Thursday, December 31, 2020

Seven Days of Thanksgiving

 AJ, AZ   High 61  Low 39

At Thanksgiving time, President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked us to flood social media with seven days of Thanksgiving. I originally posted these on FB but I want to preserve them here on my blog. So I wanted to end this year of turmoil with gratitude and joy.

Gratitude Day 1 - I am so grateful that Jim saw me across the dance floor and asked me to dance. In May it will be 35 years later and we are still dancing together.

Gratitude Day 2 - Our son, Todd! I can't even begin to describe the love I have for this amazing man. The Lord knew I needed this child even when I didn't. And I am so thankful for his beautiful, so very patient wife, Michaela.  

    I am also grateful for my three step-sons, Steve, David and Jimmy. They have also given us three wonderful daughters-in-law, Jen, Kelly and Jenetta. Our loves are full.

Gratitude Day 3 - My Dad served our country in WWII, He felt it was an honor and a privilege to do so. He never said much about the War but he said a lot about how great our country is. I am also grateful to live here in the good ole USA. My Dad taught me to honor our flag and the people who serve it. I truly am blessed.

Gratitude Day 4 - Butchie, Tommy Tutterbee, Ginger, Scooter, Skittlez, and Rocky Joe. My life was made so much better with the unconditional love from our pets. They have taught me patience, determination, joy and sadness. Thank you Heavenly Father for giving us these special creatures.

Gratitude Day 5 - Our beautiful world. I am grateful that for the last 12 years, Jim and I have had the opportunity to explore some of God's glorious handiwork. From the top of Pikes Peak to Death Valley and from the fall leaves in New England to the Southwest desert sunsets that I love, seeing as much as we could in between. WOW!! 

    I have been awed and amazed over and over again as we've traveled this land. And it all started with a conversation at the IRS office where I worked. Thank you Tina for the ride of a lifetime. 

Gratitude Day 6 - Friends - what would we do or be without them. A lot of friends fade away with distance and years, especially in the days before social media. But there are those who thankfully never go away.  I'm going to list a few folks who have made an impact on my life but there are so many more. I love you all.

Dianna - we went to grade school together and are still good friends to this day. She was responsible for getting me back to Montana when I had had enough of California.

Steven Bourne - its been 52 years since I sat behind you at business college and wanted to run my fingers through your gorgeous long hair. Well it was considered long at that time even though it just touched your collar. We've been through a lot together and I value your friendship.

Vaughn Jenkins - I can't even begin to describe our 40 some years of friendship. You put up with me through tacos and birds and rejoiced with me when I found Jim. Thank you.

Linda Lowenstern - we became friends when I moved to DC in the early 80s. You were with me when Jim asked me to dance and then bought our breakfast. How right you were when you told me that first time "We will be seeing a lot more of him."

Eileen Maloney - you took pity on me when I showed up late for my first day of work at the IRS in Washington DC. (I had gotten lost trying to find the building.) We definitely have had great adventures together.

Nancy and Earl - never in a million years did I think I would become best friends with the sister of the guy I was dating. But these are two enduring friendships that I appreciate.

Tom and Patsy - met Patsy at Hunter's Lodge when we used to go two-stepping. She met Tom and we became a foursome. Patsy just lost the love of her life to Covid and our hearts break for her.

Janet - one of the smartest people I've ever known as well as one of the most fun. You made working at the IRS so much more bearable. Still use the quilt you made me.

 Special Friends even if it hasn't been decades.

Ginny - not sure how I could have survived without you these last few years. You are always right there when I fall apart. You don't ask what you can do - you just do it. No Matter what time of the day or night, you are always ready to take care of the pups so that I don't have to worry about them. You understand me and still love me.

 Paula - sure glad Rod introduced us. You are always ready for an adventure and don't mind me tagging along. I want this virus to end so we can go again.

Carol M. - our hubbies, Jim and Bill, were such good friends. Liked all the same things - same truck, same trailer, fishing, fixing things and falling in love with Sidney Girls. It was so fun to get to know you and realize how many people we both knew. We still miss Bill and our meet ups to go fishing.

Marv and Donna - Marv left us this year and I'm sure he and Rocky Joe are reminiscing about all the times they went fishing together with Jim.

Bob and Jo - we didn't get to spend a lot of time together but I always felt such a connection with you guys. And you introduced us to Sal's. Thanks for that.

George and Melva -making Santa Fe RV Park a fun place to live.  

Escapee Friends

I need to give a special shout out to our Escapee friends. I had no idea when we started full timing as RVers that we would meet such fantastic people who would become life long friends. You never knew where or when you would meet up with them along your journeys.

Paul - Escapade in Gillette, WY 2008. You parked next to us and 12 years later you are still a huge part of our life.

Tina and Woody - sure glad you had an IRS question. I cannot imagine how empty our life would be if you hadn't told me that you lived in a fifth wheel. I still need to apologize to Woody for making him sit in the truck for so long.

Jeri and Terry - Mexico Beach in Florida. You had the lake outside your motorhome but you and Terry showed us how you just go with the flow. Such great times at Quartzsite and all along our way.

Toni and Doug - you opened your arms for hugs and welcomed us to Q. You and Dough showed us how to make our rig into  home. And I really miss all those great meals we had at your place.

Linda and Dave - it was really nice to meet another introvert who still enjoyed the gatherings we had. I loved hearing about Dave's love of trains.

Jan and Bill - Good Sam rally in Casa Grande. Thank goodness you guys would talk to use because nobody else would. Then an invitation to dinner in New Mexico and our friendship was sealed. We met up all across this country.

Marsha and Paul

Jerry and Janice

Freddy and Delcie

Ed and Linda

Karla and Eric

John and Diane

Jeff and Tina


IYQ - we will never forget you

Nan and John 

Carol and Doug

Tom and Dianne

Sue and Paul


Ray and Cindy

And so many more. Many have hung up their keys and we don't get to see them as often but you are in our hearts.  People who come and go from our lives and leave such a deep impact. Thank  you all for making this life a fantastic adventure.

Gratitude Day 7 - I offer my thanks and love to my Heavenly Father for my life and everything and everybody in it. Our Father in Heaven loves us beyond measure and waits for us to join with Him and our family in eternity. I am grateful for our latter day prophet, President, Nelson, who leads us and guides through the power of the Priesthood. 

May the New Year of 2021 bring us all healing and love.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas in AZ

 AJ, AZ   High 67  Low 43

We don't often have presents to open on Christmas morning but Jim got a couple of surprises under the tree.

He has always wanted a 1939 Chevy so I got him the only one we could afford. Rather fitting for 2020.


Todd and Michaela also sent him a present from Santa. This one needs a little explanation. Jim is really easy going most of the time but he can get picky about the strangest things. One of these is a water bottle. We reuse our plastic water bottles and he found one that he likes the feel of it. It fits into his hand just perfectly. The only problem is, the only place we can find it is in Montana. We didn't think to stock up when we were there this summer (we did remember the fudgsicles however). So Todd sent him six empty bottles. And the cool looking fish. A perfect gift.

 He also got to open up his mud flaps but to be honest, he knew they were coming.

 Our neighbor, Wendy, took some fantastic pictures of our outdoor decorations and I want to share them with you.


 Our beautiful, creative daughter-in-law. She knows how to celebrate.

Wishing all our dear friends and family a Merry Christmas. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Christmas Star

AJ, AZ   High 71  Low 38

On December 21, 2020 Saturn and Jupiter aligned themselves in our night sky to create for the first time in almost 800 years a Christmas Star. 

Jim and I decided we wanted to experience this event and drove to a spot away from a lot of city lights. A lot of other folks had the same idea we did. Our cameras are not very sophisticated but I think Jim got a pretty good picture. It was an amazing experience.

 We also had another one of our gorgeous Arizona sunsets.

Can you find the star in the following picture?

 Another Jim project - our pantry door wasn't hung correctly and kept swinging shut when I wanted it open. We double and triple checked our level and that wasn't the problem. So Jim decided to fix the hinges. And he couldn't do it without the help of Skittlez.

 Christmas is going to be quiet at our house which is how it's been for years. Just Jim and I and Skitz. But we're having ham with creamed peas and potatoes. Now that is going to be perfect.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

AJ Reverse Christmas Lights Parade

AJ, AZ   High 75  Low 49

Saturday night Apache Junction held their first ever Reverse Christmas Lights Parade.  Because of the COVID restrictions parades are not allowed because of the crowds that would show up without masks or social distancing. The reverse parade had the floats decorated and parked along both sides of the road. Then the parade goers drove through to look at the lights. 

The traffic was really bad and it took awhile for the police officers to get into place and then keep everyone moving.

There weren't very many floats. I wish more organizations and businesses had taken time to submit a float and I want to thank those who did.  I don't think they realized just how big a deal this would turn out to be. 

Here are the pictures we took of all the floats. We were using our phone cameras so these pictures are the best that we could do.

And the Apache Junction Christmas Tree.

We sat in traffic for almost 45 minutes before we started moving. It took us maybe five minutes to drive through the floats. I really appreciate those folks who took time out of their lives to keep the Christmas spirit alive in this time of Covid with loneliness and depression and frustration being so prevalent.

Who knows what Christmas 2021 will look like but we are praying for a return to a time of peace and love.