Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sylvia & Stephen

This post will be unlike anything else I have written.  My sister always tells me I am too trusting, and this could result in my being hurt by people.  I know that this COULD happen, but I also believe that if you close yourself off, you can never experience many wonderful moments with many wonderful people along the path of your life.  Jim and I are more than willing to take that risk........we embrace it.  We belong to the BPOE (Elks) which also stands for Best People On Earth.  Throught this organization we have been able to park our RV over night at many lodges and met some great people.  We belong to Thousand Trails and camp at their parks whenever possible.  Our "home" park is Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, CA.  About four years ago, we were camped there, and had the good fortune to meet two wonderful people, Sylvia and Stephen Yazell.  They are two of the most wonderful, open, generous and loving people we have ever been blessed to call our friends.  When we were not away on our travels, we would camp together, at Wilderness Lakes, or Silent Valley, or Pio Pico.              

If we got to a campground first, we'd make dinner for all of us, and if they got there first, Sylvia would cook for us.  Steve was the best at smoking pork for pulled pork dinners, and made great country baked beans!  One time, we all traveled up to the Thousand Trails Preserve in Las Vegas together.  We had a wonderful time, seeing sights, and hanging out together.  The picture below was at the entrance to the preserve.


 The two pictures above were at Ethel M Chocolates, where there is also an awesome cactus garden.  There was also a solar garden.....

This last picture was of a place we went for lunch together.  It was called The Road Kill Grill, sorry to offend some, but we had a grand time there.   Sylvia and Steve were always ready to try something new, or go someplace new.  They were good friends, and really good Christians.  They would always help others fact, I remember one night when rain brought down the awning of our motorhome.  I called Sylvia, and she got Steve out of bed to come help Jim to cut the awning free, and salvage our screen room.
When we were away, or when they took their trips with their travel trailer, we always kept in touch by phone and by email. When we were together, we loved to play Mexican Train ( a game of dominoes, for anyone not yet initiated to this fun game).
 We left California, in January this year, and began a long trip across the country.  In June, we were in the town of Welcome, MN, and I called to talk to Sylvia.  Sadly, Steve had to tell me she had passed away.  It was a terrible blow to us to learn of her death.  Steve told us he was going to sell his house in California, and move to Virginia, to be closer to his daughter Tiffany, and her husband Ron.  We decided right away that when we got out here, we would make a trip over to Norton, VA to visit him. 
After our adventures in the Chesapeake Bay area, we traveled west to Lynchburg, VA, then to Wytheville, and then on to Norton.  We had hoped to do some sight seeing while in Lynchburg, but that did not work out.  We parked our RV in Steve's driveway, and stayed for two days.  I wish we had planned for a longer visit......but for sure the next one will be longer.  He drove us around to see some beautiful countryside in the area.

The first three pictures, above, were taken from a scenic overlook on route 23 between Norton and Big Stone Gap.  The view was incredible, and, as you can see, the leaves are beginning to change colors for autumn.   I'm sorry to say I can't tell you for sure, the name of the place we took these next three pictures, but it was a park above Norton, VA that Steve drove us to.  From that vantage point, you can see into part of Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

We had a wonderful time visiting Steve, and were sorry to have to leave today.  It was wonderful to see him, and share memories of his beloved Sylvia.  Steve is a shy sort of person.  I don't think it's easy for him to make new friends.  Sylvia, on the other hand, was a live wire!  She had a kind word for everyone.  We didn't know her for a long time, but we truly feel blessed to have had her for a friend.  She is sorely missed.  Thank you God, for bringing Sylvia and Steve into our lives. 
Please folks, don't be afraid to reach out to people.  You never know when a new friend might be right next door.  That person might also be in need of a friend.  As far as we are concerned, the rewards will always outweigh the risk. 
Happy travels, and be safe, but also be ready for friendship. 


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