Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2021

What’s Next?

We had a busy last week in Ohio – besides wrapping up work at Heartland Retreat Center there was also The Graduation of our oldest granddaughter (whoohoo), and then we had the entire gang (less one) up at the campground for a fun final day picnic. But before I get into all those pictures (oh, and there are plenty of them!) I thought I’d just let you know What’s Next for us –
Montrose to The CabinThis summer our main focus is our family reunion at the Cabin, scheduled for the middle of July. We’ve parked the coach at our favorite PA project – Montrose Bible Conference, where they are kindly allowing us to leave her while we traipse back and forth to Vermont. Gary has a number of pre-reunion projects in mind, so we leave tomorrow (May 26) and will be staying until June 7th or so. Then it’s back to Montrose where we’ll work for a bit to earn our keep, and then back up to the Cabin by July 1st. While it’s technically R&R (from SOWER work), I’m pretty sure it will be more Rebuilding and Reconnecting than actual Rest and Relaxation. Though I dare say there will be a nap or two happening as well! And oh-so-many family hugs!
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The gang from our last reunion at The Cabin – 2012!

We’re looking forward to a great summer! The Cabin (my happy place), Family (my happy people), friends (ah, beautiful friends), and a bit of work for the LORD to round things out!

Spreadsheets to Bed sheets

And just like that, our May project is over! During the first of our three weeks at a project we’re finding our way, scoping out the new surroundings and getting to know our co-servants. During the second week we’re in our stride.  Our ‘new’ neighbors have become good friends, and we have a pretty good understanding of what we’ve been doing and what we’ll be doing in the days ahead. Then the third week hits. It’s like – WAIT. It’s almost over? But, but….didn’t we just get here? This month was no different! Thursday was our final official work day and already one of our neighbors has returned home.  So I before get too maudlin over these ‘leaving’ days, here’s a bit of a recap of our time here at Heartland Conference Center!

As mentioned before, I started out in the Health Office, helping to organize registrations and health forms that came in daily for summer camp. (YEA for summer camp this year!!!)
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This last week I moved from spreadsheets to bed sheets as I joined the other ladies in housekeeping – transforming this
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into this!
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It was fun to work as a team as we got the rooms ready for the next batch of visitors!
Since I had my sewing machine set up, I also mended about 10 of the spreads that were showing some wear and tear.
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But lest you be too impressed – I was really only stitching a small void in the binding – trying to prevent further ‘unsewing’.
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I truly did enjoy working with these sweet ladies!
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The guys worked on a variety of painting and plumbing projects, but I think the most memorable “guy job” on this project was the mowing on those fun zero-turn mowers!

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They were on those mowers at some point most days that the weather allowed it, ’cause folks, there is a LOT of grass here!
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(and this is only the view from our coach!).

Although it was work, I think it was just a bit like playing on go-carts for them as they’d drive them to break and home for lunch!
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The Mowing Team – spruced up for pictures!
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In the three short weeks we have been here, the trees have filled out,

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and so has our circle of SOWER family (also known as friends!)! We welcomed a brand new SOWER couple (whose last name is Sowers – how crazy is that!), and got to know a couple who reminded me of Gary & I ten years ago (high school sweethearts, three kids, full-timing, etc…)! Today we’re wrapping up loose ends, tonight we watch our beautiful Ellie graduate from high school, tomorrow everyone is coming here for a post-graduation/last day with Grams and Pops picnic, and Monday we pull up stakes (or levelers as it were) and hit the road!

What a stellar month it has been – filled with family and friends and a good bit of Kingdom work!  Thank-you, LORD, for this adventure you have led us on!

Seemed kinda weird….

…not to do a post yesterday!! So here’s a bit about our first couple of days on our new job!
After 4 months of doing mostly cleaning and painting (with a little gardening and ladder holding thrown-in), the first two days on the job here at Heartland had me sitting at a desk. Working on a computer.
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Yes, this a happy place for me! While I was doing some computer work the other ladies on the team were busy getting all the paperwork (that I was printing) organized.
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It’s wonderful for the retreat center that even with COVID restrictions it appears that summer camp will be happening this summer, and we’re happy to be able to help with some of the preliminary organization. I’m sure we’ll be doing more ‘maintenance’ (read “cleaning”) in the weeks to come, but this has been a great start for us!
Meanwhile, the guys….
Well, Monday was a pretty rainy day, so they started doing some drywall repair and painting in one of the offices.
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I don’t know exactly what Gary is doing up on the ladder, but I’m pretty sure I can see wires hanging down, so it’s electrical in nature. But today the sun broke out for a bit and the guys got to hop on those zero-turn mowers. Oh boy!
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The rain eventually returned and they went back to inside work in the afternoon, but they really had a fun morning on those mowers!
Vrummmmmm…………

As Heartland ramps up for a (somewhat back to normal) camping season, we’re happy to be able to help in anyway we can.   We’re so thankful we get to be a part of this chapter of God’s story here!

May the Fourth be with you!
Steph

 

 

Made it!

A. We made it to our May SOWER project, and our resting place for the next three weeks! Thank you, Lord, for safe travels and a beautiful place to serve!

This month we’re volunteering at a new SOWER project – Heartland Retreat Center – in Marengo, OH. It’s north and a bit east of Columbus, and this is the first time they’ve had SOWERS! It’s also less than an hour from both of our kids who live in the Columbus area! In different directions, of course!

To Toby’s To Lara’s
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We haven’t figured out just how the Visiting the Kids will look (everyone is super busy these days!), but we’re looking forward to great month. Not only are we working at a new SOWER project, but we’re working with a brand new SOWER couple! It’s always so encouraging to see the excitement in new folks as they begin their “RVing with a Purpose” journey!

Let the Project (and fun!) begin!

B. I’ve also made it to May, ending my self-imposed challenge of doing a blog post everyday! Phew! I certainly can’t promise (or maybe it’s a threat??) to do it again in May, but I’m hopeful that I can continue on with a more regular schedule of tidbits from our life. Thanks for coming along this month – I really appreciate each one of you!

Have a lovely first day of May, dear friends!
Steph

Once Again, The Guys….

were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

As I was saying yesterday, their focus was on this barn, which up until recently was just that – a barn. But the ministry was working towards making it into a workshop with parts storage, a small meeting room and a bathroom. They’d already put down a new concrete floor, finished off some of the ‘stalls’ for parts storage and begun to move some of the woodworking tools to their new home.
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So the two big items on the guys’ list was the insulating and drywalling of the meeting area and bathroom (which also needed to have the walls built)
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and upgrading the electric from ‘barn status’ to legitimate, useful service.
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Gary and Don (the host) discussing options!
50+ duplex outlets, 12 switches, 8 single outlets, 3 electric drops, 3 overhead lights, 12 other lights and close to 1000 feet of wire later the space was well lit, and ready for anything you wanted to plug in! Safely.
I have to tell you, I am constantly impressed with how darn tidy he can make all that wiring!
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In the above picture you can spot Gary up on the ceiling of the new bathroom space finishing up a connection, one of the ‘electric drops’ (the thick black cord coming down from the electrical box in the crossbeams), one of the three LED lights (oh, so bright) in the main area, Linda working on the spackling of the bathroom, and Jim using a power tool. Oh, and lots of ladders! =)
I think if I have one picture of Gary standing in front of a jumble of wires –
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I must have a hundred! But somehow he gets them all tidy (and labeled) before he considers the job done!
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But Gary wasn’t the only one keeping busy out at the barn! Jim and Steve stayed just as busy with the insulation and drywall project!
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Some days they even had to work around Gary!
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Finally there was just one last piece to hang – a 12 ft sheet on the ceiling. For that they had to call in reinforcements – the ladies!
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(Honest, I was helping too, but I couldn’t resist this photo op!)
As they say – Teamwork makes the dream work! And that last sheet was definitely a whole team effort! Steve and Jim put in the last of the screws, and while there is still plenty of spackling and finishing to do, the guys did a great job of checking those items off the list!
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By the last day of the project we were all working at the Barn, helping to button up the last of the electric and wrapping up that drywall project.  Which made for a sweet ending to a very sweet project. We made some grand new SOWER friends, were able to get some good work accomplished for a very special project, and were so very blessed to be a small part of helping this ministry.

Thanks for joining us here at The Potter’s Place!

Steph

 

 

PS – If you’d like to see more photos of our time at The Potter’s Place you can check them out HERE!