Category Archives: Adventures

In this section I will write about our RV adventures throughout the US!

Crossing the Bridge

Last week, I shared a college experience with my teenage partner, John Long. Thoughts of working with John triggered a second Oklahoma memory.

Not only did the small Oklahoma church where John and I worked as Christian Youth Roundup partners provide places for us to stay and food to eat, the members also arranged for each of us to have a car for the week. Two thoughts drove their decision about providing cars. First, every night following our worship service, John and I each drove teenagers from the church back to their rural homes. In addition, the cars provided transportation between the church and the farmhouses where we stayed. No problem! Although old, my car seemed reliable. I did not feel in the least bit uneasy driving on rural roads late at night.

All went well until midweek. As soon as we got to the church, word spread that a man had been murdered the night before under a bridge spanning a dry creek. Fear followed my initial shock as I grasped that each night after dropping off the teens, I crossed that same bridge. Maybe I had even crossed just as the murder had taken place!

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Life — Too Strange to be True!

Life can sometimes be stranger than fiction. From September until the middle of November, we lived one of those life experiences.

In August, we bought a house with many attractions for grandchildren. However, a few small improvements seemed in order. Soon, we heard ourselves saying, “Well, if we mess up the living room by knocking down the pop-corn ceiling, we may as well clean up all the downstairs’ ceilings.

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Leaving the Land of Enchantment

After visiting our son David and his wife Melissa in Albuquerque, I came away convinced that New Mexico truly must be the land of enchantment. Trees with autumn colors backed by mountain ranges, and Native American decorations throughout the city promoted a feeling of peace and beauty.

David and Melissa went out of their way to show us a good time. We visited a film class and watched students at the Central New Mexico Community College making a movie. I found filming activities entertaining and educational.

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Aliens Landed Just in Time for Christmas!

Oh dear! What to do? As new comers in this neighborhood, we want to fit in, be in sync with those who live so closely around us. Unfortunately, my husband, Chris claims that our backyard Christmas decoration, which I designed and he painfully executed, looks like Aliens laid large eggs in one of our trees. Not quite what I had intended. I do not believe this generates syncing with those around us.

By chance, have we accidently invited beings from outer space to come for a visit? Have we created a gang symbol? If so, what will be expected as our initiation into the group? On the other hand, maybe our creative work will be recognized as a symbol for world peace — maybe intergalactic peace. Regardless of interpretation, our decoration does not seem “Christmasy”. Wise men will not be tempted to arrive with frankincense and myrrh.

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“To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

As a devoted wife, I recently accompanied my husband to see Star Trek Beyond. As expected, the movie bombarded the audience with deafening sounds and galactic explosions. The impossible became possible as good guys defeated horrific space monsters against all odds. (A pizza to munch on through all the blood and gore helped sooth me quite a bit.)

Even as I make light of the movie, I feel drawn to the phrase to “boldly go where no one has gone before”. As a senior citizen and grandmother, I currently experience a world that differs so significantly from the one I knew in my youth that it materializes daily as new, unexplored territory.

At the end of the movie, Star Trek offers Captain James P. Kirk advancement into an administrative position. He questions, “Would this mean giving up flying?” After mere seconds of contemplation, Kirk declares, “Nope! That would be boring.” With that, Kirk strides off toward another ship to launch and new space mysteries to untangle.

Don’t we older citizens feel just like Kirk? Don’t we want to seize our own space ships as we venture into this unchartered territory of aging, and not too far in the future — death? Don’t we still yearn for adventures to confront and challenges to solve? Most of all, I suspect we all want to be needed. “Don’t toss me aside, yet,” I hear an inner voice assert. Continue reading

Where Did Our Plans Go Wrong?

Yeah for order! Up for organization and well-laid plans! Down with chaos! NO — to confusion and disarray.

I am a woman who needs orderliness and simplicity. I prefer working from a solid plan and attempt to sidestep surprises. Since our second flooded house, the last nine months have been seriously devoid of any resemblance of order. My best-laid plans have repeatedly been shattered. Like a disoriented bird, I keep flying right smack into a brick wall. Scrambling up, smoothing my crumbled feathers, and attempting to fly again have not quite met my retirement aspirations. However, let me be the first to say that the bumps have not done damage and certainly haven’t devastated us.

Mishaps can provide substance for laughter. No doubt about it. Humor heals. Chris and I have had many laughs and good times in our motorhome. Finally, there comes a time when humor gets lost in the shuffle of disappointment.

Disappointments can also be a source of lessons and growth. Yes, I want to continue to grow until the end. But. . . another lesson? Really? At seventy-six years, do I need this many lessons?

Traveling in the RV gave me as much pleasure as any activity in recent memory. When we first started traveling, I felt we were on a honeymoon. What changed? From our very first stop in Alexandria, LA, we encountered glitches in the coach. One snag after another came our way. I laughed a lot and Chris learned a lot about fixing things. Along with the adventure, we created some profound memories just in case we get old someday. Currently, the RV sits in a repair shop enduring three to six weeks of needed fixes.

I ask, “Where, oh where did we go wrong?” Should we have bought a newer model? Ronnie Salters RV

All this to say “Adios” Cheetah!” It has been great. We found the motorhome life style highly entertaining and wouldn’t trade this sub-chapter for anything. Now, we move on to the next adventure. Perhaps we locate a brick and stick home to lay our heads. Maybe we discover a different way to travel. Life’s mysteries continue.

Enjoying the Zigs and Zags of Six Flags

“Let’s take the boys to Six Flags!” Ten years ago, Chris and I had taken the two older grandsons to Six Flags. I conveniently forgot that Six Flags involved jolting rides, long walks, hot sun, and unhealthy food. I also forgot that we have added ten years of wear to our bodies. Not a problem. We loaded the car with our three younger grandsons. Off we drove for a day of fun.

While still on the highway, I heard Chandler’s voice from the backseat, “I’m going to be sick.” Urgently, I informed Grandpa. Unfortunately, Chris’ hearing lacks some of its former acuity. He continued to drive. Again, “Grandma, I’m going to be sick.” By the time Grandpa got the message, I turned to see Chandler’s head outside the back window with the contents of his breakfast flying in the wind.

We stopped. Chandler gamely wiped off his face. As the three of us cleaned his breakfast from the window, door, and fender of the car, Chandler muttered, “I wonder what the people in the car behind us thought.” In a flash, I got a mental picture of the windshield of that car. “Yes, I’ll bet they felt a bit startled!” Continue reading

Taking Precautions to Be Safe

Back Home in Texas May 27, 2016

A crash of thunder, which seemed only inches away jolted me out of bed. In the living room of the RV, I found Chris scrutinizing the weather station. Although rain had only fallen for about an hour, radar indicated threats of more flooding in the Austin area. “Is water pooling out back?” I asked. A flash of lightening illuminated water encroaching the back of our property. What should we do? Sit it out? Move to higher ground?

Earlier in the day we had hit the ground with enthusiasm, eager to get work done on what remains of our property, and to make a few packing changes in the RV. Joshua trimmed bushes to make it easier for Chris to park in our driveway. Our son-in-law, Todd used much of his day off to increase our amps from 30 to 50, Chris met with an insurance adjuster, and I pulled weeds in the yard. (Yes, I realize pulling weeds seems a little foolish but that’s what I did.)

Around 9:30 PM, I crawled into bed with a good book feeling satisfied that we had accomplished a lot. Now, once again we sat contemplating a potentially dangerous situation with water. Continue reading

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

May 26, 2016 Back Home in Austin to Rest and Repair RV

Without a doubt, Chris does all the hard work of keeping us on the move. With each stop, he hooks up water, electricity and sewage. When we leave, all tanks must be cleaned and drained. He also does all of the driving. My job, securing everything in the coach, does not provide much challenge. However, initially I had quite a few lessons to learn.

On one of our first trips, we turned a sharp corner and flung a large glass bowl out of a cabinet scattering glass fragments far and wide. On two occasions, the single plant we carried (at that time) sailed out of its restriction leaving a large swath of dirt, pebbles, and cacti. Before we learned to travel with the trashcan in the bathroom, we scattered contents all the way to the driver’s seat. Today, a few well-placed bungee cords make a big difference.

When systems fail (as often happens while traveling in a motorhome) Chris goes into problem solving mode. He reads the manual (imagine such extreme behavior), tinkers, adjusts, and begins again. The man shows more fortitude than I ever imagined. At our last stop, he began teaching me how to connect all the wires and hoses. Not skills I had longed to master but not so bad either.

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Snobbery Slipping and Slithering Away

May 23, 2016:

Looking out the RV windows at the lavish vegetation of the Ozark Mountains, I marveled at God’s creation. Both deserts and mountains provide beauty. However, growing up in the arid western section of Texas left me with a supreme appreciation for trees, water, and the color green. Roads through the mountains offered many twists and turns with narrow strips of asphalt and almost no shoulders on either side. Fascination trumped my fears as we traveled up and then down the sides of mountains.Ozarks

Our motorhome has become our home. Although the RV seems huge while driving down the road, it shrinks as a place to live. Surprisingly, we like our new life style. No room for clutter. Nothing extra belongs here. We have no space for dirty clothes. (Does this imply that when clothes get dirty, we throw them away?)

And then. . .suddenly between Branson and Bentenville, Arkansas, systems began to close down. Instead of parking in my first husband’s driveway, which had seemed like such a good idea a few hours earlier, we decided that we had to get to a campsite where we could plug into water, electricity, and sewage. Continue reading