kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Making a Move

I’ve taken a bit of a blogging hiatus, maybe you’ve noticed. But I do have an excuse. I normally report on my travels and adventures, but the truth is, I haven’t gone anywhere recently! Instead, I’ve been MOVING. Yes, we finally sold our home in Moss Bluff and moved into the home in Lake Charles that we bought 6 MONTHS AGO!

So we’ve been unpacking boxes and trying to find places for clothes, furniture, dishes, you name it. It’s been a challenge, moving from 2300 or so square feet of home to 1700ish square feet. Where do we put everything! But we knew this going in. Downsizing. That's the whole point. How much space does a couple, with an occasional son or two visiting, need? In preparation for the move, we’d been purging closets and cupboards for months. Apparently, it wasn’t enough. So I continue to practice the 3 Gs -- Goodwill, garage sale, garbage.

It’s a good feeling, really, eliminating everything that we don’t really need, want, or use. We just don’t need that much STUFF! De-cluttering makes life simpler, easier, less stressful.

The last time we moved was seven years ago – from Pittsburgh to Moss Bluff. Odd that I can’t really recall how long it took for us to get comfortable in the new place; how long till the boxes were cleared from rooms and each nick nack had a home. We had boxes in our attic that had never been unpacked, and now they are sitting in our garage. No way are they going up into this attic! If we haven’t used something in the past seven years, we probably never will.

For now, I’m a bit preoccupied with picture placements, towel bar installations, kitchen and master bath remodeling, and finding Bob’s missing fingernail kit. But I hope to be back on the road exploring again soon.

When was the last time you moved and how long did it take you to settle in and get comfortable?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Greater Good on a Goat Farm

Near Meridian, Texas, on the eastern fringe of the Lone Star State’s hill country, lies a quiet peaceful ranch populated by Matt and Miriam Wallace and their college-age son and daughter, Matt’s parents, Steve the farmhand, random revolving-door visitors, several cats, a couple dogs, two horses, and a large herd of Boer goats. The farm has been in Matt’s family since the early 1800s.

One would never guess from its unassuming outward appearance, but Valley View Farm is headquarters for Greater Good Global Support Services, G3S2 for short. This non-profit organization serves those who serve. They provide help to those who help others – a mission to those on a mission. They are self-professed problem solvers. G3S2 provides resources in the areas of technology, legal and financial issues, health and medical concerns, communication and logistics, global situational awareness, and risk management. A lost passport in a foreign country. A safe haven for persecuted minorities in a warzone. A need for a very large-sized nursing bra. No problem is too great or too small for G3S2 to tackle. Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer, but that knowledge is invaluable to the person asking. To learn more about G3S2, check out their website here.

Also nearby lies a sleepy hamlet called Cranfills Gap. We ate dinner there at this charming down-to earth biker bar. It’s the closest restaurant.

Our son Eric will spend his summer as an intern for G3S2. His goal is to help the organization update or revamp their extensive computer system, answer the phones, and help out in any way he can. In his down time, I hope he gets outside, enjoys and relaxes in this pristine setting, deep in the heart of Texas.

This 1947 Ford pick-up truck still runs.