Bumps In The Road

Journal Entry for Friday, December 1, 2017

Well, I was so happy and content two days ago. Lol. But yesterday, we drove to Vidalia, Louisiana and were greeted by a huge mess when we opened the camper. The cabinet above the couch broke all apart, pulled down from the ceiling, doors broke off and fell to the floor and the cabinet contents were strewn everywhere.

The cabinet is destroyed. Now we have to get warranty work done while living in the unit. I knew the time would come when we would have to figure this out. And we both handled it pretty well. We know God will work this out too. Just as He has done SO MANY times in the past. But we have had several things lately, including the hard drive on Matt’s computer frying. He can’t even make 3D printed items. We sent his hard drive to a company hoping they can recover his files. His many important files.

These are just two of the many bumps in the road we have experienced. Frustrating things. Upsetting problems. I know I mostly write about the fun we are having because that is what I like to focus on! But there are always bumps, big obnoxious ones. Not all fun and games here.

I have had to remind myself that no matter how much I may desire it and strive for it, this life will never be perfect, stress free and problem free. NEVER.

There are, however, wonderful moments between the stress points and somehow, I need to truly turn things over to God so that I can enter in to those moments with joy. Rather than stewing and feeling my blood pressure rise. LORD, I am learning, but it’s a struggle! There will always be bumps in the road.

But God is with me through them, working the situation out to be good, giving me wisdom, training me for future bumps and using me somehow for His glory. Do I like the bumps? No, I do not. And I probably never will. Everything in my being longs for beauty and perfection.

I think that means that I am longing for God. Only He will satisfy my longings, my deep desires for love, comfort, peace, purpose and for things to generally be right. That’s why it is so good to have the blessed hope of eternity with Him. Pure, beautiful, good, painless eternity. ETERNITY. I can’t grasp it, really. But it is truth. God’s beautiful truth that sustains me through the bumps in the road.

Natural Bridge to Nashville

After leaving Ohio, we drove to Stanton, Kentucky. We’ve decided we really like that area. So beautiful and full of parks and places to hike.  We almost didn’t find a campsite in the area, but I’m so glad we did! I wanted to see the Natural Bridge. I thought that was the only “bridge” in the area, but there are several. These arches have formed naturally in the stone.

We took the original trail to the Natural bridge which is the easiest. Now don’t suppose that means it is easy! No, it was quite strenuous. I’m glad we didn’t take any of the other trails.

The beauty of the area was wonderful.

We did make it to the Natural Bridge. Fascinating!

Then we hiked to the top to walk over the bridge and view the scenery. Matt has a terrifying habit of getting close to the edge and leaning over to look down.

While in the area, we took several drives in Daniel Boone National Forest. What a beautiful place! The roads were very narrow and often dirt. It was a bit interesting driving on switchbacks in the mountains with a long bed dually truck. Thankfully, there wasn’t too much opposing traffic! We did go through a tunnel that was one lane and we barely had room for the fat back end of our truck. I think I held my breath all the way through.

We stopped at one point for Matt to climb a rock. I didn’t join him in this activity. 

One of the other arches we saw was the Rock Bridge Arch. Beautiful spot! This “bridge” is the only one with water running beneath it.

We almost hated to leave Kentucky, but knew there were more things to explore ahead of us. We decided to stop for a bit near Nashville, Tennessee. We ate at an Aquarium restaurant. I was pretty hungry.

They had some really big and interesting fish in that tank. The fish swam constantly, well, all but one that just sat on a rock the whole time. It was exhausting to watch them.

We aren’t much for cities, but I wanted to see what “Music City” was all about. A fellow RVer had told us of a good place to park where we would cross the Cumberland River over a pedestrian bridge to get into the town. We had a lovely view of the city as we crossed.

Then we walked around the streets in Nashville. We had heard that every night of the week you will hear music pouring out of restaurants and clubs. It is true! Even though it was chilly, the doors were wide open, and sometimes even the walls, with musicians right inside playing all types of music. It was a happening place.

I was really tempted to buy some boots for some strange reason.

And I had fun singing with Elvis. I had no idea he would be there!

The view was even better on the way back to the truck.

The Hermitage was something Matt was interested in seeing. It was the home of Andrew Jackson. We both realized that we didn’t know much about him. One interesting tidbit was that he fought a duel for the honor of his wife. The opponent got a shot off first and hit Jackson, but he reeled and got his shot off too, killing the other man. He lived with the bullet in him for the rest of his life. Or so the story goes…

When Matt tried using his credit card to pay to go into the Hermitage, he realized that he had left his credit card at the restaurant in downtown Nashville. So we hiked back across the bridge to get his card from the Brazilian steakhouse. He loved eating there at the churrascaria because it reminded him of mission trips to Brazil.

As we walked across the bridge this second evening to get to our truck, we passed a young man walking the other way. He looked worn out and sad but had a guitar on his back. I wondered if he had great dreams when he first came to Music City but that it wasn’t panning out for him. I couldn’t help but think he might want to spend a few days being rejuvenated by hiking in Daniel Boone National Forest. I know that’s what I prefer!

A Whirlwind Catch-up Post

So much has happened since my last post that I barely know where to start! We made a huge change in our lifestyle by selling our home and getting rid of almost all of our possessions. A few precious things are stored with family, but otherwise, everything we own is in our camper. And that changed too! Since we will be spending all our time in our camper for a while, we decided to upgrade both the camper and the truck. Here is our new rig:

Selling everything was huge and someday I will write a post about it. It really seemed the thing to do for some reason and so we went for it. I worried that after everything was gone, I would miss it and be sorry. But just this morning as I was waking up, three months after dismantling the life we had lived for 23 years, I still feel relieved. I must have been dreaming about the house. I think my mind is still trying to make sense of all we did. As I awoke, I had visions of the basement and garage with all the stuff and my first reaction was, “Oh, I am so glad I don’t have to think about and care for all those things!” I feel more joy without those possessions tugging at me all the time, demanding that I do something with them.

So, since we went on the road we have put 4200 miles on the camper. We have rushed to Illinois to see our granddaughter get baptized. Next was a visit to Sauder Village in Ohio for a rug hooking event. Then back to Maryland to register the new camper. On to Pennsylvania to visit parents. Down to North Carolina to greet our son coming home from deployment. Back to PA to attend the memorial service for my husband’s stepmom. Then back to Ohio for another rug hooking event.

We have seen four bald eagles sharing a meal, biked 20 miles along Oil Creek, viewed gorgeous art in Cleveland’s art museum, toured Monticello, watched the eclipse, went on the Blue Ridge Parkway, saw several covered bridges, and did LOTS of hiking. All the while, Matt was working full time and I drove, grocery shopped, cooked, cleaned and did laundry. And of course, hooked rugs, wrote an article for Rug Hooking Magazine and made some jewelry. I had no time to write blog posts and half the time had poor cell signal. So, here are a few pics here to catch up. Put on your seat belt!

Our home of 23 years when we listed it for sale. What a lovely home it was and I am grateful for it. But it was time to move on.

Our son, Jonathan, baptizing our granddaughter, Beth. What a joyous occasion!

Our granddaughter heard me talking to her mom about our big change. I said it was a bit daunting knowing that we didn’t have a home to go back to. Beth suddenly showed up and told me to keep this verse, that I needed it. Indeed I did. It is on my refrigerator still!

I was thrilled that my artwork was chosen to be in the Celebration book. It is a book that is published once a year with the “year’s best hand-hooked rugs.” Here it is in the Celebration exhibit at Sauder Village in Ohio.

My rug, Transformation, featured in the Celebration book which is a juried collection of rugs.

My latest jewelry creation. I love labradorite and wire working!

Each time we are back in Maryland, we love visiting with Philip and Emma. I do miss our dinners together. This was taken in Harpers Ferry, WV.

While in PA, we hiked at Ricketts Glen State Park. I still haven’t seen all the waterfalls in this spectacular park.

Here I am with my beautiful mom, Shirley Updyke. She put one of my rugs in a place of honor in her lovely home.

We were amazed to see four bald eagles in a field very near to where we camped in PA. Here is a photo I took of three of them.

I am so pleased that Jeremy is home from his deployment. It was wonderful to see him and Mary Claire together again.

I had seen Monticello as a teenager and always wanted to go back. We just happened to camp nearby, so I got to see it again.

Here is our family all together. We camped together in PA while we attended the memorial service for Matt’s stepmom, Jo. Even though we are sad she is not with us, we know she is with Jesus and we will be with her again!

We did our longest bike ride yet in Oil Creek State Park, PA. I think it was our most beautiful ride yet. And we finally got helmets!

I was blessed to take a class from Gene Shepherd at the ATHA bienniel in Cleveland.

Cleveland Museum of Art was great! I loved this Van Gogh painting.

The rock formations in Cuyahoga Valley National Park made me feel small.

That’s all for now! Lots of adventures ahead!

 

Rug Hooking in Florida

When I think of wool, I think of cold nights snuggled under a warm blanket…not Florida! And my latest art form uses a lot of wool. I love rug hooking so much that I’m willing to work with wool in warm temperatures, but I wasn’t sure other people in my RV resort would feel the same way.

Two ladies heard that I hooked rugs last year and approached me about showing them how to do it. Unfortunately, by the time this happened, it was already Spring and time to head home. But I promised to send them information about rug hooking over the course of the year, I signed up for a room in the Rv park, Sun N Fun, to hold our meetings and they said they would order what was needed to begin rug hooking. With that, we parted our ways for nine months.

All summer long, I sent out messages with ideas of where to buy a hook, frame and kit. I kept wondering if they would actually show up and want to learn. And the big question was would I be able to teach them how to do it.

Well, let me tell you that this season in Florida has been the best one for me yet! Here are the two lovely, FUN ladies that urged me to teach them.

Trisha and Sherry love to have fun!

And then another who parked her camper next to mine and saw me hooking my project from her window decided to come and join us.

I loved being Donna’s neighbor!

Donna, Sherry and I were already on the same street in our RV resort and Trisha decided to move over and join us. Our street became lovingly known as hooker alley. (I do at times wish this wonderful art had a different name!) We sure had fun getting together mid week to hook outside by our campers.

Hooking at the campsite

Even though I was still working on my hummingbird piece, I felt the need for a more simple piece to work on while teaching others. Something quick and easy that I could start and finish while showing the ladies each step. I designed the “Love Always” love bird piece. 

Of course, the birds are my sweetie and me. And of course, he had opinions as I designed it. At first I drew the birds to look pretty much the same. But he thought the male bird should be fancier, like in nature. We had a good laugh when he suggested a top knot! Even though he is bald, he thought the bird to represent him should have more feathers on top! So, I drew it out and liked it very much. I was able to start and finish it in a few days. I love my twist on Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. Pattern available here: Love Always

So, then it was time to design something else for me to work on. The hummingbird piece still needs to be finished. I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on that one…. Anyway, there was one photo from our trip from Maine that I really love. I feel that it captures much of what my life is about: nature, travel and LOVE! Here is Matt and me by Bass Harbor Light.

I love the photo, but thought that the design needed to be tweaked a bit. Wanting us to be the focal point without having the piece huge, I made us a bit larger.

I had not yet hooked a sky, so I decided to follow the advice of Cindi Gay in her book: Pine Trees, Grass and Sky. What a wonderful book! And since I have’t done any dyeing of wool (although I am sorely tempted), I ordered “sky wool” from Cindi. It is just beautiful! My photo had no clouds in the sky, but I added some. Since I started the piece, I have spent quite a bit of time staring at the clouds in the sky. They are so varied and beautiful! Here is how it looks so far. My first hooked sky!

Bass Harbor Kiss by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

My friends and I also went each Monday to participate in hooking time with others an hour away. They were doing some overdyeing with ice. So I took some wool and gave it a try. What gorgeous colors! I really am getting quite interested in the dyeing process.

Well, my RV lady friends actually each finished a piece. Here is Sherry with her beautiful mat. (Notice her AWESOME name tag!? If you don’t have one yet, here is where you can order one: Rug Hooking Name Tag)

Sherry did great with her first hooked mat!

And Trisha finished her version of my “Happy Campers” rug pattern. She put the words, Joy, joy, joy, into it because RVing gives her and her husband such joy. What a joy to see her finished piece!

Happy Campers design hooked by Trisha Senterfitt. Design by Janine Broscious

So, rug hooking in Florida has been an amazing experience. I’ve had a great time seeing others enjoy learning a new art form. And I’ve made some lasting friendships! We are all looking forward to next season with many others promising to join us.

Devils Tower and On

Seems each place we’ve been to, I fall in love with the area and don’t want to leave. But people kept saying that we needed to see Devils Tower and we still needed a geocache in Wyoming. First, even though we didn’t go to the Crazy Horse exhibit, we could see it from the road. Still lots of work to be done there

.Crazy Horse Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Then it was on to Wyoming. The rest area had great exhibits and a geocache.

Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We arrived at the Devils Tower KOA and were thrilled with our site! What a view out the back window.

Devils Tower Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

This impressive rock has mystified people through the ages. Indians consider it a sacred place and come there to pray. They say it was a great tree that grew quickly to save seven sisters from an attacking bear. According to the legend, those seven sisters can be seen in the night sky as the Pleiades. Scientists have called it the core of an ancient volcano or an igneous intrusion. Devils Tower, WY Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

All I can say for sure is that it is a part of God’s creation that shows his majesty! Devils Tower WY Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

To think of this beautiful earth we are on as filled with hot, molten rock is disconcerting at times. Especially when looking up at such a massive piece of rock. Look how it dwarfs us.

Devils Tower WY Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We saw many deer and prairie dogs. DSC_8874 2

DSC_8862 2

Here is the tower in the evening light.

Devils Tower WY Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Then, Matt caught this shot in the morning light the next day as I drove towards our next stop.

Devils Tower WY Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Onward to Montana! Yet another state that neither of us had ever been to. A lot of firsts have been happening for us on this trip. I guess it was about time we saw this country!

Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here is a photo that Matt shot through the windshield as I drove in Montana. Looks at those mountains covered in snow in June.

Mountains in Montana Photo by Matt Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

More Matt and Janine adventures to come!!

Matt and Janine at Devils Tower WY www.joyfulwonder.com

See more posts about our Great Westward Trip! Starting on the trip, Badlands, Mt Rushmore

 

More Badlands Photos

Oh my, the Badlands are such a gorgeous place! I know I shared some photos in my last post from there, but I just had to share some that we took yesterday. We drove the whole Badlands loop and hiked all over. Plus, we saw some animals. We thought the prairie dogs were cute, but then we saw a sign that said they carry the plague! So, we decided they weren’t that cute after all. It was amazing to camp right there amidst the Badlands formations and I was a bit sad to leave. But today we drove to the Black Hills and will be staying there a few days. Hopefully, the rain will stop so we can see Mt Rushmore. I can’t wait to find out what inspires someone to carve president’s faces on a mountain. Well, here are more photos I took at the Badlands in South Dakota!

Badlands, SD Photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com DSC_8335 DSC_8345 DSC_8347 DSC_8350 a DSC_8351 DSC_8366 DSC_8385 DSC_8401 2-001 DSC_8405 DSC_8420 3 DSC_8427 DSC_8432 DSC_8435 DSC_8458 DSC_8461 DSC_8465

Hope you enjoyed the pics! I love hearing from you! I’ll let you know what adventures we have at our next stop!

Matt and I at the Badlands, SD