Our Summer Adventure 7 – sights, miracles, and lessons learned

A beautiful old barn - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Recap: Part 6 – Dreamy Cottage Grounds

Looking for a good book to read, my hand found my way into a bag of 3 fairly recent purchases. I didn’t recognize the first, nor the second. But the third I did. Cracking it open and starting in, I got a chill up my spine…

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Our Summer Adventure 7 – sights, miracles, and lessons learned

The Shack. I’d heard some loved the book, but I couldn’t remember what it was about. So I started to read. The Shack is about how the murder of a dad’s daughter in a shack, brought him to the same location later on, to meet face to face with God. The dad had so many questions. How could something so awful happen to someone so innocent? The book touches on that and much more.

I ended up reading it long after the lights should have flicked off. Sitting beside a lamp in the quiet of the moonlit livingroom, BAM. It hit me.

I was sitting in my own version of The Shack. The parallels started to make my head spin. The cottage was reteaching me how life was before the blog and internet. Family, adventures, conversation, and  longer days giving you more time for all of the above. I sat in stunned silence, closed the book, and flicked off the lamp beside me.

I was brought here to learn what’s most important.

Then, something made me look up. Glancing towards a window, I realized I had forgotten to close it. Intending to close and lock up for the night, I paused. It was so still outside. So quiet. So dark except for that amazing moon. Kneeling down on the floor in the moonlight beside the open window, I felt a closeness. It was a moment and a feeling  I’ll never forget. In such a quiet, remote location, I was far from alone. I should have been afraid to be near that wide open window in the middle of the night in nowwhereland. But strangely, I wasn’t. I. Just. Wasn’t.

From that moment on, Miracle #9 (the book) became an encouragement. Now that I’m home, if I struggle with something, I reference something I read in the book. It helps.  If you haven’t yet read it and you have questions about how the God thing works, I suggest to pick it up.

Disclaimer: The Shack is a work of fiction with Christian undertones. It is an artistic expression, not Biblical writings, and should be looked at as exactly that. (quoted from my Pastor, who actually approved the book)

A beautiful old barn near Enderby - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

The next day was the day to take in the local sights! First stop was Enderby. It was suggested we take the back roads to take in the rolling hills, hidden valleys, and beautiful barnyards filled with flowers. It was one of the most beautiful, curvy mountain roads I’ve ever driven.

Roads less travelled offer more surprises.

Enderby's river rafting - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Enderby became a huge highlight of our trip. We had heard all about their amazingly shallow, calm river where you bring your own floating devices and just float along with the current. I was afraid of that concept. We have our own river near home where folks do this, but it’s very dangerous. Yet, for some reason, we packed the floaties before heading out. Just in case.

We found the parking lot where the river rafters started out and spotting a few folks ready to try it all out, I rolled down my window…

“Excuse me… hi! We’d like to know more about the river rafting thing… is there a shuttle that can take us back to our vehicle? And wondering how safe it is… blah blah blah…”

And that’s when a gal sitting on the ground said, “That’s my neighbour!” Huh? I looked at her and she looked familiar… and when she took off her sunglasses, I realized she was my neighbour from across the road… from home!

Turns out they were up visiting relatives and were about to float down the river themselves. They invited us to float with them, then they’d drive us pack to the truck. Um… just wow.

Just ask, and you will receive. 

Enderby's river  - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

The water was soooo warm and crystal clear. And ever so calm.

Enderby's river  - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

We ended up floating for 2 hours! It was the most amazing ride and experience that I will always remember. If it hadn’t been for meeting up with our neighbour Dana, I would NEVER have done this on our own. And this would indeed become Miracle #10.

So what else did we do while in Salmon Arm over the next couple days? Fun stuff!

Go Karting!

Salmon Arm Go Karts - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

My son had never driven a go kart before so this was a must.

Salmon Arm Go Karts - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Take the time to be a kid.

In fact, do it daily.

Salmon Arm Go Karts - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Salmon Arm Go Karts - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Vrrrooom! Quickest 10 minutes of my life. And yes, the boy beat me. 🙂

Junkin!

Vintage licence plates in Enderby - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Enderby had a vintage market set up along the road so we pulled in and started snooping around. I did pick up the plates on the right! I attached the red plate onto a crate in my blog office.

White enamel pans and rusty tool antiques in Enderby - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

I love white enamelware and rusty tools. This whole wall worked for me as is!

Rusty railroad spikes for sale in Enderby - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

The railway spikes came home! For only $1 each, you can bet I hogged them all. And I have NO idea what to do with them. I just like looking at them. 🙂

Antique Radio Flyer red wagon in Enderby - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

I did want the radio flyer wagon but it was a little rough for $20. Or so I thought anyway.

Sunset at Canoe Beach in Salmon Arm - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

We also discovered Canoe Beach on the Shuswap Lake, found little villages and some quaint shops… and then we found Smuggler’s Cove.

Smugglers Cove Vintage Furniture in Salmon Arm - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Karen told me that THIS place was a must see. And I could see why. They create custom pieces as well as revamp old stuff. One of their specialties is to make a kitchen look ‘old’. They take old windows and fabricate them into cupboards and such. Gorgeous work!

Whimsical shed by Smugglers Cove Vintage Furniture in Salmon Arm - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Speaking of custom, this is a shed design they came up with. Tell me that isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen! The shape is so whimsical! I’ll take a full kitchen redo and a double wide shed please!

And then it was time to go home. I struggled with this one. We were going to leave on Friday, but then were told by a local that traffic would be horrendous. I called in to make arrangements to delay my work at home, then decided to stay put until Monday.

But something made me do all the laundry and stock up on groceries the night before. And I guess we were suppose to come home, because when Friday AM rolled around, we both wanted to risk the traffic issue. We were a little homesick. I guess we’d just done enough. And even saved some things to do should there ever be a next time. Smart thinkin’, huh?

We’ve learned our lessons well.

Now it’s time to go home and put them to work.

The building of a front porch in Salmon Arm - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

One last glance at the cottage on our way out looked like this. There was no porch when we arrived, and it was nearly complete. Funny… while staying here, I had wished there was a little covered patio just outside the door to sit on with my morning coffee. And then this happened. What else would you like me to wish for, Karen?! 

SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT. Just as we started to pull out of the cottage driveway… rain. Nooooo!  I was nervous but we left anyway. Turns out, it was overcast, warm and not another drop transpired once we left town. And there were NO traffic issues whatsoever!

I hadn’t really been looking forward to another 6 hour drive home, but this round, we made much better time. I guess we were going uphill on the way there, because going home, the truck gave me the high 5 and we were burning down those roads. The anxiety of the drive was pretty much gone having already done it. Wow. What a difference from when we came up!

Just do the difficult and get it behind you.

Then it becomes less difficult the next time.

Lesson learned!

A historic pink hotel in Merritt - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors
We were so relaxed with our time and travels, that we even stopped at a few places to look around. This lovely salmon coloured historic hotel is in Merritt, BC. It’s quite a landmark compared to the other surrounding smaller buildings.

Vintage aprons on a line as wall art - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Happy to discover a cute little cafe with a table and flowers on the sidewalk, we grabbed a snack and a coffee. I knew you’d take delight in this sweet vintage apron wallhanging, so here you go!

Vintage rolling pins and egg beaters as framed art - part of Summer Adventure 7 / sights, miracles and lessons learned via Funky Junk Interiors

Don’t these vintage eggbeaters and rolling pins look striking framed against black?

And then we were home. It was sooooo good to see the cats and just be in our own surroundings again. But you can bet part of my heart tugged towards the little cottage and all that it did for us.

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Our getaway reminded us of what life was like before our electronic habits took over. Granted, I earn with mine, but there’s a time to be online and a time to be off. And I know full well the on button was on too much. 

Live life, then blog about it.

Living life then blogging about it is a mantra I really want to hold onto. As well as incorporate other dreams into the works which will take time as well.

My son experienced a week without his gaming and regular TV. The time away reminded me that we need to implement more things to do at home that don’t require electronics. 

There have been improvements. And there will be even more. For if you create more, you simply have more to blog about. So friends, my attempt will be to get back to the basics again. Summer is over, and it’s time to ramp things up with the house. Finish unfinished areas, keep creating new and unusual things, AND get back to ebook writing to finish the first one off.

I thought this series was too long at first. But now? I’m a little sad it’s over. Writing the lessons out and documenting our trip this way turned out to be much more than I expected. It’s a well documented memory that has hopefully not only taken you along with us, but has enriched your own life in some small way while we have worked on ours. Maybe it’s time for you to make some changes for the better too?

This wraps up the Summer Adventure series, which should really have been titled Summer of Miracles. Maybe I’ll save that title for the novel. 😀

However, there’s rumour that there may be one more post coming up. Should that happen, you’ll be the first to know about it… and guaranteed, it will COMPLETELY surprise you…

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About “Our Summer Adventure”

A blogger who mentally can’t pause her social media world. A boy who lives for video games. This is the story of how an absolute miracle brought a mom and her son into a much quieter, simpler world, far far away from their own internet driven world. With no wifi. Will they survive? You’ll soon find out!

Visit all Summer Adventure instalments HERE

Visit the entire series on PINTEREST HERE

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  1. The Shack was a defining moment for me, too! I love that book.

    My favorite quote from the book is when Papa is talking to Mack about Grace:

    “Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.” Wm. Paul Young, The Shack

    Donna, you find grace and bring grace to many. Thank you.

  2. Lovely blog. I’m so happy that you and your son were able to spend that time together. It is wonderful to reconnect without all of today’s normal interruptions and the great outdoors has a way of energizing our bodies.

    Everyone should read The Shack. I loved that book! It certainly gives us a lot to think about.

  3. Loved this series! I grew up on the wet coast in Vancouver and spent alot of my summer time as a young girl in Sicamous at my cousins house so I know what you are referring to…we used to say I was the city mouse and she was the country mouse…that same cousin now lives on the river in Enderby! She was probably sitting out on her chairs at the edge of her property waving to you as you cruised by…I now live in the Kelowna area and we always love to head up to her house to spend a day relaxing by the river and just enjoying the view and the quiet.. 🙂

  4. Thank you for wonderful reminder! I enjoyed your reflection. I have been reading your blog for almost a year now and feel your journey to a balance life. It is a very huge challenge for a creative mind. I am lost when the internet is down. I love the connection to family and friends and I get HUGE inspiration from my pintrest boards. I know that I have to limit myself or it could spiral out of control!! Your time away with your son puts life in prospective and how it happened was so spontaneous! Thank you again.

  5. The Shack is one of my favorite books. I am enjoying reading about your adventures. I have such a terrible sense of direction that it keeps me from doing things I would love to do. You are encouraging me with your courage. 🙂

    • oohhh Sheila..I am so glad we both enjoy Donna’s blog,and unknown to either of us we are enjoying it together.
      I loved her trip….I wish I could go there and experience the same places.Because I love getting away from the gotta do’s. Thank you Donna, for putting this all down so nicely for us to enjoy through you.I am so happy your boy and you got to spend this time together. I hope he remembers it, and realizes how important it is to break away from the habit electronics becomes and smell the roses once in a while. Get centered again.Find what is really important! Each other! Thanks again! ♥

  6. I’m kind of sad for the series to be over too! I’ve looked forward to it and enjoyed it soooo much! I think we all need to unplug more than we do and LIVE!!!

  7. I was so glad you finally posted this. I couldn’t wait to read #7. I’m so glad you were able to go and be a kid again. It is such a small world, you never know who and where you might meet someone you already know. And, the lessons learned, WOW, we are all tied with these electronic things and it’s just so nice to turn everything off and do something I remember doing as a kid….playing cards, dominoes, taking walks, etc., etc. See you soon.

  8. For sure, there’s lots of deep truth to mine in THE SHACK, yes? God’s trying to get His message to us … so we can live it out.

    Thanks for going there this morning, Donna. It has enriched the already vibrant conversation here!

  9. Donna, I’d say you and your son had the ultimate vacation ever! God certainly blessed you with many ‘miracles’ while on this trip. Thanks for taking us along and sharing the adventure with us. Blessings. Pam

  10. Donna,
    I read/absorbed The Shack about 5 years ago–It’s the most amazing thing I have ever read.

    For me it was a confirmation of how/who I have come to believe “GOD” is–loving, giving, caring, forgiving, not punishing or vengeful. God isnt responsible for the trajedies and suffering but if we turn to him in our pain he is always there to help us heal.

    The Shack has impacted me in more ways than I can say here–it is truly a miracle and I believe it is not for us to keep –it should be passed on and on so others can experience it!

  11. I want to thank you for taking me along on your vacation. You sure know how to write and I really enjoyed. God Bless!

  12. Oh Donna – I had a God moment on Saturday morning. I tried to write it and capture it here (http://pouringmeout.blogspot.com/2013/09/magical-moment.html) but i could not do it justice at all.

    I love coming here for more than the visual inspiration. You are an encourager to me as well as many others.

    And I also happen to have piles of railroad spike that I have no idea what to do with, but I like looking at them too.

    Have a wonderful day.

  13. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book The Shack! After I read it, I bought a bunch of used copies on Amazon to give away! We all need to adjust our priorities from time to time….we are leaky vessels and forget the lessons we already learned! 🙂

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