Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Road Home for Son-In-Law Robby

The road back home looks just like this.  Because we are enjoying our time with our son-in-laws parents I thought I should send Robby a few memories.

This is where your home sits on enough acres that you don't even see it from the country road.  A drive down the entrance brings you to the Bunn home.

Imagine having a 15 acre lawn and yard. In the city that would be well over 60 homes.  This is beautiful country living.

Robby's grandparents home.
Across the street is the unoccupied home of Robby's grandparents.  The extended family still maintains a beautiful lawn and grounds.

Sitting a few hundred yards from this home is the family graveyard.  I had no idea how far back the family history went until this mornings walk.  It was a cooler morning (mid 70's) with the dew still on the grass as Eva and I went for our stroll.

As I crossed the street I saw the graveyard.  A long manicured lawn led to the fenced family plot. 

I had no idea of how far back this families history went on this farm.  It could be counted in generations.  It could be counted through three different centuries.

This soldiers tombstone read 1843-1906

Sallie Matthews Bunn 1848-1927
Family history is not something that most of us think about.  We move every few years, if someone is still in the same home for a decade or two that seems like a long time.  Sallie was born 166 years ago and is still on family land.

Robby, thanks for having a gracious and nice family.  We are enjoying your home greatly.  You were right, it is beautiful here.

The Road Home.
I can now understand why you have talked about coming back home.  It makes sense to me now.

Down On the Farm

We are staying on property that has been in the Bunn family for generations. Bob and his six siblings were raised on the family farm and the old family home still stands unoccupied across the street right next to the family graveyard.  Over the years the property was divided among the children, and now their children and now another generation of Bob's nieces and nephews.  This is family land.

It's hard to see but at the end of their driveway and across the street sits the old family home that Bob was raised in.
Look for a white home sitting between the trees.
Over the years Bob has purchased a couple of his siblings shares of land so now their home sits on 15 acres.  It doesn't show in these photos but there is a lot of woodlands and a stream at the back of the property.

As far as a place for us to be living for a short time, it doesn't get better than this.

Bob and Fran's Home.
After retirement from his career with the FBI, Bob and his brother built this 3,600 square foot home.  On this warm day we set-up tables in the shade of the carport for a big BBQ.  If you look you can see Bob's "Cooker" which is mounted on a trailer sitting on the lawn behind the carport.  Bob is a very handy man and built the BBQ himself and he knows how to use it very well.

We had such a good time with the gathering on Memorial Day that Fran had everyone back yesterday for a repeat of the feast we had the day before.  Ya' gotta love Southern hospitality.

We did a little decorating for Memorial Day.  I hung my fathers veterans flag from the RV to honor his service to our country.

The motorhome looks shiny and clean after a good washing and a little buffing yesterday.  It was in the low 90's so my work was done in small bits and pieces depending on where the shade was.  I can't tell you how nice it is to be kicking back and enjoying our time on the farm.  We needed a rest from our pace of travels and this is perfect.

Terri is loving her chance to do a little gardening while here.  She must have spend 5 or 6 hours yesterday puttering in the gardens.  It is one of the things she misses the most about not having her own gardens. 

The dogs chased and played all day, Terri gardened, I fiddled around the motorhome.  What a great day.

Bob and Fran are being great hosts and I am really enjoying my time talking with Bob.  We can sit for hours and "chew the fat".  Speaking of which, I tried a Southern delicacy yesterday.  Ray brought his homemade "Salted Deep Fried Pork Belly" for us to try.  So now I have officially "chewed the fat".  It was very, very salty.  Maybe the saltiest thing I have ever tasted.  I'm not sure that I have become Southern enough to make it a regular snack.

Life is good.....ya'll.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

10,000....Who Are You?

I've had 10,000 pageviews of my blog as of  last night at 10:00pm.  The blogger software gives me a daily report by the hour as to how many people are reading my blog.  Last night at ten o'clock there were 15 of you that were online and read the Lone Ranger's Blog.

Congratulations to whoever it was that was number 10,000.  The shiny new car and the round the world vacation will be coming your way soon.

So here's the question.  Who is reading my blog?  I know the numbers but I have no idea who you are?  I don't have that many kids and grandkids.  I don't have that many friends or relatives.  I really am curious, who are you?

Do me a favor and put a comment on the blog or facebook so I can see who's reading.

Happy Campers.

Life is good.

So why do I write "Life is good" almost everyday at the end of my blog?  After Terri's cancer and my open heart surgery we both realize that each new day is a gift.  We laugh and talk about how happy we are to be on the "right side of the sod".  We are both grateful to be alive.

So......Life IS good.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We Have Arrived

Spring Hope, North Carolina is "out in the country" and I have to say it's beautiful here.  We arrived yesterday at the country home of our son-in laws parents, Bob and Fran Bunn.  We are comfortably parked on their 20 acre home surrounded by forest and green lawns covering acres.

Bob has a John Deere tractor and he knows how to use it.  I don't miss mowing my lawn but if I had a lawn I would need a John Deere to mow it.  Very manly.

Terri and Eva checking out a 57' Chevy.  Nice ride.
This morning we went to a car show that the Bunn's were volunteering at.  Bob had hauled his 'Cooker" behind his truck to provide BBQ for those attending.  This is not some little backyard BBQ but a full sized "cook for the whole community" sized grill.

We visited a couple farmers markets than returned home to do some RV projects.  I'm looking forward to some downtime here to catch up on small RV repairs and maintenance.  As usual, I have a little list.  I checked off two things today.

Eva is in doggy heaven.  The Bunn's have a two year old dog that loves to play and they have plenty of lawn to chase each other.  They can go for hours.  Scruffy and Eva are in love.

Let's run.  OK.  I'll chase you first.
Here are a few pictures from the last few days.

Sunrise over the Atlantic.  Terri and Eva walking the beach before 6:00am.
This is all you need to know on the back of a t-shirt.
We are having a fine time in Spring Hope.  Life is good.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well Bless Your Heart ......

Did you know that if you say, "Well bless your heart" ahead of saying anything, it makes it acceptable.  Try it. "Well bless your heart those 20 extra pounds look good on you." or "Well bless your heart I didn't think anyone could wear that color."

I continue to learn new communication skills as I am here it the South.  "Well bless your heart you are my favorite blog reader."  If you add a little Southern drawl to it as you read it, it will sound even better.

Terri buying Sweetgrass woven flowers from Bailey.
One of the finds in Charleston is woven Sweetgrass baskets and other items.  There is a subculture in the Lowcounty area of the Carolinas that are called the "Gullah".  They speak a unique dialect and are known for their crafts of hand weaving, using Sweetgrass that grows in the swamps.  Do an internet search of "Gullah" for an interesting read.

We purchase a basket woven by Bailey's aunt.
The right hands can turn a bunch of grass into art.
We took a carriage ride around historic downtown Charleston.  We wanted to see the homes and churches of the founders of our country.  From it's founding, through the Revolutionary War and than to the Civil War this city was key to many events in our early history.  Charleston had it's Tea Party long before Boston and was the first state to declare independence from England.

The best way to see the city.... looking over a horses butt.
Our driver Tyler was part comedian, part historian, at times I was not sure which was which.  But at least he taught me, "Well bless your heart."  A true life skill.

After 11 years of driving his buggy he was good.
We wish we could spend many more days in Charleston but the Memorial Day weekend has us moving on tomorrow morning.

So I end my blog today with, "Well bless your heart and remember life is good."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Givhan Ferry State Park, SC

No, my dog has not taken up smoking cigars.
That's her fetch stick.

We have almost no cell or internet coverage.  Today you only get one low resolution photo.  You'll have to imagine a wonderful sunrise photo until we hit civilization again in a few days.

We started our day before sunrise.  Living on the West coast we don’t get to see the sun rise over the ocean.  Today we wanted to watch the sun come up over the Atlantic.  Eva likes getting us up early so today at 5:45 I woke her up.  Payback.

We moved North and inland about 80 miles today.   Givhans Ferry State Park is West of Charleston, South Carolina.  As I write it is warm, a little under 90 and getting warmer as the week goes along.  We enjoyed Beaufort but could only get reservations at Hunting Island State Park for the two nights.

As we get closer to the Memorial Day weekend, getting reservations in a state park is difficult.  We are only here for Wednesday and Thursday nights.

On Friday morning we are headed toward Spring Hope, North Carolina.  It is just down the road a bit from Bunn, NC.  Spring Hope is the family home for many members of the Bunn family.  We will be spending time at the farm of Bob and Fran Bunn who are the parents of our son-in-law Robbie.  Tamra’s husband has talked many times about the area his family lives, now we get to visit the Bunn side of our family.
Life is good out in the boonies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Humble Man

We did three hikes today at Hunting Island State Park.  The park has the Atlantic on one side and marsh lands on the West side.  We started the day in the marshes.

Horseshoe crabs in love.

Thousands and thousands of acres of grass covered tidal lands with patches
of dry land and a few trees or bushes.
Next we climbed the Hunting Island Lighthouse.  It was one of the best we have seen.  Terri gets dizzy after climbing around in circles for 3 or 4 levels.  This is good because I can recover from my wheezing and panting.

She just keeps going in circles.
It's looking up for me. Just 187 steps.
This lighthouse has been moved twice as the beach has eroded since 1873. 
At one time it sat on dry land about a mile out in the ocean.
That's the date it was built not the house address.  An old lighthouse keepers joke, as shared with us today.

A view from the lighthouse of our campground on the sandy point to the North.

Our last big hike for the day was a couple miles up the beach as far North as we could go. The wetlands and channel leading back into the Sound brings an end to the beautiful sandy beach.

Eva loves walking or running the beach.  She is a wild dog once she hits the sand.  We had finally worn out the dog, she came home and fell asleep for several hours.

What's for dinner?  On the road into the park I could see shrimp boats moored in a lagoon in the middle of the marsh.  I hopped into the car and drove until I found them.

I looked for Forest Gump.  Maybe I should have asked for Bubba.

I purchased a pound of fresh shrimp.  They were the 3 bite size shrimp and they cleaned them for me.  I have cooked Cajun Etoufee' several times since we entered the South but this was my first time with shrimp.  If I was one to brag, I would say that dinner was amazing and wonderful.  But being humble I'll settle for world class and extraordinary.

Proof once again that we Rangers are modest about our accomplishments.
The proof is in the picture.
Sweet Tea, Cajun Shrimp Etoufee' over Brown Rice, Ya'll.

Life is good, for a humble man.

The Amazing Avery Family

Eva digging a hole on her morning beach walk.  Atlantic or Pacific....she likes sand.
Yesterday we spent time with the Avery family.  Kassie is my second cousin.  Her dad (Dan) and his brother (Boyd) caused  mischief regularly with my brother and I.  The four of us may not be welcome in a certain National Park.  It involved us throwing rocks at a neighbors watermelon that was cooling in the stream.  For 8-10 year olds, one of us had very good aim.  I remember it being Kassie's dad.  Uncle Harry had to quickly buy that busted watermelon.

The highlight of the day was Case and Cutter's soccer game.  The two boys have inherited the athletic gene from their Grandpa.  The game was won by the Avery brothers 5-0.  Case scored 3 goals and Cutter had 1 goal.  Both boys are fearless in their play.  Case could be covered by 4 opponents and go straight through them, always headed for the goal.  I felt a little sorry for the other team, but not too sorry.  More proud.

Case, Colson and Cutter.  Great boys!!
Kassity and the three dogs.
Tyler BBQ'd a pork butt for dinner.  He is a Captain in the fire department so he really knows all about fire and BBQ.  Kassie made the coleslaw and beans.  Another true Southern meal. 

The kids are fun to be with, Kassity could talk your ears off, Case has volunteered to move-in and travel with us, Colson is just plain cute and Cutter WILL be a professional athlete.  Each kid is an exceptional person.  We enjoyed our time with the Avery family.

Tyler Fixin' BBQ.
Kassie is a really great Mom.  I'm a proud Uncle.
Motorhome panorama shot.
I finally broke down and purchased a new camera.  My old camera was about 8 years old and had developed dark spots in the images.  I now have a Sony 16.1 megapixel camera with an 8x optical zoom Carl Zeiss lenses.  Once I figure out all the options it should improve my photography.  At least that's what I told Terri.

In the photo above I was sitting in my recliner rotating as the camera shot 5 frames to make the panorama photo.  Cool.

Mostly I needed the new camera to shoot better pictures of my lazy dog.
Life is good.  Eva is smiling.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Good Bye Savannah....Hello Beaufort S.C.

The bridge over the Savannah River.  One minute away from South Carolina.
Looking back as we left Savannah.
It was a travel day after 7 days in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Our next stop was only about 50 miles away across the state line of South Carolina.  We are in Beaufort for the next 3 days.

The big reason for this stop is to visit my cousin Dan's daughter who lives here.  We are meeting her and her husband for breakfast tomorrow morning.  It will be fun to see Kassie who I haven't seen in years.

We are staying at Hunting Island State Park which is on the Atlantic Ocean beach.

Beaufort is another classic old Southern city.  Large old houses line the streets of downtown.  We're planning a carriage ride around the city in the next few days. 

More to come tomorrow.