My son-by-marriage, Cory Helms proposed to his girlfriend, Jana Waring and so now we have a wedding to look forward to! Jana captured their beautiful engagement day in her blog ; you’ll see why I am so happy to soon have this wonderful young woman as my daughter-in-law. I couldn’t ask for a better life-partner for Cory.

Jana’s love story got me to thinking about my own marriage, and how blessed I am to be Mrs. David Helms. So often we take what is so beautiful in our lives for granted. I am feeling so grateful today to be traveling through this beautiful country of ours, how wonderful it is to be with someone that I’m so stupid in love with. Can you imagine how small an RV would get I were with someone I didn’t love like this? We’re not only in love, we’re also good friends. I like that he’s only ten or twelve feet away from me most of the time.

Our routine now is a fun excursion one day, followed by a ‘do-nothing’ day. Well, we really aren’t slugs on the ‘do-nothing’ day; we stick around the RV, tend to chores, spend time with the dogs, take a dip in the pool and enjoy the amenities at the resort. Forest Lake is really a nice campground too, lots of places to walk through the woods, two huge clubhouses, tennis, shuffleboard, horseshoes … if one is bored, it’s their own fault.

I also have my work, as I continue to teach, coach and write books as we travel. And dead tree trunks have become artsy decor with carvings of Indian faces. On the same street where our RV is parked, there is this interesting building. When we walked the dogs the other day, I took a closer inspection, and discovered that it’s an old tobacco drying building. Seems they hung the tobacco from high racks and dried them with oil burners of some sort. There’s no access to the inside, but it apparently was well constructed because it is still standing and looking quite sturdy. It must be at least a hundred years old.

You know how much we love those little ‘tourist-trap’ towns. Yesterday we drove to Old Salem, NC, once we got the right streets into the GPS. But hey, when you’re just meandering around, it’s not as important to be somewhere as it is to be present where you are. The visitor’s center offered a guided tour through some of the historic buildings but we opted to be our own tour guides and strolled at our leisure, taking in the old buildings and artifacts.

The Salem Tavern Restaurant was a perfect place to stop for lunch. There was a vegetarian option on the sandwich menu which I requested to have on top of a salad, rather than a wrap, and they were quite accommodating. We must have seemed rather able-bodied and dined upstairs. The building has been around since 1784, I’m sure renovated a time or two but retaining a lot of the colonial charm one would expect from that century. Even the window glass was rather wavy.

We’ve been impressed with the amount of crepe myrtle trees and church steeples in North Carolina. Salem State University sports two rather nice bell-towers. Also, the drought which affects the mid-section of our country is not a factor here, and the corn-crops are thriving. We’ve enjoyed some great local corn on the with several of our meals.

Perhaps a good portion of the country is in a drought situation, which is supposed to send corn prices sky-high. That’s not the case here in North Carolina. We’ve seen loads of corn fields, thriving and wow, the corn is delicious too! I think this field is somehow tied to the Salem State College program, but the stalks looked very green and healthy to us. No corn on them yet, or maybe it was picked already? Who knows!

Tomorrow’s plans include a stroll around a big flea market we discovered near Charlotte. I also would like to see NASCAR’s Stewart-Haas garage. I know that Tony won’t be there; he’ll be in Pennsylvania for the Pocono 400. I am a NASCAR fan, and this trip of ours will wind down in Homestead, FL for the last race of the season, followed by Thanksgiving in Key West. How fun is that?

I’m working on a new book with Sean Anderson, author of Transformation Road. Sean used to weigh 505 lbs and is maintaining a healthy body weight now for a few years. We are collaborating on a cook book, featuring people who’ve not only lost over 100 lbs but are maintaining it! Hey, if you qualify and want to participate, send me an email! Oh, and if you haven’t read Sean’s book yet, it’s an amazing story.

Where does the time go ? It’s nearly lunchtime and I’m sitting here writing. Still need to collect pictures, so this won’t get up on my website until later today. That’s the nice part of our ‘do-nothing’ days; time to do the things we love. And I sure do love to eat! Don’t count on me to miss a meal!

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