Thursday, October 27, 2016

Closing Out Our Time in the Camper.....

How's this for a country pic?

Louis Dean is sporting his overalls with bare feet and his only accessories are a fly swatter ( a PATCHED one at that!) and a cup of coffee! It's bad that we have swatted so many flies over the last two years that we are now in the market for new ones!

We have loved out time here!
The mornings are special with coffee and reading out here on the west side of the camper in the shade. Most mornings there has been a bit of a breeze making it very pleasant indeed.

Most evenings, Grandson Robert has built us up a nice campfire,

We've used the ashes to roast our potatoes and buttered onions.
Last night we had pork chops (courtesy of Dean) all flavored and marinated and cooked on the grill.

We have gone on bike rides......

and breathed in the sweet country air.

We have gone exploring and simply enjoyed being here.

The critters have kept us entertained and I am amazed that so many different animals seem to get along together so well. This morning when I went down for my shower, I saw one of the horses over by the chicken coop and several of the hens were out there with him as if they were all passing the time of day with each other.

Dean gave Rufus a good bath....

And I watched the geese and the goats.

I love all the sounds of the country!

We have had such a good time.
This is the only place where I seem to relax completely.
I've worked on my book every single day and feel as though I am actually building something. 
Brick by brick. Story by story. Connecting all the dots of our childhood. 
The hardest part is over - that of simply getting deep INTO the book now.
But in a way, THIS is the hardest part and until I put in words the events of August 1957, I had not fully understood just exactly the extent it shaped our lives.
Right now it is at a sad point in time but I have to remind myself that humor and the sheer strength of the human spirit and the grace if God has allowed me to write and relive those times once again through my writing and yet realize that it is not as depressing to me as I had feared.
It's like that line of song in gospel music - I read the back of the Book and we WIN!
I am so proud of my siblings and all they have had to overcome. If my book does nothing more than to tell our story to our children and then for them to appreciate how far we have come from 1957 - it will be enough. I read chapter five to Louis Dean and he was so moved that I'm afraid it may be too emotional or sad. He says no. It is a story of survival and victory.
Once I have the Prologue edited and feel it's a done deal, I will share it here.
It's only 1,068 words and can be read in less than two minutes.

We have done everything we hoped to do this trip.
All four of my Santa paintings have been based in and will be ready for detail painting to begin next week. I am really cutting it close this year!

This afternoon, while I was busy writing, I heard hammering outside.

Louis Dean was out there hammering in all the nails in the deck that had popped up a bit.
I think it's time to go home and let him get back to his projects!

But for now - I have one last night and Robert has the campfire burning.
Dinner will be easy.
Pan fried ham and Ruth Ann's potato salad.
But first I need to stretch my feet out by the fire and sip my wine and thank God for all the blessings of this week and this life.


  1. I am so glad that you have had the time you needed to relax and work on your art and your writing. It sounds like it was exactly the place you needed to be. Love all the pictures of the animals. They sure have a collection there. Have a safe trip home.

  2. I am looking forward to reading those 1,068 words. We all have a story to tell, and I know we will all learn from yours. You are an overcomer, and many will be encouraged. Just look at you now.

  3. God loves you so... It takes a strong person who knows Who her Source is to face these things head on. You've been telling a wonderful story for some years right here and I know that you have the talent and courage to tell this important one. God bless your efforts, may they bring healing balm from His hand.

    Louis Dean cracks me up! Always a project. Gosh, you folks are not eating too shabby and you're making me very hungry!

  4. Glad to see my goats and geese are doing well. LD reminds me of my father who wore overalls. He used to sit out under his pecan trees in the summer. Glad you're rested because no doubt the fun will begin the minute you hit the city limits.

  5. You have painted a beautiful word picture here, Linda. I feel like I am right there with you. I do hope you will let us read that chapter when you feel so inclined. I would love to read it.

    Blessings to you as you close up the camper and head back home. xo Diana

  6. Such a project you have embarked upon with your book. I'm so sure this will be treasured for many years to come. You are brave and honest to write it. You Ranch Trips are like a dream out of a novel, and you get to live it.

    As you say goodbye to the ranch and the beauty of it, both family and animals....till next time. How great that you have this place to really feel relaxed.

    And your Santa painting ready to complete too.

    Sending hugs.

  7. I'd have a hard time leaving, Linda. Such relaxing times. And getting your Santa paintings started, more work on your book and LD starting a deck...well you outdid what I'd do in your idyllic setting which would be to move from my lawn chair as little as possible.

    Man, that food looks good! I can see that mealtime in Texas is big as well as the portions! But heck, you guys never sit still!

    Love to you and can't wait to hear how you are catching up at home.


  8. Wonderful pictures of the animals! I think your book idea is so good! A few years ago, I came across some pages of a diary that my great grandmother had written. About her watching the steamboats and other things. What a treasure!!! So I hope your book will be family reading for many generations to come.

  9. I love the man in overalls barefoot. My Kind Of Man. And I love all the animals hanging out together and LG hammering on the deck. Can't wait to read chapter 5

  10. My granddaddy used to say if you killed one fly two friends came to his funeral. lol So glad you had a restful visit in the country.

  11. Linda, You have the best attitude. I am sure it's your good heart and faith. I am glad you had your fun adventure at the ranch. Glad Robert and Dean were there also. Linda, when you said it was a tough spot in your life..yes, humor and pure grit can get us thru those. I use to be ashamed of how we were raised . Then I started making jokes about how our mother would stack all of kids in that one bedroom in those bunk we were cord wood. Or say we slept 3 across and 3 deep. Things like that helped me. But in reality it make me a strong person, which I hope I passed along to my daughters. Blessings to you my dear, dear friend (soul sister) . Love you, xoxo, Susie

  12. How wonderful to live a country life in the midst of nature and farm animals. Country life is so peaceful and relaxing.

  13. Blessings come in so many ways and you are a good example of that.

  14. You are such an example of a sweet,Christian enjoy life, love every body and every thing...and find thankfulness in all...I wish I lived next door to you....and I wish I had some pan fried ham and potato salad...

  15. I come from very humble, and sometimes difficult beginnings, Linda, as do many of us. I don't think you'd have to look very far back in any of our ancestry to find similar circumstances. But look what the Lord has done! He knew the plans He had for you, and see what He brought from sadness. I do hope you'll allow your blog friends to read your story, if you don't feel it's too personal. What a story of God's blessing!

  16. I'm glad you've gotten through the hard part and truly our pasts being in the past, are a testimony to His Faithfulness! These things do shape us, and in 1st Corinthians Paul talks about us 'being comforted' when we go through hard things so that we can in turn 'comfort others.' I've seen that be true in my own life. God has used pain to allow me to help someone else through their pain.

    You and your siblings have triumphed over these hard things!

  17. I am very pleased to hear that you have been working on your book, reaching back in to the past can be painful, but it can illuminate events and lead to a greater understanding, both good and bad, of the people and situations involved. X

  18. Eautiful photos of your time on the ranch. Glad you had some much deserved time to relax. I am anxious to read the parts of your book that you are willing to share. I know you've had some big heartaches, but also some big blessngs. I love your willingness to be transparent.

  19. I can not wait to hear more about your book.