Tuesday, 6 April 2010


Today Bella wrote

"We all have our hard times and setbacks, but one of the things I always keep in mind and say to myself is if I keep at my goal, or whatever it is I want to achieve, it has no choice but to give in. That’s one thing I love about all of this is. I know I’m going to get progress, I know it’s going to change, as long as I stick with it. No matter how much I get set back, as long as I keep pushing this wall, it’s going to fall. Or, if I keep climbing up, I’m going to get to the top of that hill. ~~Jennifer Hudson

This quote comes from Jennifer Hudson’s interview with the Editor in Chief of WW.com (Jennifer is the new celebrity spokesperson for WW)."

It's a long time since I sang the little song based on Psalm 18:29. I would love to leap over this weight/health/fitness wall but not to be. This is one wall I must go through. The Psalms are always good reminder I'm not alone and I can do it. I'm going to read this Psalm again and again. It's fine to meditate on these words. May the God of my salvation be exalted. I love His Word and I don't spend nearly enough time in it, Lots of *smiles*

And now for something I was trying to write yesterday.

What’s something you’d love to say to your younger selves of 2, 5, 10, and 15 years ago? (Doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing each time.)

I will now continue and hope I can write as well the second time around. I hate it when I lose careful composition. Of course the sensible thing would be to write/save to my computer instead of direct into my Blog. Who said I was sensible?

April 2005, Five years ago.

We were having a great time travelling in USA. This was the trip of a lifetime. My first time out of New Zealand and I never expected to go overseas again so we planned a major road trip. We flew into San Fransisco and fell in love with this city. I will never forget the first moment stepping onto US soil. It was such a special day.

San Fransisco. Our first city in USA

Lovely friendly San Fanciscans who chatted us up while we ate crab at Fisherman's Wharf then drove us to Coit Tower

After 3 days exploring and walking we flew to Miami and joined the Toronto Christian Fellowship on their first Outreach Cruise.

This is the life

We treated ourselves to a balcony cabin and had a prime one on the stern. Wish we'd done the same for our Alaskan Cruise last year but they do cost a lot more so not in our budget.

We Cruised the Caribbean, Eastern loop.

Wall built by Spannish a very long time ago, but which town? If you know leave a comment please!

I remember this sculpture well but am not 100% sure where. Is it San Juan? If you know please leave a comment.

When we came off the ship back in Miami we went direct to Hertz to collect our rental car. Our adventure began. We had seven weeks, a road trip which would take us through about 13 States and into Los Angeles where we caught our flight home. A dream come true. A dream we did not even know we had!

We began April at Osage Beach, Missouri where we took a driving break and discovered Southern Gospel and in particular fell in love with Legacy Five. April 3rd we drove from there to Carthage where we stayed overnight before visiting the Precious Moments Theme Park.

Entrance to Precious Moments Garden

We had gone to USA being very staunch and Kiwi. No tourist traps, No Theme Parks. We wanted to see 'Real America', so this was our first and only Theme Park if you discount the Kennedy Space Centre. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable about the "Shrine" aspect as the chapel seemed to be something of a memorial but I like the folksy art and it was clever and beautiful. I bought some gifts and one for me, a tiny ark tea set, so cute, which sits on my counter, gathering dust and stirring memories.

We only drove as far as Parsons, 85 miles, having stopped in Springfield where I found someone to print/photo copy a little booklet/poem I had written. The next day we had a much longer drive through to Dodge City KA. We drove across the plains stretching as far as the eye could see. A wonderful experience for us, coming from New Zealand, where it seems as though the landscape changes every 10 minutes. There was a strong wind buffeting the car and we wondered whether we should be on the road or hunkered down somewhere. Driving into Kansas felt like driving into the opening scenes from The Wizard of OZ. The trees all laying the same way, bent and broken by the prevailing wind, the plainness of the country. It was an awesome experience.

Dodge City was an impulsive stop because when I saw the name I immediately thought of our sons and their passion for classic Dodge and Plymouth vehicles. I didn't connect it with the Wild West at all. Don't now why TWJ didn't put me right. This seemed a sad town to us although we did enjoy our visit to the replica Dodge City which was also used in the movie Gunsmoke.

Dodge City

Boothill and the hanging tree.

Grave Marker. Do read the wording. It is supposed to be authentic.

Looking back I wish I'd appreciated the history better. This, I think, was the first time I began to understand the huge injustice done to the American Indians. What a lot of grief to overcome.

The following day, April 6th, we drove on to Medicine Lodge where we visited a tiny but interesting Museum and were given a personal tour of the Carry Nation house. Carry was a gutsy and unconventional leader of the Temperance Movement. Another Christian in the Vanguard although I don't agree with complete banning of alcohol it certainly fuels a lot of evil behaviour.

Spring is Breaking in Medicine Lodge

Oklahome - The Sod House we visited the next day.

What would I have liked to have told myself back then?

"Try not to be an 'uptight' Kiwi. Don't be afraid to be adventurous. Enjoy new experiences rather than be too conservative. Take better note of the history and what makes local people who they are. Get involved in conversations with locals. Don't be shy and stand-off."

I have improved a little but I take too long to get involved with people therefore I miss out on so much. I tend to wait for others instead of reach out first. I usually take about 3 days to feel my way before I am comfortable enough to be friendly. This seems funny to me as I thought I was a very confident extrovert until we began travelling.

These posts are going to be too long if I try to answer all four questions so wait for tomorrow for 10 years ago. 2000 interesting? I'll have to think back.

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