Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 3, April 30, 2013

           This has been a great day.  We got settled in the campground, and it is really peaceful and beautiful.  We went to the dinner I mentioned last night.  This type of, event (early arrivers for a 4-day festival gather for a pot luck dinner) is so much fun.  Through the many years, Richard and I have been lucky to make friends from all over the country. It’s like a big reunion, and you never know who will be there.  Great fun.
One person you’ll hear me mention frequently on this trip is Lyle West.  Little Roy Lewis insisted we meet him on our last trip to Alaska (summer of 2008).  We are glad he did.  Lyle is a fascinating person.  He and his nurse arrived here in Lincolnton today.  To say that he is very active would be an understatement.  He lives alone in Homer, Alaska.  Drives to his son’s home in Fairbanks by himself and does it all in one day.  If I remember right, that is an eight-hour drive.
Anything over four hours, and I’m dead for two days.  But Lyle does this whenever necessary for doctor appointments or to process the salmon he and his family catch on their big fishing weekend on the Chitna River.  Another long drive from Homer and Fairbanks.  Lyle gathers driftwood and hauls it back home on his old pickup.  He does this all by himself using chains and pulleys.  Twenty seven years ago, he built his own two-story house by himself.  I think he must know the secrets of building the pyramids.
You’ll hear more about Lyle West when we catch up with him in Alaska for his birthday in six weeks.  Did I mention he will be 97?

After dinner, many of us gathered to listen to pickers jam with Little Roy and Lizzy.
A couple of you asked what is Georgia Cracker Salad.  It's something I’ve been making for many years.  I think I got the original recipe from Paula Deen.
Georgia Cracker Salad
Mix together:  1 hard-boiled egg, chopped, 3 green onions, sliced, 1 medium tomato diced, 1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed, pepper to taste, and 1 cup of mayo. Yummy!
Until next time,


Monday, April 29, 2013

Day #2 North to Alaska

It has been raining since last night and the weather man predicts more rain through Sunday.  That isn’t really good for the festival starting Thursday at the Elijah Clark State Park.  For today, we are parked at Miggie Lewis’ house, but we’ll move to the park tomorrow.  Out there we will be parked right on the Strom Thurmond Lake, and I can look out my window, through the raindrops and see the beautiful waterway. 

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of work on my books in that park.  Inspiration is all around. Sometime during the coming week, I should be able to post a few pictures.

Yesterday, on our way here, we stopped at a truck stop to eat lunch.  As we pulled in there was an elderly, homeless man sitting on the curb with a couple of plastic bags and a cardboard sign, which I didn’t get a chance to read because Richard turned the bus pretty close to the poor guy, and I was watching the terror in his eyes when he saw this humongous pile of steel coming right at him. 

It was raining a steady drizzle, and I felt a tug at my heart for the elderly, wet person.  Not that I would ever do such a thing because I watch too many shows on the ID channel, but if I had said we needed to give the guy a ride, my husband would have stopped and picked him up.  Granted, he wouldn’t have let him past the stairwell onto our new rug, but he would’ve given him a ride.

What I did do was say a silent prayer that the man would get a ride soon. 

I’d like to mention at this time that I’ve always heard that God answers all prayers.  It’s just that sometimes the answer is NO.  Also, I’ve had points where I wish I had been clearer on my prayers.

Well, after Richard and I finished eating at the truck stop, we pulled out to the main highway, and lo and behold, my prayer for the old man had been answered.  There was another obviously homeless man tying the guys bags to the handlebars of his bicycle.  The passenger then got on the bar in front of the bike owner and away they went in the rain.  I think this is a prime example of where I should have been more specific.

So you can understand what Richard and I are doing in Lincolnton, Georgia for the next two weeks, we are good friends with Little Roy Lewis (from the famous gospel bluegrass The Lewis Family), his wife, Bonnie (one of the sweetest and most beautiful woman I know) and their foster daughter, Lizzy.  It is Little Roy and Lizzy Bluegrass Festival, and we are doing anything we can to help pull it together.  The festival starts Thursday and ends Saturday (open mike on Wednesday evening).  There is a lot of setup to be done and Richard pitches in wherever he can. 

The only thing I am doing is fixing Cole Slaw and Georgia Cracker Salad for a dinner they are putting on tomorrow night (Tuesday) for anyone who bought a 4-days festival pass.  Fixing two side dishes is a snap compared to some of the things I’ve done before.  Oh, did I mention there will be 150 people attending the dinner?  I will probably be on the way back from Alaska before I get the cabbage I shredded out of some of the places it flew inside the bus.
Until next time,

Sunday, April 28, 2013

North to Alaska 2013

For over a year my husband, Richard, and I have been planning a major trip to Alaska.   All along we said we would pack the bus well in advance of our departure slated for this day at 6:00 am.  We only missed that goal by five and a half hours, which is not bad since we are going to be gone four and one-half months.

During our travels, I’ll try to blog a little at the end of each day so our family and friends know where we are and what we are up to.  The thing I am looking forward to the most about this trip (our fourth trip in twenty years) is having our adult kids and their families fly to meet us for a week each in Alaska.     

Four hours into our trip, Richard stopped for his afternoon nap.  My dear husband’s naps are famous among our family and friends.  No one bothers to call him in the late afternoon.  He is sound asleep in his bed, with the heating blanket going strong (more on this at a later date).   Cell turned off and I’m left with instructions on what time to wake him up for whatever is next on his list.  You can be sure it isn’t just sitting around watching the time fly by. 

No, Richard is like the energizer bunny.  He just keeps moving.  I think his motto is A MOVING TARGET IS HARD TO HIT.  I’m thrilled he has so much get-up-and-go.  The problem is he expects me to get up and go every time he moves, but my get up and go, got up and went a long time ago. 

We recently bought a NEATO Robot vacuum cleaner.  My cousin and her husband, Debbie and Dennis, have one and I fell in love with it.  You schedule it to clean the whole house or certain rooms on a certain day and it will take off on its own when the time comes.  If his battery power runs out, he goes back to his station, docks and when his battery is recharged he goes right back where he left off and finishes the job.

I call this little guy Raylan after Timothy Olyphant’s character on JUSTIFIED.  I LOVE this show, and nothing makes me giddier than sitting in my recliner, feet up, watching US Marshall Raylan Givens at work while Robot Raylan (RR) vacuums my floors.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

Anyway, Richard reminds me of RR.  He goes until his battery runs out and then he docks and recharges.  Next thing you know, he’s gone again.  Two small differences between these two are I don’t have to feed RR and I don’t have to clean Richard’s dust bin.

For the next two weeks, we will be in Lincolnton, Georgia for two music festivals.  The Little Roy and Lizzy Music Festival next weekend and the Jeff and Shari Easter’s Lewis Family Homecoming the following weekend.  We’ll be visiting with family and friends during that time.  In the evening, I’ll give you the highlights of the activities.

Until next time,