We Must Never Forget!

We Must Never Forget!

Who doesn’t remember where you were and what you were doing on that fateful day of September 11, 2001? No American should ever forget that horrific event. As a nation, it shook us to our core, but it united us in a way that it seems only wicked occurrences do. I don’t think that the people of our nation had bonded together like we did since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in1941. At least for a little while, we were a praying and unified country. It was the good that came out of the ugly.

I had the opportunity to visit the September 11 Memorial in May of 2015. I’d gone to Albany, New York, to attend the Boozefighters National Convention. When I owned Johnny’s Bar & Grill in Hollister, I became very close to the motorcycle club that was at my historic bar in 1947 during the so-called motorcycle riots. They were the most generous bunch of people, and they treated me like royalty at their gatherings back then.

I figured if I was flying all the way across the country, I needed to make it a point to see the 9/11 Memorial. I’d asked around for someone to join me but found no takers. The employees at the Holiday Inn described the trip from the hotel in Albany to the Memorial as not a big deal. Let me say that the assessment couldn’t have been further from the truth.

The hotel shuttle service dropped me off at a bus stop with instructions about which bus I should board that would take me to another bus, which would take me to the train, that would take me to the subway, and then to the Memorial. I’d long conquered my phobia of going places alone, but this was an adventure of astronomical proportions. I somehow managed to find the right buses and made it to the train station. Once there, I relaxed a bit. The ticket salesperson told me to get off the train at Grand Central Station and gave me instructions about purchasing my ticket for the subway. She said I’d know where to get off once on it because the conductor would announce the 9/11 Memorial stop. Easy, peasy, right? Not hardly, but it’s much too long of a story to get into. Suffice it to say that by the grace of God, I made it to the Memorial.

If you have never seen the 9/11 Memorial and Museum up close and personal, there is no describing it. At least not in a way that conveys the purely emotional experience. In the bowels of what was left of the Twin Towers, seven stories below the Memorial, is the main exhibit. You see first-hand the devastation, the twisted metal, Ladder Company 3’s demolished fire truck, and what once were stairways that terrified people scrambled down to escape the horror. The museum is full of artifacts and stories from survivors, first responders, residents, and eyewitnesses. Interactive displays and a memorial exhibition honor all those that lost their lives. It is the most powerfully moving exhibit I have or ever will see.

You come out of the cavernous museum to the Memorial’s twin reflecting pools, which are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The almost 3,000 names of the men, women and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, at the World Trade Center are inscribed on bronze parapets surrounding the twin memorial pools. I couldn’t help rubbing my hands over the names. I may not have known any of those people, but their loss and the holes they left in family members’ hearts were palpable.

I’m so glad that I got to experience the Memorial, but I won’t be making that trek again. I have no desire to return to New York, but please don’t miss seeing the Memorial if you find yourself there. It is historical, somber, emotional, and inspiring.

I want to finish up on a lighter note. There is a bit too much gloom going around right now. To say that my return trip, which included a subway ride in New York at 5:30 in the evening, was harrowing would be an understatement. I still haven’t conquered my claustrophobia. Let’s just say that if you suffer from the same affliction, the last place you want to be is on a New York subway at rush hour. I’m pretty sure that there is no limit to the passengers allowed in each car, as long as they can close the doors. I wound up wrapping myself around a pole right next to one of the doors and holding on for dear life.

The fear I was feeling was evidently easy to perceive. I met the nicest people who showed genuine concern and did their best to ease my hysteria. One lovely lady talked calmly to me and asked me questions about myself to distract me for most of the ride. When she got off, she told me that I only had four more stops before mine and continued to talk to me like a mother would to a frightened child. The gentleman standing next to me told her that he was getting off at my stop and would be sure to assist me. I’ve heard tales about New Yorkers being mean and self-absorbed, but the folks I met were terrific.

Not only did the man get me off of the subway at the right stop, but he made sure that I got on the correct train to head back to Albany. From there, I was supposed to take two buses once again and then hail a shuttle back to my hotel. That was not happening! The visit to the Memorial was emotionally draining, and the subway and train expeditions polished me off. I called a cab and was driven right to the door of my hotel at a very hefty price.

I have checked a visit to New York and the 9/11 Memorial off of my bucket list. Can I suggest that if you do the same, don’t do it alone? Take a friend or a family member. Heck, take an ex-wife or ex-husband. Just take somebody with you.

Let’s all say a prayer for the nearly 3000 names etched on the Memorial and for all of the families that lost loved ones that day. Many first responders have suffered illnesses and even died well after the incident because of its health issues. Let’s pray for all of them too. While talking to The Man Upstairs, let’s also pray for our hard-working firefighters and men and women in blue who risk their lives for us every day. God bless them all.

The Great California Escape – Week One

The Great California Escape – Week One

We became full-time RVer’s when we vacated our house in Shingletown, California, and moved into our motorhome on our property. In June of this year, we sorted through all of our belongings, purging ourselves of everything that we possibly could. We talked with many full-timers on the cross-country trip that we embarked on in November of 2020. Everyone we spoke with advised us to GET RID of EVERYTHING! They all said that spending money for a storage unit for things that we will never use again was a complete waste. We took that advice to heart. We had an estate sale, a yard sale, and donated truckloads of stuff to a local thrift shop that gives their proceeds to the care of abandoned animals. I may have gotten a bit carried away. While we were still staying in the house, I asked Tommy to boil some pasta for our dinner, only to realize that I sold every saucepan we owned in the yard sale.

Despite the massive purge, there are still some things that need to be stored. You can’t throw away precious pictures and photo albums. There are important papers that need to be held on to. There are some mementos and collectibles that are impossible to part with. Everything we had to keep and wouldn’t fit into the motorhome is packed into the 20-foot box trailer we used to tow my car behind the motorhome. My Jeep, which I purchased three months before we decided to move from a fifth-wheel to a motorhome, was not towable. My Compass was an all-wheel-drive automatic. We made two cross-country trips with my car in the trailer, and it was often a hindrance and pain. The great guy from Norcal Estate Sales who did a fantastic job for us also purchased my car for his ex-wife. Yes, I said he was a great guy. He sold Tommy’s truck, too, so we don’t currently have a tow vehicle. We are going to purchase one after we set up our domicile address in South Dakota. We will NEVER give California money for vehicle registration again.

We are a part of the mass exodus from California. We are sick of the crazy politics, taxes, and the flat-out insanity of our birth state. Tommy is a third-generation San Franciscan, and I was born and raised in California too. We are sad to see the state that we loved turning into a cesspool and are leaving it in our rearview mirror. Our house hasn’t sold yet, so a return may be imminent, but that is in God’s hands. Shingletown is very rural, and our property is utility-independent. We opted for solar, and since we left every winter, a PG&E connection was not something we cared to do. I think that it may be making potential buyers nervous. For whatever reason, it hasn’t sold, but we are not stressing over it. We have faith that it will sell when it is supposed to for the right price. We have an excellent house sitter, and when the property sells, we can do all of the paperwork online, so we are free to start our adventure.

Our first destination was Idaho. We have friends in the state, and many of them escaped Hollister to move there. We are also storing our trailer in Idaho Falls for half of what it would cost to keep it in California. We made our first stop in Hines, Oregon, for a one-night stay. We were hit by a swarm of cicadas about the time we crossed the California, Oregon border. It was absolutely insane! It sounded like the RV was being pounded by golf ball size hail. We could barely see out of the windshield and had to stop a couple of times to attempt to get the insects off. When we reached Hines, we were exhausted from driving for almost seven hours. We don’t usually travel that far in one day. But, we wanted to be in Caldwell, Idaho, early to begin our anniversary celebration with our pals, the Roland’s.

Angie and Bruce escaped California for Idaho last year. They have a beautiful, completely paid-for home in Star, Idaho. They are retired, but Bruce still does consult work. To pay the crazy taxes in California, he would have had to work a lot more, which is the case for most retirees in the state. There is a town close to the Roland’s with over 65 transplants from Hollister, California. Not just from the state of California, but Hollister. It speaks volumes about the need for conservative, tax-paying citizens to relocate to enjoy their golden years. We continue to pray for California and all of our family and friends there. We are praying for the low-life Newscum to be replaced, but it will take a lot more than getting rid of him to bring revival to California. Thousands of people in influential positions will need to be replaced from school boards to city councils, board of supervisors, and an overhaul in congress. Sorry, I’ll get off of my soapbox now.

Our first stop at the Sand’s RV Park in Hines, Oregon, was an interesting one. The “park’ wasn’t a place to brag about, but for a one-night stay, it was perfect. It was a short distance from the highway and easy to find. We thought we were in the parking lot and found out that we had actually pulled into one of its sites. We didn’t even see the pedestal with the power and water. The owner came out and greeted us, and he was a pleasant man. The nightly fee was $22.00, including tax. For full hookup, you can’t beat it. We didn’t hook up to the sewer, but it was available. There was a restaurant within walking distance which was a huge plus. After a long day on the road, the last thing I want to do is fix dinner. The Apple Peddler had good service and decent food. It was SO refreshing to be waited on by someone that wasn’t wearing a mask. A few people came in wearing masks. I’m sure they were all from California.

We arrived in Idaho on July 24th and spent three wonderful days with our pals savoring great meals and each other’s company. We enjoyed their favorite restaurants and their church, and no one was wearing masks. It’s so great to be out of California. We stayed at the Ambassador RV Park in Caldwell 20 minutes from their house. The park was beautiful and very well taken care of. I didn’t take the time to enjoy the pool but it was spotless. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The park had lots of amenities and was only $45.00 a night. That is probably why we almost didn’t get a reservation there. They were booked solid but I kept calling and we managed to get in. If you want to RV in Idaho I’d make reservations well in advance.

We are currently in Declo, Idaho, where we spent two nights at a lovely park next to the Snake River. The sites are large and long enough to accommodate our 40-foot motorhome and our 20-foot trailer. There is a small grill that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a pretty well-equipped store. Tommy had biscuits and gravy with eggs, and I had a chorizo and egg burrito for breakfast on our first morning here, and it was tasty. Bonus, it was only $8.50 for breakfast. We have full hookups, and the place is beautiful. It is only $30.00 a night, which makes it even sweeter. We were only going to stay one night, but reservations in Idaho Falls made it necessary to stay two. I’m glad that we did. Yesterday was the first day in forever that we could sit outside without being baked, even under the shade of our awning. Paddy was over the moon to be able to finally hang out outdoors. We had a pleasant visit with the lady at the campsite next door and took a great walk along the river. If you are looking for a stop between California and Idaho, the Village of the Trees Resort is a great choice.

That’s a wrap for week one. I’ll let you know how the trailer dropping excursion goes in Idaho Falls. We are meeting up with our pal Teresa who grew up there. We chose the spot from the internet, and we’re hoping that it’s a nice place to leave our belongings. It’s gated, locked, and reasonably priced. Teresa took care of our home in Hollister on our first cross-country trip. She and her husband Lee were a blessing beyond description. We had a koi pond, a pool, lots of yards to tend to, as well as two outdoor cats. They made it easy to enjoy our trip without stressing over our house. God blessed us the same way in Shingletown, where we have great friends looking after our property and home there too. We would like to make this exit from California permanent, so please pray that our house sells soon.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I’ll talk at you soon. God bless, Cat

Put Down the Fireworks and Get on Your Knees

Put Down the Fireworks and Get on Your Knees

The Fourth of July and the celebration of the birth of our nation is tomorrow. Sadly, too many people view the day as a holiday consisting of backyard barbeques and fireworks. The reason for the observance is completely lost on them. This is especially prominent in people under the age of fifty. For the most part, Millennials and Generation Z are clueless about the significance of July Fourth because of the indoctrination in our schools. The educational system has been biased and broken for a very long time. Instead of wearing pride in your country as a badge of honor, it’s now seen as racist. It’s a sad state of affairs.

 In my humble opinion, our nation hasn’t experienced a state of unrest like the current one since the civil war. It isn’t politicians that are going to fix it either. They are the reason that we are in this horrible mess, but we voted them into office. We failed to hold them accountable when they didn’t follow through with their campaign promises. We just tsk, tsked when they got caught in out-and-out lies. We stopped demanding truth and justice. But, it didn’t happen overnight. We have been like the frog that was boiled alive because the temperature of the water was turned up slowly. If he was thrown into the pot while the water was boiling, he would have been smart and hopped out. But, when the heat was turned up slowly, he didn’t notice he was being cooked.

 It’s going to require a ton of effort from patriotic, dedicated, God-fearing citizens to turn this critical situation around. We can only right the wrongs if people like those who fought against England’s tyranny take a stand and say no to the oppression our country is facing now. We are a free nation because of the sacrifices of millions that put their lives on the line for their beliefs in the country they cherished. Are you ready to stand and fight for our country and return it to its foundation as one nation under God? The Left wants to erase our history that refers to God and the godly individuals that founded this country. They have already done it in our schools from elementary to our universities. It is precisely why so many young people today have no appreciation for the sacrifices of our men and women in the military or our flag. It’s time to tell this tyrannical administration that we are not going to take this anymore!

 God’s people need to stand up and stop this train wreck. We have been wimpy and apathetic for WAY too long. We played into the enemy’s hands when in the guise of tolerance, we ignored the truth. We paid no attention to the distortions of facts that the public school system was cramming down our kid’s throats. Many people, including Christians, believe that Thomas Jefferson’s intent with the establishment clause of separation of church and state was to keep the church out of the state when the opposite is true. His intent was to make sure that the state didn’t dictate how the church operated. A testament to the fact is that the Washington Monument and hundreds, if not thousands of historical shrines refer to God and scripture. God’s people built this beloved country, and it’s time for His people to take it back.

 Christians stood silent when the government took prayer and the Bible out of our schools. They failed to stand together and fight to stop Roe v Wade. Statistics tell us that over 62 million babies have been aborted since its inception. I, like many others, believed in the “Woman’s right to choose” doctrine. Where did I get the idea that it was okay to kill babies as a means of birth control? It certainly wasn’t at church. I was indoctrinated by the educational system in that belief. I don’t recall the churches that we attended speaking out against it at the time either. I believe wholeheartedly that if God’s people and churches had united to stop the travesty of Roe v Wade, it would never have gotten past the Supreme Court. I have my own Planned Parenthood story, but that’s for another day. Suffice it to say that I am pro-life and don’t want a penny of my hard-earned money going to Planned Parenthood. I’m not alone in this by any stretch of the imagination. Surveys say that 7 out of 10 Americans don’t want to pay for abortions with their tax dollars. 

 Speaking of surveys, in a 2018–19 survey, 65% of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians. That’s down from 75% in 2015. The moral fiber of our nation has declined in leaps and bounds, yet 65% of our country identifies as Christian. If we all acted like Jesus’ followers and adhered to the moral beliefs of the Bible, we wouldn’t have government offices filled with ungodly people, socialists, Marxists, and thieves. I know the pool to choose from has been bleak. It’s taken decades of slow decay and a heck of a lot of apathetic and lazy Christians to get us to this point. In our effort not to be labeled intolerant, we became wimpy do-nothings. We stood by while the loons on the Left dismantled our United States Constitution, disrespected our flag, our military, and law enforcement. They steal our tax dollars to fund their agendas and pad their bank accounts while many major cities have fallen entirely through the cracks. 

 Nancy Pelosi’s district is one of the worst in the country. She has somehow been re-elected time and time again, despite having done nothing for her constituents in 34 years in office. I personally believe that voter fraud has been going on for a lot longer than any of us know. Who in their right mind would vote for representatives like Pelosi and Maxine Waters, even in crazy California? 

 Let me ask you? Do you identify yourself as a Christian? 

n.1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.

2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

 I thought I’d share that because I believe many people profess to be Christian when they don’t even know what that means. You can’t call yourself a Christ-follower and say that it’s okay to abort babies. Jeremiah 1:4 says, The Lord said to me, “I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” How many of God’s spokespeople have been ripped from their mother’s wombs through abortion? If God knows us all before we are even born, we all matter to Him. How can you call yourself a Christian and go along with the atrocity of abortion? It’s wrong on so many levels.

 Isaiah 5:20 is currently being played out in our world. “They say that what is right is wrong, and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” The current crazy administration is sanctioning lawlessness. They announced to illegal immigrants that’s it’s okay to crash our borders and come here without going through legal channels. The damage it is doing to our country is unfathomable. Murders, rapists, and thieves are pouring into our country because of Biden’s policies. This should infuriate you, even if you are a Democrat. Heroin, Cocaine, and Fentanyl are once again flooding into our country from the southern border. Our President Trump had curtailed that traffic by initiating sensible policies and building our border wall. Biden got rid of all of them with a pen stroke only days after stepping into the office he stole. He has been worse than I even imagined. 

 It’s time to make some noise, people! It’s time to pray without ceasing that this travesty will not be allowed to continue. I believe that God has allowed the situation to go this far because many people, including Christians, refused to believe the truth about the election. They refused to accept the fact that the destruction of our country is what the democrats seek. The people that sit in front of their televisions eating up all of the lies the fake media throws at them need to wake the heck up! What will it take to open the eyes of those in denial? Are you not witnessing the crisis at the border, fuel prices through the roof, loss of jobs, an inflation rate at its highest increase since August of 2008, and a bumbling president that embarrasses our country every time he opens his mouth? 

 There is hope if the church will unite. If we will pray and seek God for guidance, He will show us what to do. We need to trust and believe that He will clean up this mess. We need to start talking about the great things He is already doing through this crisis and stop concentrating on the negative. I’ve remarked to many Christians that I am still praying and believing for the restoration of our country, and they act like I’ve lost my mind. They tell me that they are praying too, but they don’t see how we can change things. It’s bigger than us, folks. God can change anything. How can people that believe in Christ and the Bible not believe that He can fix this mess? How can you say that our God who parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could walk across dry land can’t expose a fraud like the 2020 election? Why are you so sure that He has deserted America?

 America certainly deserves to have God turn His back on us. We turned ours on Him, but that’s not the way He rolls. As the opening scripture of this post says, if we will humble ourselves and seek Him, God will heal our land. We are God’s country. It’s time we started acting like it. Put Him back in our schools. Open up our churches and preach the Word without twisting it to appease the portioners so that your offering plates and seats are full. Call wrong, wrong, and right, right. If your church hasn’t taken a stand and opened its doors, I suggest finding another church. Find a Holy Spirit-filled church that ignites and empowers its people. We need godly people running for public offices. The school boards, city councils, supervisors’ offices, on up need people of integrity on them. 

 What are you going to do? How are you going to make a difference? Everyone can pray and believe. If that is all, you do it will make a difference. I believe that God loves America with all of my heart, and He will not let Satan take it. Trust me, the devil is shaking in his boots as he witnesses the revival that is underway. People are turning to Christ in record numbers. Renewal, restoration, and repentance is taking place on a global scale. Do not be dismayed. You are about to witness a monumental shift in this nation. I believe the free rein that God allowed Satan to have in this country is coming to an end. He knows it too. The great awakening that is taking place should embolden you to speak out for God and His people. You should be fed up with the censorship of Social Media and the lies of the mainstream media. You should be fighting mad that real news is no longer reported on except for a couple of conservative stations. The double standards of the democrats should make you livid, even if you are registered as a member of the party. You should be filled with outrage that our election was stolen. When all of the fraud and cheating is exposed, which it will be, you should want everything to be done to see that nothing like it ever happens again. If we allow this travesty to continue, it will be the end of our country as we know it. 

 Please, take a stand and let your voice be heard. Even if you never saw yourself in a position in the political arena, consider it. Write to those ding dongs in congress that forgot that they work for us and tell them how you feel. Wherever your sphere of influence is, use your voice and encourage others to pray and vote for godly people. You can make a difference. We all can. Let’s take our country back, folks. When you pray, do it with confidence. Believe it and receive it. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. You can’t pray for something while in the back of your mind believing it is impossible and expect your prayers to be answered. Let’s all unify in the belief that God will save this nation. Let’s all start talking about the revival, renewal, refreshing, and reset coming to our United States of America. 

 Are you with me? I hope that you are. Have a blessed 4th of July. Enjoy your family and your safe and sane fireworks. Just be sure to let your kids know what the celebration is about. Please feel free to add your prayers and positive comments to this post.

I look forward to sharing the positive energy. God is good, and He’s not done with us yet. 

 Blessings, Cat