Week 161 April 29, 2017

Loren and I started this week still staying at an AirBnB in Moffat, Colorado – in the San Luis Valley. The home was built using straw bales for insulation in the walls, not unlike the Earthships’ tires. On Earth Day we attended a memorable fundraiser with drumming, flute, and movement at nearby Joyful Journey Hot Springs.
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The next day we visited in Crestone, which is halfway between Santa Fe and Denver. It is hailed as a peaceful area, near wilderness and the mountains. One writeup of the place claims, “An ancient spiritual-scientific reason the land is so sacred, so powerful is it is at the convergence of ley lines – part of the Earth’s electromagnetic energy system like at Sedona and Mount Shasta, which creates vortexes of powerful energies for healing and higher states of consciousnesses.” Loren and I had a pleasant time here, hiking a little and enjoying a light meal at the local brewery. I was hearing Rocky Mountain High in my head, especially after noticing a sign for a particular new local retail outlet here. That evening we were treated to a glorious sunset.
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We continued to see more wildlife this week – butterfly, hare, rabbit,
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eagle, raven, prairie dog,
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even yak and a snake! It is always a great pleasure to have time out in nature.
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We then drove to Longmont to visit dear friends from our home UU congregation, who we had not seen for 17 years. We spent a fun evening enjoying good conversation and catching up over a wonderful dinner they prepared. We stayed overnight, and in the morning had a great walk at Lake McIntosh. I was especially taken with artwork there that was made to represent leaves. Our friend explained that there are 52 peaks over 14K feet in Colorado. We had views of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak, Longs being the northernmost 14Ker in the state. We hope to see these special friends again before another 17 years elapse…
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We then visited more friends also in Longmont, and also formerly – though much more recently, of our UU Fellowship of Sunnyvale, California. We enjoyed a lovely overnight visit with them, including a walk around Longmont’s downtown. We did not know this couple well before we left on our journey and it was very sweet getting to know how much we found in common, and, how close they had become to several of our friends at home too. We hope to have more good visits with these friends again too.
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Then we spent a wonderful two nights’ staying with cousins in Littleton. A delightful though too short time together with thesegood-hearted family members!
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From the Denver area we drove north to Kearney, Nebraska to see the founders of one of Loren’s former manufacturers, and their long time employees. It was another too short though meaningful time together with special friends.
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Before leaving Kearney, Loren and I toured both the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), and the Archway Museum of Transportation. The latter spans from early Native American style to the modern Internet superhighway. Now we are enjoying visiting more friends from Loren’s work in Salina, Kansas…

Week 145 January 7, 2017

Happy New Year! We rang in 2017 with cousins on their farm in Nebraska. We aimed for playing cards all night! Well, we nearly did. Loren and I went to bed after 2:30 am, the latest we have stayed up on a New Year’s Eve for several years now. It was a very fun evening!
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It was so good to be with these precious people again. Our weekend visit included going along to do a few farm chores…
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to Loren playing basketball and throwing the baseball with one cousin and his teens. It also included time to play with the dogs, attend church, visit other family farmhouses, and, play more cards.
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We were lucky in that the Nebraska winter was mild, until after we left! So driving to and from the farm was easy. Our next drive day took us from Nebraska, through Kansas and Oklahoma, to Texas, and we were again lucky with the winter weather for driving.
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Starting in Fort Worth, we had a lovely dinner visit with more cousins. It was too short a time, yet most memorable, and for that I am thankful. That is my Mom, second from the left as an attendant in the wedding photo, and, the photo of four generations including my great-grandmother looks so very similar to another one that was taken of her, my grandmother, my Mom, and me. These are only some of the four generation relationships that my great-grandmother was a part of during her 100 years of life.
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The Arctic cold snap that was predicted in Nebraska arrived in Texas too. Karen told us that they had been wearing shorts the day before, but for now it has turned bone chilling cold. In Dallas, Loren and I went to see the George W. Bush Presidential Center located at Southern Methodist University. It was very cold here too, nothing like Loren had envisioned of Texas.
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The next day, in the city called College Station we toured the George H.W. Bush Presidential Museum at Texas A&M University. It was still very cold.
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Now we are in Austin and have seen the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas. As LBJ was in office when we were both quite young, Loren and I learned a lot about what life in the world was like during his Presidency.
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Still in Austin we have taken a Bikram Yoga class, and plan to do so on each of the next few days. It is also cold here, but, the yoga studio staff assured us, even if the weather is predicted to be bad, it is always good weather on Sundays in Austin. We will see…
In the meantime, Loren and I wish you a wonderful, happy, healthy, healing year, 2017!

Week 144 December 31, 2017

It does not seem like a whole week could possibly have passed by, but it was a full week! We left New York after a special brunch with cherished family there, and drove to Pennsylvania to stay with a dear friend. She and I have known each other since Junior High translates to: Middle School, days.
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It was fun to reminisce over several other visits we have had over the years, thanks to some of her precious photos displayed in frames. 
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When Loren and I left, we had a twelve hour drive to our AirBnB just outside of St. Louis. After our host learned of our intention to visit the Harry Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, he made sure that we were also aware of the National Winston Churchill Museum in nearby Fulton. Seeing this was also of interest to us, so we changed our plans for the opportunity to spend time learning more about Churchill’s life and work. We later arrived in Independence in time to see a little of the Truman Presidential Library before it closed for the day.
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Our AirBnB in Independence was in an historic neighborhood, in walking distance to what was Truman’s home. We began early the next day with a visit there, which is part of the National Park system, and, extremely affordable courtesy of Loren’s Senior Pass! We then spent what was left of the day seeing the rest of the extensive Truman Library.
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Speaking of historic, that is what we are experiencing this week – from seeing images and reading so much about WWII at Churchill’s memorial and at Truman’s Library, the AirBnB common area also had a sobering poster of the south New York City skyline from sometime between late 1970 but before September 11, 2001. 
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As with our visit to President Carter’s Library in Atlanta in 2015, we learned so much more about Truman’s presidency than we were aware of, giving us much more of an appreciation of the challenges and important decisions he faced. Both Truman and Churchill faced struggles early in their personal life until they discovered that their talents allowed them to excel through service in their military.
Loren and I have now left Missouri behind, arriving in time to ring in 2017 tonight with dear cousins in Nebraska. Somehow, for the first time, I hear them pronounce their state name as ‘nBraska’! Maybe I always heard them say it that way, and I am just clearer in that I want to convey it here. But also for the first time I understand what their 4H club name means and that is definitely worthy of conveying here too.
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We have already had a few laughs together and look forward to many more before we drive south to Texas from here. Until then, it is delightful to spend time with these precious family members and see their appealing and festive holiday decorations.
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In conveying the message of the season in the words of Truman, May there be Peace for All Time,
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and, wishing you a Happy 2017, with an idea from another wall hanging from our  Independence AirBnB showing street signs proclaiming, “Your Life” vs. the one not taken, which is “No Longer An Option.”
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REPOSTING in Progress: Weeks 2 to 109

This place holder is for the entries from our original blog to be added, eventually. Please check back – this re-creation is a labor of Love and will take a bit of  t-i-m-e- which, while still traveling, we do not always have a lot available to devote to this.

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