A place to keep up with the Consford family of San Augustine, Texas.

Our Lord has been so good to us.

Proverbs 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."

May 27, 2010

You're wrong

Laura took the kids to Hot Springs to visit with her family.  Joe had to stay home and work.  It was a rare occasion that Buster was sick in bed.  Joe needed to cover the inspections for both of them. 

Danny and Laura were arguing the other day and Grandpa Van Mannen stopped them.  He said, "Danny, you need to tell your mom something. Tell her, 'I'm wrong and you're right!'" Danny looked at Laura and then pointed at her and said, "Mom, you're right..." Then he pointed at Grandpa and said, "... and he's wrong!" :-)

May 11, 2010

Decisions that make all the difference

Graduation from High School is a step into the world.  A major step in each of our lives.  I can remember that I did not know which way to go.  I didn't want to go to a state college, or go to work, or stay home.  What wonderful parents I have. 

They knew that I would need a little encouragement to make a step. They sent me to visit with my Grandmother in California.  It was truly a road less traveled and made all the difference. 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

It is time to sigh -
It is ages and ages since I took the road less traveled.
It is time to put the story down for my children to remember for ages hence.

After graduating from Gen. William Mitchell High School, Colorado Springs, Colorado in May of 1969, I had no real plans for the future.  I had no idea what I would like to do.  College didn't seem the right option for me because I didn't know what I would like to do for a career.  I really didn't want to go find a job because I was such a scaredy-cat about meeting new people.  I did want to go to the big Southern Baptist Girl's camp for two weeks in Glorieta, New Mexico.  I used my graduation money for that trip.  After camp, I still didn't know what to do.  My parents thought that going to see my Grandmother, Orine Endean, in California would be a good place to start.  My Grandfather had died a few months before and she didn't know what she wanted to do either.  Gram cared for her daughter, Jeanette, that was mongoloid.  Jeanette was in her thirties, but Gram had always included her in all the family plans.  What should they be doing now?  It seemed we were two lost souls at a cross-road in our lives.

Mom and Dad purchased an airplane ticket to Los Angeles and gave me $10.00 for the trip.  It was so exciting to be off by myself.  The flight was very turbulent.  In fact, it was the roughest trip of all my flights since.  My Gram and her sister, Aunt Ruby, met me at the airport.  We went to San Diego, Los Angeles, on to Sacramento, and back to her house in San Simeon.  It was a beautiful trip.  I hadn't met this part of my family before. 

After a little while at Gram's house, she decided to plan a trip to drive across America.  She had a camp trailer and an International Harvester Suburban.  She knew how to hook up the trailer and all of that, but she didn't know how to back the thing up.  Her philosophy in life was, "Don't look back, go on."  Her philosophy seemed to fit the trip she planned.  Her friend, Fern, wanted to go with her. 

The rough plan was to leave San Simeon, go to Sacramento, then to Michigan, Niagara Falls, New York City, Washington D.C., Savannah, Florida Keys, on to Carlsbad Caverns, and back to Los Angeles.  What an ambitious trip.  Gram thought it would take us at least six weeks to do all of the plan.  Fern would help with the gas and we would eat in the camper most of the time.  As long as we would always go forward we would be fine!

The first part of the trip would be to go to Sacramento to leave Aunt Jeanette with Aunt JoAn.  Jeanette liked staying with her.  After getting Jeanette all settled we went on to Colorado Springs.  We stopped in Reno to see the sites.  Gram wanted to show me the slot machines and what all Reno looked like.  Fern and Gram played the slot machines, we ate in the casino, and drove down the strip.  It was an experience and a rest from the riding.  The bright lights and fancy city didn't impress me very much.  We all had a good laugh and went on our way. 

Utah was amazing to me.  The salt flats were unbelievable.  We drove through Salt Lake City, saw the Mormon Tabernacle, and enjoyed looking at the city.  What a wonderful and diverse country we live in!

The Rockies are my favorite part of the country.  We lived in Colorado Springs for the last two years.  Mom and Dad loved fishing, camping, and enjoying the scenery there.  When we arrived home I was shocked to learn that Mom had boxed up my room already and moved one of my brothers into my room.  Goodness, I had only been gone for a couple of weeks so far.  Mom got a good chuckle about it, but I still didn't have a room.  Fern thought that I would stay home and not go on to the rest of the trip from there.  Gram wasn't sure if I should go with them.  Mom and Gram talked about it and decided that I should go with them.  Hurrah!  I could go.

We headed toward Michigan.  Fern had family there and had not seen them in years.  It was beautiful.  We stayed all night at gas stations along the way.  Once in awhile we would park at road side rests, but usually we watched for all night gas stations. Gram figured that we would have guards if we needed them.  She would take to the people at the gas stations and ask if it would be fine with them.  No one ever told her NO!

When we were getting close to where Fern's family lived Fern took over giving directions.  She said she knew exactly where she was going.  She could picture it in her mind. We found the road she wanted to go down.  People were outside in the yard and watched us go by.  They did have funny looks on their faces, but we couldn't figure it out until the road was a dead end.  A freeway had been built across the road.  We needed to be on the other side.  What a dilemma! It was a very narrow road with no shoulders.  How to get out??  We couldn't back up.  I got so tickled that I couldn't quit laughing.  Gram finally jack-knifed the trailer.  We got out and unhooked the trailer.  Gram moved the car so that it would be headed in the right direction.  Then we turned the trailer around by hand and hooked up again.  I was still laughing uncontrollably when we all piled back into the vehicle.   Two old ladies, a kid, and a poodle.  I am sure we made quite the site.

Fern's family had a cabin in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  We went there for a day or two.  We loved the family and visit.  Our next stop to visit would be Niagara Falls.  We drove through Ontario to Niagara Falls. 

While we were traveling we stopped at a National Forest Camp ground in Michigan.  The park Rangers were so nice.  They helped us park in the spot that they had chosen for us.  They also took time to help Gram learn to back up the trailer.  Not many people were at the park at that time.  Gram practiced and practiced pulling forward and backing up until she was quite good at it.  The Rangers thought that Gram's philosophy about going forward was nice, but not very practical.

I'll continue adding more to this as I have time.

May 5, 2010

Snakes alive!

Last week my husband, Buster, moved the trash can to open the shed door.  (See the picture behind my right shoulder.)  He did not look down, but stepped into the shed to get the chicken feed for feeding time.  He went in and out the door two times before he noticed a coiled snake at the threshold just outside the shed.  He jumped, ran to get the shovel, and killed the snake before he had time to breath.  The snake was a Cotton-mouthed water moccasin.  We made sure the grandkids would be watching for snakes.