Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ghost Town Showdown

A few summers ago...

Were we lost? I was beginning to wonder. This lonely back road should be leading to the most well preserved ghost town in California. We had been on our bikes for over an hour, and there wasn't a ghost town, or a soul in sight.

Just when I thought we should turn back, we crested a hill and there...far in the distance...sprawled in the valley below...lay BODIE.

The picture above was taken just moments before the local sheriff tried to run us out of town.

You see, as we first rolled our bikes up to the entrance gate, a CA State Parks law enforcement officer just happened to make a sweep through the old ghost town. Like a cocky western sheriff, he strode right up to my husband and stared him down. Back 50 feet from the confrontation, I wondered if I heard the faint jangle of spurs..... A showdown was brewing. I stayed on my bike and kept the engine running....

"How did you get here?" He demanded, not amused.
"On that dirt road", we pointed.

Let me explain: I hadn't wanted to "drive" into Bodie the way everyone else did...on the a 20th century tourist in a modern day horseless carriage. I KNEW it would be much more exciting to R I D E into town. Enshrouded in a ball of dust. With the sun at my back and wind in my hair. (kinda) Like a cowgirl on a horse. Only better! Cause when I roll, I roll on two wheels!!!

The day before I had researched a seldom traveled route at the Mammoth ranger station which began on the historic north shore of Mono Lake. I made sure it was legal with the rangers. The next day we headed out on our western adventure. Me and my posse - Tom, Dylan and our good riding friends LT and G.

Below is G, LT, Dylan and Tom - AFTER we wrangled our way out of the Pokey.

"That road you came in on is a state highway." said the Officer glancing at the young teens in our group. "You have unlicensed drivers here."

"That dirt rode is a state highway?"
"Is it marked? We didn't see any signs."
"It's a state highway."
"How can you have a highway without signs, speed limits, or any other markings? Can we leave that way?"
No answer...just a glassy stare. Was his hand slowly reaching for his pistol? I reved my bike nervously.....

Disgruntled Outlaw Bikers (can you say "busted")

We didn't think he was going to let us park our bikes and stay, but finally he did. We actually had a really great day. Boy did we get some stares tromping down main street in our "moto" attire. :-) Bodie was and still is incredibly cool. Most of the town is left just as it was when the gold seekers walked out. The town was booming in 1877, but by 1940 only ghosts of the past remained. Old dishes, furniture, and tools lay scattered in the old wooden structures and the general store still has items on the shelf. The residents were mostly men (and a few of the wrong kind of women). Shootings were every day occurences and there were robbers, stage holdups, street fights and 65 saloons along main street! The weather brought bitter winds, snowy winters, and baking hot summers. It has been said "Bodie was second to none for wickedness, badmen and the worst climate out-of-doors."

Bad Boy Bikers? Jail - or no Jail?

Later in the day, we snuck out the same way we came in, as it would have been too dangerous to take Hwy. 395 back down to our trucks. Luckily the officer wasn't there. Probably out chasing other desperado's.

Goodbye Bodie! Now let's get out of here before we really do get busted!

Posted by Sharon Lynne with a little help from Tom.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Good Job

We rode into a ghost town on our dirt bikes a few summers ago. Bodie is the best preserved ghost town in California. Tonight I was going to post some pictures of the town--and us in it--but I can't seem to upload any pictures from photo bucket. I'm a little concerned about this. If photo bucket goes out--I don't know how to post pictures.

So...we will have to talk about something else tonight, but I'm not sure what yet.

Hmmm. I haven't told you very much about my job. I work as an instructional aide in Special Education at a public school. These are kids that get pulled out of their classrooms for some extra tutoring in math, language arts, and writing. I love my job. I'm just completing my third year. These are the things I like about my job:

1) I'm making a difference in a child's life.

2) Watching a child learn--and enjoy learning--is exciting.

3) It keeps my brain from going to sleep. Right now I'm tutoring 5 fourth graders. We're into fractions, decimals, number lines, areas, perimeters, and I'm determined they WILL LEARN THEIR MULTIPLICATION TABLES!

4) I like making up math games.

5) I get to re-learn all the things I forgot.

6) I was able to teach on the history of Christmas which included the Nativity story. Many of the children had never heard the Christmas story!

7) My 2 bosses are nice to work for.

8) I also tutor several first graders, and they keep me hopping. C. always has to go to the restroom when he wants to avoid writing. The bathroom has great acoustics, and today C. started singing loudly--so loud, it was disturbing the class on the other side of the wall. I had to quickly go and get him. J. loves to work on the "Yap-top" (lap-top computer). They are working on a special note to their fathers for Father's Day. "What does your dad do?" "He sleeps alot".

9) I work in the same school district as my 16 year old son. So we have the same days-off. (Oh...and I'm off on Christmas break and Spring break) Of course I get summer off too--but I have an application in to work in summer school because we need a few extra dollars this year.

10) The school is less then 2 miles from home.

11) I work part time. I still have time to get errands done, and all the other things one needs to do to run a house.

Previous to this job, I stayed home...raising my boys. Before that, I worked for 10 years in Human Resources at a bank. After 14 years of raising the boys, I felt nervous about returning to work. I didn't feel confident in my skills. But then a teacher friend called me and told me about this opening. It was a perfect fit for me. It's not easy getting into this district, and the doors opened. I know God was behind this, and I thank him every day for having a job that I don't mind going to.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I don't know if it was an accident or not, but I was looking at my bookmarked sites today, when my finger slipped on the keyboard and I found myself at Praying for a Prodigal.

After reading a few of Diane's recent posts, I realize that the way life is right now, for me, for all of us, is not how life will be in the future. God is always working and moving...he never pauses for a break. As a result, our situations change. God is about the business of making things right. Making human hearts right. About unfolding his plan, his love, his will.

I can't see Him. But...

God is working.


For you. And for Me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

P.S. Thank you for the kind comments of encouragment.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

On the Bus with Mom

That's MOM, standing under the "T" of Tour.

A couple of years ago, my mom and I went to Santa Barbara. We really looked forward to getting away together because its something we rarely do.

Mom bought tickets to go on a very unusual tour bus. When it took off, we hung onto our hats--because of the wind. After riding all over town, the driver headed for the harbor. When we got to the water's edge the driver didn't put on the brakes! He headed down the boat launching ramp! We rolled right into the water! We motored around for quite awhile, and these are some pictures I took from the bus. (It was one of those buses that is part boat. Have you ever been on one?)

10 Things I Love About my Mom

I’m lucky to have a mom for so many years! At age 51 I can still go to her for advice. We often pray together over the phone. Here are ten things I love about my mom.

1) She has a strong faith in God.

2) She loves my dad.

3) She reminds me to have a sense of humor about life.

4) She has many friends. I enjoy meeting them and getting to know them.

5) She wise, practical and logical.

6) She is athletic and I’m proud of her tennis accomplishments.

7) She’s sweet most of the time, but she can be tough when she needs to be.

8) She likes to garden, sew, read, play tennis, study the Bible, host parties, bicycle and have fun!

9) She’s pretty.

10) She loves my husband, my children, and me!

I hope she doesn’t mind me telling her age, but she is an amazing 76-year-old!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Garden of Eden

There is a beautiful garden, not far from my home, that I love to visit. My friend, who I have known since kindergarten, met me there, last week.

The rose garden is alive with color.

A shady path weaves through a lush jungle.

I'm thankful for a beautiful garden and a good friend!

Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

Sunday, May 6, 2007

An Adventure in Russia

About 2 summers ago we rode single track in the Lake Arrowhead Area. About 10 minutes before this photo was taken I zipped along a trail that suddenly widened into a giant mud puddle. I tried to go up on a bank to skirt around it, but my wheel slipped and I fell flat. I was pretty muddy and wet...wet like the morning, many Easters ago, as we prepared to sing in Red Square—Moscow.

Two hours before the performance, it had started to rain. We worried about all the electronics, wires, mikes, sound board, etc. etc. But then, after much prayer, the clouds disappeared, the rain stopped, the equipment survived, and our Easter praises echoed through the square.

How did we find ourselves in Russia?

I'll never forget when the plane descended into Russia. I couldn't believe I was landing in the country that I had feared for years. But now things had changed.

After many long years of communism, Moscow prepared to celebrate its first Easter/Resurrection day morning! Campus Crusade for Christ sent a choir over to sing in Red Square. Tom was asked to make a recording of this event, and I tagged along for the adventure of it all. (No way was he going without me!!!) I ended up joining the choir—which was very exciting because they combined us with a Russian choir.

I sat next to Ludmila, a kind woman of about 63. Later in the week, she invited Tom and I to visit her flat on the outskirts of Moscow. After a crowded bus ride (standing up and holding on to a pole) we were transported to the outskirts of the city. We walked many more blocks and caught another bus. We walked more blocks, passing tall drab buildings. No landscaping or grass—just a cement paths leading toward doors, or stairways. Finally we climbed the stairs to Ludmila’s flat. There we met her family including her 2-year-old granddaughter. Quick ending: We had a nice time with a warm family. It was pretty funny because we couldn’t communicate very well. Although they are a religious family, it is their custom to drink at meals. I was poured a shot of Vodka in a tiny cup. Tom can’t drink for medical reasons, and I didn’t want to be impolite so I took a swallow. Wow! They were chuckling at me.

We gave them some cans of meat we had with us. At that time, meat was very expensive—and hard to get—in Moscow. We had brought several cans of tuna and chicken with us, for Tom’s special diet (diabetic). So we gave them our cans. (as it turned out we were well fed at our hotel).

We also were able to distribute Russian language Bibles on the street and in the subway, and it touched my heart as I watched very old men and women reach for the Bible and hold it to their heart, with tears in their eyes. They still remembered the days when they owned a Bible—before the days of communism. The younger people were less emotional, and more curious. They would quickly open the cover and start reading—from the beginning.

We exchanged New Year’s cards for several years, and about 5 years ago, I failed to get a card from Ludmila.

So now….this letter sits on my desk. It seems the letter is from her daughter. I’m wondering if Ludmila passed away. In her last letter, about 5 years ago, she mentioned she was going to the hospital on a regular basis for dialysis. The letter includes 2 pictures. One is a picture of our family (that I sent many years ago) and the other is a picture of a middle-aged woman and a young woman (a teen) standing in the city of Moscow. I think it must be Ludmila’s daughter and grand-daughter. On the last page of the letter someone has drawn a big heart.

Final thoughts…I hope to get the letter translated soon, but other things are pressing. Our oldest son is leaving home today. Please pray that God will work in his life…and keep him safe from evil.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A Letter from Russia

I really should not be posting. It's time for me to go to bed. It's late. But for some reason, I just feel like touching base...just for a quick hello! (I hope this is quick)

Oh...Dylan just called me. He's still up? He wants me to say goodnight. I'll be right back.

Okay. I'm settled again. My oldest son is still out somewhere. Things aren't going well with our relationship with him. We need lot's of prayer.

I received a surprise today! It was a letter from Russia! Please excuse the leaves from my Lemon Balm plant.

My husband and I visited Moscow 15 years ago. It was an experience I'll never forget--a good one. Actually we were there on my birthday, but not because of my birthday. I'll tell you more about it later. But we met a family over there, and about five years ago I lost touch with them. Just yesterday I thought of them. letter from Russia! I'm so excited. But the only thing that it's written in Russian.

So I'll have to hunt down someone who has some expertise with the language.

Since today is supposed to be "Wednesday Writing Day" on my blog---(I'm sure many of you have given up on me about the writing posts...) But since it's Wednesday, I'll report I have one article out to a publisher--being looked at. I sent another to Associated Content per the urging of the Gatekeeper. They bought it. I also have an article coming out in October called, "What Would Jesus Do on Halloween?". They bought it almost 2 years ago!!! Writers must be very patient.