Once upon a time there was a dashing young sailor who was seeking out the adventurous life. He came across a fair young maiden who was in dire need of rescuing. So, he slayed many a dragon, climbed the high tower, and rescued the damsel in distress. A fairer maiden could not be found throughout the land, so the dashing young sailor took her as his bride. Together they set sail on a journey to conquer the land while raising a family. Their journey took them to parts east and south before they returned. Now, after many years have passed, they face a new journey which will take them to even the remotest parts of the land. They are much wiser now and will make this journey with a much lighter load than in the past. As you all know, they will live happily ever after. The end.
Isn't that how life is supposed to be? Two of my favorite phrases are, "Once upon a time" and "Happily ever after". I'm Darrell and will be the author of most of our travelogues; however, I will share the quill with my friend, my partner, and my bride (yes, they are all the same person) as well as with Katie and Alex, our two ragdoll katts who have a unique way of looking at RV living.
Anyway, I was born and raised in Belfast, Maine (I know, that explains a lot !!!!). Belfast was small town USA with its quintessential (always wanted to use that word) downtown. There was post office square where Saturday night dancing took place during the summer and the typical main street with all of the essential stores (grocery store, hardware store, clothing store, shoe store, drug store with a soda fountain, malt shop, bakery, and let us not forget the five and dime store). Remember those days? The side streets were lined with New England Cape style homes and most families had a car and a black and white television (no kids, that was not the color of the TV set). Ahhh, to be a baby boomer raised in the 50's and 60's - in my mind there was no better time to grow up.
After college I enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard (hence the dashing young sailor!!!). That would be the first time I resided out side of the Pine Tree state (and the travel bug was hatched). After boot camp my first assignment was at the Federal Building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. What a neat experience going from small town USA to a large city. There was so much to see and do.
Eventually I was transferred to Traverse City, Michigan (the land of the fair young maiden). The Maine boy takes a Michigan bride. We met through a mutual friend, but it wasn't until a couple of years later that we started dating (many dragons to slay first). On New Year's eve I "popped the question" to rescue the damsel - "Wilt Thou?", and she wilted! The following March we were united in holy matrimony (what a phase - I would rather say, "we got hitched!").
My hobbies are biking, canoing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, history, photography, and writing in our website. Where, oh where, did I ever find time to work? I also enjoy washing and waxing our (emphasis on our) RV and Truck, which pretty much confirms your thoughts that I am a sick person.
There once was a lass who grew up in northern Michigan. She spent her days frolicking about the cherry blossoms along the enchanted country side. Her nights were spent dreaming of the white knight in shining armour who would sweep down to rescue her. Her white knight came, but rather than shining armour he showed up in a tattered sailor's suit. He was messy as he slayed the dragons, clumbsy as he scaled the tower walls, but she thought to herself that marrying him would be like being on a permenent vacation (as she phrased it, "marrying him would be the last resort!!!). As time marched on she began to see that there was some gold in that knight and a spark was kindled in her heart. And now they live happily ever after. The end.
Traverse City is located on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. It is surrounded by the Grand Traverse Bay which is made up of the East and West Bay. This is the area that the wealthy from the Detroit and Chicago come to build their summer homes. There are also a lot of cherry farms around the Grand Traverse bay area so Traverse City is the self proclaimed Cherry Capitol of the world. Each summer (in July) the Cherry Festival is held which draws crowds from across the country. It is a week long celebration with parades, band competitions, the crowning of the Cherry Queen, and many other events. Every other year the Blue Angels put on their flight demonstration right out over the bay.
There are lots of sandy beaches all along Lake Michigan, so the summer scene for kids growing up in that area culminates around the beach. Judy, the fair skinned maiden, burns rather quickly (she's like a lobster, done in ten minutes and just as red) so that limited her beach exposure. She graduated from High School and then college while remaining in Traverse City. Her first trip out of the Wolverine State was after she wed the dashing young sailor and made a voyage to Maine to meet here new in-laws (that's another story in it self).
Judy's hobbies are beading, biking, crocheting, hiking, kayaking, quilting, and scrap booking.
After the blessed event of March 1973 (remember, we got hitched) we struck out on an adventure to conquer the land. Our journey took us to parts east and south and back again. Along the route we raised four children, three dawgs, and five katts (katts were easiest). We've lived in Michigan, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Georgia, and Michigan (Michigan keeps coming back like a bad penny). Our children are now located in four different states and we have four grand daughters and two grand sons, three in New Hampshire (Briana, Lola, and Rocco) and three in Tennessee (Catia, Kalina, and Radek). We are now residents of Texas through the Escapees RV Club. The RVing lifestyle fits us to a "T".
Another significant event that took place in our lives was accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord in April of 1975. We've had no problem accepting Him as Savior, but allowing Him to be Lord has been a challenge. It's hard to let go of one's life when you're both type A personalities. As we are "Wandering America" we would like to be about our Father's business (Luke 2:49). We'll start by working with the RV Care-A-Vanners doing Habitat for Humanity builds and add other mission opportunities to our agenda as the time moves forward.
The following is Thomas Merton's Prayer that we have adopted for ourselves. It reminds us of what life is really about and that even though we don't have all the answers there is hope in the future.
"MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. "
My name is Lady Katherine of Rose Cottage. I am a pure bred mitted seal point ragdoll katt. As you can see, I am royalty so you had better conduct yourself appropriately whenever you are in my presence. Being that that is a real long handle for such a small kitty, you may call me Katie.
My brother and I own two wonderful humanoid servants who we refer to as mom and dad, just to appease them. We feel all katts should own at least one humanoid. Being ragdolls, we love to travel and be involved in all that goes on in and around the palace. Our palace has wheels so it makes traveling easy. Ya otta see the places we go, our back yard is forever changing. We've seen mountains, prairies, rivers, streams, oceans, beaches, wheat fields, etc. What fun, this is the katt's meow - we're living the "life of Riley" (who's Riley?).
I'm Master Alexander of Rose Cottage, the youngest in this traveling ensemble. I'm a pure bred creme ragdoll katt and you may call me Alex. Katie and I are brother and sister, we have the same father but different mothers - it's a shame that no one stays together these days. I'm bigger than Katie weighing almost twenty pounds, that's a lotta puddy katt. Don't say that I'm a fat katt 'cause I'm not, I'm just a big katt. Ragdolls are big ya know!!!
I'm with Katie on this travel gig. It's neat to wake up early in the morning (someone has to get up and wake the birds), smell the coffee brewing, and watch the sun rise over a different view each new day. Riding can get boring, but the eventual rewards are worth it. Later on we will tell you about some of our travels, if you're real good; so be good now and quit pestering the katt!!!