Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Tommy is ready for Christmas.  She is now "friends" with Santa, and won't bark when he comes.
We have been very busy with our Santa visits, with the last home visit for Santa is at 10 pm Christmas eve.  Yup....Santa will already be on the way back to the North Pole to load up his sleigh!
Soon after our wonderful day with family we will be ready to head south.  We have designed a new blog for our future adventures.  The blog is entitled "Riding the Wind"...and the address is:

Once Christmas is over...check out our new blog.

This year it's going to be much easier to make the posts since we now have a "hotspot" on our iphone.
We can "attach" 5 electronics to it.  Aaaah....technology.

Let us not forget the REAL REASON for the SEASON...to remember the great love that our Lord & Savior has that He became man and came to be born in a manger....to live with us and die for us. 


Until we "connect" again....(on Riding the Wind blog)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yes, Virginia....THERE IS A SANTA

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Click here to seethe newspaper clipping
Newsman Francis Pharcellus Church wrote The Sun's response to Virginia.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"VIRGINIA O'HANLON."115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Monday, December 5, 2011

HO HO HO Merry Christmas 2011 !

It has already been a very busy Christmas Season 2011 already this year...AND IT'S ONLY DECEMBER 5! But it has been a wonderful "busy"...we love it.

The unique opportunity to volunteer at the historic Embassy Theater & it's annual Festival of Trees in Ft. Wayne came our way. (It's a way of the Embassy to raise money for it's on-going restoration.)

This is the room where we entertained the secred wishes of the little children who whisper into Santa's ear.

One of the beautiful trees in the lobby....

Yesterday we went to Granger for the 4th annual "Photos with Santa" event. What an awesome and fun afternoon; pictures with kids and enjoying our 6 of our grandchildren and our daughters and son-in-laws. It was a great family afternoon. Of course Charolette & Yvonne love to sit on Santa's lap.

Yvonne & family

Charolette and family....
The exciting event yesterday was extra special for Lincoln....because he asked Santa for his TWO FRONT TEETH!

Our next blog post will be on our "new" blog when we head south after Christmas. It will be at a whole new address and we will let you know.....stay tuned until we "connect againn".


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We're getting ready to put the Four Winds away for a two month rest. But there was one thing that we discovered during the summer....that the dining area and couch were very uncomfortable for our old bones. After talking to several professionals in the RV area....we began the "transformation" of our Four Winds. Try and remodel a 6' x 7' living area....and make it look bigger than it is. And then we began....ripping out the booth dinette, and the jack-knife couch. The place looked big then.

Down to the wood floor. There was a "creeck" sound in the floor that drove us batty! We found someone who could get rid of it for us. We had that person rip out the carpet, fix the "creek" sound....and then he installed a wood-grain lynoleum flooring.

The new floor going in....
The these chairs we purchased from an Amish chair company. We went back there 3 times to sit in them and make sure that they were absolutely perfect....and then we ordered them.

The end table between the chairs also has side leafs that can be raised for our dining table. Nice and compact.

There was an outside compartment that extended into the living area...under the couch. So, we had to hide it. Look at the way that we hid it! The gentleman who laid the floor also builds cabinets for an Elkhart, IN RV company. And this is what he made for us. The big black square in the middle of the cabinet is an electric "fireplace"! That was my birthday present. (two months ago :)

Ta Dah! This is the living area of our RV....all finished. Finally! (this project took about 3 months....not because anything was that time consuming....but because we had difficulty getting in touch with our elusive workman. Good guy....just doesn't like to answer his phone :)

And there is one happy camper...

And so goes our Four Winds....soon into storage....to rest, and to wait....until our next adventure.

Until we "connect" again....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oct 19, 2011 SUCCESS AT LAST !!!

As we were leaving Bob & Shiela's home in Sherwood forest, near Baldwin, Chris caught sight of this Piliated Woodpecker ! We crept up and it was so concerned about the bugs in the dead wood that it just didn't care about us creeping into its territory. I shot many, many pictures and deleted the ones that weren't good. This one is the best.
This is a huge bird....like a foot tall, and it lives within a mile radius and is territorial. Chris has seen this bird at other times eating off of of some bird feeders that Bob hangs out.
Enjoy this "best of the best".
Until we "connect" again...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We enjoyed our 4 days in Mackinaw City....but the wind was enough to last for a month....all piled into 4 days! Note the white-caps and the water breaking against the pilings. This is an early morning picture with the lights still on.

Here's a much better picture of our friends Yvonne and Dick from K-zoo.

The happy four-some....

We spent Monday morning visiting shops on Main Street....the ones that weren't already closed. Had lots of fun walking and getting out of the wind. This canoe of happy stuffed critters was hanging in one of the shops...

This is a very sturdily built house right on the Straights...has to with-stand wind and weather....but oh, what a view they have. Just thought that it was a beautiful home.

Heading to Baldwin to visit old friends, Bob & Shiela, today. They live in "Sherwood Forest" :)It was such a nice trip through the UP. But now back to the cold weather. Had lots of fun.

Until we "connect" again...

Monday, October 17, 2011


We had the fun of our friends, Dick & Yvonne, visit us in Mackinaw City. We met them while staying at Twin Mills Campground this summer. Chris & Dick had such fun fishing and golfing. Yvonne will probably never forgive me for this photo....but it's the only one that I have right now. Sorry Yvonne.... :) Out to dinner last night

The raining, blowing and blustering gave us a short reprieve yesterday and we got to view the Mighty Mac Bridge. The traffic was moving very slowly....finding out later that they were using escorts, semi's had to go 20 mph and a travel trailer flipped over on it. Not a good day on the bridge.

Then the blustering rains came and left again. Chris got this beautiful view of the rainbow....a sign of God's promise to us.

Then came the winds....and we almost couldn't see the bridge. The changing face of life on the Mackinaw Straits. There are many shipwrecks out here. When Chris was in the Coast Guard icebreaker, the Mackinaw, they had to go out here for a search and rescue mission. A ship full of iron ore collided with an ocean going ship. It cut a 60 foot gash in the side of the ore boat, the Cedarville. It went down in 10 minutes and the Mighty Mac was dispatched to look for survivors. The wreck is still on the bottom. Any souls who were below deck never made it out. But there were survivors. Treacherous waters....

This is a monument on the coast to the ironworkers who played the biggest part in the building of the Mac Bridge. Ironworkers are a big deal up here: there's a museum to them, an annual parade, etc. Three of them lost their lives on building the bridge.

OK, Jeanne....here's a light house for you. It's the one on the point here just below the Bridge. I think that it was in operation until the 60's....I think.

Dick, Yvonne, Chris & me drove over to the Sheppler dock to see the retired "MIGHTY MAC" WACB 83, THE USCCG (THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD CUTTER) MACKINAW. That's thee whole official name for the mighty ship. It is now a maritime museum. We have been on it twice, but unfortunately it closed for the season last week end. But she sat there at the dock in all her glory.

Then we drove to Cheboygan, 15 miles away, to hopefully see the new Mackinaw. I like to call it the "baby Mac". It is about 100 shorter than the Mighty Mac's 310 feet. It is also designed to be a buoy tender. As a matter of fact there was a buoy on it's rear deck. It's props can swivel 360 degrees....and it can cut ice sideways! But it's not the Mighty Mac... Incidentally, the Mighty Mac was "born" the year that Chris was born....1944....and in Toledo, where Chris was born. Interesting facts....but only to us.

On Saturday, while Chris and I were at the Mackinaw Campground, we took a mile walk through the woods and the rain. On the way back to the RV, Chris' sharp eyes spied some shaggy mane mushrooms....which gave us a wonderful breakfast, fried up with eggs on Sunday morning.

On that walk, Tommy had a wonderful time working the brush along the dry creek, trying to flush out a bunny. She had a fabulous time....but found no bunnies. She didn't care; she had fun trying. She came home wet and tired...and happy.
On this walk through the downed leaves and woods, there were these little pink flowers poking through the leaves. Look close. They are there.

On the trail.

Today, Yvonne and I will stop in any of the shops that are still open along main street in Mackinaw City. They have huge sales going on. Not especially looking for anything....just looking.

Until we "connect" again.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Greetings from "below the Bridge"....we are now among the "trolls", a.k.a. those who live "below the Mackinaw Bridge". Here are some of the pictures from "above" the Bridge. Now you will see a few pictures of me, cuz Chris took some with his camera. Here we are at Bewabic State Park, near Crystal Falls.

Here we are relaxing at Ft. Wilkins St. Park, Copper Harbor, on the Keewenaw Penninsula.

That's the moon peeping between the trees.

....still relaxing....

The shore looked like a bunch of upheaved rocks....and I came back with a prize of some bird feather. That's all of Chris' pics that he sent me yesterday. (he e-mails them to me, then I can upload them to my photo program :)

A gloomy ride back over the Bridge to the land of the "trolls". We decided to pop back over yesterday because of the predicted high winds today. Not a time to take a hi-profile vehicle across the bridge.

And now back to the pictures from above the Bridge.
This was just taken on Wednesday, through the windshield of the RV. There were still lots of color in places. Just depended on where you were, and what type of trees were there. There are apparently several different weather patterns in the UP. In a couple of places the color was all gone, leaves were all down. Then we traveled down the road and the trees were beautiful again. This rain today is for sure going to kill it, though.

This is the Lake in the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains (and state park). We are taking the picture from the highest point of elevation in Michigan. Very pretty. Can see a ski area 20 miles away.

Somewhere along Lake Superior where we stopped for lunch. You can see how nice it was out.

At Fort Wilkins I was taking pictures of the sunrise about every 10 minutes, or so. It was so pretty.

Here's an interesting one....the sunrise was reflecting in the side of the RV.

And here's God's glory in all it's splendor.

Just an old, abandoned house that we passed....

Watched this sail boat for a long time. They had to be having a lot of fun...

Not trying to show you my coffee cup....but trying to show you the wonderful view from our camper when we were camped at the top of the Keewenaw Penninsula at Ft. Wilkins. How's that for beautiful?

Here's the view of the shore at Copper Harbor....looks like a bunch of upheaved rocks. Very cool to walk along.

Just us....enjoying Lake Superior

There were sights like this all along the Lake Superior. Chris was marvelous of not getting tired of me asking him to pull over so I could take some pictures. It was hard to shoot pictures out of the windows of the RV because of the over-hang in front and the big side view mirror on the side. It was just in the way.

We are now in Mackinaw City. We are killing a bit of time because some friends are driving up to spend the day with us on Sunday and Monday. The shops all have big sales in them because they are getting ready to close, but I am restraining myself till my friend gets here. Unfortunately the Mackinaw Icebreaker Maritime Museum closed last week, so we can't show them that. It's raining pretty steady today, but is supposed to be nice by Monday....I hope. We bought some books at the library.....so we are ready to cozy up for the evening. Chris picked up some Tom Clancy books. He likes that author.

So, until we "connect" again....