Merry Christmas 2013

2_Wyoming Iowa

Wyoming, Iowa

Greetings on Christmas Eve!  I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas holiday and can take a minute to pause and think about the real meaning behind the celebration.  It’s an even more important day to give thanks than the recent “turkey day.”  Safe travels to all.  Be careful out there as well when doing last minute shopping, too!

The photo above was taken in the small town of Wyoming, Iowa, located about 45 minutes east-northeast of Cedar Rapids.  Every year they decorate the town for a fun drive-through light display.  I hadn’t driven the van any where other than Dad’s funeral and visitation.  It was pleasant to take the Express for a spin and see the sights and the lights and it was necessary!  The Fuel Saver discounts on my card were set to expire so a little cruise was necessary; that way I could still top the tank for a penny a gallon.  Now the van is sitting in the driveway, full of gas, just waiting for an adventure… An ice fishing trip in a couple of weeks sounds really good right now!  A little mini-vacation is needed after all that has happened recently.

IMG_4779It’s difficult to believe that it’s been 17 days since we said good-bye to Dad.  It feels like it was just hours ago. There is much to do for the estate and staying busy is really helping with the grieving process.  I’ll be working throughout today and much of tomorrow preparing things that are time sensitive and must be ready by the 26th!

But in the meantime, “family” must come first, something that  was almost forgotten.  My friend, Alothina, said that her two boys (Apollo and Aries) and Trent, her God-son, wanted to go back to see the Christmas lights near the town of Vinton, Iowa.  We were there last year and had a terrific time.  The matters at home can wait a bit.  I told Alo’ we would go on Christmas Eve (tonight).

Despite the bitter cold yesterday, Alothina and I went to Walmart and finished up some Christmas shopping for the boys (ages 9 and 11), including some new matching outfits for them.  After running around, it was nice to settle in for a comfortable night’s sleep … That new ceramic heater kept it pretty toasty in the van!


Ice Fishing Weather!

This will be the first Christmas that Mom and Dad are both gone.  But all these years we enjoyed every Christmas together.  When both parents died, everyone was on the best of terms.  My sister, brother-in-law, and I still are.  I wish that for every family.

Be good to each other and be glad for every holiday you have with your families.  God Bless!

Brad, the “Van Trekker”

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

8 Responses to Merry Christmas 2013

  1. Jerry says:


    What a great candle of your dad , you really hit a grand slam out of the park on that one.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jerry. The funeral home did a spectacular job for us and it made a difference, both during the tough time and the healing process later.

  2. tinycamper says:

    Merry Christmas, Brad. A family like yours is the greatest gift on earth, I think.

    I also had never seen a candle like that. How very special.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and happy, healthy days ahead.

  3. Carla says:

    Warm memories of family and enjoying family and friends still with us are wonderful, wonderful gifts. You picked a lovely photo of your dad that has joy on his face. Just wanted to say Merry Christmas. I look forward to learning about your ice fishing in the new year.

  4. Steven says:

    Merry Christmas Brad