Week 175 August 5, 2017

I first want to say how nice it always is to hear from our family and friends, thank you for following us on our blog and keeping in touch with us! We appreciate hearing comments like, “You both have such a gift for sharing what your eyes see and your minds interpret,” and other encouraging and supportive words. Thank you! We especially love learning about what is going on in your lives, it helps us to keep feeling connected with you as we travel on this journey of ours.
We began this week still near Albany visiting dear friends with their newest family member – their cute dog. The doggie’s favorite toy is the adorable Lamb Chop from our childhood memories of the Shari Lewis show. I want to point out that in New York, this city’s name is pronounced All-bany, unlike the Albany of California that I hear pronounced more like Owl-bany. 
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Our friends’ brother and his wife came over too and we enjoyed their refreshing homemade sangrias, then we had a delicious BBQ dinner all together.
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And, as always, they have such beautiful plants growing in their lovely yard.
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Loren and I had a late night discussion with our friend about life and her beliefs on spirituality and scripture, which we always appreciate and gave us more to reflect on. Then we enjoyed a lovely Sunday Brunch with both of them with a beautiful view overlooking the Hudson River to bid them our fond farewell.
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On the way back to Mahopac, Loren and I visited 8th President Martin Van Buren’s home,
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and learning some about the history of his day.
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Afterwards we had a good hike on a nearby trail.
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Now we are back at my brother and sister-in-law’s lake house, enjoying the new blooms here. We had a fun BBQ with them and their girls, but where was my camera?

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A major appointment this week was for Loren’s new crown, to address the integrity of his tooth that broke in mid-July. I am excited too that I submitted the paperwork for my pension! Small as it is, I earned every penny of it, and am grateful to begin receiving payouts at 60 years of age. The rest of the week has been devoted to hiking, daily yoga and looking at family history. The wildlife we saw included an owl, bats, snapping turtles, a few fawns, a rabbit, and a squirrel.
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What is taking most of our time is planning, firming up minor travel details – like confirming our upcoming hike on the Camino, attending to loose ends – like obtaining more vaccines and travel medications, taking care of DMV records, car insurance, computer care, banking, IRS, etc.! In addition we are beginning to sort out our belongings and pare down again to just our backpacks and daypacks for when we leave the United States. We hope you are enjoying your August too!
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