As I sit here on the front porch of the hotel soaking up and admiring the beauty before me, the only words that come to mind are… we are blessed! It has been quite rainy up here in these parts of the woods (uh, world), but today is different. The breeze is gently blowing, the sky is perfectly blue with just a few puffy clouds sprinkled about, the air is cool, and life is, well… good. No, great! As you must already know, we put our Baby Girl in the shop for warranty repair work last Monday. Because we were unable to live in our home while the repairs are taking place, we are holed up in a hotel room. But, today I am taking advantage of this gorgeous day and writing you from the great outdoors.
Let’s see… people are pouring into the hotel. I am guessing it could be one or two things: 1) the Shipshewana Flea Market, and/or 2) the Quilt Festival which begins tomorrow, or both! Although Craig and I are “living” here, it looks like some of these people are literally moving in! And I feel sorry for the poor souls (like us) who thought the Shipshewana Flea Market is something more than it really is… because it’s not! Nothing unique about most everything in the place, and 90% of the time you can probably turn any item over and read a sticker that says Made in China. So, no, it just ain’t what it used to be… so we’re told. BUT, the Quilt Festival is! As a matter of fact,we just met the keynote speaker, Pam Holland (who is from Australia) on the front porch of our hotel. For approximately ten months out of the year, Pam travels to various quilt shows all over the world and has had her work displayed in various museums. One of her quilts is over 200′ long! (OMG!) She is not only an artist, but a photographer and quilter, as well! Well, actually, she has many talents. I invite you to visit her website at www.iampamholland.com. To learn more about Pam, you can either Google ‘Pam Holland, quilter’, or go to artquilttahoe.com. Lovely, lovely lady, and we truly enjoyed visiting with her. All the best, Pam!
We haven’t done anything too strenuous, but we have driven a lot throughout the countryside and visited a few places. It is just absolutely beautiful up here! Pretty much everyone up here keeps their yards immaculate. The grass is always mowed in patchwork patterns, there are lots and lots of flowers everywhere, everything is tidy, and no trash anywhere. But, there is lots and lots of horse poop!
The one thing I really do miss in this lifestyle is working in the yard. The thought crosses my mind from time-to-time to stop somewhere along the way and inquire if I can help someone work in their yard. Like here…
And I miss it even more now that I am in a much more tolerable climate. The cooler weather easily makes me forget how H-O-T Texas really is, and just intensifies the yearning to get my hands dirty. I will probably change my tune when we return to Texas in August for a visit, though. Yes, I said A-U-G-U-S-T… the hottest month of the entire year… in Texas!
Shortly after arriving here in Shipshewana, we had lunch with Chris.
We met Chris last year when we were in Elkhart (not far from here) and he gave us a plant tour of the Lifestyle manufacturing center. Chris is AWESOME and we owe him a LOT for getting us in our new home and on the road when we did. We feel indebted to him and will forever ‘owe’ him. Thank you, Chris!
Last Friday we decided to drop by the Lifestyle warranty repair center to check on our Baby Girl. As soon as we arrived, Craig headed for the front door while I waited in the truck. (I have no desire to see my home torn up. The thought would haunt me forever.) I just so happened to look in my side mirror and saw familiar faces. I could tell these familiar faces recognized us, too, so I waved them over. Lo and behold, it was Lynn and Paul. We met Lynn and Paul back in November at the Escapees campground in Livingston, TX when we returned home for the holidays. They were also having warranty work on their Lifestyle and I am happy to say, I received word from Lynn today that they are very pleased with Lifestyle and the work performed. It’s such a small world!
Later that evening I just happened to glance out of our hotel room window and saw a LOT of commotion, so to speak, on the hotel grounds. Further observation revealed Amish football, Amish volleyball, and Amish Frisbee football. After going out for a walk and some fresh air, Craig (duh!) stopped to chat with one of the Amish guys playing football. What he learned was that this was an annual family event. Yeppers… all seven brothers and three sisters and their spouses and offspring. There had to have been at least 75 men, women, and children out there! Good for them. It looked like fun!
On Saturday we decided to take a drive to Three Rivers, MI to visit a local festival.
When we arrived I mentioned to Craig that if this festival had been back home, we couldn’t walk for the people. Well, it’s different here. The population is not quite as dense and, therefore, there’s more room to actually breathe. One of the first items we found was Skin So Soft, by Avon. We need it for repelling mosquitos… when the need arises. It can only be purchased through an Avon rep, so we bought it. After wandering around at the festival, Craig wanted to peek around some of the surrounding streets. Lo and behold, we found a car show of sorts! Justifiably, these guys were really proud of their babies!
Craig had seen a flyer somewhere here in town advertising live music that was going to be on the back porch of one of the local businesses. We were looking for anything to do to get us out of this hotel so we dropped by to see what was happening. We were not disappointed! We had the pleasure of meeting and listening to 4One Quartet, a gospel group. They sang for two hours… and it was free! I’m sorry to say, I did not have any gospel music on my laptop or phone before, but I do now! They were wonderful and we absolutely enjoyed their concert! We always try to find a church to go to in our travels and, once again, we visited Bristol Missionary Church. We originally visited there back in the fall when we were up here picking up our new home. When we returned three Sunday’s ago, many of the congregation remembered us! Apparently, we made some kind of impression. I just hope it was a good one! After church this past Sunday, we drove to Elkhart to attend a Jazz Festival. It was a nice day and we got to see and experience something new. We even discovered a furniture store in a very old building on the street behind the stage that had a coffee shop in the back. So, we went in for a coffee and beignet. Hey, Dorothy! Where did you say we are?
And, finally, today Craig and I sent a couple of packages to Afghanistan. I have a second cousin, Jacob, who is one awesome dude! He is an Army Ranger who was deployed a month or so ago. His birthday is coming up soon and we wanted to make it a special one for him. I’m not sure if he will see this, but we want to wish him a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! God bless and keep you, Jacob, and may He return you home to us safely! I will leave you with some more images of our time here in Shipshewana, IN!
Until we meet again, be blessed!