Thankfulness

I work hard at living thankfulness all year around, but this week even the news on TV points us in that direction. We are thankful today for health, after such a long period of Covid-19 demanding everyone’s attention. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with sciatica, but today I can stand up and walk with just a little discomfort. For that I am very thankful! Our friend Nakia who has been living in our house here in Yuma had Covid when we first came back and we mostly talked across the lot for the first week or so. We were all thankful when her second test came back negative! She helped us move our belongings into our house and moved hers into the RV. Since my upper back doesn’t like me to lift and carry and my sciatica didn’t like me to walk, it would have been a tough move without her. So I am thankful!

Today we were able to go back to church at Desert Grace Nazarene. Last week, so many members were sick, including the whole praise team, the pastor and his family, that they didn’t have a regular church service. It was good to be greeted by friends we haven’t seen since April. I’m thankful for our churches, all the ones we call “home” even for a short time. The body of Christ isn’t limited by denomination or distance.

We had word today that Heidi and some of her family will be able to visit us for Christmas! What a wonderful bit of news! We are looking forward to showing them our winter home, and I’m thankful that travel is not restricted.

This week as we gather around our table with friends, we will all remember the families we left behind temporarily in order to be warm. As we sit on the deck LeRoy covered this week for a shared meal, we will be thankful to be together, since last year our guests were in an accident on their way here, wrecked their motor home and weren’t able to get here at all.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be over this week, any more than Christmas will be over in December. Both should live in our hearts all year long.

Be THANKFUL!

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And We’re Back!

Sorry for making everyone wait to hear what’s up with us. The last weeks before we move are always pretty full of the ordinary. I think everyone has enough ordinary of their own. They don’t need to add mine to it!

Halloween came while we were still in Kansas and we helped with Trunk or Treat at Northridge. That’s always so much fun, watching the kids in their costumes. The weather was great, so they didn’t have to have coats on over them.

A little out of place at a Friends church, maybe? They had lots of fun with it.

While getting ready to leave for Arizona, we’ve enjoyed small town high school athletics this fall. We followed the volleyball team to sub-state and we attended all the home games for the football team through an amazing season, which isn’t over yet. In Kansas high school football, there is a mercy rule. If one team is ahead by 43 points at the half, the teams can opt to let the clock run throughout the second half. We became accustomed to watching the freshmen and sophomores play in the second half and being home early! Sedgwick usually won by 40 points or more. This past week, even though we weren’t in Kansas to watch, they had a hardfought game in sub-state play against Smith Center. They won by 1 point, a point-after kick within the last 20 seconds. Not only that, the kicker broke the state record for all classes by scoring a career points total for 276 points, then 277, 278 and 279! And their season isn’t over yet. They move on to the semi-finals next week.

At one of the last volleyball games, we were surprised that our blonde high schooler had become a brunette! We had to look for her shirt number to recognize her! Over the weekend before we left, we celebrated Jadelyn’s 17th birthday a few days early. We’re just glad she still likes having us around for her birthdays, no matter what color her hair (or mine) is!

We left the Landing on November 4, headed first to Midland, TX. LeRoy’s best friend in high school passed away 15 years ago and his widow, Rotha Cloyd, has been a close friend for more than 50 years. When she announced in July that she was getting married again, we were thrilled. We’ve met Daniel Comalander and we know how much they love each other. The reception for their wedding was at their church in Midland on November 6, so we had to attend. Congratulations!

The trip to Yuma was one of the best we’ve ever had as far as the weather was concerned. There was little to no wind to blow us around and we didn’t have any rain, either. We avoided having snow before we left, which doesn’t always happen, and we arrived in Yuma to be greeted by temperatures in the upper 80s, my kind of weather!

We have a young friend who needed a place to stay in Arizona for 90 days or so and we offered her our park model until we got back here. Then our church here, Desert Grace, had a Covid outbreak and she got it. We had planned to trade spaces with her as soon as we got back, but had a change of plans. We’ll be staying in the RV until she gets out of quarantine this next week. Fortunately she hasn’t been as sick as some have, so we think she’ll be all better soon. Prayers would be appreciated!

I’ve had a problem with sciatica recently and I’m having trouble walking without pain. Bummer! I’ve found a new chiropractor (the one I saw last year retired) and seem to be doing better. One of LeRoy’s first tasks after we got back was getting the hot tub ready for use and that seems to help some. He is usually in it before I get up in the morning, so it wasn’t just for my benefit!

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Life goes on

Well, things change but life goes on. On Friday we signed the papers selling the Landing, moved out of the building

and took down the flag, that has indicated we are in residence, for the last time.

Saturday morning we got our Covid boosters and talked to an old friend from my hometown at Walmart. Gordon’s dad was my “schoolbus” driver, actually picking us up in his car. We had a fun visit with him.

Jadelyn’s volleyball team played in the 2A sub-state volleyball tournament in Hillsboro on Saturday afternoon. We’ve enjoyed their games all season and this tournament did not disappoint us. Those girls are fighters! I wasn’t sure any of those in the crowd would be able to talk this morning after all the screaming and cheering. Our Cardinal ladies took second in the finals in an extremely hard fought battle. Until next fall, Cardinals!

While at the tournament, we met up with one of our Melton cousins. Not the best picture, but it was good to see Dan again. I grew up with his dad and aunts in north central Kansas.

We’re getting ready for Trunk or Treat at our church next weekend. We’ve done it a time or two before and it’s always fun to see the neighborhood and church kids in all their costumes. They enjoy it so much.

We are still parked on the property until we leave for Arizona, with permission of the new owners. They have moved their camper trailer into the building until they, too, leave for Arizona. A friend who lives down the road commented on seeing us parked outside and I told her we’re just squatters now! Seems strange, but change often is.

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Things change!

We bought this property in Kansas which we affectionately called the Landing about 10 years ago. We added the metal building within the next year and since then it has been where we parked whenever we were in Kansas, usually fall and spring. We added a hot tub and shelves and benches for tools, as well as a lot of other things. Heidi and Tim also used it for storage and when Bailey moved out of the college housing last spring, she added to it. I used to always say that nature and LeRoy abhor a vacuum and if there is a building, it will get filled! Last fall we moved all of the things we had accumulated into a storage unit because we thought there was a possibility we might have a buyer for the place.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Every year for the last several, one man has stopped by about once a season to say that he was interested in buying when we got around to selling. This year, we told him that we had a buyer and he offered more! When we called about the other buyer, they were no longer interested and so we took Ron and Sharon Deeds up on their offer. Like us. they have family living in Sedgwick and they are RVers. They want to use the Landing for the same thing we have. We close the sale on Friday, the 22nd.

We aren’t sure what comes next. For the time being, we are heading for Yuma for the winter as though nothing has changed. In the spring or maybe summer, we will probably start looking for a small house in or nearer to Wichita so we will be closer to church and doctors. We don’t intend to stop traveling, just have a place if and when we do slow down. We’re not in any hurry. After all, we already live in our “house”, no matter where we park it.

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Fall!

This week we saw dry weather, wet weather, 90s and 70s. It must be fall! Walking in the mornings is much more inviting than when we first got back to Kansas. Next thing you know, we’ll need jackets!

It feels good to settle back into some routines, like seeing long time friends at Northridge Friends Church. Two weeks ago, the speaker asked how many years members had been part of the Friends Church and we were among the last to sit down, with more than 70 years each. We were not the last to be seated, though, and several of those who have been Friends for more than 80 years have been friends of ours for more than 50 years, some for all our lives. It feels like home to me!

This weekend, we had the privilege of hosting RVing friends from our days at Desert Trails RV park in Tucson, starting about 10 years ago. Jerry and Irene Swango were making a road trip in their van from their home in Indiana to Washington state and caught up with friends in Kansas City and then with us. We always have a good time visiting when they are around.What better use of time together than to eat good Mexican food? It’s fun to explain to people that we met Jerry in a hot tub!

Whenever we are in the Wichita area, we try to go to Sunday lunch with our family. It was easier when we all attended the same worship service, but now that we attend three different ones, it takes more advance planning. This week I had a revelation. Sunday lunch with the family isn’t an expense, it is an investment in the future. It is priceless and I love every minute! Today we checked out a new-to-most-of-us brunch restaurant, Homegrown. I heartily recommend it and I don’t think anyone left food on their plate. No pictures, you’ll have to take my word for it.

Tomorrow we get to spend time with granddaughter Jordan’s family. We saw 3 1/2 year old Rae briefly last week, but we never get enough of her. That will be another investment in the future and we look so forward to seeing them! And of course, there will be Mexican food involved!

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Happy birthday to me!

This week has been a celebration week for me. My 76th birthday was Thursday! I woke up to a gift bag and a card, along with my usual morning coffee, and it just got better from there. Facebook is always a joy on my birthday, similar to getting the mail used to be. Instead of physical cards, I had dozens of birthday wishes, e-cards and even a happy birthday video from young friends who are members of a band in the KC area called Pompous Jack. That was a real treat!

We had already planned dinner with the local family at my favorite steakhouse so I was looking forward to that. About noon, Rob and Shelly called from Hawaii and told me that I should be expecting a delivery from a local florist. What a beautiful arrangement! I love sunflowers especially, being a Kansas girl, but the dahlias, mums and roses were beautiful, too.

Dinner at Longhorn was really good, too. Those of my age may relate, but one of the really wonderful things about it was that no one was on their phone, even LeRoy and me. The food was good and the company was better. We were well-desserted by the time the evening was over. Longhorn had sent me a coupon for a free dessert and in addition, they always give a free dessert when you eat there on your birthday. They brought plenty of spoons and we shared! Afterward, we went to Tim and Heidi’s house where we had ice cream and birthday cake with candles, as well as a gift of my favorite tangerine colored roses. I am blessed!

I love fresh flowers, but they usually don’t last long enough. These are just getting better and better, especially the roses in both bouquets. They have continued to open beautifully. These two in particular are unlike anything I’ve ever had.

Texts from grandkids who live elsewhere and cards from my sisters pretty much rounded out the celebration and I feel blessed to be so loved. Thank you all so much for helping me celebrate!

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