Wednesday, July 25, 2012


For many years traveling staple has been McDonald's French fries.  Since we have been shuffling back and forth for the last couple of weeks, it has given me some time to write.  It suits Dan better than my backseat driving.

Last week we stopped at McDonalds along the way for a pit stop.  Dan ordered his usual chicken nuggets. I noticed he did not have his normal side of honey mustard.  When bringing it to his attention, he immediately replied, "You know I can't dip and drive. I can drink and drive, yes, but dipping no."  The little girl behind the counter lost it.  Guess she hadn't experienced any humor in a while and had a good laugh stored up.

We signed a contract for the sale of our house this week.  Although I am truly grateful I am having a bit of seller's remorse. We had prayed the house would be a blessing to both us the sellers and the buyers.  It seems a good fit for the soon to be owners, the Lord willing.  This house was built to be enjoyed by young families.  It is our prayer they enjoy it happily for years to come.

I don't know if it is normal to have such ambivalent feelings.  Dan was teasing me yesterday about how I get attached to tangible things.  My last van he had to pry out of my hands.  The point had been reached where he was embarrassed to have me drive it.  I was perfectly content to putter around in it as long as it would go. He sort of tricked me.  On the way to the airport for a visit with my daughter in Colorado, he drove me to the Honda dealership on the way to the airport.  Not wanting to miss my plan, I was compliant.

The Honda is now eight years old.  We had it serviced this week for the first time outside of the usual routine maintenance. The brakes needed pads. I lamented over the fact they no longer manufacture my model of Honda. As Dan feared, it is yet another excuse to hang onto it until I drive into embarrassment. I will have to at least concede as long as it goes; it does need to stop as well.  I guess she deserves a new pair of shoes after eight years.  I hope we have at least another eight years of happy McTravels together.

"With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."  Psalm 91:16

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Village People


We have begun to meet some really neat folks in the Village.  Today we visited a church of a new friend who too hails from Memphis.  We were pleasantly surprised with the church.  It has the most friendly and happy group of folks ever.  The grounds look like a botanical garden equipped with fountains, fish ponds and a rose garden. This labor of love, mostly by volunteers, is a good indication of the care for each other.

There is an internet café behind our playhouse.  We have wanted to try it out but they are only opened for breakfast and lunch. Today we dropped by after church and ran into a neat couple we had just met at church.

They explained they were both widowed and hung out with each other all the time.  He said,
“Except, he said, at night….I have to go home.”  She said, “Yes, he has a curfew.” We found them both funny and sweet. Even though we were hoping to leave early, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. They had much information to share about The Village and their lives with their spouses. The time flew by.  We look forward to visiting with them again soon – if they have the time.

Today we learned to identify where we hail from by state. Everyone hears is from someplace else.  Few folks are from Arkansas.  As a retired military family expressed, “The Village is very much like a military base. Since everyone is from another place, we look after each other.  We are a close knit group.”   We are finding that to be true. With each visit, we look forward to our life there as Village people!

There are many activities and clubs.  One caught my eye in the paper today.  It is called ROMEO with stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out.  I thought that was a perfect fit for Dan.  They meet once a month just to visit.  In keeping all things fair and balanced, I think I should start a RODEO group—Retired Old Dames Eating Out. What do you think?

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.  Proverbs 13:20


Sheer Joy!


We were excited about a Fourth of July visit with the Texas kids!  The day before we were to leave, Dan decided to take an early morning walk.  All of a sudden he heard a loud crack followed by severe pain in his knee.  We did make the trip but for the first few days Dan slept most of the time.  Dr. Son put him on crutches so he could get around.  So who says this eating healthy and exercise is good for you? We are not so sure in our case. Thankfully the knee is healing and no surgery will be needed!

Lily: Sheer Joy !

Dan was disappointed he was unable to romp and play as usual with the kids.  He did manage to get into a water fight with them at the pool.  Texas is usually hot and dry this time of year.  It did not disappoint. We attended a Fourth of July celebration.  The crowds were heavy. The air was thick muggy and miserable. There were bouncy houses for the little ones, entertainment booths for the older ones and an antique car show for the antique ones. The girls “shopped” with Papa Dan and Dad for their cars while Mom rustled the little ones at various rides.

Girls shopping for cars...Megan wants a TRUCK!

You would think with the environment and Dan’s injury we would have a miserable time.  That was not the case.  The expressions of sheer joy and excitement of the little ones made the night a pleasure! Lily wanted a "horsey" balloon and Joshua a sword.  They jumped up and down with glee anxiously awaiting their turns.

Joshua and his sword jumping up and down over the fireworks excitment
 The grand finale of the night was the traditional fireworks display and patriotic music.  The little ones danced and shrieked with excitement. It was a beautiful night of sheer joy for all.

You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.

Psalm 3:7

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Season of Misfortunes

Proud Grandparents with  Grandson Chad
Masters Graduation Ole Miss

Our petite but feisty sister in law Ruthie went through a series of misfortunes.  A customer at the bank she worked at accidentally set off her canister of pepper spray.  Ruthie took a direct hit.  Later at the same bank, she was accidentally locked inside the vault.

Grandson Weston was hurling toward the house in his go cart.  With motherly instinct, Ruthie reached out to catch him to save him from impending doom.   When she grabbed the back of the go cart, he never slowed leaving Ruthie handing on and airborne.

Her son was going to instruct her on the use of her new treadmill.  “Oh I can handle it.” She hit the button and again was jerked off her feet leaving her face bouncing a trail down the treadmill unto the floor.

These are just a few of the mishaps that have befallen Ruthie over one short period of time.  The stories are often revisited and embellished for comedic effect. Even though each of these accidents could have been serious and life threatening to her, Ruthie took them all in stride and chooses to laugh along.

As if our family shenanigans are not enough; poor Ruthie, her pain is the subject matter for family humor. We really are happy to have you as part of our family.  We promise we are not trying to do you in—not purposely anyway.  

But then again, she has been married into this family for over 50 years now.  Could it possibly be she finds humor and great relief in the fact she is not genetically linked to this crazy Robinson-Robertson-Roberson-Robinson family? Perhaps she does have the best and last laugh after all!

Congratulations Ruth and Norman on your Golden Anniversary!  May you have another 50 plus years of happiness together!

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Proverbs 1:8-9

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I am sitting at the tiny house we purchased for retirement.  We have dubbed it “Our Playhouse.”  Dan has been working on remodeling the main bathroom. I came over a day earlier to clean, straighten and set the house up for temporary living. He is now taking a power nap.  As I look out over the screened porch it almost appears we are in a tree house.  Nothing but quiet surrounded by trees – no internet, no television or radio.  It is just me and nature enjoying some quiet time.

As in other parts of the country, we are suffering from a serious drought.  The HOA has banned any watering of yards or any water usage unless needed for survival.  The vines are taking over the trees not doubt in search of moisture.  We will tend to the landscaping with cooler weather and the Lord willing, a renewed supply of water.

Our playhouse is not perfect.  It has survived many years of both loving care and neglect.  The previous owner obviously took pride in his man house/cave. The family rented the playhouse for several years after his passing before deciding to place on the market.

We looked at several places but as I explained to the realtor, this house is a happy house.  Looking past the dust and dirt and overgrown landscape, we sensed the presence of happy memories.  We often find ourselves smiling when stumbling across little personal touches from the previous owner.

The playhouse is slowly taking shape.  It is amazing what elbow grease, soap and paint can do to a place.  The outside desperately needs a bath but that will have to wait until the drought passes and the greatly anticipated rainy season arrives.

Seasons pass.  Some are filled with plenty other with want.  We are entering a new season of our lives—hopefully within the next few months.  It has taken us both by surprise just how excited we are with this new transition.

Just as this little house, we have weathered much.  We too have been through seasons of sorrows and joy.  With some sprucing up from our Father, family and friends, we make it through each season. Thankfully our mending is not just surface. It goes to the heart.  For that and for our little playhouse we feel gratefully blessed beyond measure!

And in Him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.  Ephesians 2:22