Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for June, 2013

Love of Ft. Collins, The West and Long Time Friends

Last year was mainly on the East Coast and nature and terrain were all so different from the western open space and wildness. We fell in love with all of it and in a way I was not looking forward to heading west. I did not think I was ready. Hello! We got to Denver and Cherry Hill State Park Campground, right in the middle of the extended city. I started to remember-scent, views, low humidity. Then we drove to Ft. Collins, only 70 miles south of Cheyenne. I remembered two summers ago when we met with my friends from the 1970’s where Judy and I taught the deaf in Yuba City and Marysville, CA. I had not forgotten how great the college town of Ft. Collins was, not to mention the vegetarian, vegan food that was delicious and oh so creatively put together. The evening clouds and a little rain and the biking trails, the Colorado outdoor culture and the Rocky Mountains just touched me. We will probably come back often.

Judy and Stan run marathons, paint houses for their “retirement” business and make a home to their llamas. Judy was my first vegetarian. She reminded me that eating healthy-which I already have learned-is not about fighting it or being upset with myself, it is living in the present and being mindful. Click! Light bulb turned back on.

One of my fondest memories of Judy was her sports cars and the wild but extremely competent driver she was. Well, having a baby sort of put her into another world, but recently she allowed that the “wild woman” must come back and they bought a Miata. OMG! Authentic vibrant Jude, you make me laugh with joy.

A Few More Photo’s from Kansas City Visit

DSC05354So lucky to get to know my cousin and see how she lives in the Kansas City area.

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So much of the westward movement as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.

The cousins go orange!

The cousins go orange!

Louisiana Purchase explorers including Sakajewia

Louisiana Purchase explorers including Sakajewia

Steamboat Arabia on of hundreds that sunk on the Mississippi River

Steamboat Arabia on of hundreds that sunk on the Mississippi River

The museum dedicated to the recovery of the sunken steamboat Arabia from a farm away from the current Mississippi River’s path was one of the best stories we have seen.  Back in the 80’s friends and families decided to find it and raise it not knowing that everything on the ship-as much sellable pieces of everything as a “Walmarts Store” was intact and would be salvaged and cleaned into useable items that we could wear, eat off, or build with today.  If this story raises your interest go to the museum’s lovely website and see the really good photos and the story-of modern day adventurers. http://www.1856.com

The Stern and rudder of the Arabia

The Stern and rudder of the Arabia

The boots are so beautiful I would love to wear them

The boots are so beautiful I would love to wear them

I would love a pair of the earrings

I would love a pair of the earrings

Imagine all this buried in the mud on a farm

Imagine all this buried in the mud on a farm

One of the guides and also restorer of objects from the riverboat

One of the guides and also restorer of objects from the riverboat

keggs of nails as they look after being dug up-then cleaned and perfectly usable today.

keggs of nails as they look after being dug up-then cleaned and perfectly usable today.

Four of us being silly.

Four of us being silly.

Actual menu off the steam boat

Actual menu off the steam boat

check the prices

check the prices

The floating snag in the Mississippi that sunk the boat in minutes.

The floating snag in the Mississippi that sunk the boat in minutes.

True adventurer-in the pit, finds this felt hat.

True adventurer-in the pit, finds this felt hat.

Russ and Kal

Russ and Kal

Flea Market Killer

Flea Market Killer

Westlake Killer was big news and I remember the horror of the story of the pediphile who tortured young boys from off the streets.  This wagon sits in the Westlake district, which is actually a cool area, but people recognize it because of the weirdo.

My great great Greenawalt Aunt and Uncle's home.

My great great Greenawalt Aunt and Uncle’s home.

In our family we know a bit of the story that my Grandad Greenawalt was kicked out of his home in his 6th grade year, hooked rides to Kansas City and found this Aunt and Uncle and asked if he could pay for a room in their house.  When I was a child I met Abe and Versa once, lovely people, and they said Grandad paid for himself from that age on.

Oldest building in Kansas city.

Oldest building in Kansas city.

A Little More about Kansas City

My cousin Cindy and her husband Kal wanted us to get the flavor of Kansas City and its neighborhoods. We started out going to Long Horn Steak House-where I had the best trout lunch I could imagine.  Then we covered the neighborhoods and we went to a museum that houses everything  from the capsized Arabia including part of the steamboat..  What an adventure story.  The Arabia sunk in the Mississippi River after hitting a snag.  The people survived but the steam boat sunk with thousands and thousands of items from beautiful silver, china, crystal to hats and boots and the clothes and cloth in bolts.  The hosts of the museum describe the viewing rooms of all that was found as a department store of goods from the 1800’s most of which do not have anything wrong with them.  Seems the Mississippi River changed course numerous times and the boat was actually in a field of a farm.  It was a great story and a brilliantly done project.  3 of the 4 adventurers are still living and their discovery happened in the 1980’s

We also went to Westport Market where a famous serial killer worked. ” Berdella was apprehended on April 2, 1988, after a victim he had been torturing for a week jumped naked from the second story of his house and escaped, wearing only a dog collar. By that time, he had abducted and tortured at least six young men, and the Kansas City Police Department suspected him in two other disappearances. Berdella had detailed torture logs and large numbers of Polaroid pictures he had taken of his victims.”  I actually remember the discovery of what this nut had done and the trial.

Another really cool thing we saw was the house of my Great Great Uncle and Aunt.  The story I got from Uncle Abe when he visited Grandad and all of us was that when Grandad was in 6th grade, his was kicked out of his home  because his step father didn’t want him, so he hopped rides to Kansas City, arrived at Abe and Versa’s house and asked to rent a room in the basement.  He got a newspaper boy job and paid rent from the 2nd week on.  

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Kal and Cindy (Greenawalt) Kerns in Kansas City, Kansas INCREDIBLE KERNS SPA

When we traveled to Kansas City we had a real surprise, Missouri and Kansas are not flat until one gets close to Colorado.  Rolling land all green, very pretty.  We drove to Cabelas in KC and met my cousin Cindy who led us over hill and dale to their home in the country.  They took an old country home and went crazy turning it closer and closer into their dream home.  Just like me in my house in Martinez, they still can’t see it as done.  But to us they have an incredible place and it has all kinds of surprises.  Kal has hooked up watering systems that get water from the well and he has propane gas on his land which he uses too.  I can’t describe how smart he is and how creative.  That does not even say enough about his eye for landscaping.  I am having a terrible time uploading my photos here in Fort Collins, CO, but he has used antique farm equipment in the front landscapes.

Russ and I feel so blessed to stay on their farm in the RV-me using their beautiful guest room as heat and humidity demanded.  I immediately named it Cindy’s Spa.  The guest bathroom is not only pretty but functional with the best shower ever.  Cindy and Kal eat huge vegetarian salads and dishes much like us, though they do enjoy some meat.  We shared ideas back and forth and the two of us had at it in the kitchen putting together meals for our selves and lovely guests invited to meet us.  What fun!

My cousin Cindy is one smart shopper too.  She taught me a few things and she had her hair dresser scheduled for me and then for Russ too.  I have got to get a picture of the new Russ and post it.  At any rate Cindy and I have seen each other at family events and even at the Pt. Richmond Condo, but this time we really became lifetime friends.  I am so fortunate and Russ can’t stop talking about how much fun we had.  My jaw still hurts from talking and laughing.

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Love Raleigh

Love Raleigh

From lower rock garden to back of house

From lower rock garden to back of house

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Newest rock garden I believe

Newest rock garden I believe

All layers of back deck

All layers of back deck

Property is about 7 acres.

Property is about 7 acres.

From upper deck of Kerns' house to lower decks

From upper deck of Kerns’ house to lower decks

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Gateway Arch in St Louis was full of Surprises So Was I when I Posted Without Story

Well Well, what can I say I blogged without meaning to. Glad you like the photos.

We have had so much fun seeing St. Louis and I have so many photos that I must do individual blogs for each of the events. First, I loved Googling ST. Louis. There were maps of the neighborhoods, then write ups about each one including restaurants. Directions were posted. Second, I had a blood vessel pop in my eye the second nite and it was so puffed up that Russ wanted me to go to an emergency room. Well the folks at St. Louis Jewish hospital were not too busy and the nurse and doctor drew maps and told us all the must sees. So we followed their advice.

The Gateway Arch was a no brainer, we were parked on the East side St. Louis, Illinois, at a Casino and were staring right at and thru the arch. Very mystical and ethereal. Could not catch that in photos. We biked into the park and went under into the the arch to the museum and caught the pod cars to the top.

Now this was no short process, lines moved slowly in steps. The walkway in to the underground was designed to look like you were on the docks in the time of Mark Twain. At one point an old scale was a boone to mothers with kids. It looked like two swings, but it did not swing, yet when another child got in, it balanced and you should have seen the looks on two year old faces. Still they tried to swing it-no go. Then we got into 5 man pods shaped like eggs, we leaned in and if you have serious claustrophobia this was not for you. You could see out the door and watch the stairs. At the top we all took photos thru the tiny windows. I got a phone call from my sister Kay while up there.

Of course the Gateway Arch is about St. Louis being the gateway to the west and everything is attributed to Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase. After the civil war St. Louis did not have bridges for the trains and had to catch up building them. For a while they lost the heavy shipping movement west but eventually reclaimed it. I like the stories of the changing eras of big cities.

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Gallery

Forest Park

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Abe Lincoln’s Boyhood Home is in Indiana off Highway 64-an Unexpected Stop

So you drive down the highways, stopping often for legs, hips and knees.  You walk the dog so you can walk yourself.  Bathroom and water and sometimes a meal.  But traveling this way means you can pay attention to signs and in this case real signs by the  highway. Specifically this time, Abe Lincoln’s Memorial Sign, Next Exit.

What a treat-like others I remembered his life in Springfield, IL but had forgotten the farm in the west in the forest was actually Indiana. Gorgeous memorial building in the park-mementos and quotes and memorial panels.  Fortunately while I was visiting with the kids outside, Russ learned that you can walk toward the flag and a half mile later you are on the farm cut from thick forest and rendition of the buildings and actors to show you around their home. It was a sweet experience as was the movie that told the story at the memorial.

Others moved into the area where the Lincolns did and apparently a plant the cattle would sometimes get into gave a disease to humans and wiped out many of them.  Nancy Hanks died-Tom Lincolns left to find a wife-not that crass, actually he knew a friend who had lost her husband and who had 5 children of her own to raise.

During my exploring the memorial and farm, I met a lovely woman and daughter on their way to the Bay area where the daughter is taking her new Master’s Degree to start an internship.  They are traveling from the DC area across the country.  Talk about being a magnet for women traveling the spiritual journey.  She and I just shared so much in a short time-a real feel good moment.

I just read a quote from my favorite Blog “The Daily Love”.  I copied it and then lost it, but basically if was from Joseph Campbell and I hope I do not mutilate it-    The world is a mess, always has been.  We are not here to fix it cause you can’t-we are here to fix ourselves. Love meeting others finding their way too.

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