WE REALLY HAVE BEEN ON THE MOVE. . .

We left our family visit in Austin and Wimberley, TX and headed west with the goal of being in California for Christmas…check.

I have so much to tell you about the trip from Point A (Austin) to Point C (California).  However, we have spent only one or two nights in each location.  We have allowed ourselves the liberty to stop and see stuff in Big Bend National Park, Roswell, Carlsbad and Santa Fe, NM, Sedona, AZ, Las Vegas, NV…ooooooooooooh soooooooooooooo much to say and see.  We have had 7+ hours in the car driving and site-seeing, so when we stop there is only enough energy to unpack, eat and (maybe) do laundry.  I still have to answer email, read Face Book, pay bills, reconcile bank statements, etc.

I will share a few pictures below and go into detail as time and energy allows.

OBSERVATIONS: 

(1) We (sweet husband and I) have been involved in wonderful church fellowship for many years.  Leaving our home church I wondered what it would be like to worship with people we didn’t know.  We have worshiped in Pigeon Forge, TN, Richmond VA, Belfast and Bangor, ME, Scotland, Richland and Brandon, MS, Geismar, LA, Santa Fe, NM and California.  Each time we came away encouraged and warmed by the fellowship of fellow Christians.  One funny observation:  You know you are in California when the communion wafers are gluten-free.  (I always thought communion wafers were blessed [the Body of Christ] and that shouldn’t harm you – right? – who knew?).

(2) Most all motels/hotels are clean, comfortable, safe and reasonably priced.  To be clear, we have ONLY one exception so far:  NEVER EVER stay at the Best Western near LAX.  Sweet husband called it The Worst Western.  They are NOT reasonably priced nor are they comfortable or SAFE.  We had a couple of scary moments during the night.  Naturally we stayed only ONE night.  We would have been safer under a bridge in West Jackson.  That is all I need to say.

Judge Roy Bean, the law west of the Pacos

Judge Roy Bean, the law west of the Pacos

Big Bend

Big Bend

Roswell (we saw no UFOs)

Roswell (we saw no UFOs)

Carlsbad Caverns (1 1/2 hour walk thru a cave...yep)

Carlsbad Caverns (1 1/2 hour walk thru a cave…yep)

Santa Fe - Oh MY!

Santa Fe – Oh MY!

Meteor Crater in the AZ desert

Meteor Crater in the AZ desert

Painted Desert

Painted Desert

THE STAR OF BETHELHEM

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stayed in Bethlehem for two years and moved into a house.  The Magi or the Wise Men, arrived two years after Jesus’s birth. Thus they were not at the cave.  It is reasonable to assume that there were three Wise Men because they present Jesus with three gifts.  The Magi were from present day Iraq or Iran.  Three Gentile men started following a star that eventually brought them to the house where Mary, Joseph, and the two year old Jesus lived  (see the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew).

The star was supernatural and cannot be logically or astronomically explained.  Many people much smarter than I have tried: astronomers, scientist, theologians.  However, I want to offer you a theory I received (I believe) from the Holy Spirit a few years ago.

It is recored in all four Gospels that angels were involved in the announcement of the birth of Jesus and all though out the Bible they are associated with the delivery of messages from God to man, and many other activities in the Spirit Realm.

I did a study of angels a few years ago.  They are mentioned almost 300 times.  They all have different jobs…only some are messengers.  Some are called seraphim, cherubim, The Hose of Heaven and (among other names) Stars.  I present you the Star of Bethlehem, a Spirit Being assigned to herald the birth of the greatest man ever, the son of God.  So large and so bright he was seen as a celestial object and brought the Magi from far off Iraq.This beautiful being shown over the stable and moved with the Christ and His family until they went to Egypt to escape the army of Herod.

Entering Texas: First stop HOUSTON

We left sweet daughter’s after a wonderful Thanksgiving (way too much good food and my first fried turkey) on December 1st heading west.  Our first stop, for two nights is Houston by way of San Jacinto Monument because sweet husband visited it when he was a little boy and wanted to see it again…actually our goal for the museum of art, but it is closed on Monday.

DSC02093 IMG_0351 640px-San_Jacinto_Monument

The column (taller than the Washington Monument [of course]) is an octagonal shaft faced with Texas Cordova shellstone (many millions of years old – formed when Texas was under water – mined in the Austin area – impressive), topped with a 34-foot Texas Lone Star. Sweet husband took the elevator to the top – the monument’s observation deck for a view of Houston and the WWI Battleship Texas. Really the most impressive part of this is learning that a hand full of brave Texans defeated Santa Ana and his whole Mexican army to gain their independence from Mexico.  They were plenty angry after the Alamo.  This victory gained enough land to make what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. Impressive, very impressive!

Next we visited Glenwood Cemetery where sweet husband’s mother is resting.  It was a beautiful day for the visit.  I paid my respects, then left sweet husband to his private time with her.  I filled the time taking pictures of the remarkable memorials in this beautiful, sacred garden.

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The next day we visited the Houston Museum of Art.  I am so impressed with the beautiful art owned by the United States of America.  We have been to a dozen (at least) art museums, none of them disappointing.  A couple of examples below…ENJOY!

From Houston we headed to Austin and the Texas “Hill Country” for another good visit with family.  However, We made a quick stop for lunch with my sweet son-in-law at the River Walk in San Antonio.  He was there at the convention center for a business meeting.

Riverwalk20 IMG_0070River Walk, San Antonio

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Just For The Fin Of It. . .

A few days ago sweet husband and I went to Dick’s Classic Car Garage in San Marcos, TX.  There are 50+ perfectly restored, privately owned classic cars, all American made.  My take on it was completely different from sweet husband’s…I just fell in love with the hood ornaments.  I recommend a trip down memory lane (or to see cars made long before you were born), if you are ever in the area.  They have the only Lone Star left in existence, a Tucker, an Edsel, and so much more…..and ALL are exquisite.

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EXPANSION

One of the things sweet husband and I do when we travel to a new place is purchase an ornament.  We have boxes full.  Each year it is an all day project to unpack them and hang them on our tree.  It brings back memories of where we went, what we did and the people involved in some of these trips.  Sweet times, sweet memories.  I save the receipts and date them (if they are not dated).  The receipts and ornaments are packed together.

Needless to say, our ornament collection is EXPANDING.  Fortunately, we were able to stop in November and drop that load off to our storage unit.

Another thing that is EXPANDING is our weight.  When you travel like we are doing, there is far too much eating out and almost no daily exercise.  This is the only negative side effect to this trip – thus far.  We enjoyed lobster in Maine (matchless).  We had wonderful Tex-Mex in Houston when we stopped for lunch with a friend.  We had lunch in San Antonio with sweet son-in-law who was there for a work related convention/show.  We are currently visiting sweet husband’s brother.  Brother-in-law’s wife is an excellent cook.  We had a great Thanksgiving with my daughter in south Louisiana where I had my first fried turkey…YUM!  Today we are going to a world famous Bar-B-Q place and tomorrow we are having lunch with sweet husbands sister – more wonderful food.

My tolerance for this lifestyle is expanding, my patience is expanding, my ability to change directions on a whim is expanding.  Thankfully the only thing not expanding is the price of gasoline…it is shrinking the further west we travel.

From here to California it will be just me and sweet husband.  I am looking forward to that routine again.

Pictures from the road below:

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