Monday, April 23, 2012

Driving with Spring...I think!

We are sitting at my brother's in central Pennsylvania listening to the news of a spring snow storm hitting western Pennsylvania and moving north.  It does make me want to return to the sunshine and heat of the south.  But, as we traveled north from South Carolina (and the last post), we did get to see some of the signs of spring that we love.  I'll show you some of the sights as we visited friends in the Chesapeake Bay area, visited my sister in New Jersey, another sister in Pennsylvania and now my brother here in Harrisburg.

One of the joys of travel is certainly making new friends.  Jim and Tanya are camping friends from Big Pine Key. When we realized we were driving near them on our coastal route back to Maine, we took them up on their invitation to visit their home along the Chesapeake in Maryland.  Tanya spoiled us with her wonderful meals that included Jim's favorite 'big breakfasts' - a house special when guests arrive and also the seafood feast that included oysters, shrimp, clams and mussels (picked by Jim).  We also made a new friend, Barbara. 

Jim and Tanya have a Roadtrek - the kind of van ours will be when it 'grows up'.

We were treated to two boat rides on Jim's Boston Whaler.  He showed us the town of Criswell, the 'crab capital of the world, the crabbing boats and crab shacks where the soft shell crab is 'born'.

Tanya's gardens were filled with perfect Calla Lillies, and we were filled with wonderful memories as we said goodbye!

Next stop, New Jersey with my sister Sherry and her life-partner, Jim.  Truly, their home was surrounded with the most beautiful blooming trees that included different colors of Dogwood, Lilac, Weeping Cherry, Apple, Peach, Cherry and Redbud.

Sher, Jim and I

White Trillium

Blood Root

Spring Beauty

We also found some spring flower 'friends' as we hiked in the woods behind their house.  It is always a treat to visit my siblings. All the colors of spring added wonderful touches to our visit with Sherry and Jim.  They fed us such wonderful meals, including wild salmon fish chowder and deep-fried Walleye caught by Jim, and Lemon Sponge Cake made by Sher.  When we leave, I always wish we had more time to be together, to talk, and to share about our respective life journeys.

We left Sherry and headed Dotty and Forrey's house between Philly and Reading, Pennsylvania.  Dotty had made a wonderful plan for our visit that included a trip to both Washington, DC (where Forrey works now) and New York City.  We packed a lot in our six days together, even visited the Lancaster Farmer's Market  and my nephew Hank.  (Please check out his blog at Hank and see what an accomplished artist he is in addition to being a great stay at home dad to their five children.)
I'm sure you'll recognize the next set of photos from DC.

World War II Memorial

Another great day trip to New York City, where we visited the Brooklyn Promenade for wonderful views of the bridge and the southern tip of Manhattan.  Then onto to the Fraunces Tavern where George Washington said goodbye to his generals.  We visited Wall Street, and saw the demonstrators at one of the original sites of "Occupy".

For me, the most powerful stop was at Ground Zero!

We finished off with a stop in Times Square, pizza at John's Church right near Sardi's and then back on the bus for the trip home to their house.  It was another great day!

Dotty and Forrey took us for Sunday Brunch the day we left,  for a final send-off celebration.  They spoiled us with the wonderful trips Dotty planned, with wonderful movies and BBC series that we all love, and always with the fun of being together.   I am blessed to have a family with such generous hearts.

My brother is our final stop before our visit with Carrie, Jay and the girls.  Tomorrow, it is off to New Hampshire, and to Sari and Lyla,  your Grammie and Meme are on their way and can't wait to see you and hug you.

Thank you to everyone for all the kindnesses!  You will hear from us again when we are sitting on Chemo Pond, Eddington, Maine.  Love and Hugs,  L&L

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Along the Atlantic Coast - Serendipity and Sadness!!

After leaving Florida on April 2, we made our first stop along the coastal route in St. Mary's Georgia.  Unfortunately we were not able to visit our beloved Cumberland Island due to the Easter Week crowd so we stayed in a lovely campground for a few days and hiked in Crooked River State Park.  Another stop was a visit to some Tabby ( ruins.  This early form of building construction, using crushed oyster shells and lime is fascinating and seems strong and lasting.

As we continued along the coastal route, our next stop was Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina for Easter weekend.  We set up camp here, and then were off to enjoy the beach and the pier. On the pier, we had a most wonderful surprise when we ran into two friends that we had known from Baxter State Park, Jodi and Mac.  (They have recently retired and are also serious "RVers".)  What a grand reunion we had! Serendipity everywhere! It was also fun to find some beautiful wild members of the lily family blooming for Easter morning.

Under the Fishing Pier

Our Easter Lilies

Our next destination was the Outerbanks of North Carolina, and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  We accessed the area by ferry and camped first on Ocracoke Island, and then north on Oregon Inlet on Hatteras Island just south of Nags Head.  Before getting onto the ferry, Latona found a Blue Crab to photograph.

From Cedar Island...

to Ocracoke

We couldn't wait to get to the beach

I finally got the camera!

The energy and beauty of the Atlantic was breathtaking at times.

Tallest brick Lighthouse ever built.

       We enjoyed many hours of beach walking,  finding new shells, and often watching the dolphins playing close to shore.  Camping in the dunes was wild and rugged even though we were in sites made for campers.  We had been spoiled in other places with hot water in the showers but here it was only cold, cold, cold...


As we travelled north, it was along the National Seashore that I started to realize that our wonderful trip was coming to an end. It hit me hard, and I had a few hours of grieving the loss of the freedom we have as we travel along together in our little van.  Of course, we travel with our children, grandchildren, family and friends in our hearts and minds, but feel quite free as we go along.  It was good to anticipate the joy of being with the friends and family we would visit on the final leg of the journey.  Still very grateful and happy... on to the Chesapeake Bay!

Friday, April 6, 2012


It has been quite a week since we shared the last blog.  We visited with some friends in Ruskin, Florida who were saying goodbye to a friend dying of cancer.  They had taken him into their home and were caring for him along with Hospice workers.  The following day we went to Wildwood to visit with Mom and Chick for a week.  Mom wanted us to do a few things.  Latona trimmed her hair for her and I planted the flowers (she said they are called Tropical Sisters) in the front of their home.  She is  doing well but does have arthritic pain in her legs and hips.  She is so stubborn (in a good way) that I am sure she will figure out ways to be comfortable.  And yes, I know where I get!

While at Mom's, we went to CVS to make a few copies of pictures and ran into a lady who was printing a picture of her husband who had only a few hours to live.  Latona hugged her while she cried and we promised to pray for her in the days to come.

Since leaving Mom on April 2, we camped in Georgia and now are staying in South Carolina, avoiding serious thunderstorms and coastal flooding.  During this time, dear friends and family members have also been dealing with circumstances that are filled with difficulties and suffering.  

As we approach Easter weekend, we are remembering all those who are suffering.  Distance does not remove the capacity of our hearts to be with our dear ones at this time.  We are grateful that it is the time to remember the One who lives and whose help and comfort is real.  Thank God.  With all our love and hugs.