Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights

I want to start this blog by thanking all Veterans for their service.  This country is far from perfect but it is so much better than any place else thanks to the sacrifices of our service men and women and their families.  Having been a Navy wife for many years I know first hand the sacrifices many make.  Not us so much we had it easy but we had dear friends who sacrificed so much.  My dad was a Marine, my late husband was in the Navy and our godson is in the Army.  My cousin was career Air Force and three of his children have served.  Many dear friends went to Vietnam and Jerry's son did two tours in Afghanistan.  I don't want to start naming other friends & family as I know I would forget someone but THANK YOU ALL!!

Our last blog had us in Santa Paula, CA near Jerry's sister and step-sister and their families.
Jerry, his sister Deena, Reta & Wally - Reta is Jerry's mom's cousin - we visited them two years ago and made the trip again to Yorba Linda, CA to visit.  They are a delightful couple and we always enjoy ourselves.
Jerry enjoying the beautiful flowers in Wally & Reta's yard.

We brought home fresh oranges
We drove to Yorba Linda during the three day record breaking heat wave here.  I know people laugh about dry heat and if it is 110 it is hot and that is true but without humidity being in the shade is very tolerable and where we are there is usually a lovely ocean breeze.

Jeana turning five!!
And a very tired Halloween princess!
Vincent 8 1/2 months showing off his two bottom teeth
Our Little Pumpkin Vincent

After a week in Santa Paula we drove 35 miles to Forest Home Christian Camp in Oak View, CA - right outside of Ojai, CA (many of you may remember the name Ojai from the TV show Brothers & Sisters
We see dear all around our motorhome every morning and evening - they are relatively tame and as long as we don't walk toward them they just hang around.

The first week-end here Jerry spent 2 1/2 days working on an addition we needed to add to our Jeep to make towing the Jeep easier.  I have no idea how he knows how to do all this stuff but am so grateful that he does.
We started work on Monday morning and at 10:00 we were invited up the the cafeteria.  They had a brunch in our honor with the entire staff.  Everyone introduced themselves and told us what their jobs were and a little of their personal history.
They of course asked us to share which we did.  As we left the cafeteria to go out and take this picture I was overcome with the need to share with the group about my having donated a kidney almost 5 years ago to the day.  I hadn't even thought of mentioning it when Jerry and I were sharing our stories.  So I asked the director if it was okay if I shared a little more and he said sure.  So basically just said I had donated a kidney, it was a God thing for sure and if they ever had the chance to do it for someone that I encouraged them to do it.  Well it was definitely God nudging me to share because low and behold one of the staff was going Wednesday to be tested to see if he could donate!!  Needless to say he had a lot of questions and we have had two lengthy positive discussion about it.  Have to listen to those God Whispers!!
They also gave us a bag of Hersey Hugs & Kisses and the cute note on it says:
We hope you FALL in love with Forest Home!
Hugs & Kisses from
The Forest Home Staff

We have been here two weeks and here is what we have been up to:
Jerry working on repairing the backdrop for their  outside amphitheater.  He has also removed an old wooden small projector table and built a new much larger one with sides so their projector and laptops can't fall off.
He has also added additional electrical outlets. 
They have lent us a golf cart to run around in -  Teddy loves it when he gets to go for a ride.

Two years ago we met a couple in AZ that we became fast friends with - our paths seem to continually cross.  They were in Illinois this summer for two weeks where we camp host.  We had Thanksgiving with them last year and we all did the Reno air races together in Sept.  Then low and behold they ended up in Santa Barbara right after we arrived here in Oak View so we met them one night for dinner.

Jerry and Jeff
Nancy and I
I love what they added to the side of the camp gift store - anyone can post prayer requests

Jerry switching fluorescent lights in the kitchen to LED's

This is what it looks like when Carol let's the fluorescent roll off the counter and they go boom, boom, boom

We love the looks of these pepper trees - soft leaves that flutter in the breeze and the bright red berries

Last Saturday the camp had their yearly picnic open to the local community - they had a great turn out and it was great fun.
Jerry and I offered to help so we were in charge of the S'mores
They were enjoyed by young and old alike - several people had never had S'mores before!
They even heated the swimming pool so people could swim

Climbing Wall

Zip Line 
Pictures just don't do it justice but this was Thursday - blue sky, clouds over the mountain 
When I am not helping Jerry I have been organizing a linen and maintenance storage area.

Still have a way to go but making headway!

One of the hard things with this life style is finding someone you like to cut your hair.  Two years ago Carol cut my hair and she remembered me when I walked in the shop yesterday.  It was great to catch up and to not have to explain what I wanted done.
There hasn't been any fire danger since we arrived but several months ago they did have fires nearby.  You always see them dropping the red fire retardant out of the airplanes - well this is what it looks like on the mountain side.
Today Jerry's sister came up and we went to the quaint town of Ojai.
This is the Early Bird Shopper
In the beautiful park in the center of town in the Trimpin Sound Arch
It is a sculpture that plays music when you walk under it.

Some of the shopping area in Ojai
Loved the vines growing on the roof of this shop
That pretty much brings you up to date.  Once again we are so enjoying serving at this Christian Camp.  The staff is awesome and whenever there are groups here we get to eat with the staff.  This allows us to really get to know the staff and to understand better how the camp runs - it also means I don't have to cook and clean-up!!!  The chef has been awesome about looking out for Jerry and his special dietary restrictions.  We have one more week to "work" here and will then stay another week so that we can enjoy Thanksgiving with Jerry's family.  

Our home church in Gurnee will once again be serving a full Thanksgiving meal to many recruits from the Great Lakes Naval Station on Thanksgiving Day - know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  It is such a wonderful gesture - lots of work but worth it when you see the smiles on the young sailors faces when they leave - give them all a hug from me.

We hope that you all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving - Jerry, Carol and Teddy