Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Montana trip

We took our new RV to Kalispell, Montana to the MT homeschool convention this past weekend. That was fun!

Since it was the holiday weekend we stayed over an extra day and went to Glacier National Park. We were disappointed that the pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road was still closed, so we couldn't go all the way over it. We bought an annual NP pass because we plan to go to the Grand Canyon later in the summer, and the pass is good for any NP. Two visits to a NP pay for the annual pass! That would also allow us to go back to Glacier after the snow has melted to drive the complete Going-to-the-Sun Road. It's only about 4 hours over there, so we could make a day trip of it if we wanted to.

Since the main road wasn't an option we took a 27-mile-long gravel road up the western edge of the park. I was hoping we might see some moose or bears... but no such luck. We did see quite a few deer, though. And they were mostly just curious, not skittish. They would just stop and stare at us as we stopped and stared at them! "Nothing to see here. Move along please!"

The scenery is beautiful in northwestern Montana. Unfortunately for us it was a chilly, drizzly weekend. But we still enjoyed the trip!

Next up: Boise, Idaho next weekend for the Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State convention.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Lay aside every weight...

"...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1)

Life is so over-whelmingly busy, sometimes I wonder if I'll make it. It seems that there's never enough time to get everything done, and responsibilities crowd in on every side. As I read this verse earlier this week I began to think about what some of the "weights" in my life might be. What could I "lay aside" that would help me "run with endurance"?

I remember reading a quote several years ago that said something like: "God will give us the strength and grace to do everything He has called us to do." Has He really called me to do everything I've taken on?

Maybe not.

Friday, May 12, 2006

For your convenience...

Why is it, that so many things that are actually inconvenient are labeled, "For Your Convenience..."? Do "they" (whoever "they" might be) really think we're that stupid?

I was just in Safeway buying some cough medicine for my child who has a cough. In the cold medicine aisle was a notice: "For your convenience Sudafed products are now available in the pharmacy." I did know that. It's been that way for several years. But... excuse me??? For my convenience??? I don't think so! I understand why they had to do that, and have jumped through the hoops without complaining on more than one occasion to buy that particular product... but please don't try to make me think this is a favor you're doing me!

Okay... well... in a round about way, maybe it is. I guess it is for "my convenience" to help control drug abuse... but, really, couldn't they just say what they mean? "Unfortunately, due to abuse of an ingredient in Sudafed you will now be required to ask for it at the pharmacy. We apologize for the inconvenience."

I've also seen signs at various places, "For your convenience please turn off your cell phone..." What? Are we just so selfish we will only be coerced into being thoughtful if we can be convinced that it's in our own best interest? If so, that's kind of a sad commentary on our society!

But you know what? Maybe that's just the way it is. I have noticed repeatedly that most people (even Christians) are only willing to help out with needs of others if it's convenient for them first... and that's too bad.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Meet the Candidates

Our homeschool skate meeting was today. Typically the kids skate... the moms have a meeting, with time for fellowship (what I call "just vis'tin'") afterwards. Well, today we had an interesting experience...

I knew it was "Meet the Candidates" day at the skate, and while I'm not exactly what you'd call "politically active" I figured I would just take my knitting and find an out-of-the-way corner to just listen... or tune 'em out and daydream... as I knitted. As we approached the skating rink we noticed that traffic was backed up really bad. (Small city, main highway, but not an interstate. The highway has really lonnnnng stop-lights through that part of town, but traffic usually does flow pretty well.) We soon realized that the stop-and-go traffic was a result of the traffic light being out. It was a huge mess! I gingerly made my way through the intersection and arrived safely at the skating rink to discover that the power was out in that part of town! After some general confusion and chaos the skating rink people finally decided they could open all the doors which would allow enough light inside that the children could still skate, and the weather was pretty enough that the moms and the "candidates" could have their meeting outside. That worked out about as well as could be expected. I got the kids signed in to skate then went back out to find a seat in the sunshine. (The wind was chilly! I was only bearable when the sun was not behind a cloud.)

Now, like I said, I don't pay a lot of attention to politics. I am forever grateful to those who do! When it comes time to vote I usually just ask someone I trust who I should vote for! Not very responsible of me, I know, but I figure I do my part taking responsibility for other things in life. Today's experience was a perfect example of why I don't care for politics! I actually thought I might take away something worthwhile from this opportunity to hear each candidate speak. The homeschool organization had a short list of questions for each candidate to address. Guess what? Every last one of them had the exact same answer for every question! (Okay, there were a couple of minor exceptions, but nothing that would swing my vote one way or another.) Really, the only thing I had to judge them by was my general impression of personalities! Afterwards I was visiting with a friend and confessed my aversion to politics. She told me which of the candidates were "good ones" and I was kinda surprised to find that my "gut feelings" had not steered me wrong. But, overall, I considered the 2 hours of listening to the various ones speak a general waste of time. I still wouldn't know who to vote for if my friend hadn't told me!

Friday, May 5, 2006

Our new trailer

When change is gradual it seems like it's not quite so painful. Fortunately for us, most change is gradual. Every now and then, though, the seasons of life have defined lines. My family crossed one of those lines this week... we bought a travel trailer!

Growing up in the country, I never had occasion to go camping as a child. My husband, on the other hand, was a "city boy" and his family frequently went camping. He was the youngest of 5 children, so by the time his memories were being formed his family had a travel trailer. What is rather sad to me about that is the fact that those are practically the only memories he has. He remembers very little about his children except their camping trips.

I was introduced to camping as a bride of 6 months. We borrowed a tent and made do with whatever else we had that would serve as camping supplies. I remember sleeping in our coats on our first camp-out because it was in the 40s at night and we didn't have sleeping bags. We cooked our meals over an open fire. I absolutely loved it! Since then we've accumulated an assortment of "real" camping supplies, including our own tent and sleeping bags... and we head for the mountains or the forest as often as we get a chance.

About 3 years ago we "upgraded" to a tent trailer. I actually like sleeping in a tent, but we decided a trailer would be more convenient. We could keep all our supplies together in it (and not have to round them up every time we wanted to go camping), and if we wanted we could even travel with it. For camping it was great! But for traveling, it was more trouble than it was worth.

This spring we have decided that the time has come to get a real travel-trailer for a variety of reasons, camping being the least of them. For several years I have been a consultant for Sonlight Curriculum and we travel to various homeschool conventions each summer. We have been pulling a utility trailer to these events anyway to get my display materials there. Our tent trailer was not big enough for the display materials plus what we would need to live in the trailer for several days. Not only that, it had no bathroom. The new RV will give us what we needed in that capacity. Also, we live in a very small house. We have talked about building an addition to give us a little more elbow room. However, my husband has not the time nor skill to accomplish such an undertaking. But we can use the RV as an office and spare bedroom. And, of course, take it camping if we want to.

So... I figure... our tent-camping days are over. *sigh* We have officially reached middle age! *grin* I know we will love having the trailer... and it will be so convenient for traveling... but still... it's just a little sad.