francine's blog

Travel Bug 3

We went back to Israel with a group from church, and then went on to Greece.  We bus-traveled around Italy and later Switzerland with Rick’s sister and brother-in-law.  We cruised to Central America and went through the Panama Canal.  We’ve driven thousands of miles, taking in sites in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.  We’ve made it from Southern France through Paris to Normandy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and wandered the capitols of Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

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Travel Bug – Part 2

We had the travel bug and it caused a fever.  It’s never gone away.

If you haven’t got much money, you still find ways to travel, if you want to travel badly enough.   Television programs, books, day-dreaming.  Wherever we lived, we considered ourselves tourists and went out to explore.  We didn’t wait for relatives to come to visit before we found the local highlights.  Southern California is packed.

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Travel Bug

My parents infected me with the travel bug.  Even on limited income, they found ways to get away.  In the beginning, our ventures involved stowing a picnic in the trunk of our car.  As they earned more, we graduated to tent and sleeping bags, then a small trailer, then a bigger trailer pulled by a station wagon.  They only had two weeks’ vacation a year.  If they wanted to take us to Yellowstone National Park, Glacier, and the great Northwest, we had to drive fast and far to cover the territory. 

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What's in the pan, Fran?

There have been many excellent cooks in my family, including grandmothers, mothers, and our daughter.  I know how to cook, but I don’t always follow a recipe.

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Only in California

I may be a native Californian, but I often find myself shaking my head. 

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Sex Trafficking Awareness

Rick and I attended the International Conference on Missions not long ago, and sat in on every session to do with sex trafficking.  A friend in ministry told me the crime is increasing in Northern California, and we wanted to find out what we can do to stop it.  Frankly, we were shocked to find out how rampant this crime has become and how cunning the predators are. 

 

Warning:  This blog is not for the faint-hearted, but forewarned is forearmed. 

 

What is happening?

 

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A New Beginning

December 26 always finds me in the throes of post-Christmas blues.  I don’t want to put away the ornaments and take down the tree.  I don’t want to put away the Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas books.  It’ll be another year before I can bring out the bright red Swedish candlesticks, the Russian nesting dolls, the two foot brass tree with tiny ornaments that represent all the children in the family.  I’ll miss the scent of pine, not to mention the cookies, candy and leftovers from the family gathering.

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Our Anniversary

Rick and I were married on December 21, 1969.  Looking back now, I wonder how we could have done such a thing to my parents.  A Christmas wedding?  Within months after they resettled (in a trailer) and started building (by their own hands) their retirement home in the Applegate Valley of Oregon?  I did most of the planning because Mom was far away.  Rick had little say because he was serving as a Marine at El Toro at the time.  I was a women’s libber then and had the word “obey” cut out of the ceremony.  All Rick needed to do was get to the church on time.

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Ben Hur

Shortly after Rick returned from Vietnam, he and I, with his parents, went to a Christmas cinematic presentation of “Ben Hur” in San Francisco.  The theater was magnificent, red velvet seats, an enormous screen, all the gilt and glamor of what movie theaters used to be.  It was the first time Rick held my hand.  “Ben Hur” became indelibly fixed in my mind as something special.

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Anticipation

Some years ago, I went to a small, one-day retreat about simplifying Christmas, based on Unplugging the Christmas Machine by Jean Coppock Staeheli.  The teacher applied her own expertise as a family counselor in practical exercises throughout the day to take a good hard look at what we’ve allowed Christmas to become and what we long for it to be. 

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