It’s quiet tonight

We’ve pulled out of our cozy little parking spot and are parking overnight in the school parking lot, ready for an early start tomorrow. I know I say this every time we wrap up a project, but WHERE DID THE MONTH GO! Not only was this a very worthwhile project, it was also located (as I am sure you’ve noticed from previous posts) in a very beautiful spot – the Florida Keys. Plus we were working with a great crew. There were four SOWER couples, two independent couples, a SOA couple (SOWERs who sign up for a longer period of time and usually work a specific job), and a retired SOWER couple who are now on staff at the school and live here full time. We worked hard, and we played hard too!
Here are some of the “work hard” highlights –
We ladies started in the elementary school kitchen. They currently don’t serve lunches here, so the kitchen is used for lots of odds and ends. Which basically means that no one is in charge and it only gets a lick and a promise in the cleaning department. Well, when a group of SOWER ladies descend on a kitchen that is in need of cleaning and organizing, it doesn’t take too long before this
kitchen-1
looks like this –
kitchen clean
While two of the ladies worked in the school (tutoring and handling recess to give the teachers a break), the rest of us worked on landscaping chores
ladies working
Painting the youth pastor’s office
Before-
work-4
and after –
work-1
cleaning and painting the bathroom in the shop (no pictures of this, but trust me, there was scrubbing involved), painting the floor in the concession stand,
painters
and more landscaping.
I worked mostly with Marlene, and we had a grand time! It’s such a special delight when God surprises you with a kindred spirit on the project. But I digress…..
The men also kept busy. There was a major remodeling going on down at the church that the two independents and SOA were focused on, leaving the four “regular” SOWERs with quite a variety of jobs.
Like getting the baseball field ready –
men working
men working-1
(let me tell you, this was a little outside of Gary’s comfort zone!)
Hauling stuff from the school to the church or vice versa….
men working
or helping out with the renovations over at the church –
Work at Church
The guys accomplished a long list of maintenance chores but since none of them carry a camera, it’s hard to document what they actually do! But I did catch this shot –
men working
Not sure just what they are doing, but it sure does seem to take a bunch of ’em to get it done! (Please note that Gary is NOT on that ladder!)
But as you know, it’s not all work.
And this project did seem to have an extra measure of “play”.
There was the pool across the street –
afternoons
We didn’t get there all that often, but when we did it was a delight. And if it was too cold to swim, we just enjoyed watching the kite surfers or the birds or the boats.
There was the kayaking
Kayaking2-9
the bike rides
IMG_9608
meals eaten with friends
islamorada-5
and the general joy at exploring all of the interesting areas nearby.
Robbies Dock-1
stormy
islamorada-1

But I haven’t even told you about our deep sea fishing adventure – where Gary never even got off the bench (despite several doses of dramamine), and I (despite feeding the fish a couple of times) even caught a couple of grunts.
KW Fishing
Fishing-1
Gary stayed on that bench most of the trip. He would occasionally get up to bait my hook, bless his heart.

And we DID make it all the way to Key West and the “Southernmost Point in the Continental USA” –
KW Southernmost friends
It was a spectacular day – beautiful weather, great friends, and interesting things to see and do.
The streets –
KW streets
The sights
2011 01 23
The houses
KW Houses
The Disney Cruise Ship
Disney Cruise Ship Collage
Gary kissing Marilyn Monroe
KW marilyn
🙂
Like I said, it was a grand day with a grand finish –
Keywest Sunset

Tonight, as a grand finale, all 18 of us (well, the 16 of us and the host and his wife) went to a dockside restaurant for dinner. And while I don’t have any pictures us fellowshipping with one another, I do have a couple of shots of Gordon feeding the HUGE tarpon that congregate under the dock (waiting for folks like Gordon to buy a bucket of fish to feed them…..)
feeding the tarpon-1
feeding the tarpon-2
feeding the tarpon-3
feeding the tarpon-4
(What you can’t see in these pictures is Gary chasing off the pelicans with a big pole. They were pretty darn interested in those little fish,too!)

Let me say it again – THIS WAS A GREAT PROJECT! The folks we worked with are such good sports that they even let me take a kissing group picture!
IMG_5342_edited-1
We will certainly be taking both the ministry here and the folks that have become dear friends with us in our hearts and prayers.

PS – As you can imagine, I have a couple more pictures than I posted here. (Shocking, I know) Click on the links if you’d like to see more of our adventures – both at work and play!
Islamorada SOWER Stuff (like working and eating together!)
Deep Sea Fishing
Feeding the Hungry Tarpon
Our Key West Day Trip
And of course, the WHOLE SET of Pictures of our time in the Keys can be found HERE.

Thanks for sticking with this extra long post! It’s way past my bedtime, but we’re heading to the Everglades tomorrow on our way to Ft. Myers and I knew I needed to get this “wrap up” post done. Just warning that there may be alligator pictures in your future! I know there will be some in mine.
Sweet dreams!

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