Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude. Biblical Roots of Thanksgiving. Decorate Naturally. RV Museum. Winter RVing. Workamping. RV Security Camera. No Spill Ice Tray. Duryea Wins First Car Race.


For "tRaVersing  Thursday", or RV Day, which today  is also Thanksgiving Day:

Peace of Mind through Gratitude

A man sitting on the ground holding an old Bible.

"In today's anxiety-soaked world, real peace of mind represents a priceless commodity for many. When we're bone-tired at night, turbulent thoughts may erupt just as we lay our head on our pillow, robbing us of much-needed sleep. During the day our productivity may suffer from too much stress. How can we achieve a state of mind that provides us with mental and emotional peace?

It is possible! Allow me to relate a personal story about how I found spiritual contentment and real peace of mind.

"Back in 1992 I visited my friends in the Ukraine shortly after that country became independent of the USSR. The country was in a bad way economically—in spite of its newly found freedom. Inflation was rampant as were shortages in basic necessities, namely food and fuel.

I was there in the Ukraine on one of my visits to work with people who held the same biblical beliefs as I did. Coming from America, I found it very intriguing that so much of what we believed was exactly the same, most notably the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath.

One insight that the Ukrainian Sabbatarians related to me was: "We hope to learn from you, but we also hope that you can learn from us."

I did! I learned a lot from them over many years of visits. On this particular visit I learned more about the critical virtue of thankfulness and gratitude.

We had to get around by car between two towns with populations of 40,000 people and 5,000.  Fuel was in short supply, and we could only get only about two liters a day (about half a gallon). It was brought to us by 10:00 a.m. each morning in bottles. This gave us a range of about 15 miles of travel a day, with the gas gauge always showing "empty."

Staple food was in short supply. Bread was rationed. The family I was staying with asked if I'd help them out by standing in line for the weekly bread delivery. If I stood in the bread line they could get a little more for their family's weekly needs.

It was a surreal experience for me. Wasn't this the late 20th century? I had only seen this in documentaries. But I did it. I stood on the street with everyone else with money in my hand. The bread truck arrived, and the back end was opened. People pushed their way up to the truck where unwrapped loaves of bread were stacked in a large pile. Everyone was allowed two loaves. When I got pushed from behind to the back end of the truck, one of the distributors shoved two loaves at me, grabbed my money and pushed me out of the way to "serve" the next customer. I'll never forget that experience.

Another family invited me for lunch. All that was served were fried potatoes. Nothing else. They were not ashamed. We were so happy to be with one another that the meager variety was hardly noticed. For dessert we stepped outside, and the lady of the house cut off a clump of grapes from the overhanging arbor. We enjoyed the Transcarpathian treat together.

As the week came to an end the family I stayed with practiced a tradition of kneeling in a circle at sunset and all praying separately, thanking God for all that they had. Compared to where I had traveled from, these people had almost nothing from a material sense. Yet it was clear that they were spiritually rich!

I was moved to tears as I realized how hard things were for these people suffering with these essential shortages. Yet with cheerfulness and sincerity they thanked God for the good things of the past week. They thanked God for freedom, faith, family, children, health and much more."

I couldn't get over how many things become important to be grateful for when the physical things that we take for granted are not available. I felt inadequate in my praise of God because I have never gone unintentionally hungry. I have always had enough gasoline in my car to drive to wherever I wanted to. I didn't give as much thought and show as much appreciation as they did for the many things that money doesn't buy.

What an example and what a lesson! I realized that wealth and plenty doesn't produce an automatic attitude of gratitude. In these impoverished people there was a built-in peace of mind by being grateful for what they already had.

In Philippians 4:6-7 we are given this lesson:  "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"

For 2013 Canada has already celebrated its national holiday of Thanksgiving. Americans will do so today."  From:


Is Thanksgiving Rooted in a Biblical Festival?

"Historians and Jewish sources point out that America's Thanksgiving holiday may not have been a totally new celebration—but that its roots may go back thousands of years to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles.

Is Thanksgiving Rooted in a Biblical Festival?

Did you know that the first Thanksgiving in the United States has some strong similarities to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles? Although the pilgrims did not consciously observe this biblical feast, it is interesting to study the parallels between these two celebrations that share the common spirit of thanksgiving to God.

Both were celebrated in the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and both were a time for giving thanks to God for the blessings of the harvest season. Although forgotten by many, the American Pilgrims were a deeply religious people whose heritage was strictly founded on the Bible, both Old and New Testament.

Why did the Pilgrims have this strong attraction to the Hebrew Scriptures? Is it a coincidence that the Pilgrims were the first successful colony in New England and were able to set their stamp on American culture and religion? Let's explore these questions and see what history reveals.

Few realize how solemnly and literally the Pilgrims took the Bible. Jewish sources in particular continue to note, although recognizing there is not a direct link between the two, the striking resemblance of the Thanksgiving celebration to the Feast of Tabernacles, which Scripture also calls the Feast of Ingathering.

Here is one typical opinion: "Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, celebrates the autumn harvest; a similarity to the Thanksgiving holiday observed in the United States which is not coincidental. Prior to making their way to the New World, the Pilgrims, themselves the victims of religious persecution, spent several years among Sephardic Jews in Holland. When they later celebrated the legendary first Thanksgiving, their conscious frame of reference was Sukkot" ("Sukkot ,"

English Harvest Home festival

Now it's true that the Harvest Home festival was celebrated in England at that time, but among the Pilgrims there was a general rejection of observing these English fall celebrations tainted by pagan traditions.

The Harvest Home was a holiday, but here was sufficient taint of idol worship and evidence of licentious behavior in the old English Harvest Home for Puritans to reject the custom summarily. They recoiled from these remnants of the pagan customs that predated Christianity in England, but memories of the harvest feast lingered all the same.

"The Puritans' shunning of the ancient Harvest Home left a void in the New England year that might not have been problematic had a similar attitude not been extended to other holidays. But the Puritans had disapproved of so many causes for celebration that a holiday vacuum existed in the young colonies. 'All Saint's Day' had been swept off the calendar along with Christmas and Easter, on the grounds that these mixed 'popish' ritual with pagan custom.

Biblical connection of Thanksgiving

So it seems the Pilgrims didn't base their Thanksgiving celebration on English feasts, which when linked with pagan customs were generally shunned by them. Where then did they get their inspiration for Thanksgiving? Could it have a biblical foundation?

Notice what David Stern says about the Feast of Tabernacles in The Jewish New Testament Commentary: "Families build booths of palm branches, partly open to the sky, to recall God's providence toward Israel during the forty years of wandering in the desert and living in tents.

"The festival also celebrates the harvest, coming, as it does, at summer's end, so that it is a time of thanksgiving. (The Puritans, who took the Old Testament more seriously than most Christians, modeled the American holiday of Thanksgiving after Sukkot [the Hebrew name for the Feast of Tabernacles])" (1996, comment on John 7:2).

This connection is not well known among most secular U.S. historians, but the Jews, who also arrived very early at the New England colonies, have kept track of this historical parallel.

"As Leviticus 23 teaches," explains Barney Kasdan, "Sukkot was to be a time of bringing in the latter harvest. It is, in other words, the Jewish 'Thanksgiving.' In fact, it is widely believed that the Puritan settlers, who were great students of the Hebrew Scriptures, based the first American Thanksgiving on Sukkot" (God's Appointed Times, 1993, p. 92).

Though it's a uniquely American tradition," adds a Jewish Web site, "the roots of Thanksgiving go back to ancient Israel. In a real sense, the Jews invented Thanksgiving. I count 28 references to the word thanksgiving in the King James Bible—all but six in the Old Testament. For the ancient children of Israel, thanksgiving was a time of feasting and fasting, of praising God, of singing songs. It was a rich celebration—and still is for observant Jews today."  More at:


Decorate for Thanksgiving, Naturally




"Turn a nature scavenger hunt  into something to remember. Use materials kids find in your backyard or nearby park to decorate a table or room for the season!    Bring the outdoors in this Thanksgiving."   More at:


1937 Elkhart Traveler

image "Welcome to the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum. The Sisemore’s began restoring and collecting unusual vintage RV’s over 25 years ago. They have built a museum that houses many of the RV’s in their collection.

imageThese include the Flxible Bus from the Movie RV, the 1st Itasca motor home ever built. The oldest  Fleetwood in existence and many other RV’s from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The museum is free to the public and is open Monday – Saturday 9-5. Step back in time, reminisce and enjoy the progression of the RV industry from its inception till now."  More at:


HOW TO: RV in the Winter

"We show you all the steps we're taking to winter in our motorhome. We'll demonstrate how to keep the water hose from freezing and how to keep ourselves warm too. We'll cover water hose insulation, heat tape, the differences between all five sources of heat we have available, moisture & humidity control, and even pest control."


How Am I Compensated Or Paid As A Workamper?

"A frequently asked question - How Am I Compensated Or Paid As A Workamper? Workamper News is here to help answer all of your questions about working while RV camping (aka Workamping)."


Would I Be Comfortable Living In An RV With A Partner?

"Steve Anderson poses a question you should be asking yourself when considering Fulltiming or Workamping.  - Would I Be Happy Living In An RV with A Partner? Take some time to consider this question before jumping into the Workamping lifestyle."


Fake Out Criminals with a FAKE Security Camera

"Many of us store our RVs and other valuables in private locations. A little extra security never hurt anyone. One of the more clever and cost effective security investments these days is a fake security camera ( These are available for less than $10 and offer a lot of bang for the buck.

This bad boy looks mean in black.  (Click the pic for more info.)

This bad boy looks mean in black.

A fake security camera is exactly what you think: it’s a dummy security camera that can be mounted just about anywhere you please. It’s realistic in appearance – at first glance there’s no way to tell it is fake. Many models even include a flashing red light for extra realism.

Many models include a flashing red light for extra realism.

Many models include a flashing red light for extra realism.

Fake security cameras are kind of like scarecrows for thugs. Upon spotting one of these cameras, many people who are “up to no good” will simply move on to easier targets.

For best results, post a "WARNING" sign. Make sure you get one that's constructed of a durable material. (Click the link to browse signs.)For an even more convincing effect, combine one of these fake cameras with a video surveillance warning notice sign.

For best results, post a "WARNING" sign. Make sure you get one that's constructed of a durable material.  Posting a “warning” sign next to the camera really enhances the message. Most criminals are not going to take chances once they realize they may be captured on video." by C.S. (Sean) Michael.


A Better Way to MAKE ICE

TRIVIA QUESTION: “Ice is civilization!” What movie includes this famous quote?* (Answer at the end of the article.) Yes, since ice is civilization, we use an OXO No Spill Ice Tray (

NO SPILL: You can even stack these trays at an angle! (Click the pic for more info.)

NO SPILL: You can even stack these trays at an angle!

Alas, our RV freezer lacks an ice maker. We are reliant on ice cube trays to make ice. There’s only one problem with ordinary ice cube trays: spillage! 

It’s bad enough when we are parked. But suppose we are traveling down the road and we’ve got loose water sloshing around in our freezer? That’s not a good scenario.

The OXO No Spill Tray is brilliant. It’s a thoughtfully designed ice cube tray that comes equipped with a soft silicone lid. The easy-to-use silicone lid seals the water inside the tray. Obviously the lid prevents the water from spilling, which is great for RV travel.

But wait! There’s more…

The OXO No Spill design allows you to easily stack two or more trays in a small space. You can even stack the trays at an angle! This makes the most out of a small RV freezer such as our own."  More at:


On This Day:

Duryea Motor Wagon wins first car race in U.S., Nov 28, 1895:

image "On this Thanksgiving Day in 1895, piloting a gas-powered "horseless carriage" of his and his brother's own design, the mechanic, inventor and now racecar driver Frank Duryea wins the first motor-car race in the United States. The race, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald, was intended to drum up publicity for the nascent American car industry. It worked, especially for the Duryeas: In the year after the Times-Herald race, the brothers sold 13 of their eponymous Motor Wagons, more than any other carmaker in America.

The race course was originally supposed to loop from Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois, and back (a harrowing 92 miles) but, thanks to the sudden arrival of a spectacular blizzard, race organizers decided to abbreviate the route. ("With eight inches of snow," one journalist wrote later, "Waukegan might as well have been Timbuktu.") The racers would be driving just 50 miles, from Chicago to Evanston, Illinois, and back again. The other rules would remain the same: Vehicles had to have at least three wheels, all wrapped in twine to give traction in the snow, and they also had to be able to carry at least two people, the driver and a race-appointed umpire who would ride along to guard against cheating.

Because of the bad weather, only six of 89 racers made it to the starting line: the Duryea; three Benz cars, one sponsored by Macy's in New York; and two electrics whose batteries died almost immediately after the race began.

About 10 hours after the race began, the Duryea chugged across the finish line. The only other finisher was one of the Benzes (not the one from Macy's: that one collided with a streetcar on the way to Evanston and with a sleigh and then a hack on the return trip), which sloshed to a finish almost two hours later. The victorious Duryeas won $2,000 and enough publicity to establish themselves as the American motor-car company. From then on, for the Duryeas and all who followed, automobile manufacturing was a business—not just a hobby."



It was windy and cold, so Ray and I wanted to do things away from the north wind first, while waiting for it to warm up a bit.  Again, we went up to my attic and looked for another mini-blind for the screen porch.  The one that was there had some broken fins, and needed to be thrown away.  We found one that was just the right size and hung it up there.  Then we unhooked the water hoses, drained all the water out of them, put them up, and shut off the water to all the outside faucets, and the sink on the screen porch.  They are on a separate shut-off from the house.

When we went to plug in the little shed, we couldn't get any power, so we had to put a new end on the cord.  There is a lot of paint and caulk stored in there, which must not freeze, and two 100 watt light bulbs seem to do the job. 

By that time, the sun was shining, which always makes it seem warmer, so we put the soffit vent covers on the north side of the house.  That stops the cold north wind from getting in the first room in my attic, where the water pipes and water heater are located.  There are other vents for the attic to 'breathe'.

Then we had trouble with the back yard gate closing properly, and tried to fix that.  But it really needs a new gate.  In a few days, Mindi's dogs are coming to stay for a few days, so it will have to be fixed before then. 

Just as we were finishing that, Jay called and wanted me to take him into town to get a flat fixed on his ATV.  He took the wheel off here, and on the way to town we stopped at the motorcycle repair place to see how they were coming with his other ATV, and they fixed the tire there.  His mother had asked us to pick up some grits, so we still had to go all the way into our town.  Jay bought another kind of momentary switch for his ATV, but we couldn't find the type of grits that she wanted. 

I was still in my 'work' clothes, but we ate at a nice Mexican restaurant, and then came back here.  Jay put the wheel back on his ATV, and went to the store around the corner for gas, but came back with beer, too.  All his talk during lunch about quitting drinking, was forgotten yesterday!

No comments: