I smile every time I walk in or out of Wertle! We told everyone that we didn’t want or need anything for our rig, especially after ridding ourselves of a ton of unwanted stuff. We did receive a few small things and one of my favorites was from Dana, who insisted on getting something for our new home. It was the perfect gift, a colorful flip-flop doormat. Some of you might know about my shoe collection. During our purging, I was forced (self imposed) to get rid of most of my shoes. The flip-flop mat is a reminder of my favorite kind of shoes and my favorite daughter-in-law, albeit, my only daughter-in-law. It’s not too large so it fits neatly by the front door when we pack up to move. It’s functional, so we can keep dirt out of the rig! And, of course, it’s cute shoes! What more could a girl want!
Another gift that I use on a daily basis has a familiar theme. My very thoughtful sister, Elaine, or “E”, as I call her, gave me a very functional water bottle that has a shoe design, all colors and shapes of flip-flops. It comes with me when I get in the truck for a travel day and on our hikes. She, also, gave me a beautiful, functional, leather bound journal that I have to start using! I’m so lucky to have such a thoughtful sis!
Besides shoes, another thing I had to give up was growing avocado trees- Warren was insistent that the rig could not sustain a 6 foot tall tree while we traveled. I tried to be good but motherhood got the best of me. Just before we left our home, I cut into an avocado that had already split and was starting to grow roots. It has always been my rule that if they had started to grow I had to help them continue. Soooo…I am now caring for my newest “babe” as we take our journey. It will be interesting to see how big it gets before we set down our own roots. I did manage to take one other plant, a gift from Luis Bustamante (Carlmont), because it was a Lucky Bamboo and was small enough to find space in our new home.
I also had to leave behind my huge elephant collection but I did manage to find room for some of my “more petite” friends. I was able to hang a string of elephants from one of the window frames, a very thoughtful birthday gift from Joanne Davis some years back. I managed to find hanging room for Amelia, my barnstorming elephant who peddles a tricycle-turned-biplane. I’m sure she’s been on some crazy rides since we began our trip.
Carole Pierce, an English teacher at Carlmont, came to see our rig when we had our open house in May. Due to a handicap she was unable to walk the stairs to see the inside but she wanted to give us a beautiful “sun catcher” that she made. It now sparkles in the window of our rig, a constant reminder of some of the wonderful people I was fortunate to work with at Carlmont.
My last small gift is something that started out much larger. Andrea Dembrowsky passed away over two years ago after loosing her long battle with breast cancer. Andrea gave me a very large bar of “Thyme” bath soap. I started using it before we left home and it’s now half of it’s size. I couldn’t bare to part with it because it had sentimental value so it came with us on our journey. Now, I can think about my dear friend each time I shower.
We truly treasure all of the well wishes from friends and family and we’re delighted that the only space they take is in our hearts!