It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

OK…so it’s only December 8, but it sure does feel like Christmas (and old man winter!) is just around the corner!!!!

Most of you know that we are on our way driving across country with our fifth wheel (in which we live full time) to spend a few months working on the east coast and visiting with family on days off.  We left the Modesto area on Saturday morning long about 8:15 with the goal of reaching Barstow, CA, a distance of only about 360 miles.  We figured that should be a fairly easy reach, but since this is the farthest we’ve towed our fifth wheel since we got it, we wanted to be conservative in our target destination for each day.

Well, we got a ways down Highway 99 and saw a sign that said Tehachapi pass from Bakersfield to Barstow was closed due to snow.  We kept going, thinking that the storm had passed the night before and that the roads would be open soon.  Well, not only was Tehachapi still closed when we got to Bakersfield, but the Grapevine pass going south into LA was closed, too.  So, we checked into an RV park for the night.

No sooner did we do that than they announced that Tehachapi pass was opened!  And the Grapevine, too….but that high wind warnings were in place in both places and that campers, trailers, etc., were not recommended.  So, we stayed put in Bakersfield overnight, thinking surely Tehachapi pass would be open by morning.

It wasn’t.  Closed, with high wind warnings, too.  But the Grapevine was still open, but they also were claiming high wind warnings for 25 miles south of Bakersfield up over the summit.  So, I pulled out my PC and checked the weather for numerous small towns along the Grapevine and saw that the highest forecast wind was only 10 miles per hour!!!  It was a long way out of the way to take 5 south into the LA area, then turn east on 210 to I15 north to Barstow and I40, but we felt it might be worth it.  About the time we got to the LA area, they announced Tehachapi pass was opened, but CHP were escorting folks through the pass.  We think we made the right choice, but the detour added about 130 miles to our drive today.

So, tonight we are in Kingman, AZ, where it is, well, not freezing, but below freezing.  Temps are supposed to be down into the teens tonight.  We were told not to hook up our water tonight as the hose would just freeze.  Fortunately, we had already had some water pumped into the tank so we can operate without hooking up to the water supply.  But, the cold outside is pretty doggone numbing for us Californians!

My work, Medical Ambassadors International, had an open house on 12/5 to celebrate the enlarged space we’ve been blessed with this past year.  It was all decorated for Christmas, of course, Christmas music was playing and everyone had a great time.  It’s where I got today’s photo of a decoration that was trying to play “hide and seek” with me, but I caught it peeking out at me.

It just all went together to make it feel a lot like Christmas!  Are you ready?

_MG_8016ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln offered his conciliatory plan for reunification of the United States with his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (even though the war would rage on for another year plus).

By this point in the Civil War, it was clear that Lincoln needed to make some preliminary plans for postwar reconstruction. The Union armies had captured large sections of the South, and some states were ready to have their governments rebuilt. The proclamation addressed three main areas of concern. First, it allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders. Second, it allowed for a new state government to be formed when 10 percent of the eligible voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. Third, the Southern states admitted in this fashion were encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.

In short, the terms of the plan were easy for most Southerners to accept. Though the emancipation of slaves was an impossible pill for some Confederates to swallow, Lincoln’s plan was charitable, considering the costliness of the war. With the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Lincoln was seizing the initiative for reconstruction from Congress. Some Radical Republicans thought the plan was far too easy on the South, but others accepted it because of the president’s prestige and leadership. Following Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, the disagreements over the postwar reconstruction policy led to a heated battle between the next president, Andrew Johnson, and Congress.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  It takes an average of 345 squirts to yield a gallon of milk from a cow’s udder.



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