On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lady travels across America, one state at a time ... Part 1

California, we're coming ... after we stop in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah!
My bionic knee is well enough,
so I'm taking my E-ped bike to California!
August 2016
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.


Happy September!

Let me begin by reminding you that
my iMac went kaput,
so there won't be many recent pictures on this blog.
But I'm still in good working order so
I shall write on Rob's laptop.

Finally, the day has arrived and we 
have hit the road to California.
We spent the first night at 
The Walmart Resort
in Cookville, Tennessee.
Such entertainment at that place!

Sunset at Kentucky Lake
Day two we arrived at the KOA 
Kentucky Lake campground.
Oh, so beautiful and peaceful.
AND a large swimming pool
all to myself.
I've already swam twice 
(my bionic knee is rejoicing!)
and I'm getting ready to trek over in about an hour.
Poolside at Kentucky Lake campground
We will head for Springfield, MO tomorrow
where we'll spend a week visiting
with our son, Shawn,
and his beautiful wife of 20 years,
Frances Watson,
journalist and anchor for
ABC news, Springfield MO.
Yes, we are very proud of her.

This is a short blog.
Don't sound so happy.
I shall return,
and hopefully I can figure out 
how to post the pictures from my iPhone.

Until next time ...

Light is sweet and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However, many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lady Traveler heads to California!

Lake Murray, SC 2016


I have good news and bad news.
Bad news:  my iMac computer went kaput!
Lost everything.  Ugh!
But I choose not to dwell on it. I'm writing on Rob's nice laptop
So I shall survive.
California, here I come!
Right back where I started from!

Good news:  I passed my written driver's license grade F test yesterday.
That means that I have a temporary license to drive a truck.
Or better yet, our forty-foot RV, Moon River.
Rob is so proud of me.
I'm proud of me.
Now I'm ready to hit the road to California next week!

There is beautiful country to see.
I'm hoping to show plenty of photos to you.
I don't consider myself a bonafide travel writer.
I can't keep my mind on one specific topic.
I just write what I'm feeling at the moment.
Famous authors tell the young aspiring writers,
Write what you know.
That's what I do.
Sweet thoughts after my knee replacement surgery
from family and friends.  Love you all!

I want to encourage those of you who are going through
challenging times with your health.
After going through my knee replacement surgery,
I feel more pain for those who are going through an illness.
My knee is still swollen and painful,
but nothing to compare with family and friends
who are fighting cancer
and other so-called non-curable diseases.
My prayers are with you.

I'm not one to write about politics and religion.
They are both so misunderstood.
I don't talk about politics and religion
unless asked
because no one really cares.
Most people on both sides are so unbent on
their beliefs that it is a waste of my time.
But I will always take time to talk to
the person who has lost their way
and who is looking for truth.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus

He's my favorite topic
because He has changed my life.
Still is.
He makes life worth living.
He is simple.
Straightforward.
And fun.

I wish you oceans of truth from the truthful one...Jesus.

www.sharonleaf.com



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lady Traveler Fever

Lake Michigan @ Silver Lake Park sand dunes 2016

Anything, everything, little or big
becomes an adventure
when the right person shares it.

I'm sitting in my living room, sipping water and taking my morning vitamins,
daydreaming of our past road trips, 
and planning for our next big road trip to California.
Rob walks in from our screened porch and notices that familiar look on my face.
"Where are you now? Here? Myrtle Beach? Lake Michigan? California?"
"All of the above. I feel that vagabond spirit coming over me."
"And I can see it. I have an idea.
Why don't we go to Dreyer Island next week for a few days?"
Yes!

Upon returning home a few weeks ago, we decided to stay home for the summer.
The decision sounded good at the moment.
Traveling in our home-on-wheels three weeks after my knee replacement surgery
was the perfect Physical Therapy for me.
But now, the thought of lounging around our home for two months,
sitting in our screened porch in the evenings 
while thunder storms surround us.
Ahh, nothing could be finah
than to be in Carolina...

Daydreaming in Springfield, Missouri 2015
Shawn Watson Photography

That lasted until mid-July.
Hot July. Hotter August on the way.

Now we shall pack a few items,
and off we'll go,
just an hour north on Lake Murray,
to Dreyer Island.

Everywhere I go people say to me,
"I wish I could travel like you."
Last week at a writers conference
I met a woman face-to-face that 
friended me on Facebook.
Smiling, she told me,
"When I grow up I want to be just like you."
Smiling, I simply answered,
"We never know where our journey will take us.
We must learn to be happy right where we are.
We must be happy with who we are.
Then we can enjoy our journey
wherever it takes us."

Dreaming of Myrtle Beach, SC
God has given each of us a unique journey.
Through good times and challenges
your journey will change you, and will influence those around you,
even those you have never met face-to-face.

Always take a moment to encourage those who seem lost,
or someone who just might need a hug.

Now Popcorn must take me for my morning walk,
which is part of my PT.

I wish you oceans of cool summer blessings!

Share each other's burdens,
and in this way
obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lady Leaf is Traveling the USA to Lake Michigan and Other Delightful Destinations, Part 2

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lighthouse at Silver Lake, Michigan
Before leaving Decatur, Indiana, our new 'rally friends' suggested that,
instead of heading east to West Virginia as we had planned,
we should travel north to Lake Michigan.
Rob looked at me, and I asked,
"Why not?"

So away we go!
Lake Michigan, here we come,
crossing yet another state line
--Indiana to Michigan--
The countryside is beautiful,
green farmland as far as these eyes can see.
I'm so glad to be traveling through
this part of the USA for the first time.

The driving has been easy on the highways and interstates
for our 40-foot RV plus towing our Ford Escape.
There have been a few areas where
'road work in progress' has caused lanes to narrow.
That is when we take a deep breath, slow down, and look straight ahead.
This procedure has worked every time.

We arrive at Silver Lake State Park in late afternoon,
get settled, admire the large sand dunes,
then drive over to the lighthouse near sunset.
Hungry? Yes.
And we love to try new places along the way.

Typical Mom and Pop place. I enjoyed a Monte Cristo Sandwich and freshly brewed coffee.
But we also enjoy eating at home in our home-on-wheels.
Breakfast almost ready
The next day we drove our Escape north to several towns,
including Manistee Beach and a nearby charming Victorian village.
Manistee Beach, near Lake Michigan
Meanwhile, back at the campsite:
Popcorn is a real trooper
Popcorn: "Can I go for a boat ride too?"
Several nights later, a fierce thunderstorm and heavy winds
came off Lake Michigan.
The tenters broke camp; we were planning on leaving anyway.
When traveling, you never know what the weather is going to bring.
Sun, clouds, rain, hail, tornados, hurricanes, flooding ...
That's where your trust in the Lord comes in,
and continuous watching of local weather reports.
After the storm, fog rolling in from Lake Michigan.
Time to go.
On the road again ...
Heading to Wheeling, West Virginia via the Ohio Turnpike.
(Total cost: $25.00)
We stayed the night ... yes, at a Super Walmart in Macedonia, OH,
a Cleveland suburb.
More shopping and people watching.

The next day we crossed the border to West Virginia,
arriving at our destination, Wheeling, WV.
As planned, we stayed in the RV section of the beautiful Cabela's.
My Robinski in Cabela's, Wheeling, West Virginia
Eight years ago after moving from southern California to South Carolina,
I worked for Books-A-Million.
Did I tell you that I had always wanted to work in a book store?
I traveled here with an awesome gal, Jacqui Lee.
Part of her job description is opening new BAM's across the country
and I was honored to travel with her on several trips.
Our nicknames were Thelma and Louise (smile).
Since I had never been to these northern states,
I was thrilled to either fly or drive
to these various cities.
"I want to bring Rob to Wheeling some day," I said to Jacqui.
God heard,
So here we are, eight years later, in Wheeling.
Boy, has this town grown!
Many stores now surround Books-A-Million.
Me standing in front of BAM in Wheeling, WV 2016
Later, Rob and I drove downtown for dinner at the restaurant where
Jacqui and I ate eight years ago.
Nice memories. Now, new memories.

Wheeling Artisan Center and Restaurant
Me and my cane
Every leg of a road trip is exciting for me for many reasons.
New state.  New scenery.  New people.  New experiences.

After departing Wheeling and staying at our last
Super Walmart of this trip in Mount Airy--home of Mayberry,
we glamped at Tanglewood Park for a few days, near Winston-Salem, NC.
We stayed here last month on our way home from Myrtle Beach, SC and
we wanted to stop here again to visit our daughter, Carrie.
Like I said, traveling is all about the people you meet along the way.
Relaxing at Tanglewood Park before daughter Carrie arrives
I love beauty.
Beauty comes in different packages.
Scenery.  Fabrics.  Art. Animals.  Music.  People.
I try to look for the beauty in all things, big and small.
My greatest beauty is my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
My second greatest beauty is the love of my family and friends.
Everything else falls into place.

This has been a long blog but I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures of
Lady Traveler, the 70-year-old almost-famous author.

Here's wishing you oceans of summer traveling blessings, whether near or far.

I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for 
Your truth and Your wisdom.
Psalm 119:45  the Message