With North Ranch being sixty miles from Surprise, AZ, and major supplies, I try to cover all bases with a very specific list and last Friday I had a very long one. Thankfully the Astro has lots of room and the cigarette-lighter cooler works very well. I always try to combine pleasure with the trip so I stopped to visit my 94-year old friend, Audrey, who is in a nursing home. She gets upset about her memory loss. I tell her we each have a half memory but put together we have a whole one so we spend time trying to figure out what the other one is trying to remember. It works. Anyone out there who can relate to that?
One of my many MI sisters-in-law came to AZ for the winter so I had lunch with Nora and her niece, Pat, at the Cheesecake Factory in Peoria. Internet reviews for this chain restaurant/bakery were really mixed but it was a very pleasant atmosphere to sit and chat and the food and service were excellent. It was a little pricey but since I usually satisfy my shopping appetite with a $1.64 Costco Polish sausage and soda, I felt I could splurge.
I bought a steering wheel cover at Wal-Mart but returned it because I couldn’t get it on to the wheel. I was looking for a stretchier one. Carla, the Wal-Mart young clerk, said, “Oh, there’s a trick to putting it on.” She then offered to do just that if I would pull around to the front and ask for her when I left. As it turned out, it was late in the day before I returned to Wal-Mart to finish my shopping and I was sure it was too late to have her help me. It is so nice to have someone be willing to go above and beyond to help a customer. As it was, a friend stretched it on for me.
The really exciting happening this week was that my 13-year-old Virginia grandson, Will, shot his first deer with a muzzle-loader. While some of you may shudder at shooting Bambi (as I do, too), the area where they live has an overabundance of deer that are way too often in the middle of their twisty-windy gravel road. In their travels back and forth, they have hit deer more than once. No matter how many are taken out each hunting season, the numbers do not seem to go down. Dad, Tom, usually gets ten or eleven each year and ¾ of them go to Hunters for the Hungry.
It has been a busy week. I actually volunteered to make a 20-person green bean casserole for the church “Thanks-for-giving” meal last Sunday. The dinner was delicious and I haven’t heard that anybody got sick or worse, so either they tossed my contribution into the waste basket when I wasn’t looking, my cooking has improved, or prayer works.
Instead of buying and sending Christmas gifts to each other, our family deposits money into a bank account and every two years we all get together somewhere during the year as our celebration. This leaves me with only a few token gifts to buy. Last year I started buying from the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog (www.samaritanspurse.org or 1-800-353-5957); consequently, I just finished my Christmas shopping by buying two goats and two broods of a dozen chicks each. These gifts are far more in keeping with the Christmas Spirit and the recipients seem pleased as well. The total came to $168 and Samaritan’s Purse is sending me “in memory or honor” cards to enclose. Now for getting the decorations up! God Bless until next week.
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At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”