Sojourners to Norway, Part 2

First I must apologize for taking so long to put this post together.  So much as been going on in my mind and life since then, that I found it hard to focus on writing.  I also found it difficult to decide on the subject of this post.  However, sometimes unexpected events in our lives, have an effect on our lives.  Last week was one of those.  My niece’s fiancé was killed in a motorcycle and pickup accident.  When you have someone taken so unexpectedly, the shock of it is hard to deal with.  It also makes you think of how quickly our lives can change…in a split second.  How that day will forever be etched in our minds and hearts.  My niece’s sorrow becomes my sorrow.  We realize how short life can be, and that we are never guaranteed a tomorrow.  Once again, I am reminded of the importance of living in the moment.  It could be my last minutes with someone I love.

God isn’t afraid to take us to school when we need it.  So what are we afraid of when we hear living in the moment?  It almost sounds irresponsible, or flying by the seat of our pants, doesn’t it?  But really, that is not what it means, or at least not what I refer to when I talk about it.  What makes us so afraid of it?  And…why is living in the moment so hard for us?  It could be that if we stopping running, or stop our hurried steps, we might FEEL.  We don’t want to feel.  So we keep so busy with life and responsibilities so that we don’t have to reflect on our true feelings or hurts.  All our “tries” never seem enough.  We may feel that we don’t measure up or we don’t feel worthy enough.  But all this running is keeping us from dealing with the fact that it is a heart issue.  We don’t want to deal with the feelings or the knowledge that comes from understanding that we really do know that we need to change something.  So to keep from doing that, we keep busy, put a smile on our faces, and keep pretending things are ok.  My hubby and I made a “live in the moment” decision for me to make the trip to Norway, and take my son and grandson with me.  I called on ticket prices, asked my son if he would want to go and if my grandson could go, and booked the tickets.  That all happened in one day’s time.  If God gives you an idea, let Him work out the details.  He put this opportunity to go on my hubby’s heart.  God will work it all out when it’s His idea and His will!

However, instead of getting bogged down in the mire, we would instead start noticing what is RIGHT in our lives, we can begin to see the blessings that are before us.  On my trip to Norway, as is always the case when I get alone away from the daily life, next to the water and beauty of nature, I find God settling me down.  He positions me to listen.  When I listen, He will gently remind me of areas I need to change and clean up.  Some are easy to do and others are a struggle; either for me or for me to deal with issues with another person.  He brought to mind some of the old carpenter tools I saw in my Great Grandmother’s house in Norway, and what a carpenter’s tools do in the hands of the carpenter.  The tools of the trade are used to mold and shape wood into a piece useful and purposeful for the house/project they are building; a little like our lives.  Sometimes chipping off those old chips can be painful…you think you have endured enough and there won’t be much left.  But the Carpenter knows what He is going for, and after all, we ARE His masterpiece.  So just like that example, I ask God to reveal what is keeping me from happiness or joy when I have those feelings.  He will then tell me and start the whittling process…chipping away at those things in my life that need to fall off.

Some of the path’s we go on, can be oh so painful…and lonely.  He may separate us from people we love and care about.  Our circle of friends may change because of what is happening in our lives. But the one thing that I took back home with me from my trip to Norway is the connection with family and friends.  How important it is for me, and for those around me to stay connected.  It makes my soul happy and contented, even when life gets hard.  Sharing life together.  We need it.  Dinners together, drives to do something as a family, and even putting down our phones long enough to really listen and share with each other.  Making the effort to drive several hours two times in a week or so to be with your niece to love on her in a most difficult time in her life.  God designed it that way.  When we are running so busy that we don’t have time for stopping to comfort a child who is having a bad morning because we have things to do, or when we listen with our ears only instead of listening with our hearts to someone who is hurting, we are not living in the moment.  We are too busy to even notice when God gives us an opportunity to minister to someone who needs it.  Maybe not even with words, but just a hug or holding a hand.  It can unlock the heart of the one who is needing a listening ear.  That’s what slowing down our lives can look like.  I saw those examples of support and listening when I visited Norway.  They make an effort even when they may live further away from each other to stay connected.  Connection is important to them.  It is to me too.  I take every opportunity to stay in touch with friends and family.  One never knows when your call or text, or not in the mail, will be the one thing that gets them through the day.

There is a saying we have all probably heard that says to “live your one life well”.  That means that where ever you are, be right there.  I think the Norwegians have things right in that they work hard, and relax, and play hard.  They know that the balance is needed for them to have joy in their lives.  They balance the long, dark winters with being out in the light and sunshine as much as possible when Spring and Summer come.  I saw a man in a large city in Norway sitting on a bench on a busy street with his shirt off just taking in the sunshine while it was there.  Eyes closed, soaking in the sunlight.  He lived in the moment.  They make the coziness of their homes a priority so they DO enjoy the those long nights during winter…warm fires, candle light, and coffee or hot chocolate abounds.  Knitting cozied up by the fire.  They plan and do the things that prepare them for the winter months.  They also look forward to the Holiday of Christmas and all being together.  Balance…the key to joy.

Here is another piece to my trip that surprised me…my photography.  When you are going on this type of trip where you are trying to get in as much as you can while you are there, it can be difficult.  You want to meet by relatives to have connection, and THAT turns out to be priority.  However, it took me some days to get that message.  I was mad at myself for not getting better photos when I took them.  I mean, who doesn’t want to come home with fantastic photos from such a beautiful country????  I missed some, and others were like on tours where you are moving through an area, and spending time setting up a photo isn’t necessarily what you have time for.  I got pretty upset with myself.  As I prayed about it, God showed me that the pictures I was taking were to remember.  I’m not in a contest for the best photo.  The connections are what is important and remembering them.  So even though many of my photos were from a car window, that was ok.  Because I had that memory.  It also transferred to when I am at home.  It isn’t important for me to be some great photographer.  What is important, is that I DO hone my skills, but it is to take better photos in what ever circumstance, not to be in any competition for the best photo of the day or to BE the best.  I love photography and I want to keep enjoying it.  When I start putting undue pressures on myself to do it differently, that is when I realize, that I’m getting off course.  A person could see my whole life through my photos.  That is what I want with my photography.  That others will see how I live and my philosophy and maybe be encouraged to take some of the steps I have taken to have joy in living.

I believe, I’m in another chipping off season in my life, and that is ok.  He gave me a trip to Norway to show me what is important in the way I live MY life.  So I leaned in close in Norway.  I learned about the ways of making coffee can be an art.  Now I know that from coffee shops, but it can be like that at home also.  I don’t like coffee that much, but I learned to like it the way my cousin made it.  So I asked how she did it.  I loved many of the foods I ate, and I asked how to make it.  I wanted to absorb as much of the culture as I could.  Not just BE there, but to live in the moment of every day there.  I learned about the history of the immigrants, like my grandparents on both sides of my family and why they made the decisions that they made to move away from everything they knew to come to the unknown in the U.S.  How those that were here in the U.S. would work so hard so that they could send money home or tickets home for their family to come to the U.S.  I learned how some couldn’t stay in the U.S. because they missed the beauty of Norway and they came back home.  Some were so destitute living here that they took their lives before admitting to family at home of their despair.  We as kids who grew up around our parents talking about the depression, and all the fun many of us made out of them walking to school with holes in their shoes and walking miles to school, isn’t so far of a stretch.  I know it to be true of my father’s parents and even his older siblings.  I have found a new respect for each of them searching for a better life, and their tenacity to keep going.  It’s amazing, actually.  I don’t take that for granted and wished as young child, I would have known more about what they went through.  I think I would have been a much more attentive granddaughter.  But they didn’t talk about it at all.  Neither did my parents.  As children we missed so much.  I don’t want my kids to not know about them.  Thus, I took my two sons and my grandson with me the two times I have gone.  I want all my ancestor’s hard work to make a life for their families, to survive as a story and testament to their courage.  I am here because of the hard work of all who came before me, including my parents.  What work ethics they had!  Families stuck together through thick and thin, and helped each other.  That is legacy.

I hope this last trip is not my last.  I have more to learn…more to experience…more time on the beach in Norway with neighbors and relatives around a bonfire!  More letters to read.  I copied  some of my mother’s letters to relatives in Norway that were written to my cousin.  Sometimes I find out more about my mom through reading them.  I took pictures of old pictures so that I can share them with family, and they will know who they are.  I have decided that writing on as many of the pictures I have, is important, since many of my parents’ pictures did not have names on them.

Yes.  When we open our minds to what we can learn by not just talking about doing something, but actually doing it, we will find our lives changed forever.  Mine sure has….to the point of teaching myself Norwegian.  Not easy, but exciting to see when I actually understood a few words or recognized at least the subject of the discussion when I was there.

So I ask you, do you want to have more time with your family?  Make a trip somewhere?  A drive down the coast?  A get-away with family?  Family gathering or reunion?  Don’t put it off.  Plan it.  Do it.  Change what needs to change to make it happen.  But above all?  Let it change you in the process.  God can do amazing things with an open and willing heart.  Open the door to His leading…it just might be to your homeland.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

 

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Travelers2

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This week has been a busy week!  We are preparing for a trip back east and headed ultimately for North Dakota.  But, we are excited to see all the sights in-between!  So I will be posting some about the trip here on the blog, and I hope you will enjoy the sights and sounds of our road trip with me. We will see cousins on the way in Wenatchee and Moses Lake, WA.  The areas we hope to visit are Yellowstone Park, Jackson Hole, Cody, Mount Rushmore, and whatever else we have time to see.  We will visit a cousin’s restaurant while in North Dakota for some good food.  Then, we will be meeting up in Verona, North Dakota for a reunion on my mom’s side of the family.  I’m very much looking forward to sharing stories and life with them for a few days!  We will have a chance to share genealogy together too and that will be so fun!  I’m taking my mom and dad with me in spirit!  God is good to help us make this trip and we are very excited for it to start!  We hope to come back home along the coast line and THAT is going to be awesome too.  My camera is going to get a BIG workout these next two weeks!  Watch for the posts!

So, I will leave you today with a question I posted today on Facebook:

Do you believe that your best life is behind you, or, in front of you?  I will be checking back for your answers!  Blessings to each one of you that faithfully follow the blog.  I appreciate you!

Walking the journey with you…

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Travelers2…Again?

Church House
Church House

Have you ever daydreamed about something, mentioned something to someone, or even had a conversation about a particular dream you may have, and then had some immediate next step options put in front of you?  It is rather exciting to get a few confirmations here and there from those you may have talked with about it.  But, that isn’t where the confirmation needs to come from.  Anyway, that is kind of what happened to me this week.  Let me back track a little to catch you up.

Church House
Church House

One of my dreams I shared with you in my last post was to be able to live in the country.  But another dream I have always had is to find a church that is abandoned and see if we could buy it, or buying one that is for sale, and then live in it.  I wanted to continue to have the chapel part of the church, and use the other areas to make a home in.  I dreamed of small weddings and small receptions that could be held there for a reasonable amount of money rather than the prices some are having to pay for weddings now.  I wanted to offer it as a retreat for leaders or pastors to get-a-way and have a time of refreshing, to someplace they could afford.  Maybe even have a RV hook up or two, and a covered area for a picnic or small gathering.  And my one joy would be to see a church continue to be used as a church.  So there.  Now I have shared yet another of my dreams.

Church House
Church House

Now to catch you up…last week as I was looking for homes around my hometown of Stanwood, Washington for some reason all these other listings were coming into my list of homes for sale.  What did I come across?  I came across a log house church for sale in our price range!  First thought?  Wow!!  I’m IN!!  I just talked about dreams in the last week or so, and now this comes up unexpectedly where it shouldn’t even show up.  It would be country like.  Oh boy!  My mind starts going, prayers go up asking what God has in mind, and my decorating genes kick in!  Vrooooomm!!!!  There are SO many of the details that have come into play with this opportunity.  The kicker?  My family is here.  My friends are here.  BIG one…my grandson is here.  What do I do with that? I have done it before a couple of times, but it wasn’t fun being away from them and Ethan wasn’t in the picture.  I missed them all when I was away.  But as I thought about it, I am also not in the same place as I was at that time either.  I have changed.  However, my heart has also calculated the miles in terms of hours…about 5 hours or so.  That doesn’t seem like that much to me.  I traveled 4 hours to come up through traffic to see everyone when we lived in Aberdeen, Washington.  Have car will travel.

So what do I do with this opportunity?  We talk about it.  We put it in our circle of prayer and pray about it.  My sweetie thinks and contemplates about it.  He is no hurry.  We look at all the pros and cons, and then we pray some more.  Questions like, if something happened to either of us, would we want to continue to live that far from family?  (More my question that his.)  The HARD questions we have to ask.  And, we ask God to open doors that He wants opened, and close those doors He wants closed.  Maybe this opportunity is nothing more than God letting me know He is listening and He doesn’t forget our heart’s desires.  Or, maybe it is another opportunity for us to trust Him completely.  Or, we are to come away for a season of time to do something new that He has in mind.  I can see some great ministry from this sweet spot.  However, I don’t know.  BUT, I know the One Who does.

Church House
Church House

I am the type that has the thing decorated before we even see it.  That’s my personality.  So you can imagine how I have to temper the engines inside me to wait and see.  But God knows that about me too.  Isn’t it great that He understands all about us?  He knows the end from the beginning.  There may be a road trip in our very near future!  If you have a big decision coming in your future, do the work, pray it out, but above all, leave it in God’s hands and let Him work out ALL the details.  He is so good.  It will be just in time, with just the right details.

Walking the journey with you…

~JoAnn

Road Trip Part 4

img_1934Here we are in Part 4 of the Road Trip.  Isn’t is amazing that we can go from sharing a postcard with someone when we are on a trip, to posting in on a blog and letting many, many people share in your experience?  Changing times…

To catch up you, we are now headed to Wenatchee and meeting up with a cousin of mine that I haven’t seen in years and years.  As we drive into Wenatchee, we are wondering which way to go because it has changed so much since I last was there!  So with my Maps on my phone and hubby’s good sense of direction, we were able to find her house.  What a fun reunion we had visiting and catching up.  They took us out for dinner and we got to keep the conversation going.  It was once again a reminder that family is so important, and that losing contact with them is such a waste of great fellowship!  We need our family and surprisingly, they need us too.  Don’t let time constraints keep you from staying in touch!  I got the address of a cousin that was my best bud when we were five years old and sent him a couple of pictures of us.  I am in high hopes he will contact me back!

So after that wonderful visit, we headed toward Leavenworth and to our home for the night.  We are staying at Thousand Trails, Leavenworth and thought we had a pretty good idea where we were going.  I even got directions from the reservations operator.  Yeah…well…not really.  She had us going the back way in, we had no idea where we were and it was getting dark.  I thought I would use my phone and see where we are!  Wrong.  Got our pin point location and then lost signal because we are up in mountains!  Ok, how about the map?  Nope.  The roads aren’t even on the map and this is a new map!  We would get a signal and then hubby would move forward with the car and lose it.  Of course at one point he just stopped but that wasn’t the place where we could get signal.  If it wasn’t getting so annoying that we had such poor directions without technology, it would have been kind of humorous.  So after a lot of, “I don’t know.  I’ve never been here before either!” comments, we just kept driving and I started praying that we would find it soon.  Nobody to ask because there weren’t that many houses there.  When we did find someone place to ask, at a small hotel, they didn’t answer their door for service.  So we got back on the road and kept driving.  Several more miles down the road, and we saw the sign.  We had been driving total of at least 50 minutes looking.  But, we DID find it…thank you Jesus!  And below, you will find a picture of our home away from home.  Not bad, huh?

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We even had a BBQ on our deck we could use.  I think we will come back to this one!  It was beautiful!  As you can see, it had a pool also!  Oh yah!!  Course, I won’t be seen in any form of a bathing suit, but it is way cool to have a pool.  Maybe a midnight swim when no one is looking????  I always wondered why some designer hasn’t designed a swim suit for “the less likely for two-piece anymore” kind of gal!  You know, one that comes almost to the knee?  Skirt type with a BIG flair to it?  I can see it, can’t you?  But I digress.

IMG_1644So we unload our things from the car and walk into our house and the lights are on and music is playing…I like that they wanted us to feel right at home.  Kind of like the Motel 6 commercial where they talk about leaving the light on for you.

IMG_1635IMG_1640We really enjoyed our stay here and kicked back for the evening.  Resting up was important because we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow walking around in Leavenworth!

So the next morning, we are up and going and headed into Leavenworth to have breakfast.  It is so nice to just have no particular schedule and just enjoy the moment.  Breakfast was very yummy!   After eating we parked our car on the main street and hit the shops with great anticipation.  Oh my!! SO many things to look at.  Look what I found in the first shop!!  I put my keys on it right after this picture was taken.  I even got a “J” charm to add to it!  Yep, its me!!

IMG_1680IMG_1679The of course, I had to walk across the street because I saw chocolate.  And hot or not, I had to get some to enjoy!  Oh yummy!  The store is full of wonderful chocolate of all kinds!

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I just loved this shop window!  It was fixed up so cute!  And look at this chocolate covered macadamia nuts!  I also got some chocolate covered orange sticks too!  But I DID share with my sweetie.

IMG_1661IMG_1655IMG_1654Wasn’t that “eye candy” for the chocolate lover’s soul?  It sure was to me!  We walked to another little shop and found the coolest furniture made from whisky barrels!  I would have loved to buy the table and stools for our bedroom.  Yeah…that’s another story.  But anyway, we sure did like them; very creative style.

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IMG_1662IMG_1652It is a nice ambiance walking the streets of Leavenworth.  You can find some very unusual things.  One store had a statue that my hubby had to show me because I am Norwegian and it is a statue of the Norwegian God of Folklore.  He really liked it!

IMG_1671I also have always wanted to get an old vintage trailer and fix up.  I have some great, creative ideas but not always as practical for me, because who would remodel a vintage trailer for me?  I certainly don’t know enough.  But I have learned about some ladies who call themselves Sisters On The Fly who have done it.  They inspire me.  I had to get a couple of books to read all about it!  Pretty cool!  So watch for future episodes.  It just might happen for me before I’m wear grey hair!

IMG_1676I have been known to stand in stores and read cards and laugh my head off.  People look but I don’t care.  If it is funny, I laugh.  I like clean and funny and these little one pieces for babies made me laugh right out loud in the store.  Sometimes I wish I could come up with these things.  It makes you wonder what type of person thinks these up!  But then I remember that I would like to be one of those persons, and I laugh again.  They would be like me who laughs in a store at a card that is funny, and sees the humor in all things.  I laugh at commercials at home all the time!  I think we need humor in our lives and maybe more of it.  Laughter is good for the soul!

IMG_1658IMG_1657So we have walked around, listened to music piped through the town square, enjoyed a Stawberries and Cream Frappe at Starbucks and talking about heading home.  We both wish we could do a couple more days of this.  But then I think everyone feels that way about a great get-away.  We walk back to the car and head down Tumwater Canyon and I take some shots as we go.  The beauty around us is right there, but we sometimes take it for granted.  Here are a few shots of my canyon run…

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The water along the river is so gorgeous!  I loved the movement and of course I could sit there all day listening to it!  I took a rock at one point and put all my concerns on that rock and threw it in so it could be washed away and I could walk away clean from my concerns.  That is how it is with God.  We give him our worries and troubles and He takes them away to Himself so that we can be free.  He smooths all my rough edges.  I was free that day once again.

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It is so nice to see all the waterfalls, great and small along the way.

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Close up of the river and the crashing waves against the rock.  “BE STRONG, I heard.  BE BOLD, I heard.  Never give up even when things are crashing in around you.  I AM HERE.”  Phew!!  Good to get that reminder!

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Look at this pretty waterfall so high up in the mountains supplying the water to the river below.  I saw this waterfall and thought it is a lot like God.  He supplies our needs from His High Place to our us.  Beautiful scene!

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Up river a little further, is the waterfall you see below.  It was so pretty.  There wasn’t a place to park, so we walked a ways to get this shot but well worth it!

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The photo below reminds me that we can have all the chaos around us, but if we have God in our lives, we can have calm right in the middle of it.  Do you see in this photo how the center is open and the waves are crashing all around it threatening to close in?  We can feel like that in our lives at times, and that is why these times away to reflect and enjoy life are so important for us.  Our perspectives are given an opportunity to see things from a different light.  Certainly, that happened for me during these three days!

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My hubby and I talked about where we want to go on our next trip.  Because you see, we need to do that.  It is a healthy choice, both for relationship and for healthy mind, soul and body.  What do you need to move around in your life to make time for the important?  It is well worth the sacrifice to do it.  Make a road trip fund and start right away!  We have our next one planned!  I would love to hear your thoughts on this trip and places you have visited or suggestions.  Where will your next get-away take YOU?

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I leave you with a photo that speaks of my feelings about the trip.  It is so pretty and very peaceful.  That is what this trip meant to me.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll.  What ever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul!”  Horatio Spafford 1873 from Psalm 146:1.

Thank you for coming along on this Road Trip with me.  I have enjoyed sharing it and I hope you too can say daily, “It is well with my soul.”

Walking the journey with you…

Road Trip! Part 1

IMG_1747In a day and age where so many people are flying everywhere, it is really refreshing to take to the road!  Instead of flying over everything, we are seeing it as we pass by it, or better yet, stop to SEE AND explore it! So, I thought it would be fun to share my trip and thoughts in three or four posts here on the blog.

Part 1

This last week, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  We have had some rough times, but one thing we know, God has been faithful to us. We decided to celebrate by taking a road trip to areas that my husband had not seen, and where I had not been in years.  We left early on Monday morning and headed over the North Cascades to see what we could see.  I am anticipating a wonderful time of leisure with my hubby and my camera because I know each time I take the time, God always shows up with some amazing thoughts and experiences.

 

The first place we stopped was in Marblemount, Washington.  This is a kind of last stop before going over the pass.  As kids, we knew if we needed a potty stop, this was the last one for a long while.  So for old times sake, we stopped and walked around.  There were IMG_3788some wonderful lilacs along the fence line that I had to take the time to smell and photograph.  We walked across the road toward the bridge because I wanted to try IMG_3798and get a photograph of the fog bank over the water.  But instead, I found a wonderful perspective of the bridge to take.   So, I walked to the bridge and took this photo from my point of view and looking to the other side.  It just reminded that no matter how grey and foggy our life may seem at times, that if we will walk in faith to the other side, we will see a different perspective and maybe find God is doing a new thing!  I felt that day, that God was doing a new thing in our lives.  I was to walk “in” it.IMG_3796

 

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IMG_3794Then, as I turned, I looked down river and took a few shots of the fog.  Every couple of minutes it would change.  It was kind of funny because as I was trying to get a photo, a big 18 wheeler came over the bridge and the bridge vibrated for several minutes afterwards.  It took a few minutes for the bridge to settle so I could get the shot.  But the scene made me want to tarry a while to enjoy the beauty of the green tree-lined river.  It was so peaceful.  This is what it is about; the ability to take the time to enjoy the beauty God has given us.

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After I took my bridge and river picture, we get back into our little red car and head up the mountain.  We stop where ever the notion hits us for a good photo-op, and we certainly found a few; pretty riverbanks, water falls, and deer along the road, tunnels and park areas.  It is amazing what you see when you go with the intent of seeing, and not just letting it pass you by, on the way to where you are going!

We pulled over to get a beautiful shot of the water fall.  There were so many along with way but it wasn’t always easy to stop where we saw them so I did a lot of walking.  Here is one of the falls I saw a little ways up the mountain.  Close by, the deer pictures were taken through the car windows so we could get as close as we could without them running off into the woods.  They were just curious enough to turn around to get a good look at us.
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IMG_3896We came through this tunnel and I got the brilliant idea that I wanted to take a picture from one end of the tunnel to the other end.  I seemed to be getting that idea at the beginning of this trip; the idea of “looking through to the other side.”  We couldn’t park there, so we had to go up the road ways to park the car, and I ran back to take a photo.  Every time I would get out into the middle to take a photo, a car would come.  Back to the side I would go.  The car passes, I would go out to the middle and try again.  Here came a car.  So, finally after about six tries, I had a break and got out to the middle quickly, and took the shot just as a truck came around the corner!  Phew!!  The things we do for a photo!  In the time it took to get this shot, it had started raining, and quickly turned into a downpour!  I needed to get to the car.  Terry couldn’t back it down because there was no place to park.  What to do?  Wait it out?  Put my camera under my coat and run for it?  I was standing there laughing so hard at my predicament, that I just decided to put the camera under my coat and run for it!  About that time, Terry gets out of the car with no jacket, and starts coming for me with an umbrella.  We meet up and run to the car under the umbrella laughing so hard we could hardly breathe!  It was quite a distance!  I was trying to tell him about the cars coming every time I wanted a picture and we just burst out laughing again.  What a pair we are!  But he is my knight in shining armor who came to my rescue in the pouring rain, to help his photographer wifey not get too wet.  It’s times like these you never forget!  Love that man!

Now that we warmed up in the car, we decide to move on up the road and came to a park information area. We stopped in to see what we could learn.  Inside we found information about the whole mountain area, all water ways, and a little shop.  In the sitting area, we found this above the fireplace.  In light of our world right now, these words could never be more true.  It IS up to us to take care of our land, but not just that, but to put our life priorities back into place on a daily basis.  We found good information and I bought a map so we could begin to map out on the map of Washington where we are visiting on this trip and future trips.  Away we go again.

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We made another stop at Diablo Dam.  It was kind of ire to see the dam without the water flowing over it as it is so black in color.  But I have seen it when the water is flowing and it is beautiful!  The picture above shows the dam.  The next photo is from across the dam and looking up at the mountain.  It was so majestic looking even with all the fog.  But it stands strong and unyielding between the green of the other mountains.

You drive down the hill to this quaint winding drive with light posts that line the whole distance of the drive.  We drove across and I took some shots around the area.

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IMG_3902When we drove around the lake and I looked back at the bridge, one thought came to mind.  When I look at this photo, it looks like the bridge is a pretty straight shot.  You can’t see the twists and turns or the drive.  Our lives our like that.  We think it should be, or we want it TO be a straight shot.  We don’t want any of those twists or turns, or ups or downs.  When it happens, we find ourselves disappointed, hurt, or angry.  But we are told to expect them, so it depends on how we look at them.  What is our perspective?  I found that when I was up close, I could see the beauty even IN the turns.  The ups and downs of the road led me to this place of beauty.  I believe it is like that in our lives too.

Well, here we are and we aren’t even that far into our trip!  Both Terry and I said so many times that first day how much we were enjoying the leisure time to get out and see what we could see.  Spending time in God’s creation is always a great way to draw near to each other and I think God designed it just that way.    I think He wants us to look at our lives the same way.  It is an adventure and a journey.  There will be rain, storms, losses and all of that.  But we can keep looking forward to what is around the next corner, the next hill, the new thing to learn, the next moments to spend with ones we have and love, and above all, to spend time with the Creator who made it all for us to enjoy!

I will leave you for this part of the journey and will post the next in Part 2 of…The Road Trip!

Walking the journey with you…only this time, you are walking the journey of mine with ME!