Come with me and dive into a new ocean! There's lots to see on our journey, and LOTS to learn.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lady Traveler's memories of Turkey and Sweden

Lady Traveler's memories of Sweden and Turkey
Dinner with my Swedish girlfriends 2008

There is much talk about the world's refugees,
which often takes me back to our journey
to Sweden and Turkey in the fall of 2008.
Rob and I have many fond memories of our 3-week trip.
It's hard to believe that it has been 9 years.

First, we flew to Sweden.
I was honored to be asked by my Swedish friend, Helene,
to speak to a group of Kurdish refugee women from Turkey.
The lovely dark-skinned women lit up the small room.
They were covered.  They were timid.  They were kind.
We gathered around a long table where they served the most delicious 
Kurdish dishes in my honor.
I usually can't eat before speaking (its called nerves),
but I made an exception.

Then it was time for me to share what God had placed on my heart.
At first it felt strange to once again be speaking with an interpreter,
but soon we were flowing together like old friends.

Afterwards, I offered to pray with those who wanted prayer.
Every woman waited patiently as I spent time
holding their hands and praying for them.
We hugged, then ate delicious desserts.
Believe me, I was the one who was blessed that day.
I thank Helene for the opportunity to spend time
with these refugees that needed a safe place to live.
To this day, the women and their families are not able to return to Turkey
due to the political atmosphere.
(no photos available)

A week later Rob and I took another leap of faith.
We flew to Istanbul with a small team of three Swedes.
Planes, trains, buses, and a lot of walking in a city filled with thousands of people.
Bus lines were blocks long.  How did they get to work on time? I wondered.
So many people.  Strangers to me, but not to God.
He sent us to minister to a handful of Armenian refugees who had begun a Christian work in the city.
Leaders that needed encouragement, love, and prayer.
That's the least we could do for these brave, courageous men and women.


In the flat of some leaders of a local Christian church in Istanbul
Praying for people after an evening service.
Pastor and family after Sunday church service
(Rob preached that morning and we prayed for congregation)

Istanbul, Turkey 2008

We met in the small flats in the city and in local churches.
We saw the famous sites of this beautiful city,
but it was the beautiful people who left the most profound memories.
Their courage to obey the call of God on their lives,
no matter what the cost.
They will stay close to my heart forever.

Wherever I travel, near or far,
I am always knitted closely together with my Christian brothers and sisters.

Let us not forget those who have fled their land in search of a
safe haven until they are able to once again return to their safe home.


Now, I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that you speak the same thing,
and that there e no divisions among you;
but that you be perfectly joined together  in the same mind,
and in the same judgement.
I Corinthians 1:10

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lady Traveler, on the road to Alabama and Florida ~ Part 1

One of my many birthday roses for my 71st birthday.
Brunch at Cracker Barrel with grandson in Montgomery, Alabama 
Sunset over Freightliner parking lot, Atlanta, GA

I'm blogging on the road.
We stayed two nights at the Freightliner shop.
"Check Engine" light kept flashing so we thought we should check it out.
Moon River needed a new part and we went ahead and
had the oil changed, etc.

Now we are spending 3 nights in a church parking lot
while Rob attends a two-day training session with the
CIA
Christ-In-Action,
a first-response organization that we are proud to be part of.
This is a friendly reminder that it is never too old
to be used of God in big and small ways.
So stay healthy, wealthy, and wise.

On the road, or at home, I find time to write, edit, and revise my book,
Lady on the Run
so I can get it published
in the near future.
Boy, I sure could use an editor, real soon.

I wish you oceans of travel blessings.
Stay safe, wherever you may go ... down the road, to the store,
or next door to visit your neighbor.
Someone could really use your smile.

Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life ....

Psalm 23:6
www.sharonleaf.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lady Traveler, the Almost-famous Author, takes on Idols, and such.

"Lady Traveler takes on Idols, and such"


Backyard pond

Life is what we are alive to.
It is not length but breadth...
Be alive to goodness, kindness, purity, love, history, poetry, flowers, stars,
God, and eternal hope.


This afternoon as I was sitting on my sun deck, 
watching the clouds roll by and the trees dancing in the wind, 
I was at peace with the world before we head to Alabama and Florida next week.
But how can I be at peace after watching the morning news? 
The world seems to be falling apart around me.

God assured me that it wasn't.
However, there are millions of people falling apart.
And there are reasons.  Some logical.  Some not.
And that is my concern.  
disclaimer:  this is not a political blog.
I'm a smart, but simple person.
Mistakes, I've made a few (thousand).  
Thankfully, I've had enough common sense to get me through these past 
seventy-one years.

That's it!
I'm pondering all of these thoughts because I'm not a young chick anymore.
Time is flying!
So these thoughts are coming to me from the right and from the left.
(no pun intended)
Don't worry, I'm not going to share them all.  Not today.
And I'm not going to preach to you.  Not today.

All of these award shows...SAG Awards...Grammy Awards (tonight)...Oscar Awards.
I believe in awards, I watch them, but puleeeez!
Then there's the Super Bowl.  And the super models.  
And the politicians.  Right and left.  Good and bad.
I bet you can name a few too.

Millions of people, some who don't even realize it, worship the above as their gods. 
We (I include myself because I adored Elvis...still do) place them high upon pedestals and 
choose to believe whatever they tell us.  
We don't need to think for ourselves.  Let the gods do it for us.

But why?
  
Okay, I don't want to get too carried away on this lovely day 
but it popped into my head as a little bird flew by, what might be the reason.

God created us to worship.
Worship is part of our DNA.  
Trouble is, we worship the wrong gods.
He created us to worship Him, the true and living God.  
Our carnal nature, our flesh, wants to worship man.  
Our spirit man* is created to worship God
(okay, I better include *woman or else I'll get lots of hate mail from my fellow sisterhood, 
and that's the last thing I need in my golden years)

Since God didn't create us to be robots, 
we have a choice of who we choose to worship.
Lady Ga-Ga, Meryl Streep, Tom Brady. Elvis.
The Almost-famous Author (sorry, I couldn't resist)

I don't know about you, but I choose to go to Jesus with my problems, 
and other personal matters.  
I stay close to Him, listen to Him, and worship Him
because there is way too much foolishness going on in the world 
that can cause me confusion and stress,
which I definitely do not need in my golden years!

Lady Traveler, the Almost-famous Author
on the road in her Golden Years.
stress-free, somewhere in Zion, Utah
California Trip 2017
I'll close with this simple scripture.
I pray that you will make the right decisions in your life that will
 bring you a good and joyful life.


See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. 
In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, 
to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, 
that thou may live and multiply: 
and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goes to possess it.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16

I wish you oceans of wise decisions for the coming year!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lady Traveler celebrates 71st birthday -- traveling!

Lady Traveler celebrates 71st birthday...traveling!

Winter deco lingers at my house through January
"Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday, dear Sharon,
Happy Birthday to me."
And many more....
Yum!
Christmas is past,
so winter rings in my birthday with a shout,
"Another year older!"
Actually, I'm one of those gals who don't mind getting older.
It's better than the alternative.
(you've heard that famous saying many times, I'm sure)
When people ask what my secret is to a sassy senior life, I whisper,
"I won't let that old lady in."

One of my favorite Christmas gifts:
You know me and my coffee.
We've walked hand in hand through life for 55 years. 

My 70th year was one of my favorites.
In a nutshell:
I celebrated early with both my son and daughter here to 'party-down' with me.
Summer of 2015, early 70th birthday celebration with Shawn and Jacquie
Boating on Lake Murray, karaoke night, and lots of cafe hopping.
Then in January 2016 Rob and I took a leap and bought a beautiful
American Tradition motor home.
Our motor home, Moon River
(ornament: gift from daughter Carrie)
 We hit the road to Hunting Island, SC, then to Dreher Island.
In February I met some wonderful ladies when I spoke at a women's brunch.
In April I went to the hospital and came home with a bionic knee (replacement).
Since May we have traveled through 22 states, at last count.
Okay, as I'm writing this, I can see that this is going to be more than a nutshell,
so you'll just have to read my previous blogs of 2016 for more details.
I love campfires!
As I write, I'm back here at Dreher Island for twelve days,
enjoying God's beautiful creation,
Writing. Remembering. and Hoping.
Writing:  blogs, 'thank you's' to birthday wishers, and my book, LADY on the RUN.
Remembering:  the wonderful memories of my 70th year gone by.
Hoping: for a better tomorrow, a brighter future.
Hoping: to do my small part to make America great again, hand in hand,
with all my fellow Americans.

Rob and I are in the process of planning my 71st year.
Lots of traveling involved.
Places to see.  People to meet.
I hope you are part of my journey.
You can follow me on my Facebook page and my blog.
Or just hop in Moon River with us and travel to places unknown!

I wish you oceans of 2017 blessings!

Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lady Traveler ~ No place like home for Christmas


Lady Traveler is home for the holydays!

Christmas in our first home in Fort Mill, SC 2006
The mural painting was in the house when we bought it.
The canal reminded us of when we lived in Uppsala, Sweden in 1991-92
so I kept it and created a little cafe where the Le aRtist's Studio met each month. 

There's no place like home for the holidays,
No matter how far away you roam...
Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la la!

On the other hand...
For a few moments while we were on the road
traveling cross country in Moon River, our 40-foot motor home,
the thought came to me,
I could do this...full-time.
Everyone is so busy at home...
No one would miss me.

Everywhere Moon River took us,
the wide open roads seemed to be 
beckoning me,
from Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri
across I-70 through Kansas and Colorado.
Even on the I-15 from Utah to California,
the desert, the hills, the blue Pacific
I heard them calling...
Come, stay with us.

Like my Daddy, I have a spirit of wanderlust.
I'm a happy wanderer.
A gilded gypsy.
A vagabond.
A sojourner.
I've traveled the USA by bus, bike, train, plane, car and RV

HOWEVER, like my sweet southern Mama,
I'm a homebody.
I love to nest.
I adore my little treasures
from around the world.
Russia, Siberia. Latvia. Estonia.
Turkey. Greece.
Sweden. Norway. Finland.
England. France. 
Israel.
There are more countries but I can't seem to remember.
That's what treasures are for, 
to remind us of those places where we first saw them, brought them home, and 
found a special place for each one.
I beLeaf in your dreams and they will come true.
Believe.
Some day I will have to part with these treasures, but not today.
And the highways and byways will have to wait.
Because for now, I'm singing ...

There's no place like home for the holydays,
where
family and friends gather
to celebrate
the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No matter what you believe,
I wish you oceans of holyday blessings!


And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son,
and thou shall call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people
from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

and He still does.


Reminder:  For the reader on your Christmas List:
Lady on the Sea is available on my website:




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lady Travels across America ~ From Sea to Shining Sea

November in Florida
Florida Keys

Though I have seen the oceans and mountains,
though I have read great books and seen great works of art...
there is nothing greater or more beautiful than those people I love


I'm taking an 'intermission' from blogging about our 
6,000-mile California Journey
to write about the most important part of our trip.

Sixteen states.
Six thousand miles,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
Two months of the mountains of Tennessee, Colorado.
The Kentucky lakes,
The plains of Kansas.
The deserts of
Utah, Nevada
and parts of California.
The blue Pacific in southern California.
Each state breathtaking and
gloriously majestic,
unique in their own way.

With that said,
the most rewarding part of our journey
was sixteen states filled with beautiful people
from all walks of life.
Retired professors, doctors,
firemen, policemen,
truck drivers, electricians,
military men and women of all ranks,
from privates to generals.
black, white, hispanic, asian.
We chatted about our families,
our travels, our future,
and our country's future.
Without fail, with no one knowing one another's political background,
everyone agreed that our country needs change, 
someone who will bring jobs back to the USA, 
who will protect us against our enemies, against terrorists,
on and on. 
We have a country full of people who know what they are talking about,
not just rattling on about what the news media tells them,
but citizens who have done their research, their homework.

Morning walk with Popcorn in the Florida Keys

We arrived in the Florida Keys on November 6th,
and we heard the same words from these 
great people from different backgrounds.

My new Florida Keys friends
One week ago, November 8th, we had an election
and the majority voted for president-elect Donald Trump.
Now it is our duty to pray and hope that he will be the best choice for our country.
We need to come together with respect and kindness for each other,
to work together,
whether we agree or not.
That is our privilege in this country.

May the Lord make your love for one another
and for all people grow and overflow,
just as our love for you overflows.
I Thessalonians 3:12


I wish you oceans of great days ahead!





Monday, October 24, 2016

Lady travels across America, one state at a time, Part 5

Lady Traveler in Surf City

Huntington Beach ... Surf City ... Sunny Southern California
Life is what we are alive to.
It is not length but breadth ...
be alive to ... 
goodness, kindness, purity, love,
history, poetry, music, flowers, stars, 
God, and eternal hope.

I'm sitting outside our motor home, Moon River,
in a lovely RV campground,
listening to the birds ...
No.
Listening to the thunder of traffic off of the I-35W
at the I-35 RV campground in Waco, Texas.
We've been in many RV campgrounds on this journey,
but this is the loudest, due to the constant roar of the nearby traffic.
I don't mind sound at all.
Nearby trains and their horns blowing at traffic crossings is soothing to my soul.
Laughter of children and their parents makes me smile.
But this campground takes the gold star for traffic noise.
Otherwise, its a nice place. So I shall stop complaining.

Now I must go back a few days,
or has it been a few weeks?
I've lost track of time.
We're on Day 59 of our journey,
but let me go back to Day 36.

We left Hurricane and Zion, Utah
and stayed the first night out at the Walmart Casino in Mesquite Nevada.
 Day 37 and 38 we stayed in Hesperia, CA
at Desert Willow RV. Clean. Lovely pool. Sun. Yum.
We had Mexican brunch on Sunday with my niece, Christy, and hubby Todd.

My high school buddies. Lunch and Laughter. Friends forever.
Huntington Beach CA
Day 39: we arrived in Surf City!
I'm a beach bum again! 
RV-ing right on the parking lot next to the HB pier.
The days that followed were filled with
sunshine, silliness, eating at Simmzy's in Pacific City
overlooking the blue Pacific.
Friends galore. 
I'm so blessed to have them all in my life.
Rob agrees.
Just a sample.
Food galore.
Rob totally agrees!
Happy to be at our old stomping grounds.
The Sugar Shack.  Ruby's on the pier. Avilla's on Main.
Chronic Tacos. Surf Taco.

Salty air. Afternoon breezes. Friendly faces.
But ten days later, 
it was time to hit the road.
Good-bye Surf City.
See you next time. Friends. Family.

Morning coffee. Now it's time to hit the road.

Next blog:
Arizona, New Mexico, Texas.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lady travels across America one state at at time, Part 4

Lady Traveler's Book Shop on Wheels

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality,
and instead of thinking how things may be,
to see them as they are.


I'm back.
Finally.
I find it hard to write while traveling.
There is so much to take in.
By nightfall, when we settle in for the night,
I'm quite tired.
All I want to do is shower
and climb into my comfy queen bed
with Robinski and Popcorn.

We were happy to arrive in Hurricane, the foot of Zion.
For many reasons.
To visit my brother, John, and his wife Ger.
To meet up with the ACA Rally at the Zion Resort in Virgin.
And to find out what is wrong with our air conditioner #1.
Main Street Cafe, Hurricane, Utah
the best little cafe in town!
One of my first stops for breakfast is the Main Street Cafe,
the place where I used to come when I visited my Daddy 
when he was in the local assisted living home.

Outdoor breakfast on a sunny morning with brother John and sis Ger
Family morning breakfast
Brother John, me, Rob, Xyla, and son Jason

Although I've been here many times,
Zion's majestic beauty still captivates me.
Always will.
His mercies are new every morning.
Hiking trails.  Waterfalls.  Rock climbing.  Biking.
Cute shops.  Delicious cuisine.
 Zion has it all.


My next blog will take you to our west coast destination:
Huntington Beach, California

Blessed are those who have not seen
and yet have believed.
John 20:29

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lady travels across America one state at a time Part 3

Happy!
Canyonlands, Moab Utah
For those of you who follow my Facebook page,
you get a day-by-day peek
at our journey across America,
one state at a time.
More details and more pictures.
Otherwise, you have to settle for my
quickie blogs, so here goes.

We're so happy to be in Utah.
this is our first time to visit Moab, Utah
and we're so glad we did.
Millions of years of history can be seen here.
Our first day was spent in Canyonlands.
Canyonlands in Moab Utah
Beauty beyond words.
Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point
Colorado River 2,000 feet below

Dead Horst Point
Colorado River
This is my favorite place in Moab.
I could have stayed most of the day.

Yes, we did eat.
Rob got his first Mexican dinner, 
but not his last I'm sure.
Fiesta Mexicana, Moab Utah

And we ate healthy too!
Peace Tree Health Food Cafe
Moab Utah

I highly recommend both restaurants, 
plus many more that the town of Moab offers.
We ate el fresca at all of these restaurants.
Eddie McStiff's
Pyro and pizza.


Moon over Moab

Too many pictures to post.
When you travel,
remember to cherish each moment,
and when 'hiccups' come along
(like an air conditioner going kaput)
you take a deep breath, pray,
and know that everything will be okay.

Next blog:
Zion, Utah!

Happy trails to you
until we meet again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lady travels across America, one state at a time. Part 2

KOA Route 66, Springfield, MO
with son Shawn, Bass Pro Photographer

Go forth seeking adventure.
Open your eyes, your ears,
your mind, your heart,
your spirit,
and you'll find adventure everywhere.

Day 1: Rob and I pulled out of our driveway
on Saturday, August 27th.
Today is ... lets see ...
...what day is it?
You see, when you travel,
you have a habit of losing track of time.
Which is kind of nice,
as long as you remember to pay the bills on time.
I write this on Friday, September 16th,
Day 22 of our journey from
South Carolina to
Southern California.
Oh, the beautiful sights we have seen
along the way.
From the hills of Tennessee,
to the plains of Kansas...
Farewell Kansas. I love your simple beauty.
Thank you for giving us corn and other fine products.
Besides Dorothy and Toto, I don't know anyone else who lives in Kansas.
...to the Rockie Mountains of Colorado.
It's almost too much for the human senses to handle
in such a short time.
But I'm doing my best.
My new friend in Aspen CO
Many ask me,
How is life on the road?
I answer,
It is so freeing!
Less clothing, less kitchen ware,
less everything.
And I haven't missed anything, yet.
The Summit in the Rockies, CO
There are challenges, 
similar to those at home.
For example,
our front air conditioner went kaput
right after we departed
Springfield, Missouri.
I had my first experience with ANTS
in Colorado, of all places.
(a few traveled with us to Utah
but they are slowly dwindling)

But I choose not to complain.
After all, I remember when we traveled for a month through Siberia in 1992
on the former Youth Communist Propaganda train
with no air conditioning, and we fought man-eating mosquitos.
And what about when we volunteered on the 
WW2 ship Restoration for 14 months in 1994-95
and traveled the seven seas and a few oceans 
without air conditioning and fought varments from rats to bugs of all species.
So how can I complain?
The Summit, Colorado
September 2016
The weather has been almost perfect.
We had a few hours of rain upon entering Springfield, Missouri
so we took the wrong turnoff due to the downpour and to my 
iPhone's wrong directions.
It took us 45 minutes to finally find the KOA that
was only 12 minutes away!
What stresses me the most?
When my iPhone and our RV GPS
gives us different directions and we must
decide quickly which direction to take.
Rob: "Should I turn?"
Me:  "I don't know."
"Why don't you know?"
Ugh!
And so it goes.
We laugh later, but it's quite stressful when its pouring and
you're not familiar with the area.

Here are a few photos of our journey thus far.
Gorgeous scenery. Delicious food,
Good sleep.  Meeting new friends.
Next state, next blog: UTAH!
"Rocky Mountain HIGH, Colorado!"
John Denver Sanctuary
I stumbled upon an artist colony in Redstone, a
small town north of Glenwood Springs,
not too far from Aspen.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2