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Shells and Bombs; Yellow Jackets! Unity of Wilmington; Musical RVs; Unity of the Blue Ridge; Missives from Minnesnowta

Before leaving Fort Belvoir, we had to go for a final trail run in the forest. In past runs this summer, we have seen signs warning of bears, cougars, coyotes and rattlesnakes. This sign caught us off guard until we realized that unexploded shells and bombs from 1861 through 1945 could be sitting just under the top layer of soil here. Needless to say, we didn’t venture off the trail. (In fact, the day before, we had seen an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Demolition) Team in the area, so there are still things that can go boom in the woods here.)

On the way south from DC, we stopped at the Seymour Johnson AFB campground. It isn’t often that you get up and see guys in HazMat suits walking around your campground… in this case it wasn’t a fuel spill or ricin attack, but a nest of angry yellow jackets resident in the base of a tree in the next campsite over (which they had closed). The guy in the suit proceeded to spray the nest and then to dig up and remove it.

One of our favorite places is Wilmington, North Carolina. Rev. Mindy Tucker and the folks at Unity of Wilmington are some of the most hospitable people we’ve met on our cross-country tours. We arrived at our campground at Fort Fisher, in Kure Beach, and prepared for our first event, a Sanaya session, which was very well-attended and -received.

The next day Suzanne and I were walking Kure Beach and ran across several rowdy tourists, including our good friend Barb Kelly (far right) from The Villages. 

Kure Beach was a favorite place for Doug Brown, whose name many of you will recognize from Suzanne’s talks. He is the young son of Scott and Robin who made his presence known by waving at Suzanne from the other side and later showed her the gorilla in a tutu.  It’s a beautiful area, much less crowded than most East Coast beaches, and we could see why Doug loved coming here.  

We then enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our hosts from Unity’s Consciousness Frontier lecture/workshop group. Left to right: Barbara McGirt, Cliff Birtwistle, Sherron Herdtner, Judy Birtwistle, Beth Ventre, Patricia Howell, MLB, YHC and Val Mahoney. It was a fun evening, right on the riverfront, with a great view of Battleship North Carolina and fabulous local seafood. 

Suzanne’s SOAR Workshop was also a hit at Unity of Wilmington.  While she was spending the day  helping people to let their spirits take flight, I was dealing with more earthly matters back at the campground …

This photo showing our motor home and two trailers doesn’t look very interesting, but the story behind it is nothing short of amazing. When we checked in for a three-night stay, we were told that because of heavy demand, we would have to move to a different site for each night. No problem, I thought, since it’s a busy time. When we had to move from site 6 to site 5 on day two, I noticed that site 5 had been empty the night before. So why couldn’t they have put us in site 5 initially??? Then when on day three we were told that we had to move to site 4, I started asking questions… we were being told that we had to move to where the red truck is, he had to move to where the trailer on the right is, and the trailer had to move to our site!!! Yep, musical RV’s, moving from one site to another for no good reason. Everyone was preparing to disconnect hoses and electrical power, bring in slide-outs, come down off jacks, hook up to move 50 feet, and then do all of the above steps in reverse to set up again. I then did something very out of character. I fomented a revolution. I went to the owners of the other two RVs and said, “Does anyone else think this is really dumb? Do you all want to move or stay where you are?” Obtaining agreement from the other owners, we then moved in a phalanx to the campground office, executed an enveloping maneuver around the unsuspecting office lady, and basically said, “We’re not moving.” It worked… one of those minor victories against bureaucracy. We may not ever be allowed back on this Air Force installation, but the sand fleas were vicious here, and it’s not on our “must return” list.  (A phone call to the parent command recreation office later resulted in an admission that their reservation system is a bit antiquated.  Ya think??)

Having been placed on the campground manager’s persona non grata list, we cheerfully packed up and moved all the way across the state to Asheville, NC, for the next event on our summer tour. Suzanne presented her Awakened Living 301 workshop at Unity of the Blue Ridge in Mills River (our second visit here), where hospitable, lovely, and beloved Rev. Darlene Strickland welcomed us. This is another happy, enthusiastic and loving community of kindred spirits who lauded Suzanne’s presentation.

I would like to thank Terri of the Frozen North for her submission of her interpretation of the hidden designs in a photo from the last blog entry. I had mentioned being unable to discern a pattern because it kept dissolving and reforming, like swirling clouds in a thunderstorm. Terri saw a heart and a seagull in the photo, proving that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to artistic ability…

Terri also had time (during an early winter blizzard) to visit a hothouse floral exhibit in perpetually-frozen Minneapolis and sent along this image of lovely morning glories, a species of the Family Convolvulaceae. Terri tried to convince me that these flowers were growing just off her deck, but we all know that winter started months ago in Minnesnowta… 


  • Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks for your laughs and insights into your world. I'm still out in central Idaho fighting fire with my incident command team. I had two days off and met my wife in Bozeman, MT where her fire team had their close-out. I travel back to my fire for another week then back home after nearly a month out. It's beautiful country and rain has moderated the fire danger. Your and Sanaya's messages kept me company on those long days. Had I been home, it would have been fun to come see you in Asheville which is about an hour away from us. Safe travels! Brad

  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Brad, Great to hear from you, and that you and Leslie are safe out there in the fire zone. Every time I go hiking in the national forests, I silently thank the men and women who make it all possible. Hopefully we can get together some time when ya'll are back in NC. All the best, and hoping for lots of rain out west!!! Ty


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