12.31.13 Reflecting on God’s Blessings in 2013

new yers 2014Happy New Years to everyone!  My New Year’s resolution is to travel more – I think this is one we’ll keep!

What a year of blessings 2013 has been.  It hasn’t all been blessings but I am choosing to write off the bad things. I’ve forgiven those who have hurt me, prayed for them and now it’s time to put them in the past. The blessings below are just some of what God has provided for us this year but I do want to share these.

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-Living in Northern Minnesota for the summer with its magnificent beauty, perfect weather and a new culture for us to learn about.  Living with the loons, chipmunks, lots of wild blueberries and raspberries all near the beautiful lake that is Lake Kabetogama.

-Making friends with Russ and Annie Johnson in Minnesota.  We worked together, shared fun times and we plan to visit them in Florida very soon!

-Making friends with Nichole and  Ron Aschliman’s family in Indiana.  They blessed us so much by inviting us to their home and farm for dinner and fellowship.

-Seeing so many of God’s creations around the USA this year.

IMG_20131009_132931_274 fod7 (2) IMG_20130904_135204 fishing roy rosalyn minn roy rose twins  rickspic4Being able to take a nap on occasion when others in my pre-RV life were at work.

-Being able for the first time in my life to read and read and read whenever I wanted to

-Being able to spend countless happy moments with my husband Roy in our adventures.

-Being able to come back to Louisiana for Thanksgiving and Christmas and re-connect with those who matter most to us.

-Seeing my son in a wonderful relationship with his girlfriend Kimberly. We are looking forward to seeing what their future holds knowing they are both dedicated to following God’s will in their lives.

-Meeting and getting to know Kimberly’s twin sons, Braxton and Bentley and cuddle and kiss on them.

-Reconnecting with our precious granddaughter Madisyn. Spending time getting to enjoy the growing young lady she is puts a smile in both our hearts.

-Being able to attend different churches throughout the United States and learn about their beliefs, experiencing different worship styles and fellowshiping with other Christians from those different churches.

-Establishing a new hometown in Madison, SD which oddly enough is similar to our real hometown of Hammond, LA

-Receiving personally autographed pictures of Drew Brees!

-Being able to help at Kabetogama Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School

-Finding our wonderful real estate agent Jamie and her getting a contract to sell our rental house before it ever went on the market – full price and a cash sale too!

-Our son Chip taking care of emptying the rental house, doing repairs inside and outside, going to the Act of Sale for us and much more!

-Jamie also finding a renter for our own sticks and bricks house and finding them to be wonderful renters since then.

-Living in an area for several weeks where the Amish live and getting to see them up close, even doing laundry with them.  Learning about their lives and developing a respect for them.

-Worshiping God again in our home church.  Hearing our choir sing for Christmas was a highlight of our return to Louisiana.

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Each of the places below were blessings as we discovered parts of our beautiful country.

Vince Schute Bear Sanctuary in Minnesota where we watched bears in their natural habit quite up close

Soudan Ore mine a mile below the surface in Minnesota

The headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca State Park in Minnesota

The Corvette assembly plant and national museum in Kentucky

Eating Chicago deep dish style pizza for the first time in Chicago

Seeing pro MLB Louisville Slugger baseball bats being made in Kentucky

Learning about cheesecake making at Eli’s Cheesecake Company and winning our own whole cheesecake in Chicago

Saw a Minnesota Twins game in Minneapolis

Visiting Soldier Field in Chicago

Visiting Wrigley Field in Chicago

Visiting a bank that Jesse James robbed decades ago in Indiana

Attending our first ever Callithumpian parade in Decatur, Indiana and a 4th of July parade in International Falls, MN

Seeing hundreds of miles of corn fields along all of the highways and in any available planting space throughout 3 states

Floating down an underground river in Lost River Cave in Kentucky

Touring both the Winnebago RV and Fleetwood RV manufacturing plants learning more about how these huge moving homes are put together.

Touring the South Bend Chocolate company in Indiana and sampling some of their goodies

Walking the 500 stairs in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and surviving!

Experiencing a great deal of awe at the Field of Dreams in Iowa

Met Dr. Schnell who treated Roy’s hurting knee in Minnesota

Getting to experience the glorious changing of leaf colors while the new cold weather traveled south with us!

Toured Lake Superior from the water on the Vista Cruise Fleet in Duluth, Minnesota

Toured Duluth, Minnesota by land on the North Scenic Railroad

Toured the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota

Took an amazing pontoon boat adventure in the freezing cold in Voyageurs National Park to the Kettle Falls Hotel and Restaurant and the Ellsworth Rock Garden

Ate at the amazing Lambert’s Restaurant in Branson

Saw the production of  Joseph (from the Bible) at Sights and Sounds Theatre in Branson

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I am exhausted just listing all that and yet we did that all since May of 2013.  This change of lifestyle has been a huge leap of faith for both of us but looking back on all we’ve seen, done and experienced this year makes me certain it’s the right thing for us to be doing. We’ve learned and done so much and experienced so many adventures that I love writing my blog about and hope to continue to do so!

We’ve stayed in town for the holidays long enough to be here during Mardi Gras king cake season and are enjoying one right now.  We hope to leave Louisiana next week sometime and are starting to make plans for seeing and doing more adventurous things as we continue our travels in 2014.

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Links to our Reflections on God’s Blessings for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2012 are below.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2012

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

06.19.13 Duluth, MN – North Shore Scenic Railroad and Dr. William Schnell

We left Kabetogama around 8 am on Monday headed to Duluth, which is 144 miles away, for a doctor’s appointment.  We decided to mix some sightseeing in with the doctor’s visit and are really glad we did!

Roy’s appointment with Dr. Schnell was for 3 pm at Northland Medical Center in downtown Duluth. The North Shore Scenic Railroad and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum are near the doctor’s office so we went there first and enjoyed the 1-1/2 hour train ride through downtown Duluth and along the shores of Lake Superior up the shore to the Lester River. The railroad and museum operate with a strong group of volunteers and a fleet of historic museum equipment. It has grown into an educational and historically significant operation.  This is the museum’s tenth season operating the NSSR.

There is a beautiful walking path that begins in Duluth and goes for many miles along the lake’s shoreline.  There are little parks along the path for walkers, joggers, and bikers to rest.  I’ve read that the path goes on for over 200 miles but we only saw a small portion of it in Duluth.  One of the volunteers wore a real train conductors uniform which of course I had to photograph.

After the train ride we checked out the Railroad Museum but didn’t have enough time to go through it so I took a few pictures from outside the fence.  I’d recommend going to the museum if you go there with or without kids cause it looked fascinating from what we could see.

We left the train station and headed to the doctor’s office.  One thing I’ve found in Minnesota is that every one is so helpful and most even walk with you to where you need to go so you don’t get lost.  Maybe we have that old people I’ll get lost look, I don’t know!

We made our way to the orthopedic check in counter at Northland Medical Center and came across our first episode of people being confused because our Drivers Licenses now say South Dakota, our Insurance is from Louisiana and we’re living in Minnesota.  The check in lady figured it out and we didn’t even have to fill out the many sheets of information you usually do as a new patient.  Those forms always bother me because they ask everything about you and then the nurse, assistant or doctor ask the same questions during the visit and I wonder why don’t they read what I wrote.  Are they aware that brain has holes and they’re testing me???  Anyway, none of that at this doctor’s office.  They even have a patient’s portal where we can login on line to see Roy’s medical records and communicate with the doctor through it.  Very, very cool!

We got to the waiting room at 3:00 and were in to see the examination room at 3:02.  The nurse did her thing, they took Roy to have his knee x-rayed, and the doctor came in shortly thereafter. I don’t remember having a doctor come in wearing a suit before but Dr. William Schnell did.  He looked just like a TV doctor would, handsome, tanned and extremely nice. Roy gave him his medical history concerning his knee and the recent pain he’s having since he stands up so much at work now.  Roy was previously told he needs a knee replacement but until now it hasn’t given him the pain he’s experiencing.  The doctor agreed with that but since he can’t have surgery right now he gave him a cortisone shot which should help the pain for the remainder of the time he’s here.  He even let me take a picture of him examining Roy’s knee.  After the shot, while we were leaving, he told us about a hole in the wall store outside of Orr, MN on Highway 53 called Cold Springs where they make delicious pastries.  We’re going to make a day trip to Orr on one of our days off and we know for sure we’ll stop at Cold Springs.  In total we were at the doctor’s office 45 minutes and that included the x ray and cortisone shot.  On our way out Dr. Schnell showed us Roy’s x-ray.  Roy’s top and bottom bones on the inside of his right knee are rubbing on each other.  The other knee and the other side of the right knee are fine, thank goodness!  Roy liked this doctor so much he’s thinking about having the knee replacement done by him but we don’t know how we’d work out the logistics of him being laid up here.  Time will tell!

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View of Lake Superior from the Doctor’s Office
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Dr. William Schnell examining Roy’s knee

Roy really gave the knee a work out the next day at the aquarium and hospital visit with Annie so he was very thankful to have had the shot the day before.  The pictures below are of the train, the scenery we saw along the ride and of the museum.

We made a stop at our much loved Sam’s Club while in Duluth and stocked up on some goodies.  Roy treated me to a dining night out by ordering a whole pepperoni pizza at Sam’s which we enjoyed there in the store!  Don’t expect to hear much about us going out to nice restaurants on our travels, we just don’t do it.  Sam’s Pizza was great and we enjoyed the mini cinnamon rolls on the way to the hotel for dessert!

Tomorrow I’ll write about the Great Lakes Aquarium and the following day about the Vista Fleet cruise.  I don’t seem to be very good at putting the pictures into the correct order so I’ve added captions below each to help them make sense!  I plan to take pictures of the houses in each city we visit so we’re not only capturing the sightseeing aspect but the real people living part.

Every time I take pictures I think of Amber DeJean and how I wish I had one of her cameras and the capabilities she has of taking magical pictures.  My pictures are all taken with my little ATT go phone or Verizon Android so that’s the best I can get!

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Big miniature railroad and city scene in the train depot
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The sign outside of the Immigrant Waiting Room where immigrants from Canada or elsewhere would wait to get into America
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Inside one of the old cars on the train
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Our Train Conductor
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Outside of the train we were on – this family in the picture helped us find the train (another one of those helpful Minnesotans!)
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One of the cars had two levels for passengers
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The entrance to the Immigrant Waiting Room
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Some of the clothes immigrants wore long ago
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Two of the trains on display in the museum
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Roy at the entrance to the museum
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Part of the old original train depot
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Looking out the back of the train as we went down the tracks – this was my favorite view
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Lil ole me enjoying the train ride – yes I have my coat on! – it was about 50 degrees outside and windy
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The train depot

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!