Preparing to Live in China (1986)

Teaching English listening and speaking skills in China circa 1986

I was 23 and selling everything I had.

About this time, 31 years ago, I was preparing to live and teach in China. I really didn’t know exactly where, yet, just somewhere in the Mainland.

But, I almost didn’t go.

I got scared.

Midway into the interviewing process, I found out I would be teaching adults.

Most likely it would be professors at a university. Say whaaaaa?!!!

Yeah, I started re-thinking this E N T I R E thing.

A lot of unique things happened up to this point, and I really felt I was to go to China, but then I heard this little tidbit. 🙂

Not only was I going to a third world country, didn’t know a bit of Chinese, nor any Asians, at all, but now felt this was really stretching it for me.

I had just graduated with an elementary education degree and knew nothing of teaching adults. Much less professors…YIKES!

But, I believed God had called me to do this.

That’s part of the fascinating, unfolding story I will probably share later.

So, I had to trust that He knew what he was doing.

I had always believed the saying, “Where He calls, He will equip.”

And now was my time to step out into the deep and

“DO IT AFRAID”.

Let faith be bigger than your fear vignette.

TO BE CONTINUED…
PS Oh, and I might add, my boyfriend at the time had just proposed to me…
but I would be gone for a YEAR!

Read about our long distance courtship here:

 https://thentherestwo.com/2016/10/23/29-years-ago-i-married/

Do it afraid poster

HOPE and the Beach

Only home a second day from Panama City Beach, and I’m already thinking about how to move to the south, sooner!

Panama City Beach, Florida Holiday Inn Resort

I have a countdown going on in my head.

See, Hubby can retire in three years, and my grandkids are sure to arrive in the next few years. There might be a slight problem in that my son just got married and lives here, in Indiana, but my daughter is in Georgia and was married in 2015.

I guess it’s a race to see who has their kids first. 😉



If you’re at all interested in my fam…here’s my daughter’s wedding video. And a post about the wedding day: HERE

 

derek-and-heidi-wedding

And, we just got my son’s video!:  HERE



Regardless, I just can’t handle winters, anywhere, anymore! Even if my kids didn’t live in the south, I would eventually have to move there, for sure.

Or Hawaii.

I LOVED Hawaii. It was like the Garden of Eden.

I’m still trying to talk my husband into retiring there, as well. 😉

Okay, so a loaf of bread costs $5.oo.

Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai Hawaii with beautiful flowers and trees overlooking the ocean.

INDIANA WEATHER

Don’t get me wrong, I love the change of seasons and the area where we live is known for its vivid, fall colors.

As for winter, I actually love the snow and don’t mind the cold here.

It IS pretty and it does make it feel more like the holiday season has arrived.

Some of my favorite times are going out to take pictures at night when the snow has fallen. It’s SO peaceful.

⌈The neighbor’s house.⌋

My neighbor's house in the snow in Indiana

Heck, I’ve even been known to run errands without a coat during 37º days…menopause or no menopause.

The cold, winter woods after a big snow.

And when this little, Cali girl visited grandparents one midwestern winter, she was totally obsessed with seeing snow, playing in the snow, laying in the snow…not coming in from the snow, period.

I even have fond memories, while living in southern California, of my dad driving us up to the mountains of Big Bear. We’d drive around for hours listening to Christmas carols hoping to see even one flake of falling snow.

We were thrilled to find on one particular visit there was enough snow for snowball fights and sledding. Sledding down steep mountainsides ladened with huge, snow drifts jumping a foot or two in the air and then careening down onto curvy mountain roadways. (My brother actually hit a parked, car’s wheel that trip. That wheel kept him from going under the car and over the mountain cliff. TRUE STORY.)

So the past winters have been fun, but not anymore… they are really taking a toll on me now!



PRAYING/FIGHTING for HOPE

Sadly, my body has developed worsening health “issues” where the winter just really does a number on my eyes and skin, (diseases) and it’s getting worse each year. Truly, these last eight years have been a literal HELL for me, with the last three almost unbearable. The pain has been torturous. Pure. Torture.

Yep, my hope has waned, many times.

I have continually prayed for God to restore my hope especially when the pain didn’t let up for months on end. And prayed he would protect my sanity. (Those with chronic illness/disease or chronic pain will get this.)

And I have to continually fight my mind about looking too far into the future because my 40s & 50s have been the toughest years of my life. I have to tell myself to refocus and just live out today. Many times it’s been a refocusing minute by minute, quite literally.

I have to determine to lean into God hard, TODAY, and praise Him for what I can find that’s good, TODAY.

It’s not easy, I assure you.



HEALING in the SUN

So, hubby suggested a break from winter.

My eyes and skin started feeling better within a couple of days and thankfully, I didn’t have any major reactions like my last trip- uh, YAY!

Just not having that forced heat hit me all day, brought much relief and healing. And leaving the bleak, cold, overcast days just felt GOOD for the soul.

It wasn’t an easy drive for me, with this continual back pain, (It’s been a year now.) but I was sick of so many gloomy days I finally said, “I’ll chance the drive; let’s get outta here!”

I was glad in the end that we made that L O N G, 11.5 hr., drive. (I would’ve rather flown but it allowed me to use all my heating pads, medical devices, etc.. Boy, I sound OLD! (I’m a walking medical lab, now. ha.)

And luckily, my daughter and her husband were able to drive over from GA, joining us for two days. So, it was great to see them, too.

morgan-and-logan

Playing with the sand, feeling the warmth of the sun soaking in, and just having face-to-face conversations with my daughter, just the two of us, as we waded in the water was just what the doctor ordered.

I also realized this was the FIRST time, in YEARS, I could go on a vacation and not fear the sun due to getting off my immune suppressing drug. YAY!!!!!  (*Sun exposure is not allowed due to skin cancer risks.)

That alone makes a vaca a VACA! 🙂

beach-pic

Seashell and hope bracelet found on Panama City Beach, Florida

Digression: I bought this bracelet one night at a restaurant and earlier that morning found this cute, little shell… had to dig down into the water to grab it before I got knocked over by a wave. My daughter was right by my side when I spotted it. 🙂

Didn’t find any more shells quite this perfect. 😉



REALITY

Now we’re back.

And the heat is blowing.

And my sweats and socks are back on. 😦

(going from shorts to sweats=just not cool)

I’m physically suffering again. UGGH.

Yeah, I might have (or might not have) told my husband I may be moving ahead of him.

I leave you with the sights and sounds of the beach. ENJOY!

 

 

 

Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

We seem to eat a lot of BBQ where we live.

We. love. it.

AND, we are very picky about our BBQ, so I was both curious, and a little apprehensive about it.

We hadn’t heard of this particular restaurant; then again, we hadn’t been to the Patuxent River, MD, area in years.

Outside the restaurant, there was a nice patio area with picnic bench style seating.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I really wasn’t expecting the interior to look the way it did, but Mission BBQ screamed absolute patriotism from the minute we walked in!

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I guess that’s to be expected being right across the street from the Patuxent Naval Air Station, not sure about the other locations.

NEVER have I seen so much, military paraphernalia, under one roof, aside from military museums.

I had a hard time eating as I didn’t know where to look first..it was all so interesting.

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I wanted to take it all in and look at everything.

Every square inch had something interesting to read or look at.

Mission BBQ

This was at our booth.

Missions BBQ plaque in honor of Sgt. Paul Fisher KIA

There were interesting articles, captivating pictures, even clever ways of displaying items; including, recognizing our community heroes like police, firemen, etc.

Missions BBQ honoring community

I love ANY PLACE that pays tribute to our great men and women of the military as well as those who support our community. [Hence my previous article  referring to my military family.]


You can choose a variety of smoked meats placed on or off the bun, lean or fatter cuts.

You then have a seat and wait for it to come out.

I chose the leaner beef brisket, (just the meat) while

the hubs had the brisket sandwich with fries as his side.

My side was the mac-n-cheese…IT WAS DELISH!

Probably the best/creamiest/cheesiest macaroni I’ve EVER had at a restaurant, for real.

(And I’m very picky about my mac-n-cheese!) 🙂

My meal also came with a piece of cornbread. I guess I missed that part when ordering.

The brisket had that Texas, oak, smoked flavor like you cooked it around the campfire.

Mission BBQ menu is here: http://mission-bbq.com/menu

They even have a gluten-free menu.

How did I miss getting a picture of our food, though! 😦

So, here’s some images for you: FOOD and SAUCES


Our history was on the walls, the tables and booths.

And of course, I had to find the Marine Corps emblem imbedded among several branches on our table.

Marine Corps insignia in the table at Mission BBQ

Even the cardboard caddy holding the six, different, choices of sauce, recognized the MIA and POWs.

Some of my favs were the KC Classic, and the more vinegar based Carolina.

Mission BBQ Sauces

They had a blend of spices and speciality sauces, up by the drink station, too, that I found to be so yummy.

Mission BBQ and recognizing POW MIA

Did you know National POW/MIA  is recognized on the third Friday of every September?

I guess I had forgotten when that was. My own Uncle Terry had been MIA for decades. (I hope to share that story, soon.)

Terry A. Hoffman MIA 1968 USMC


Coming back from the men’s restroom, my husband said, “You should see what’s in the guys’ room.”. He told me the walls were plastered with 1940 pin-up girls

not surprised there,

but then mentioned that the Farrah Fawcett’s poster was hanging above the men’s urinal.

Once again, NOT surprised.

For you young kids…it’s ICONIC.

That poster probably hung in just about every, young, teenage boy’s room across America!

Including my husband’s. (It was the only poster he ever had.) 🙂

So, naturally I wanted to see what was in us gals’ restroom.

I was trying to guess,

I thought, TOP GUN images FOR SURE!

As I rounded the corner looking for my restroom, guess whose face was peering down at me?

Tom Cruise in Top Gun fighter plane

Yep, Tom Cruise in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

We actually had jets flying overhead as we walked into the restaurant. I just love the sound of those things.

Later on, I noticed a few pilots had walked in.

They’re unmistakable aren’t they?

Once inside my restroom…

But of course…I should’ve guessed.

Lots women sending their lovers off to war with a kiss. Also infamous poses.

women sending their men off to war with kisses

 I was trying to imagine what they must’ve been feeling when those pictures were snapped.


The manager at Mission BBQ was going around visiting with people, and I noticed how he greeted patrons like they were family. I overheard him sharing about the restaurants and other cities where they have locations.

So, I’d recommend it. It’s a fun and interesting place with great food to boot.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I was glad to see homage paid to all our military, and community service workers,

for once,

so for that fact alone, I would eat there.

Do you have a Mission BBQ near you or a favorite BBQ restaurant you like to visit?

Exploring St. George Island & Piney Point, Maryland

Exploring St. George Island & Piney Point, Maryland

So, I thought I’d give you an idea of the surrounding area where we’re staying in case you’re looking for a hotel with water views, in this area.

To see how we got here, I went back and added a map of our route to my previous post  here: map/post

Our hotel is the Island Inn & Suites on Piney Point, Maryland. It’s on St. George Island.

We hadn’t heard of this hotel before, but my husband was glad he found it.

It wasn’t here, years ago, when we explored this area, on previous business trips with our kids. (We like using our Choice points, so we were glad to find it.)

It’s been years since we’ve been here and the entire area has really grown.

^ Click on each picture to enlarge

Knowing I like the outdoors, and after nearly a decade of battling health issues (with rarely time to get outdoors) my hubby thought I’d really enjoy this view…

and BOY DO I!

Wasn’t that sweet of him?

So, I have beautiful scenery to look at as I type, and take pictures.

Sunset at Piney Point, Maryland

He’s the best!

OK, I’ve NEVER been this close to the water before!

Literally yards.

View of St. Mary's River

IMG_5694.JPG

 

Here is the map of where we are, so you get an idea of how the water surrounds us.

Map of St. George Island, MD

One side (the west) is the Potomac River, and the other is the St. Mary’s River.

Both look like you’re viewing the ocean or bay. We chose the St. Mary side to be able to hear the lapping of the waves as well as not view the parking lot.

Don’t get me wrong, both views are spectacular, and I LOVE sunsets, as I’m never up for sunrise, but I knew we could view the sunset, at any time, as we left for dinner.

St. Mary's River pier.

A stork overlooking St. Mary's River on Piney Point, Maryland.

Here are a few pictures of the sunset our first night; it did not disappoint.

Sunset on the Potomac River.

St. George Island, MD.JPG

As the sun began to set, we drove down to the end of St. George Island and took some of these photos. We had to turn around as the drive led to private homes.

St. George Island

It has been super quiet here; I hear nothing.

Oh, an occasional guest next door, some jets here and there, flying overhead, and a few seagulls, landing on the pier as they fly in, but nothing significant to speak of.

Like I said, I never, hardly EVER see the sunrise, but for some odd reason I was up the other day just in time to grab my camera and catch a glimpse.

And right on cue, @8:00 AM sharp, I heard a familiar melody float across the river.

The National Anthem.

St. Mary's River, Maryland

Balcony view over St. Mary's River.

I’m sure it was coming from a nearby base, or from some “old salty” who lived on a nearby island, and was probably raising the flag and blasting out his favorite tune. 🙂 HA

I kind of got goosebumps as the sun was rising, and the notes were falling.

Can you tell I’m a VERY patriotic person?

It may have something to do with being raised by an ex-Marine.

There were four in the family…one, who was MIA, for decades. My little brother, who is presently a Lt. Col, is serving overseas. (You may have seen this on my “About Me” page.)

dc12

Marine family of uncles, dad, and brother

Yeah, that song kind of gets to me.

Later, when my husband arrived back, through tons of traffic I might add, (all leaving from the Patuxent base, we headed out for dinner.

There is a restaurant, next door, which we plan to try later. However, we drove back the way hubby had come.

We found an amazing, unique place for barbecue right across from the base. They are a fairly new chain, but growing rapidly.

I’ll share that, as well as some info about the Patuxent Naval Air Station and the nearby

area, tomorrow!

  • Check out my YouTube link for video of the area.

Thanks for coming along on my travels!

Do you have military family?

Do you have a favorite place, by the water, you always love to go?

Here’s a video I took from our balcony…enjoy the view!

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0BXyVVGeIE

Travelling to St. George Island, Maryland

Travelling to St. George Island, Maryland

I’m travelling, along with my husband, as he has work on a nearby navy base in Maryland.

I’ve been having horrendous back pain issues, for the last 7 mos., among other menopausal/auto immune/allergy issues….

I thought, how could I feel ANY worse; especially, when I feel so poorly at home?

But I’m really glad I took the risk. (So far, I’ve actually been coping pretty well.)

KNOCK ON WOOD.

This time, to Maryland, we took a different route.

We headed more south (from southern Indiana), so we could see more of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Later, we hope to take more of the Blue Ridge Parkway to head back home.

Route from Indiana to St. George Island, Maryland.

Thus far, the scenery has been spectacular!

Bridge over the Potomac from Virginia to Maryland.

I will be sharing many a photo, and any travel tips, the next few weeks.

For now, here’s a few pics. The drive through both WV and Virginia were awesome.

We are staying on St. George Island, Maryland, for the first time.

I will let you now how it was.

Anyone been here, or to the Blue Ridge Mountains, before? Tips for a fellow traveler?

(You can also follow me here on Instagram.)

WEST VIRGINIA:

Motorcycle near the Blue Ridge Mountains

West Virginia

Farm near the James Madison Highway

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West VirginiaBlue Ridge Mountains