This is the final Five Minute Friday for 2018. What are your thoughts as the year ends?








Twice a year I’m torn at Christmas time. Presently we are in Texas for a month’s stay during college break. Why Texas when most of our children are at home in Upstate New York?

I know this now… a dilemma in which other parents find themselves… grown children move away from home. I’ve heard of it often and suffered a pang of sadness, and a bit of anxiety—this could happen to us.

And then it happened to us.

I can’t have my cake and eat it too, I think. I can’t be with all of them at Christmas, and for the moment, we are making an uncomfortable trade-off. Enjoying sun and warmth away from cold and gloomy winter in New York.

Ft. Martin Scott

As I was packing for the trip, my heart was ready to be in Texas, while torn to stay home. Visiting one family means leaving five others, and the familiar places, and sights of snow and cold that I am used to.

In my heart, my children are all with me. Having forgotten the pain of childbirth, but not the bond. I am a visual person. I need to see them, hug them, hear them speak.

Though we do not see the body of Christ, he is here with us in spirit. Our deepest longings are not satisfied with anything but Him. It is the crux of our being. It is how we were created.

Mid-January we will travel back home and the heart will be torn again by separation. Nothing will do to solve this but one day we will reach the heavenly home. Separation will be no more and our longing will be complete.

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

― Saint Patrick

A merry Christmas to you all, and a blessed New Year!



Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg, Texas


It is hard to describe a huge rock-like mountain out in the middle of country roads on your way to Fredericksburg, Texas. It looks far away, it looks small…until you stand at the bottom of the Enchanted Rock and look up at the ant-like people at the top.


The park ranger gave us a colorful map and told us it would take 30-40 minutes to reach the top. We headed to the sign that read Summit Trail. The map reads 0.67 miles…you kidding? It seemed like such a short trail, but it’s UPHILL.


The Umpire spotted a roadrunner off to the left before we started our climb. In the photo I have circled the iconic bird because he fits so well in the landscape.




Just to give you a bit of perspective. This is me close up.
This is me far away.

After we wandered around on the summit for a while, we hiked down to the right to another connecting huge rock-mountain called Little Rock. But it is really not so little…




I ran out of water before we came down. I notice this happens when I am out West. I love the drier heat, which doesn’t seem so hot. It doesn’t sap your energy like the humid summer days back home.

After a power bar and more water, we then headed to the town of Fredericksburg for lunch. When we came to the stoplight we saw the Pioneer Village and asked for some information. After a decent lunch, on our way back to the Pioneer Village, we found the Vereins Kirche, (Social Church) and stepped inside. It contained history of the early days Fredericksburg.



The Pioneer Museum has a main building for information, postcards, books and gifts. There are nine buildings to walk through on the self-guided tour, and in each one there is an audio recording that plays when you enter. Some voices are the voices of people who actually lived in or used those buildings.


The German fachwerk framing.



Sunday House

There were some places we missed because we ran out of time. On our way out of town, we passed by the Texas Rangers Heritage Center, LBJ National Park, Fort Martin Scott and the National Museum of the Pacific War. The Wildseed Farm with 200 acres of flowers was in the opposite direction, but it is one place I would love to see in the spring.

As we plan our winter trip for next year, we intend to venture out to other places, but I’m fairly sure we will be heading back to Fredericksburg!

Finally—if you are driving down the highways in Texas, you might see these signs:
Drive Now, You Talk, You Text, You Crash

You Drink, You Drive, You Go To Jail

Don’t Mess with Texas! Don’t litter, Up to $2,000 fine

Now you may understand the quote…don’t mess with Texas!


Interesting sights and signs:

  • On the way to San Antonio—Taco Cabana
  • Snake Farm Zoo—why???
  • Ballroom Bingo
  • On the way to Fredericksburg–Crabapple Creek
  • Boot Ranch
  • Hunting Ranches
  • A black deer with curling straight up horns—Velvadar from India
  • A herd of Elk
  • Mistletoe in trees
  • Schmidtinzski Lane
  • Magnolia Pearl Store, Fredericksburg (check their great website!)
  • Rte. 290 Peach Country
  • Wine Country—Arc de Texas
  • A town named Stonewall
  • Bush Wacker—Handmade furniture
  • On the way home—names of towns—Fate, Texas, Arkadelphia, Hope, Friendship, and Social hill, Arkansas.
  • The Mississippi, Tennessee River
  • Danny Thomas Blvd., St. Jude’s Hospital
  • License plate: DUCSLYR
  • Exit 108 Shiloh National Park, Tennessee
  • Parkers Crossroads Battlefield
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park
  • Mousetail Landing
  • Loretta Lynn (remember I mentioned before?): Billboard for museum, campground, and restaurant.
  • Exit 152, town named Bucksnort
  • Saw Trump-Pence bus on Rte. 65 North of Nashville
  • Nervous Charlie’s Fireworks
  • White House, TN
  • Kentucky’s Largest Flea Land
  • Gander Mountain and Cabela’s within walking distance.
  • Kentucky Railway Museum
  • Kentucky Derby Museum, I-264
  • KFC Corp. Office—building looked like Old Kentucky home with pillars and statute of the Colonel out front.
  • Kentucky Caves, Lost River Cave, Horse Caves, American Cave, and Mammoth Caves.
  • Kentucky Down Under
  • Dinosaur Park & Museum sign and sporting a huge dinosaur
  • Snow flurries—33F and green grass in Kentucky
  • Fort Knox
  • Patton Museum
  • Pewee Valley. Rte. I-71

We could have worried over our 10-year-old car making the trip without breaking down or having an accident. But we didn’t. We made plans, but left things open for change. We enjoyed our family for a whole month, and it was all good. I love it when things come together, but even if it didn’t, we would be ok.


Czech bakery on the way home!