Blog, foodie, Friendship, prayer, Travel

Michigan trip, the beautiful RV (Part 2)

Me in Snoopy slippers by the fireplace at the RV

Me in Snoopy slippers by the fireplace at the RV

Recently I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit my friends Herb and Diane Bishop, who live there and to attend an Encounter ministry weekend. When I arrived, they took me to Holland, Michigan to see gorgeous tulips and Lake Michigan, which is like the oceans in Florida, except it has no salt. You can read the blog post and see the pics of that here.

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

Gorgeous tulips in Holland, Michigan

This is part 2 of my Michigan blog post series, about Herb’s and Diane’s beautiful RV, where I stayed for free when I went there. It was like my own hotel room, except without the high cost!

It was an amazing time of peace and solitude for me to pray, journal, and think about things for a few days.

Herb and Diane live in a farmhouse that is over 100 years old, out in the country. They’ve talked about whether to gut the house and renovate it to be decorated into more of their taste, or to build a new house with a solid foundation or buy a modular home to sit on top of the hill, where their beautiful RV is now located.

Herb and Diane's beautiful RV

Herb and Diane’s beautiful RV

During my time in Michigan, I stayed in the RV, about 30 feet away from the farmhouse. That weekend, I went to the Encounter ministry time with Diane and her two friends, Laurie and Cheryl, which was so good.  More about the farmhouse and Encounter later.

Herb's and Diane's farmhouse

Herb’s and Diane’s farmhouse

When you look out the windows of the RV, there is an amazing view.  Herb said that you can see beautiful sunrises and sunsets on it. The acres of the field belong to their neighbor, but it’s incredible scenery. Herb and Diane’s land has such a feeling of peace on it. (They are devout Christian believers and prayer warriors for God’s Kingdom.)

View out the windows from the RV

View out the windows from the RV

 

Sunset view from the RV steps

Sunset view from the RV steps

I confess that when Diane first told me that I could stay in their wonderful RV when I flew there, in my head, I felt dubious and was thinking, “How great could a trailer be?” I pictured an old, dirty, dilapidated trailer like you might see in poor neighborhoods in a city’s trailer park. (What some people call “trashy.”) Herb and Diane are top class people, but this was just my limited perception of trailers or RV’s. I also learned there’s a difference in RV’s, trailers, mobile homes, modular homes, and more.  However, I was born and raised in south Georgia, where people have polite manners and as the saying goes, “You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” 

Snack basket of fruits, chocolate covered almonds, nuts, & coconut coffee

Snack basket of fruits, chocolate covered almonds, nuts, & coconut coffee

Oh, I was wrong! Their RV is beautiful and modern! I was so surprised and this was such a blessing! Herb and Diane spoiled me and had provided me with delicious snacks and necessities for my stay:

  • fresh fruit, chocolate covered almonds, a variety of nuts, and various chips (I ate ALL the chocolate covered almonds, LOL!);
  • filtered bottled water;
  • a basket of shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, and air freshener;
  • towels and wash cloths; toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and bowls;
  • a warm Afghan;
  • and they bought me a few groceries of food that I normally eat at home (oranges, bananas, an apple, blueberries, Greek yogurt, and Chobani coffee creamer). 

Best of all, Diane had bought and ground up coconut coffee beans for me to have hot, creamy coffee in the morning, which was delicious! (I ordered some when I came home!) She had a pretty aqua-colored Keurig for me to quickly brew the coffee. They said I could come over to the farmhouse any time to talk with them and hang out. But the alone, quiet time in the RV was heavenly and much-needed solace for me! I did go over there to the farmhouse to enjoy our delicious Mancinos HUGE sandwiches and to watch part of a TV show with them. Diane showed me around the farmhouse.

The coconut coffee was delicious!

The coconut coffee was delicious!

 

My orange, a bagel that I'd bought at a bakery, yogurt & blueberries, and the coconut, creamy hot coffee for breakfast- so good!

My orange, a bagel that I’d bought at a bakery, yogurt & blueberries, and the coconut, creamy hot coffee for breakfast- so good!

 

Diane's coffee cup

Diane’s coffee cup

I was amazed at the RV. It was so nice and clean! The kitchen and living room were in one room.  There was a countertop that served doubly as a dining table, a stove, a microwave, and two fridges! I saw a cute little dinosaur on the fridge, and thought of our kids and our grandkids, LOL.

There was plenty of counter space, a fake fireplace which provided real warmth (a saving grace for me later, which I’ll share about), two kitchen stools, a comfy sofa and chairs, and a hope chest where Diane had a warm, soft, beige Afghan for me to use. There was a little sink to wash the coffee pot and any dishes that I used. The RV also had several windows to look out at the beautiful view.

I sat in one of the chairs in the morning, with my hot coffee to have quiet time with God, to pray and read the Bible, as I do at home. These recliner chairs have a hole to put your coffee or drink cup inside it.

I wanted for nothing! (I even had a friend who covered my plane fares and the Encounter ministry fee! God is so good!)

Kitchen

Kitchen

 

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, & 2 fridges

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, & 2 fridges

 

dinosaur on fridge, LOL

dinosaur on fridge, LOL

 

Living room couch & hope chest

Living room couch & hope chest

 

Comfy chairs in the living room

Comfy chairs in the living room

The bathroom was in the next room. It had two sinks with mirrored cabinets, a toilet, cabinets, and the shower stall. Yes, I took showers there! The hot water felt good after a long but fun, first day when I flew into Grand Rapids and we went to Holland and Lake Michigan. They even provided soap, shampoo, conditioner, and hand lotion in a little basket on the counter and other amenities like you have at a great hotel! There were a couple of fragrant-scented Melaleucha cleaning supplies that I used to clean the RV before I left.

shower stall & toilet

shower stall & toilet

 

2 sinks & mirrored cabiets in bathroom

2 sinks & mirrored cabinets in bathroom

The bedroom was in a separate room, next to the bathroom with doors that you could shut for more privacy and to make the room darker. It had a back door, a nice, big, comfortable bed, a mirrored door closet, and a dresser to put my luggage on and unpack my clothes if I wished. It also had a small closet for linens and cleaning supplies, where a laundry hamper was inside. All this was very convenient!

Comfy bed

Comfy bed

 

Bedroom dresser

Bedroom dresser

The first night I stayed in the RV, I noticed as I got ready for bed that it was getting cold in there. The thermostat showed the temperature inside the RV to be about 62 F degrees. Diane wasn’t feeling well from a cough and was tired from our long day. I didn’t want to bother her and Herb, so I went to bed, thinking that it’d be okay. I awoke about 4:30 a.m., freezing and physically shaking!

I looked at the thermostat and it was 9 (nine!) F degrees! I quickly wrapped up in the Afghan, turned on the fake fireplace (that does put out a little warmth), and texted Diane for help. She came out to check on it and then texted Herb, who was still asleep. I felt bad about awaking them, but it’s a miracle that I didn’t freeze to death. Diane went to get me a beautifully colored, thick quilt to wrap in, too. I was thankful for the Afghan, the quilt, and the fireplace to get me warm!

I was thankful for the Afghan, the quilt, and the fireplace!

I was thankful for the Afghan, the quilt, and the fireplace!

 

Beautifully colored quilt

Beautifully colored quilt

The propane fuel had run out so Herb turned on the other one and then messed with something on the thermostat, that was causing some of the issue. It was only about 30 F degrees outside, so we were puzzled why the temp had dropped so low inside the RV. It made me wonder what pioneers did in the middle of freezing winter as they bravely crossed our nation. It warmed up in the RV, I went back to bed to sleep a little longer, then had my yummy, hot, creamy coconut coffee and breakfast!

There was a white table and chair right outside the RV, where I sat in the fresh air to look at the amazing view of the farm fields, apple trees, and rolling green hills. Herb pulled up a more comfortable chair for me to sit in to enjoy soaking up some Vitamin D. 

Table & chair outside the RV

Table & chair outside the RV

In this pic below, you can see how relaxed and peaceful I was. The thermostat and temperature in the RV were fine after that first night, and I was so thankful to stay there! Herb and Diane were great hosts! I had such a fun time with them in Michigan.

Me outside the RV

Me outside the RV

Grace is their sweet, gentle dog. They’ve had her for a long time and in human years, she’d be in her 90’s!

Grace their sweet dog

Grace their sweet dog

Their cute mom cat has a litter of adorable kittens in the barn. Her name is “Sparkle.” (Diane’s granddaughter named her.)The kittens are ready to be rehomed. Sparkle was so sweet and came right up to me outside the barn to pet her. I joked with Diane that I apparently have a “cat anointing.” (If you’re on my Facebook personal page, you know that I’ve been rescuing stray cats since last year, finding safe, loving homes for them – including the Maine Coon-tabby mix, male cat who I kept, named Nichodemus!)

Their adorable mom cat, Sparkle

Their adorable mom cat, Sparkle

 

The sweet mom cat Sparkle & her litter of adorable kittens

The mom cat Sparkle & her litter of adorable kittens

Herb and Diane also have cattle: one mama cow named “Zoe” (she’s due with a new calf in July). Their son Nick and their daughter-in-law Samantha have a jersey milk cow named “Hazel,” who is on their land, too. Missy Carmel, a brown calf, is Hazel’s baby. Herb and Diane also have a steer being raised for beef named “Stew Meat,” whose nickname is “Freckles.” He is Zoe’s first baby. Sometimes you can’t get too attached to cows or other farm animals!

Cows

Cows

.

Missy Carmel, a brown calf

Missy Carmel, a brown calf

They also have a vegetable garden and a flower garden on their land. Diane has moved and transplanted some beautiful tulips from house to house, tulips that she’s had since she was a teenager! Her mom Joan (who lives with them now at the farmhouse and is rich in knowledge about the names and care of flowers, trees, and other growing things) taught her how to do these productive things, along with being a good wife and mom, canning, cooking, and more.

Vegetable garden

Vegetable garden

 

Diane's tulips

Diane’s tulips

 

Elderyberry bush

Elderberry bush

Herb has had trees on the land cut down and chopped for a wood-burning pit outside and a wood-burning stove in their dining room, that keeps the farmhouse warm in winter. They also have a pellet stove in the front of their 3-seasons room (like a sunroom).  

Herb's and Diane's peaceful land

Herb’s and Diane’s peaceful land

Diane drove her mom Joan to town at Horrocks Farm Market in Battle Creek to buy some new flowers in pots to enjoy looking at every day. I wanted so much to go with them, but wasn’t feeling well that day and couldn’t go. I love this gorgeous yellow hibiscus bush! She also bought these unique red flowers.

As Herb and Diane were driving me to the airport to leave Michigan to fly home, Joan (in the back seat with me) remonstrated to us all, “Just look at the beautiful (Eastern) red bud trees and all the flowers and the green grass! Aren’t they amazing?” This was a good reminder to get OFF my phone and to notice God’s beauty all around me. I was thankful that Joan said that. She is a sweet lady. I told her that she had done a good job raising Diane. She jokingly patted herself on the back and said, “I know!” Haha!

gorgeous yellow hibiscus

gorgeous yellow hibiscus

 

hibiscus bush that Joan bought with Diane in town at Horrocks Farm Market

hibiscus bush that Joan bought with Diane at Horrocks Farm Market

 

red Mandevilla flower bush (also called Rock trumpet) that Joan bought

red Mandevilla flower bush (also called Rock trumpet) that Joan bought

My friends Herb and Diane. I’m so thankful to God and them for this amazing, fun trip!

Herb & Diane at Windmill Island by the tulips

Herb & Diane at Windmill Island by the tulips

In the next blog post, I’ll share about the Encounter ministry weekend in Michigan.  Stay tuned!

Click here for my Michigan Blog Post series, Part 1 God has surprises in store for you and me.

 

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