USA Tour ,and on, with Steve, Shirley, and Frances 2008 travel blog

Columbus, Ohio State House

On the Capitol Steps Calling Israel

Steve and Shirley with the dogs at Lake Erie

Frances walking along the shore of Lake Erie

Ginny watching the scenery go by

Two full days with no mechanical malfunctions! What a Glory Hallelujah that is!!!

Steve did notice this evening as we pulled into a WalMart Super Center parking lot that the brake lights and running lights and turn signals weren't working on the rear of the motorhome so I guess that is a problem to address for another day. But the good news is that we are in New York and tomorrow we should make it to the capitol, that will be number 13. We wanted to be in Maine - Bangor, Maine (our home town's namesake) to be specific for Shabbat, but it looks like that isn't going to happen, but any state park around this part of the country would be a pleasure to spend Shabbat, it's all beautiful!

It's such a temptation at times to be a tourist, we keep reminding ourselves though that that is not the purpose of this mission. We do take breaks, as you can see from some of the pictures, and enjoy a few minutes of our Abba's creation, but mostly we stay focused on the task at hand. America is such a beautiful land that our Abba gave to us for our exile, but to all of us who are of the seed of Abraham - whether natural born or grafted in - America is not our inheritance and we look forward to the day in eager anticipation of coming Home!

Old time friends met us at the capitol in Columbus, Ohio; what a treat it is when more than the three of us are gathered for the proclamation! They invited us to their home for supper and the night. As always it is hard to leave when morning comes, conversations don't want to end, goodbyes are prolonged with one more hug and one more story, I'll be so glad when we don't ever have to say goodbye again!

I'm ending this entry with portions of an article that Battalion of Debra had posted on their website a few days ago - I think it has some great suggestions for incorporating into our own personal march to Yom Kipur -


As a nation, we are now in that last moment. Elul, the current Hebrew month, is the tail end of the year, the last few days before Rosh Hashana, when we close out one spiritual year and begin the next. It may have been a great year for some of us, a strained and difficult one for others, an unfulfilling year for others. But this is the month in which we can sink or swim.

Somehow, just as our spiritual antenna begin to buzz with excitement of the approaching High Holidays, a wrench gets thrown in our plans to race down the homestretch. We have the new school year for our children, the beginning of a new season at work, and all the catching up to do at work after our summer vacations. It seems as if something out there wants us to miss this incredible opportunity to tie the year together.

By marshalling our forces and putting in an extra effort to increase our spiritual involvement during this month, we can close out this year as a success. One way to do that is to make this month a mini-Rosh Hashana by incorporating its three major themes: Kingship, Remembrance, and Shofrot.

Kingship speaks of the idea that God runs the world and all that transpires in it. One way we can make this real is to write down every day one time you saw God acting on your behalf. It can be making an unnaturally long string of green lights when you were late for work. It can be how that person you were just thinking about calling popped into your office. Your baby might have tripped and fallen, but luckily a couch pillow was right there to cushion the fall. If we look for God's interactions with this world we will find them everywhere.

Remembrances talks about how God remembers all of our actions and cares about everything we do. Unfortunately, we are often the ones who don't care about what we do. During the month of Elul we can try to spend five minutes each night contemplating the past day. What mistakes did we make and how can we avoid them? What things did we do that were just right and we need to ensure that we will continue doing them? When we do this exercise, we start realizing just how important and valuable our actions are.

Shofrot deals with the blowing of the shofar and the unique relationship it signifies between God and the Jewish people. Throughout the month of Elul, the shofar is blown in the synagogue every morning. Spend a short time each day thinking about your relationship with God and about the changes we want to make before Rosh Hashana.

Let's seize the moment, and soar.

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