You can email me at teri-gonewalkabout2@hotmail.com My blog archives and post labels are way down at the bottom of the page.


Monday, December 31, 2007

Gone Walkabout

I’ve been asked by a few as to where I have “gone walkabout”. So below is a list of the places I’ve been. It’s the highlights, especially with the US places as I’ve been to many more areas than I listed.


Outside of the US:
Canada – a week in Kinburn with visits to Ottawa, 2 days Victoria BC

Mexico – 10 days in Celaya, day in Guanajuato,

Russia – 3 weeks in Chelyabinsk, 3 days in Moscow

Germany – day in Frankfort (gotta love those long layovers!)

Hungary – 10 days Budapest

Bosnia – 10 days Lukavac, with trip to Sarajevo

Tanzania – 10 days Morogoro and Dar Es Salaam

Ethiopia – 10 days Debre Zeit and Addis Ababa

Kenya – 30 days throughout SW of country

United Arab Emirates – day in Dubai


In the US (highlights, major stops):
Alabama – Tuscumbia, Huntsville

Alaska – Ketchikan

Arizona – Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley

Arkansas – Hot Springs, Crater of Diamonds,

California – Mojave Desert, Sequoia, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Bodie ghost town, Mono Lake, Manzanar, Death Valley

Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Mesa Verde, Leadville, Royal Gorge

Florida – Orlando, Daytona, Cape Canaveral, St Petersburg, Key Largo, Key West, Everglades, St. Augustine

Georgia – Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Savannah

Illinois – Chicago, Champaign

Indiana – Indianapolis

Iowa – Onawa, West Branch, Dyersville (Field of Dreams), Madison Co. (Bridges of…),

Kansas – Wichita, Lawrence

Kentucky – Lexington, Louisville, Mammoth Cave,

Maryland – Baltimore

Michigan – Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Saugatuck, through Upper Peninsula

Minnesota – Minneapolis, St Paul, Winona, Austin, start of MS River,

Mississippi – Natchez, Tupelo, Vicksburg

Missouri – (grew up in MO) St Louis, Kansas City, and many others

Nevada – Las Vegas, Hoover Dam,

New Jersey

New Mexico – White Sands, Valley of Fire, Albuquerque,

New York – New York City, Watertown,

North Carolina – (lived in NC) Asheville, Raleigh, Wilmington, Blue Ridge Parkway

North Dakota – Bismarck, Minot, Fargo, Grand Forks, Medora

Ohio – Dayton

Pennsylvania – Gettysburg

South Carolina – Charleston, Myrtle Beach

South Dakota – Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Deadwood, Sturgis,

Tennessee – (Live in TN) Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Lynchburg, Gatlinburg

Texas – San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, Fredericksburg

Virginia – Shenandoah Parkway, Bulls Run

Washington – Seattle, Tacoma, Auburn, Mt Saint Helens, Mt Rainier park

Wisconsin – Oshkosh, Door Co., Madison

Wyoming – Devils Tower


“High Points”:
Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas,

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Fine Christmas

We had a grand Christmas this year. Tho the visit was short, we went up to my parents home in MO for a few days. Got to see my sister twice.

Christmas day was a good family visit. Sis (and the dogs) made it over late morning and we opened the gifts. Most of what we gave were picked up on our travels; such as jams and jellies, handicrafts and so on. And we received things that were either practical (like a new microwave) or fun (like my ice cube snowman – which will look great next to my purple Christmas tree!). Even the pets get presents. (That's Jack in the picture stationed in the middle of the gifts!)

Then we were treated to a Christmas dinner worthy a 5 star restaurant. Mom fixed a scallop and shrimp sauté AND a wonderful roast, wild rice, oven roasted Brussels sprouts and more. All of my favorite things!

That was followed by an evening of visiting.

A very nice Christmas indeed!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our Angel Tree Child

Mid-November Himself and I headed off to Wal-Mart to finish out shopping for our Christmas Child shoeboxes. Since it was raining, he dropped me at the door first then parked.

While I was waiting for him I amused myself by looking at the tags on the Salvation Army Angel Tree. On the tags the kids listed 2 “wishes”. Most were wanting bikes, IPod players, Game Boxes, etc. Then I saw one little guy (7) who wanted Transformers and a Bible. Can you believe it?!?!?! He wanted a Bible!
Guess who we came home with?

I had so much fun shopping for young Jacob! The first week of December, we went to LifeWay store to pick out a child's Bible, one with lots of good pictures and easy text. Then on to Wal-Mart to go Transformer shopping. I was guided by the Pirates over the cell phone as to what was a "cool" (i.e. desirable) Transformer, since apparently there are Transformers that are on the minus scale in the cool factor. As we exited the toy section a few things for a stocking jumped into our cart. Couldn't fight them off! In the clothes section we picked up a pair of jeans, a couple of shirts, a hoodie and a warm coat. Then one more thing jumped in the cart...a pair of Transformers" pajamas. I used to get a new pair of PJs for Christmas Eve (I'm sure so I'd look good for the pictures the next morning!) and I wanted to do this for Jacob. Last stop was to the Dollar Tree to finish out shopping for stocking goodies. Gotta have stocking goodies!
All this stuff we packed into a giant Christmas bag and carried it over to the Salvation Army office.

Have to back up a moment here. Earlier we decided we would like to provide a Christmas meal for a family. Shortly after that, I received an "honorarium" check for a missions presentation I did at a church in another county. So we are using that to get the meal fixings. Question was...who to do the meal for!

We were so pleased with Jacob that we decided to ask at the Salvation Army if his family would like to be the recipient of the meal. As their reply, they handed me a sticky with the contact info for the family.

OK...that was a little strange! I expected them to make the contact and we bring the food to the office for the family to pick up. So I placed the call, tho it made me feel a bit weird. Here I am a stranger calling and saying "I want to buy your family's Christmas dinner fixings".

I introduced myself as the person who had put together Jacob's "angel gift" and immediately "Mama Jacob" started saying how much she appreciated it...everything was perfect...she had wanted to send a thank you but the Salvation Army wouldn't give her our address (which they don't have!)...and so on.

'Mama Jacob' told me that one element of my gift had been straight from the Lord. Those PJs! The kids sleep in a T-shirt and unders, and don't have real pajamas. Well, Jacob's grade level at school had "Pajama Day" where the kids could wear PJs to school. He really wanted to do it...but he didn't have any PJs and they could not afford to get him a pair. Then they picked up the Angel Tree bags and she found in Jacob's bag those Transformer PJs that had jumped into my cart! She said he was so happy.

Once I got to the reason for my call -- Christmas dinner -- she started crying. We talked over a menu, and I found out that Jacob's favorite thing is 'mashed potatoes and gravy'. And we planned a time for us to deliver it. I contacted a few of my girlfriends with kids/grandkids and asked what would be some special things for a kid to have at Christmas. Got some fantastic ideas...refrigerator sugar cookies and a variety of sprinkles to make as a family, several suggestions of boxed mac & cheese, pig-in-a-blanket munchies, jelly cranberry sauce...and others.

We delivered the food today. It was a wonderful visit, and we were invited to their church tonight to see Jacob in the Christmas pageant.
And so we went. It was a simple presentation of carols by the children who were dressed in "Biblical" costumes. Kids squirmed, forgot their lines, waved at parents, played with their costumes...in other words, it was a lot of FUN!!!

And the most important thing, they were celebrating the birth of Christ!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Twelve Days Of CHRISTmas


On the FIRST day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…A child free from bondage

On the SECOND day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On THIRD the day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the FOURTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Four walls for a family in crisis
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the day FIFTH of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the SIXTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Eight sponsor children
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the NINETH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…A Nine yr old “Explorer” in Carolina
…Eight sponsor children
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the TENTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Ten boxes of school supplies to Afghanistan
…A Nine yr old “Explorer” in Carolina
…Eight sponsor children
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage


On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…an Eleven item meal for a needy family
…Ten boxes of school supplies to Afghanistan
…A Nine yr old “Explorer” in Carolina
…Eight sponsor children
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…
…Twelve writing buddies
…an Eleven item meal for a needy family.
…Ten boxes of school supplies to Afghanistan
…A Nine yr old “Explorer” in Carolina
…Eight sponsor children
…a Seven year old wishing for a Bible
…Six shoeboxes for OCC
…The Five from the Texan “Wild Bunch”.
…Four walls for a family in crisis.
…A Three year old baby elephant.
…Two “Pirates” plotting
…And a child free from bondage


*Samaritan’s Purse http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

*David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/

*Salvation Army Angel Tree child

* Child sponsorship programs through:
Compassion International http://www.compassion.com/
Kenya Kids In Need http://www.galileeschool.org/
His Hands For Haiti http://www.hishandsforhaiti.org/

*Through Army friends sponsoring a school



 

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's The Thought That Counts?

It is said that “it’s the thought that counts”. And it’s usually said when an act is done or a gift is given that is totally fouled up, rushed, ill-prepared or otherwise insufficient.

“It’s the thought that counts”.

Oh, really??

Over the past 4 weeks I have processed two gift-giving projects that have had many people participating. Both projects have had extremely specific written rules on what cannot be given and how the packages were to be prepared.

In other words, a semi-trained monkey could have done it correctly.

I have processed almost 500 parcels to date and only about 10% have done it right as far as what’s inside, how it’s packed and when it’s to be turned in. And I have seen some very disturbing “gifts”. Highly used (stained, torn) clothing, broken toys, huge bags/boxes that were nearly empty, items that were on the “NO” list and therefore had to be removed, and so on and so on.

It’s the thought that counts?

If that is the case, I’d really like to know what certain people are thinking. Were they thinking? Are they just dumb and don’t get it? Are they arrogant and think the rules don’t apply to them? Are they brown-nosers who are trying to make folks think they are a big spender as they carried it in?

But just as I’m ready to go screaming into the night, I will come across a parcel that reminds me of why I fool with this in the first place. A box that is so lovingly prepared that you know that the sender really cares about this person far away who will receive this gift. A person they don’t even know, yet much time and thought was spent to make a perfect gift.

THAT is the thought that counts.