Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"W" Favorites

I have been challenged by my niece Sarah to make a list of all my favorite things that start with the letter W. Hummm. Sarah is a sweet girl, but she picked the hardest letter she could think of for my challenge. Several “W” words pop into my mind, but they are not necessarily my “favorite” things. This is a difficult challenge indeed. Here is my list in no particular order of priority.

1. Words – I love to arrange them into sentences and paragraphs. I’m not good at spelling them.
2. “Wascally Wabbit” – My favorite Elmer Fudd quote.
3. Water – 0 calories and sustains all living things.
4. Wife – one of my favorite things to be.
5. Window – Better than solid walls because they let me see outside.
6. Wisdom – One of my favorite things to posses.
7. Winged creatures – I love birds.
8. Watermelon – My favorite summer time food.
9. Writing – One of my favorite pastimes.
10. Winning – Who doesn’t like to win?
11. Walks – Through the woods and along the beach.
12. Wading – Walking in water, so it has to be one of my favorite things.
13. Wage – One of my favorite things to get on a regular basis.
14. Wave – A favorite friendly gesture and beautiful water crashing on the beach.
15. Wassail – Non-alcoholic
16. We – More fun than me.
17. Weddings – A favorite gathering and celebration that brings folks together. (Always better than a funeral.)
18. Weekends – The best days of the week.
19. Welcomed – A favorite way to feel in a strange place.
20. Well – If I have a choice between being sick and being well, being well is my favorite.
21. West – My favorite direction when I am east of home.
22. Woman – It might as well be my favorite thing to be!

If you want to join in the challenge, leave me a comment and I'll give you a letter. I'd like to see your list!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who Is My Neighbor?

I’ve had some time to just sit and think this morning. Rick is working. It has been cloudy and raining. I don’t want to walk across the muddy campground to do laundry, and I mopped and vacuumed the floors yesterday. So here is what I’ve been thinking about and I’d like my readers, (all two or three of you) to leave comments and get a discussion of your own going.

When I’m not in Amarillo, I’m living in a campground. We’ve been in good ones and bad ones and some that make no impression on me at all. But, I’d like to tell you a little about two of them just so you will have something to think about.

Compare and Contrast

Campground number one: All our basic needs were met. We had 50 amp electrical hook-up, water, sewer, and the campground had restrooms and showers. We parked on good gravel, spots were nice and level, we weren’t crowded, and the scenery was nice. No picnic table was available, nor was there a laundry facility—exactly. The camp ground was new and still under construction. The price for a night’s stay was fair and affordable and it included Wi-Fi which had an excellent signal.

The owner was down right friendly. When we arrived the lady whose job it was to collect the fee was not there. We were told to set up camp and come in the next day to pay. A couple of days went by without collection of our fee because of illness in the woman’s family. Finally, when we were ready to leave, the guy that owned the place asked us to help him figure out the credit card machine so that we could pay our bill. He told me that if I ever came back, I had a job and I could just walk in and go to work.

Like I said, the guy was just NICE! He took time to visit with us. He told us all the places we needed to visit and about the best restaurants in town. He also told us how he has worked, building the campground, for eleven years. He shared his hopes and dreams for his property and the experience he wants every traveler to have while staying in his facility. We learned that when some people in the campground ran out of butane, he took a tank off his own personal camper and let them use it free of charge so they could have heat in their rig. (He offered the same to us if we had the need.) Another couple asked for directions to a laundry in town so they could wash a comforter. Instead of giving them directions, his mother took the comforter and washed it for them while they spent the day sightseeing. (He again offered the same to us when I mentioned dirty laundry.)

The place seemed to be a family operated business and it was obvious that everyone pitched in and worked hard. The office smelled of cigarette smoke. And from the cancerous looking sores on the owner’s lips, I presumed he has enjoyed his share of snuff over the years.

As we drove away, every staff person waved to us as if we were family, like they were sorry to see us go.

Campground number two: We called a day before we were to arrive to reserve a spot because we knew that several adjusters were going to be converging upon the area. On the day we were to arrive I called again to let the management know that we were running a little late and to confirm our reservation. Again, this is a family owned campground, and the lady I talked to told me she didn’t have us down. She knew she had talked to a couple of people who wanted reservations but she had forgotten to write their names down.

“I hope you are one of them,” she said.
“Me too!”

When we arrived the owner/manager was sitting on the porch talking to someone and it was easy to tell from their conversation, as they followed us into the office, they were talking about prayer, and the Lord. The Ten Commandments were posted at least three places in the office/gift shop.

The whole time she was checking us in, she was complaining about how tired she was and how busy she had been because of the storm that had passed through days before. (The Campground had suffered from hail and flash flooding.) She did not give us any campground guidelines but she did hand us some “things to see and do” brochures and asked if we wanted cable. It was $18.00 extra. (Most places include it in their price.)

We were able to avoid most of the mud and set up camp on a level gravel spot. We again had 50 amp, water, (very little pressure) sewer, and there was a picnic table. Laundry facilities are within walking distance but the washers and dryers are old and the room is not very clean. The price for doing a load is $1.00 to wash and $1.00 to dry. There is a restroom and shower, but again, they could use a little repair and cleaning.

Wi-Fi was advertised in their directory listing. We later learned to use it we had to pay another $30.00. The lady told us she really didn’t want more than one computer per camper using it, but she realized she could not enforce that rule. The problem, she said, was that their service was set to handle only ten computers. There were already twelve adjusters checking into the campground and they all need internet service in order to do their job. Her policy quickly became, “buy at your own risk.” She was happy to sell the service, but she would not guarantee that you could always log on if and when you needed to because she had “over sold” her Wi-Fi. I heard her tell one camper that, “It’s just a miracle. Eighteen people are using it right now and it is still working.” Our signal is usually low at best.

I forgot to mention that this lady that runs the place is not friendly. She is polite and proper, but not friendly. She speaks to me with authority yet calls me Mrs. Pflug.

The other day I got “corrected” for putting my trash in the wrong trash can. Plastic containers are scattered throughout the campground, and one large dumpster is set by the entrance. Apparently the smaller plastic containers are for over-night guests, and we “monthly” people have to carry our trash a good bit further and put it in the dumpster. When I told her that I was not aware of the rule, she told me it was in the guidelines. I didn’t bother to tell her that she was too tired and busy to give us a copy when we checked in. I just got my trash out of the plastic can and hauled it up the road to the dumpster. Yesterday I found out from another “monthly” that there are two rules that if broken will get you kicked out of the campground: 1. breaking the speed limit and 2. putting your trash in the wrong can! (I’ll be sure to drive slowly.)

Now, do me the favor of reading Luke 10:25-37. In light of that scripture, leave your comments to this post. I want to know what you’re thinking. This could be fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

All Good Things Must Come To An End

It was another first. When we pulled into our graveled site at the Mayberry campground we did a double take. Those were not ordinary rocks keeping our rig out of mud. It was beautiful white granite!
Now if any of you have priced granite counter tops these days, you might break into a nervous sweat just thinking about driving on the pricey rocks. We were instantly impressed. We soon discovered that Mt. Airy is home to the largest open-face granite quarry in the world.

We drove up to the quarry and took a few pictures. We were standing on a mountain of solid granite. We were impressed with the trees that were rooted in the beautiful and very hard rock.

(You can see the rest of my quarry pictures by clicking on the title of this post. When you are on the Flickr page, click on each picture to get a close-up looke at the granite.)
I'd love to show you the beautiful sights from our drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway--a scenic drive along the tops of the mountains. But just like the time we drove up to the Grand Canyon, the fog was so thick we could see nothing. At times it was hard to see the road in front of us.
Okay. So from Atlanta, GA to Charolett, NC then on to Mt. Airy, NC and finally to Charleston, WV for a one-day non vacation day. Rick spent the day in class and I spent part of the day doing laundry and the rest of the day at the mall. (At least the whole day was not wasted.) ;)

There was no time for sight-seeing, but the Lord provided a peaceful place for us to spend the night. It was a church camp that had RV sites.
All nice vacations must come to an end. God is good to provide time off and beautiful things to see and do. He is also good to provide work. Yes, God is good, and to Him there is no end!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mt. Airy (Mayberry) North Carolina

Okay, I'm slow. Rick's been back to work six days and I'm still talking about our few days of "vacation." I guess you could say that I'm savoring the moments.

After leaving the Charlotte area, we headed up to Mount Airy. This is the town where Andy Griffith grew up and also the town that the fictitious Mayberry was patterned after. I don't know about you, but I could watch The Andy Griffith Show reruns all day. We found the people to be very friendly, the scenery beautiful, and the pork chop sandwiches at the Snappy Lunch delicious!

And for any of you campers or RVs out there--if you are ever up that way, stay at the Mayberry Campground. It is still under construction but the accommodations are already nicer than some places we've stayed that are "well established." And talk about friendly folk! The guy that owns the place is friendlier than the little beagle pup that was running around. He is a descendant of one of the Bunker twins: Eng and Chang Bunker, the original Siamese Twins, who lived in Mount Airy. ( If you love to hear that North Carolina hill accent, then just pull up a chair and visit with him a while. You will definitely walk away with a smile on your face.

Here are a few photos I took while we were in Mt. Airy.

Here is the Snappy Lunch. It has been around since Andy Griffith was a boy and it was mentioned on one of the shows. Notice Floyd's Barber Shop next door.

And here is the Blue Bird Diner. We stopped in for some dessert.

We visited the near-by town and state park of Pilot Mountain. On the Andy Griffith show, this was known as Mount Pilot. Here is the mountain. We walked up to the pinnacle and hiked around it. The weather was perfect for our outdoor fun. The view was breathtaking. Though the colors resemble fall leaves, it is blooms and budding leaves that make up the beautiful colors.

Keep checking back. There's still more to show you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Orchids and Gardens

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. I took them while we were visiting an orchid conservatory and botanical gardens.
It was raining that day, but Rick and I walked hand in hand through the gardens anyway.
One of the best days ever.
I'm always awed by God's imagination and design.
Only the mind of God can come up with such beautiful things.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Billy Graham Library

While we were in Charlotte, NC we visited the Billy Graham Library.

Home of Billy Graham
Originally uploaded by lfpflug

Pictured here is the home in which Billy Graham grew up along with the barn-shaped building which holds a collection of photos, videos, and various items which document Dr. Graham's life and ministry. If you are ever in the area, this is worth your time.

Notice that you must enter at the foot of the cross.

The walkway leading to the prayer garden and the grave of Ruth Bell Graham is in the shape of a cross. The bodies of Dr. & Mrs. Graham will rest at the foot of the cross.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Well, I promised to fill you in on more of our mini vacation. Most of our stops along the way were in campgrounds where wi-fi was not available, so I was not able to keep my promise in a timely manner. Now a week later, Rick is back to work. He is in his meeting that is held at the beginning of every assignment. I decided to camp out in the hotel lobby and blog a while. Due to some technical difficulties, the meeting was moved to the lobby, so here I sit with a bunch of adjusters in the middle of a conference call meeting where they are discussing state and storm issues. Talk about feeling out of place!

I will do my best to catch up, but it may take more than one post. So, if you want the full story, check back from day to day as I will try to get caught up.

First let me say that we have driven many miles. As we move along the highways I often entertain myself with mind games. (You all know that I'm just a little weird and my mind doesn't always track like a normal person's mind.) My mind games are a blast and can keep me smiling to myself for miles. It's great that I can do this because Rick is not a conversationalist.

This is how my game works: I look for highway signs and billboards that stir my quirky thought process. For example, we passed a sign which read Soft Shoulder. Instantly I have a mental picture of my sweet granddaughter snuggled and sleeping on her mother's soft shoulder. That picture gives me enough to think and pray about until we come to a Shoulder Drop Off sign. That somehow makes me think of a drive up window of some wonderful make believe business where I could drop my shoulders off for an hour long message. Oooh. That makes me want a little nap.

One large business along one interstate caught my attention with its sign. Fork Lifts Unlimited. I wondered for several miles just what a person could get as "options" on a fork lift. After all, if it is truly "unlimited" do you think I could get one with climate control, fully self-contained, with surround sound and HD TV? (I told you I was weird.)

Not far past the fork lift place I saw a HUGE billboard that said Topless and an exit number. Now remember I'm playing my little game and having a good time so I'm hoping for the best. Maybe it might be a place that sells nothing but convertible cars? Before I could think of anything else, wholesome and good, that might be topless, we passed the establishment that was advertised. Like a hammer to a snow globe--it was not a convertible car dealership. My game ended for the day and I started to read.

Don't worry, I still play my little game sometimes. I think my favorite road sign so far is one I saw just yesterday. It said Stay In Line. That's good instruction for all of us as we travel life's highways!

I had a fine moment during our R&R when we visited the Billy Graham Library. We walked down to the prayer garden where Mrs. Graham is buried. She must have played my little road mind game because the wording on her grave marker are the words she saw, and liked, on a road sign. "End of construction--Thank you for your patience."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

On R&R

Well, we are back on the road again. Rick signed out of the Atlanta storm on the 2nd and on the 3rd we headed for the Carolina's with Charleston, WV being our destination. He has to take care of a flood re-certification required by Uncle Sam. It is a one day refresher class. We missed all the classes held in Texas and now we are down to the last couple of classes offered before the deadline. So... Rick turned down repeated calls to work in Arkansas so he could have a few days of badly needed R&R and get this requirement out of the way.

Spring has definitely come to this region. Everything is in bloom. Trees, bushes, vines, flowers--everything is just beautiful. Many of the trees are starting to leaf out as well. Things will be really pretty in a couple of weeks.

Last Sunday we had the privilege of going to the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and hearing Dr. Charles Stanley preach. With a raspy voice and a stopped up head, he welcomed us "to the pollen capital of the world." He may have exaggerated just a bit, but not much.

Here is a picture of the toolbox in Rick's truck with just one overnight collection of pollen. (The truck is dark blue but that morning it was green.) I watched a bumble bee buzz the truck for several minutes. It circled the truck, trying to decide if it should land and take a walk across the hood, gathering more pollen than his tiny little legs could carry. Poor thing; it flew off, I suppose, deciding it was just not "bee enough" to handle such a big job.

Anyway, after leaving Marietta, we traveled to the Charlotte, NC area camping across the border in Rock Hill, SC.

If you ever see this rig haulin' down the highway, give us a honk and a wave! Our house on wheels, stopping at Camping Worlds and Cracker Barrels as we chase storms and home again.

While we were in Charlotte, we did a little sightseeing. Friday was Rick's day as we did what we could of the NASCAR scene. I forgot to take my camera (an honest mistake I assure you) so I don't have any great pictures. (:<) It was not the best day to be there as the teams were all in Texas. But our tour of Michael Waltrip's facilities was more interesting than I had anticipated.
I'm not surprised that we were there on Friday after the teams left on Wednesday and Thursday. After all, we went to Carlsbad Caverns and the bats were not there. We went to San Juan Capistrano and it was the wrong season so the swallows were not there. So why not go to Charlotte while the race teams are in our home state? Oh well.
Saturday was my day. I took lots of pictures! I'll tell you about it in another post later.