Being a Grandparent COVID 19 glamping holidays home decor Life Parkinson's Disease

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. . .”

“It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer. . .” And so the song goes, courtesy of the late great Burl Ives. Remember the snowman on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated special? I was seven years old when I saw it for the first time. It was magical. Now I can’t even get my grandkids interested. The old claymation specials have nothing on today’s computer graphics animation. Ah, but they were magical, at least to my generation.

I got distracted. Sorry about that. I have decided to have a holly jolly Christmas at my house. I don’t care if a pandemic is raging, threatening my family and friends, threatening retailers and restauranteurs, threatening the traditions we all hold dear. Maybe the pandemic is a good thing.

Our Living Room Christmas Tree

What? What did you say? I said, maybe it’s a good thing. It’s changing our priorities. We are focusing more on loved ones, and not things. We are finding out that the most valuable things in life are not things at all. The things we miss are not things, either. Hugging a friend or relative, shaking hands, whispering in someone’s ear, getting close enough to detect a special cologne, gathering in groups at holiday parties, sharing a toast, kids sitting on Santa’s lap, being able to breathe without fogging up your glasses, last-minute shopping in a crowded store. Need I go on?

We have given up much this year because of Covid-19. But look at what we’ve gained: a new appreciation of freedom, gathering with friends, going shopping and dining wherever we want, gathering with family at holidays and special occasions, going to church and fellowship with fellow churchgoers. Boy, do I miss that.

My precious granddaughters enjoying the season.

I’m going to make it a holly jolly Christmas, though. I’m going to:

  1. Enjoy small things like the lights on my beautiful tree.
  2. Behold the wonder in my granddaughters’ eyes as they look at all the decorations.
  3. Experience the delight in the two-year-old’s smile as she touches an LED C9 bulb and finds out that it’s cool to the touch.
  4. Note the pride in the five-year-old’s stance as she finishes decorating the little silver tree for my camper.
  5. Enjoy the taste of pumpkin spice in my morning coffee.
  6. Relish drinking from my special Christmas coffee mugs.
  7. Cozy up to my dog next to me in my chair while wearing comfy pajamas.
  8. Relish a morning when I get to sleep just a little bit later.
  9. Wrap each and every gift with love.
  10. Give thanks for online ordering when I can’t get to a store.
Can you see the silver tree hidden in the tinsel garland? I left it just as she decorated it.

Get the picture? There is a host of ways to make it a holly jolly Christmas. Even as my days are consumed with caregiving and my nights with intermittent sleep between calls from hubby, I choose to focus on the good. Yes, I have days, even weeks, when I wonder how this is all going to turn out–the pandemic, my husband’s disease progression, the next presidential administration, life in general. But I rest in this: my God knows it all, and holds it all, in His almighty hands.

So. . . Merry Christmas. May all your days be holly jolly.


Little “Miss Millie” all dressed up for the holidays.

Wedded Life Wednesday: Getting ready for our first Scampin’ trip!

Remember this gal?  Her name is Scampin’ Annie and she has been a project for the past three years.  We acquired this 1978 Scamp in July of 2010 and have been slowly fixing her up.  I am happy to announce that she is finally ready for her maiden voyage!

We have reservations at a campground between Austin and Houston and will be towing her behind my Ford Escape this coming weekend! The campground is about 240 miles away.  It will be Friday the 13th, but I won’t think about that.  I cannot wait!

The hubs has been so wonderful doing the little tasks that I cannot do or didn’t even know needed to be done, such as installing working trailer lights, attaching the new license plate, greasing the wheel bearings (did I say that right?), and making sure the tires are good.  He even painted the wheels and polished the hubcaps!  (pics later)

This trip will actually be a trial run before my actual big Scamping trip to Texas Antiques Week in Round Top the first week of October.  Since it will just be me and my daughter and maybe my sister, he needs to be convinced that I can pass the trailer pulling, backing, and parking test.  Under his watchful eye, I will do all the hooking up, driving, pulling into parking lots, backing into the camping space, and unhooking.  I have to prove my mettle as a trailer hauler!  Wish me luck!

Actually, in spite of his and my mother’s misgivings (she worries about EVERYTHING), I have every confidence that I can do this!  If all those cowgirls can pull those long horse trailers, surely I can haul a 13-foot camper!  We will see.  We. Will. See.

Stay tuned!



Meaningless Drivel Monday: Perfectly Scampfortable. . .

With all these posts about my little 1978 Scamp trailer, it must seem like I am a woman obsessed.  I’m really not.  Well, maybe just a little.  I admit I have been spending a lot of time thinking about her and working on her.  But I am now to the point where she won’t consume so much of my time.  Now I can enjoy the fruits of my (and hubby’s) labor, make myself comfortable as I do so, and wait for the day when we can actually take her out on the road.    Hopefully, that’s just a good washing, sanding, painting, and a set of new tires away.  Maybe by the end of the summer?

That’s the “bedroom” with the mattress on top of the seat cushions on top of the dinette table folded down.  The previous owners had cut a piece of plywood to set over the table and bench seats and then cut a piece of foam which they covered with mattress fabric.  It
brings the bed up higher and makes it much more comfortable.  Can’t wait to try it overnight!



Where Am I Wednesday: Blogging from the Scamp!

This is how I started off my blog post today:

I’m not going to be talking about the teaching profession today, at least not in a literal sense.  I am too excited not to talk about the Scamp, and for those who want to know more about vintage campers, I guess this could be a teachable moment.  Is that a stretch?

Sounds good, right?  Except today isn’t Tuesday, so it didn’t matter if I talk about teaching or not.  I lost a day somewhere because Monday was a holiday, I suppose.  Anyway, here’s the rest.

I still have a few things to do inside the Scamp but she is usable on the inside now.  The outside is still badly in need of a bath and paint, but I need a few days with no threat of rain.  She will also need new tires, probably new lights, and a title transfer.  Yikes, I haven’t done that yet!
So here’s the inside. . .

Step right on in!
View from the door.
The “living room,”  consisting of the bench seat just to the right of the door, which can be converted to a bunk bed.  However, we took out the large piece of plywood on the back of the back cushion that would support the top bunk.
One of my favorite finds ever!  A tea light chandelier I found at Ross yesterday!  Perfect to hang from the roof vent!
One of my Scamp mates:  Maggie the Boston terrier.
A view of the “upstairs.”  It will soon become a bed when the table and mattress are brought in.  Today I just set up a camp stool with a metal tray and made a tiny table.  I really like how it looks!
Today I added rag strips to the curtains and made little tiebacks for them.  Those pillows are a thrift store find. . .not sure if I will keep them in the Scamp.  What do you think?
The left side of the “upstairs.”  Not sure about those pillows, either.  Or even the bear.  Hm. . .
Another view of the “living room” from the “upstairs.”  I may take a nap there very soon!
The closet next to the door with a tote I found at Pursuing Eden Vintage Sales and Rentals.  It holds a plastic bag for trash and may come in handy on trips!

That’s it!  My daughter came home tonight and came out here and asked me what I was doing out here.  Duh!  Enjoying my new retreat!  She just doesn’t get it.  Maybe after she raises a family and retires, she will.  Eh, she was preoccupied.  She told me later she loves it!  

Let me know what you think!



Meaningless Drivel Monday: We’ll leave the light on. . .

As I write this, it is almost Tuesday, but I have to share anyway.  On Saturday hubby worked hard readjusting the window air conditioner in the Scamp so that the water would flow out of the camper instead of in!  It was a thankless job.  

I helped him remove all the foam insulation we had sprayed around it previously, which is what you see covering the ground.  Then we had to push and pull the little unit around so he could figure out how to reset it.  He ended up having to cut a piece of the window frame (GASP!) and then adding some wood to the frame.

As I walked back into the house to begin dinner I looked back at the Scamp.  Daylight was disappearing, and the little string of camper lights shone through the doorway.  Looking like home.  Looking like our future little home away from home on wheels.  The sight gave me a really warm happy feeling.

I just can’t wait to get her on the road!