Tag Archives: Friends

Thirty Days, Thirty Posts

I thought I’d finish out the month with a little ‘small world’ story that happened just this past Sunday. We worshipped at the church where we are serving this month (Dothan Community Church) and as often happens, the pastor asked us to stand and introduce ourselves. We obliged with our standard “We raised our family in Pennsylvania, but we’ve been on the road for 17 years now, so we’re pretty much from everywhere and nowhere.” The service continued on, and afterwards many folks came up and greeted us, warmly welcoming us to DCC and thanking us for the work that we would be doing. As Gary and I were heading out, one sweet lady came up and asked where in PA we were from, since she also was from Pennsylvania. We fine-tuned our geographic area and she said she was from the Harrisburg area.
“Oh, where abouts,” I asked.
“North of Harrisburg, actually. I live in Perry County.”
“Wait. Perry County? My sister lives in Perry County!”
(For those of you non-Perry Countians, it’s a very beautiful rural area with more farms that industry and at my last count, one traffic light.)
At which point, the dear lady said, “I thought you looked familiar – are you Joie’s sister?”
“Well, yes I am!” came my astonished reply!
It turns out Sue(from Perry County)’s sister is married to Chester who is our ‘boss’ on the job here at DCC! She was down visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. What a lovely totally unexpected surprise – and delight! We spent the next 10 minutes or so tracking down connections – it’s possible that we had even met many (many) years ago as they had gone to the same church as Joie & Fitz ‘back in the day’.

I suppose it’s a small thing – running into someone in Alabama who knows someone you love in Pennsylvania. But it felt pretty big on that Sunday morning when in that sea of all new faces, someone thought my face looked familiar. And it was!

Thanking God for his kindnesses – big and small! I just love how He is a God of details!
Verse

Mondays are for Memories – Birthday Buddies!

As we wrap up November, there is one more birthday I need to mention! Actually it’s a cluster of birthdays – the 2nd (Connie), 9th (Me), and today the 29th (Bonnie). Here is a post from a couple of years ago that pretty much sums up my affection for these two very dear ‘Birthday Buddies”.

Long, long ago, in (what seems like) a galaxy far, far away a young bride met with a ‘more experienced’ bride once a week for lunch. And encouragement. And prayer.
Time passed, babies came, and schedules changed. But the friendship and encouragement and prayers never ended. Our little twosome grew to include others as we changed from being young brides to being young moms.
Friends moved, babies grew, and life happened. Things changed.
But through it all, three of us somehow, by hook or by crook, managed to continue to meet once a year to celebrate our November birthdays. We’d often meet at church on a Sunday in November, enjoy lunch, catch up with each other and end the day in prayer. It was a very precious day for me, as I would often go the whole year without being in contact with them. But that thread of friendship never broke. Never even frayed!
Since we’ve been on the road, we three birthday buddies haven’t always been able to connect during November. But whenever we can work it out, we work it out!!

birthdaygirls08 ConnieBonnieandme
birthdaybuddies Connie Bonnie BonnieConnieand me

I didn’t make it to back to Hometown this past summer, so being able to connect with these precious Birthday Buddies, these Sisters in Christ was especially sweet this past October.
Untitled
I’m so thankful for these friends from that galaxy far, far away!
Birthday
So Thankful for US!

South Dakota in October

Tomorrow morning we head to Galveston with our grandson Weston for his Great Galveston Adventure! Guess I better get this South Dakota goodness written down before I once again sink into Blogging Never-Never Land!) So –
Here, in no particular order, are 10 South Dakota October Things we love!
1. Harvest Time. Oh, my! The combines!!
Untitled
Untitled
We learned a lot about how the combines work, how both corn and soybeans are harvested, and how hard the farmers work out here (and everywhere! Farming is HARD, folks!). Not only did we get to watch combines in fields as we traveled around, we even got to watch them in the backyard field! (They were working at 9 o’clock at night and I didn’t get any pictures of those headlights. But here they are getting ready for the dew to dry so they could start again!)
Untitled

2.Long Walks. Long Straight Walks. Long straight soul enriching walks.
Untitled
‘nuf said

3. The Community Dinner. Howard is a small town – well under 1000 folks at the last count. And like most small communities, they take good care of their neighbors. The first Wednesday of each month there is a Community Dinner at the local Methodist Church, hosted by a variety of local organizations. October’s ‘organization’ was a neighborhood group that Don and Jenny are a part of. SO – we got to join them in preparing Chili with all the fixings for about 50 folks who came out to enjoy the evening.
Untitled
What fun to get to know their neighbors and to see a bit of ‘love your neighbors’ in action!

4. The Corn Palace down the road a piece in Mitchell-
Untitled
The palace itself was closed when we were there, but we still got to enjoy the amazing murals all made from (wait for it….)CORN!
Untitled
It was especially fun to see one that was still in progress –
Untitled
Can we call that “Corn by Number?”

5. Games – We can’t get together with SOWER friends without some game playing!
Untitled
Don & Jenny introduced us to “Fast Track” – which is like, but not the same as, Pegs and Jokers, which is like, but not the same as SORRY. Confused yet? Think how we feel! Glad our aging brains could be taught some new tricks, though!

6. Bawling calves. While this might not fit into the “Things we love about SD” category, it does fall into the “South Dakota in the Fall” column. About this time every year the area ranchers divide out the calves from their mommas. The mommas are moved to their winter pastures, while the young’uns learn to live life without mom nearby. Needless to say, when that happens to about 250 pairs of cattle on the next farm over, there is a bit of an ongoing ruckus as the ‘babies’ are moaning about being deserted. Rumor has it that the mommas are over in their new pasture feeling like (some) moms feel when school starts in the fall!
Untitled
(Full disclosure – these are not the bawling calves. But they are representative of the cattle in the neighborhood!)

7. Dignity. We took a little road trip to see this well-known statue located in a rest stop in Chamberlain, SD. So stunning!
Untitled
Untitled

8. Also in Chamberlain is the St. Joseph’s Indian School and the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center.
Untitled
Very interesting and well worth the stop.

9. Sunsets
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Does my heart good every single time!

10. Dear Friends! How kind our God is to enrich our lives with beautiful friends around the country!!
Untitled
For us, the best part of South Dakota are these good friends, who share devotions with us, laugh with us, support us in prayer, and love on us regardless of where we are in the country! So glad we could spend this week with them!

If you’d like to see some additional photos of our time in South Dakota, here is a little slide show or you can check out the album HERE!

Thanks for coming along for my Ten Things! These just really scratch the surface of South Dakota in the Fall – you should check it out sometime!

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you after our Great Galveston Adventure!
Steph

On Our way home from Vermont

We stopped to spend some time with our SOWER friends, Kim and Joe, who live in Upstate New York.  We love our visits with them – totally laid back at all times.
Untitled
Two of their grandsons (ages 14 & 12) were there one day since Kim’s been helping out with their virtual school days. They wrapped up their school requirements by noon and spent the rest of the day on the tractor or 4 wheeler or Gator. Pretty much this is a young boy’s paradise!
Untitled
Along with all those fun-for-boys (young and old) vehicles, they have also helped build this incredible treehouse!
Untitled
I mean really. Does this resemble any treehouse you’ve ever built?
When we visited them last summer it was ‘mostly’ done. The “Phase Two” structure (bedroom) was complete (and mostly decorated!)
Untitled
and the kitchen/living section was just waiting for cabinet doors and countertops.
Untitled
But even then it was most impressive. Did I mention that Joe has milled all the wood he used at his home sawmill? Almost anything that isn’t wood is something that has been repurposed (windows, roofing, doors, etc.).
Here’s the living area this year –

Untitled

Love this sink and counter!!! The running water comes from a 250 gallon tank, and the fridge, lighting and stove are propane. This baby is totally off grid!

We thoroughly enjoyed getting a tour of this year’s improvements and finished out our treehouse time with a hotdog roast around the campfire.
Untitled
Does it really get any better than this???
Untitled
It was a wonderful way to end our little early summer get-away to Vermont!

Just for the record – we call them “SOWER friends” only to identify how we met them. We are such good friends at this point that I can’t quite remember when I did not know them and I thank God continually for merging our lives together. How gracious He has been to us!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

P.S. If you’d like more information about Joe and Kim’s Treehouse, he’s entered a contest through the Wood-Mizer manufacturer (the sawmill company). Here’s a link that should take you right to his spot. Feel free to vote for him too – or check out some of the other entries. It’s pretty impressive what you can do with a ‘backyard’ sawmill and lots of ingenuity!

 

 

A Visit with Lynne

Lynne and I met when our oldest sons were in preschool together. They are both 42 now, so you know we’ve been friends for a long while. They’ve moved a couple of times over the years, but we somehow managed to stay in touch, however loosely that may have been.  When Roger retired (or mostly retired) they settled in Ludlow, VT, which just happens to be on the way to The Cabin!  Since we’ve been on the road our friendship has blossomed again, as they have often come to The Cabin for an overnight or two and we have stopped to spend time with them in our comings and goings to our cabin. It’s been a lovely thing!
Croswells and us
Late in March of this year dear Roger slipped quietly and unexpectedly into Heaven.  Oh, how our hearts ached for Lynne. As we were preparing to head to the cabin in late May I asked Lynne if she was ready for company.  She was hesitant at first, I think – so much seems so overwhelming right now, but she finally said yes. Come. So Gary dropped me off on our way north and I was able to spend three lovely, quiet, tearful, and maybe even a bit productive days with this dear friend and sister in Christ.

I joined her on one of her daily walks
Untitled
and we found a five-legged newt!
Untitled
We helped him get safely to the side of the road. (Though it’s not a very busy road and he probably would’ve made it without our assistance!)
We lingered over breakfast on the porch,
Visit with Lynne
filled the house with the delicious smells of homemade soup,
Visit with Lynne
attacked some crazy weeds in the garden,
Untitled
did little dusting and did a little puzzle puzzling.
Visit with Lynne
And finally, when the chores were done, we spent some time in her studio – the first time she’d been there since she lost Roger.
Visit with Lynne
Visit with Lynne
It was hard, but it was good.
We sat quietly and remembered Roger with both laughter and tears. We prayed. We talked about the days to come and the days that are gone. Her grief is great, but her hope in the LORD is greater! I was blessed and honored to spend those precious days with her.

We all miss you, Roger – but we know you are in such a better place! See you when we get there!

Love,
Steph