Ready to go – Sad to say good-bye

UntitledThis morning we bungyed down the breakables, pulled in the slides and hooked up that pretty red truck to begin our trek east to our next SOWER project in Mississippi. As much as we were ready to go (it’s our internal time clock – three weeks, and it’s time!), we weren’t really ready to say good-bye to our new friends, Tom and Wendy. We’d had a great month with them – kinda low key with all the COVID stuff going on, but still very special. Wendy and I especially shared lots of stories since we were diligently painting that hallway and meeting room for the entire three weeks. Lots of story time there!
I loved that we had developed our own painting rhythm – she would wrangle the pole and do the ceiling cut in while I scooted along the floor and did the “lower trim” – baseboard (carpet – how weird), corners, doorways, etc. Then we would both grab a roller and tackle the main walls.  We were like a chatty finely oiled machine!
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(No pictures of me scooting, but trust me – my fitbit was NOT getting a work out!) By the end of the three weeks we had both areas completed, switch covers were back on, drop clothes stowed away, and furniture returned to the walls. Of course, I have no picture of that. But while it didn’t look really any different (beige A being painted over beige B), the room and the hallway did have a wonderful fresh look. Thankfully we will not be there to see the first ding. (That’s the beauty of our three week schedule!) So while we painted (and solved most of the problems of the world), the guys were busy with about 137 various tasks. They did some electrical work, including moving and hooking up a mini-split A/C unit, some plumbing work
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and Tom even stopped by to try and get us some better lighting.
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(Ah, the fickle fluorescent lights. Which ones will come on today?)
If you look closely at the bottom right corner of the building you can see Gary sitting there replacing some broken siding pieces. Like I said, they were doing a million small jobs – but nothing was left unfinished and I do believe the camp was oh-so-happy to cross those pesky “little things” off their to-do list.
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Tom and Wendy are fairly new SOWERS, and after this month I know they’ll continue to be a true blessing wherever the LORD sends them to serve in the future!
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Instead of heading straight to our MS project, we decided to use our ‘in between’ week to lend a hand to our two Louisiana projects, one of which took a terrible direct hit from Hurricane Laura.  We’ll get to Dry Creek Camp tomorrow, ready to help in any way we can. Before the week is out we’ll head to Acadian Baptist Center which has also been affected by the recent hurricanes.  Then by the weekend we’ll be getting settled at Forest Lake Ranch in Macon, MS for our November project. We’re looking forward to a busy and blessed week!

Right now we’re tucked into a Walmart parking lot in Leesville, LA and once I hit the Publish button and then get the coffee ready for tomorrow morning it’s off with the generator and into bed for me!

Sleep well, good friends,
Steph

Pretzels

I don’t know if it’s because I spent most of my life in Pennsylvania (home to some of the greatest snack foods), but I love a good pretzel.  The crunch, the salt, ease of eating (no greasy fingers like you get with potato chips) – a good pretzel is a thing of snacking beauty. In our travels we have been disappointed again and again with sad pretzel choices when we check out the snack aisles. The struggle has been real.

UntitledImagine our delight when we found a pretzel (a store brand, no less) that had just the right crunch and the perfect amount of salt here in Texas at the H-E-B (which, for you non-Texans is a large (beloved)Texas supermarket chain) in Waco.

Now I’m not sure what the official demographic of this chain is, but I do know there are none in this part of Texas, and there will be none in my future until this time next year. We were down to our last bag, so when I knew the kids were coming up from Waco last weekend I sent Abigail this text:
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Since we’re really watching what we’re eating these days, I figured we could make a couple of bags last a good long while.
However, Gary thought a little reminder (and expansion) was in order and sent this text to Josiah (unbeknown by me).

And Josiah, being the good obedient son that he is, followed his instructions to the letter.
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Can’t imagine what the check-out clerk was thinking as she rang up the order, but I’m pretty sure we’ll not be hunting up pretzels any time soon!

Mondays are for Memories – Mississippi!

Since we are heading to Mississippi and our November SOWER project at the end of the week I thought I’d look back to one of the first times we visited the state, fifteen years ago also in November. Here’s a little report from ‘early on’ in our Rving adventure –

Nov 11, 2005 –
I’ve been a little frustrated getting a good internet connection here in southern Mississippi. Even Starbucks let me down today! But we’re in Hattiesburg and someone directed me to a Kinkos/FedEx store where I could connect. Enough whining – just an FYI if you don’t hear from me very often!
I never mentioned our time in Vicksburg, did I? It really has something for everyone – Casinos, Outlet stores, History….. We just concentrated on the History – and after our visit to the Vicksburg National Park, we took a nice drive down through the town. We were glad we were just in the truck – those little city streets would have been a nightmare! Here is just one shot of the battlefield….
Vicksburg National Cemetery
There was so much information about the battle there – I get lost in all the details!

We’ve been busy this first week at Harvest Ministries. Previous to our getting here they removed 62 trees that were on the drive alone. Once the utilities were back they were able to house some of the evacuee, but now they are getting ready for some official “guests” this coming week. The men are busy with building repair, and we ladies are doing “housekeeping” – stuff we’ve all done before! Lots and lots of clean-up (inside and out) to do.
Here is a shot of the view from the dining hall where we meet for devotions each morning…
Morning at Harvest Ministry
I’ll try to get some shots of the damage that is being repaired, but that will have to wait until my next visit to a wireless connection!
Weather has been wonderful – cool nights and beautiful sunny 70 degree days.
And Diesel this morning was only $2.50 at Walmart.
=)

Here’s a link to the original post!

Sabbath Rest – Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

With so much “noise” coming at us, how hard it seems these days to hear the soft and tender voice of Jesus.  Yet He continues to call……

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See, on your portals He’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home

Oh! For the wonderful love He has promised
Promised for you and for me
Tho’ we have sinned He has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home

Gently He leads those who carry their young ones
Shepherd for you and for me
Surely His goodness and mercy will follow
Ever with you and with me

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home
Calling O sinner come home

Original song adapted by Kristyn Getty; Ashokan Farewell written by Jay Unger
© Public Domain

Saturday Errands

We had a pretty productive day today – how about you? We started the day with our co-workers Tom and Wendy who joined us for a bit of a walk about at the McKinney Third Monday Trade Days (which apparently is held on the weekend before the Third Monday of the month – go figure). It’s one of those gigantic flea market where you can purchase anything from Texas swag to fun decorative items to yard art to giant corndogs.
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We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but still we managed to come home with some goodies –
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Three scrubbies for Gary, a pair of earrings for me, and a Griswold cast iron frying pan for the kitchen. (Ok, it’s really for me….)
It was all I could do not to come right home and cook up some bacon!
I’m sure we missed some bargains, but I am happy to report that we made it down the puppy aisle without going home with one! There sure were some cuties, though!
Once we’d had our fill of Trade Days (and with our happy purchases in hand), we headed to In N’ Out for lunch.
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(Picture is from a previous visit – I wasn’t very good at taking pictures today!)
Once we leave this area we will be out of In N’ Out land until this time next year, so it felt good to get one last cheeseburger, protein style, animal style. (If you know, you know. If you don’t, I’m sorry!)
After our burgers we were off to find a Little Free Library, Gary’s favorite book swap venue. We found one just outside McKinney and Gary was able to ‘Take a Book and Return a Book’. Or six.
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(Hey, I saw those fun license plate letters at the Flea Market!)
After the book swap there was a quick stop at Lowes (we have a running Lowes list so when we see one, we stop) and then off to Costco. Lots of folks are surprised that we have a Costco membership since we obviously don’t have much room for buying things in bulk. For sure we don’t by paper towels and toilet paper there. But we do pick up our coffee, check out any bargains in the clothing department, maybe pick up a rotisserie chicken ($4.99!!) and see what else might tempt us. And we always, always pick up a couple cases of water (48-17oz bottles/$2.99!). Our list was short today, but another thing we really like about Costco is this –
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Yes, that’s $1.589/gallon. Love this!
Last was quick run into Walmart to pick up a prescription and a few incidentals, and then we were headed home. All in all a good productive day – and we were home in time for a lovely afternoon snooze!

The rest of the day was pretty lazy – but hey, it’s the weekend right? Hope your day was the perfect blend of productive and easy chair too!

Steph

Seeing the country……Serving our Lord!