Jun 25, 2012

More "Did-You-Know's"

Did you know...

...Montana is called Big Sky country for a reason?

..that seeing a wildfire that we normally only hear about on the news is pretty cool?  And scary?  The magnitude of it is overwhelming.  Here is a "smokeset" view from Ft. Collins.

It's so weird to be able to smell smoke for days - like you're living in a giant campground with campfires everywhere.

...that the Denver/Ft. Collins, CO area is known for it's cinnamon rolls?  We tried them at a restaurant that is famous for them.  We ordered two for our family, and could barely finish them.  Hugeness!
Yes, they were good, but....nothing to really write home about.  Needed to be cooked about five minutes less.

...that every state has it's version of Rednecks?  Even in cowboy country where real men haul hay wearing blue jeans and chaps; where the hay is stacked on a real hay wagon/truck.  We saw this in CO. I never saw the guys hauling this hay, but I'm almost POSITIVE they were wearing overalls - had to be!  It's the only thing to wear if you're driving this.

...that you should never sit/lie down in wet grass?  At least not if you're going to get back up in front of hundreds of people.  (The fanny pack and tall white socks with black tennis shoes kind of round out the whole picture, too.)  This happened right in front of Abe.  If you could've seen the look of horror on his face...!

...that when you've driven through this kind of farmland for a couple of hundred miles, it is hard to believe there could ever be a bread shortage in the world!   I just had to sing, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain...." a couple of times.   Love farmland!

...that hiking up to 8,000 feet elevation is tough for us low-landers?  Not much oxygen up there!

...that when you have no lap to set your wallet on, you have two options:  Stop carrying a wallet, or do what it takes to get a lap!

...that it's okay to wear three or four different shades of red at one time?

...that there's just nothing quite like sitting around a campfire.  If you've never done it, you should try it!

...that a rodeo is lots of fun?  Don't turn up your nose unless you've actually been to one - a REAL one.  There's nothing quite like watching some idiot try to cling to the back of a 2,000 pound bull whose sole mission in life is to buck the idiot off!  Keeps you on the edge of your seat!

...that Wyoming has these:
Photo: Grizzly bear walking through a meadow

about like Florida has these!

Been to Florida three times - never seen an alligator.
Drove through MT, WY, and CO - never saw a bear.  Or a moose.  This is as close as we got...

Apparently, they are in the areas we were in, but just didn't want to be seen.  I wonder if cold and snow had anything to do with that?  Needless to say, I was disappointed.

...there is something cool you can do with old worn-out boots?  Try this:

...that there are some parts of the country so bleak; so dry, windy, and non-fertile, that the only thing that will grow is this:

Wind farms!  Can you see the rainbow?

...that Bear prefers sleeping in the middle?  And not down at the foot, either.

...that in Jackson Hole, WY, they have extensions put on their fire hydrants so they can be located in the snow?  Crazy, huh?!

...that they make campers for midgets?

Just kidding!

Well, that's about it for the cross-country trip posts.  But life still moves on; still happens.  Who knows what will come up next?  What will the Lord bring our way?  I look forward to serving Him, to loving my family each day, and to living life to the fullest!  Whatever I can share with my friends and family, I will.  
I hope you have been blessed, encouraged, and even entertained by our cross-country trip.  I love you all!

My childhood home; my family.

Coming into OK, we decided to try another restaurant out of our trusty little Road Food book.  This is in Perry, OK.
A real hole-in-the-wall.  General consensus:  We would never go back.

This is a small town with a little town square.  No stoplight.  Just this:

As we were getting into Edmond, OK, I was really getting excited to see my family.  Abe was driving.  We were off the interstate and heading into town to find a place for him to get a haircut.  We were coming down a hill to a stop light; several cars in front of us.  Suddenly, POW!  A huge noise!  Then we kind of floated a bit to the right.  Then a loud thunk as the whole right rear end dropped down.  Thankfully, we were going pretty slow.  We stopped at the light.  I jumped out and did a quick run around to see if we had blown a tire.  Tires looked fine.  I couldn't see anything else.  Light turned green.  I jumped in and we slowly drove on looking for a parking lot we could turn into.  We probably went another mile before we found one on our side of the road we could get into.  As it was, we still parked illegally across 5 parking spots.  Abe got out and discovered that the right rear had dropped down to where there was no space between the wheel well and the tire.  He crawled underneath and saw a broken bar/brace thingy going to the axle.  I called my Dad; told him we were broken down.  Abe talked to Tim.  Mom and Dad were there within 45 minutes.  Dad took a look, called someone he knew to get things going for repairs, then they took us back to their house.  I stuck a note in the window of the RV explaining we were broken down and were making arrangements to get it fixed and out of there.  And prayed we wouldn't get towed. :)

It was so good to arrive here!  My childhood home.  I was born and raised here - all 18 years before I got married.  I love it!  Good memories.

The barn.  There is no better place to watch a storm coming than from the peak of this roof!

 One of the things I miss about home:  green pastures with cattle in them.

Dad and I stood on the front porch and watched it rain.  I love a summer storm, and love the way you can stand on this porch and watch it and not get wet.

Dad and Abe trying to get a sick cow up into the corral and down the chute to give her a shot.  She vehemently did not want to go.

She led them a merry chase for several minutes....

...ran to the fence and cleared it in one leap!  Pretty spry for a sick cow.

She ran down the driveway to be near some sympathetic friends....

...and they went after her on the 4-wheeler.  They got her back in the pasture, but not in the corral.  So much for a shot.  I guess if she dies of worms, it's her own bloomin' fault.

This is a ritual that I have to do every time we go back to OK.  I've done it ever since I was a girl.  It's just something fun for me, but I have to see if I can still do it.

The goal is to make it down to the gate...without falling off.

Yes.  Made it.

Just kind of nice to know you can still do something at 43 that you used to do at 16. :)

Cousins.  Left to right:  Carson Easley, Casey Roy, Conni, Darbi Easley, Bear.

These 4 really put Papa's 4-wheeler through it!  They took it down in the pasture after a big rain.  Talk about wet, muddy kids!

Cousins.  Logan Roy and Abe.  This is in Grammy's kitchen...still one of my all-time favorite kitchens.

Conni sitting on what became known as the Love Rock after Tim proposed to me here 24 years ago.

Later, I look out the front door, and Tim is standing on the Love Rock - trying to get enough service to talk on his cell phone.

Saturday, June 23, 2012 was a Stamper family reunion.  Stamper was my mom's maiden name.  My Grandma Stamper wanted to get as many of the family together as she could.  Most of us were able to make it.  Here we are making hamburger patties for 64 people.

We played a few games; one of them a recipe for disaster and injuries!  Blindfolded soccer. My nose is still feeling the effects of having collided with DaNeille's head.

Cindy laughing; DaNeille and I nursing our injuries.  Grant was a lame coach.

Chelsea, Lauren, Marci.

Grant and Anna's baby Carly.  So adorable!

Koby Carroll.  Cindy and Shannon's youngest.

My sister Jenny, and my oldest brother, Gary.

Alan and Jenny Easley.  Kids are Darbi, Carson, and Cole.

My youngest brother, Grant and his wife Anna.  Kids are Darcy, Brady, and Carly.

All 7 of us kids.  Oldest on the right: Gary, Greg, Sherri, Cindy, Jenny, Christie, and Grant.

My Dad with his 4 girls.

Conni holding Adeline, Chelsea's baby.

Gary and DaNeille.

All the Roy kids with their spouses.  From left to right:  Andy and Christie, Alan and Jenny, Gary and DaNeille, Tim and Sherri, Shannon and Cindy, Grant and Anna, Greg and Shannon.

Some of my nephews:  Patrick Morrow,

Isaac Morrow,

Koby Carrroll.

Conni and Darcy.

Marci holding Adeline; Chelsea's baby.

Carly hamming it up.

Rob and Chelsea.

Grant with his youngest - Carly.

Koby showing of his ball glove and cleats.

This Luther part of our trip was unplanned.  We originally had to be home on June 14 so we knew we wouldn't be able to make it back to Luther on the 23rd for the family gathering. But God made a way for it to happen!

I don't believe in happenstance.  I believe that all things happen for a reason.  I don't know why we broke down in Edmond, but I know God knows.  Why did it rain so hard the day after we got to Mom and Dad's?  Why then?  I don't know, but I do know that because of the rain, Dad couldn't get into the fields to do any farming.  Therefore, he was around the house for 2 days while I was there.  I got to spend lots of time with my Dad.  I'm so grateful for that.  Grateful for the 2 hour visit Tim and I were able to have with Dad on Saturday - just the 3 of us.

Now I'm home.  I love wandering around my house, trying to remember where the light switches are and which cabinet the cups are in.
I'm overwhelmed at the state of my yard - anyone have a baler?
My mail pile is staring at me.
The voice mail box was completely full.
I'm mesmerized by the flush handle on the toilet.
My frig is completely bare - so is the pantry.

But east or west,


It is so good to be home again.  We had a wonderful trip.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  We saw some beautiful country, some not-so-beautiful country, met some neat people, reconnected with lots of friends and family, and had lots of good times and talks with our kids.

I thank God for the privilege of getting to take this trip.  I encourage any of you that have always wanted to do something like this to DO IT!  You will love it!

Can't wait to see all my friends and family back here in VA!