Tag Archives: SOWERS

Quick Catch-up

Week One – Pre-meeting stuff at the SOWER office and some general down time.  Kinda laid back and all good!

Week Two – Meetings for Gary, meeting support for me.  A bit exhausting, but still a blessing. Naps were a necessity.

 


Week Three – Spending time with friends in South Dakota. More details to follow!

 


Week Four – Arrived in the Waco Area to spend a week with our kids and four grandsons.  The adventure is unfolding……

 

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Stay tuned……

And just like that….

Almost two weeks have passed since my last ‘hello’ to you guys! These two weeks in Lindale have been busy with lots of things – just not blogging, apparently!  Gary was doing a lot of pre-meeting organizing while I was working diligently on a quilt project.
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We fit in a little road trip to three SOWER projects in the Huntsville area and it was great to see how they are recovering from the shut-down last summer. (I’m happy to report that they are all coming back nicely! They’ve had a good camp season and felt the Lord’s favor on their facilities. Hearts were turned to Jesus!)
UntitledWe were able to connect with friends in the area (or living nearby some of those projects we visited) and I didn’t have the alarm set all week. My kind of mornings!

This week has been filled with the annual SOWER Trustee meeting.
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My job was orchestrating the food – lunches, dinners, and breaks! It was all take out or eat out, but it still needed a bit of organizing. I had some great help, and all in all it went well (with the exception of the calorie intake).  I even think the meeting did too! =)

Tomorrow we get organized for our departure on Saturday when we’ll be leaving on a jet plane to see friends in South Dakota.  Super excited about that! But lots to get done before we go!

All of this to say that it’s probably going to continue to be pretty quiet around here for the next couple of weeks. Did I mention that the day after we return from South Dakota we’ll be moving the house to our son’s driveway outside of Waco for a week?  Yep, more busy days ahead.

But I’m thinkin’ there will still be no morning alarms! (Except maybe snuggles from the grandboys!)

Stay well, my friends,
Steph

The Home Stretch

It seems to always sneak up on me. Do we really have just a week left at this project? What exactly have we been doing for the last two weeks?
Inquiring minds want to know, right?

First of all – they let me drive a golf cart!
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Kinda crazy, right? Tamara and I were tasked with checking out the curtains in each building to see if they needed to be replaced. We had our clipboard and a master key, and we were off! It was so fun exploring all those cool buildings, especially since while a building might look like this on the outside
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it might look like this on the inside.
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Or this!
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Or even this!
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We also did a some post-retreat cleaning and laundry, so there was a nice variety to our work week.
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Sweeping away the spider webs on the outside
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and lots of fun games on the inside!
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And laundry. There is always laundry!

 

 

 

 

While we were scooting about in that golf cart or chasing down spider webs, the guys were working on replacing a set of porch posts that were beginning to show some serious wear.
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They weren’t replacing them with such fancy posts (think $$$), but rather something that would last, look pretty good and ALSO hold up the porch!
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Once the lights and corbels were back in place, those new posts seemed to fit right in!
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Seeing the ‘big picture’!
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Great job, guys!

But of course that only took the first week! After that they moved to disassembling/refurbishing/repainting/whatever was needed to some outside lights!
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And when I say ‘some’ I really mean between 80 and 100!! They all needed to be taken down, cleaned up, repainted, rewired and then reinstalled!
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They were working on batches of about 20 and pulled us girls off the golf cart to give them a hand!
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This apparently is the face you make when you’re learning how to strip wires!
There were globes to wash
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and plenty of spray painting and rewiring to be done.
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My job was to do the pre-painting clean-up, which did involve some live spiders and even some old wasp nests.
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No pictures of the actual cleaning, and no screams with the creepy crawly things, I’m happy to report!
The guys were able to get the first two batches back on their posts
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and when we checked out the finished result later that evening –
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my, they looked purty!!
With just four days to go, we’re hopeful to get another 40 down, refurbished, and back up! Although it seems that every time we turn around we’re finding more of them!

This is an amazing facility that New Life Ranch has only owned for the last three years. (Previously it had been “Dry Gulch, USA” , a ministry site from a large Tulsa Church that included not only a summer camp, but also a hugely popular Christmas Train.)  Although it’s always been a Gospel-centered camp, New Life Ranch is working hard to re-mold it into their ministry model! It’s been very exciting to be part of the process.  The train was sold before New Life purchased the property, but the rest of the campus is still largely the same! Here’s an older video from the “Dry Gulch, USA” days.

Thanks for coming along for the recap of the last couple of weeks. Man, they go by fast!
Steph

Mondays are for Memories – Like just last month!

Although we began work this morning here at Frontier Cove, I thought I’d better do a quick wrap up of our SOWER month at Potomac Park back in West Virginia. As I mentioned before, it was a very different month as we fit in doctor visits, routine tests, visits with family and even a week with our oldest grandboy. The folks at Potomac Park were very kind and accommodating, and even though our schedule was a bit (ok, a lot) wonky, we still managed to ‘get ‘er’ done.
Potomac Park is both a conference center and a community of summer (and some full-time) cottages.
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Every now and again one of those cottages is donated back to the conference center for them to use (either as accommodations or maybe to sell?). That was the case with this unit –
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It was already in beginning renovation stage as you can see. Gary and Bill were tasked with moving and updating the wiring, but everyone soon realized that in order to make it safe it really needed to be done from scratch.
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Oy – I don’t think he’d ever seen so many junction boxes in so small a space.
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Since it was turning out to be a one man job, Bill moved over to the maintenance area and made a beautiful carpet ball game frame.Untitled
I wish I had gotten a better picture of it as it got closer to completion! It was going to be beautiful!
Back at the cottage renovation, Gary was making great progress with the wiring, and although the cottage was a long way from being habitable
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the wiring was complete and ceiling lights were safely installed.
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(Photo of wire pulling – light installation happened after I left the building!)
The crazy wires from the little attic space had all been tamed
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and at least that part of the infrastructure was good to go!
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I don’t know if we’ll be back to see it after it has all been put back together again, but it had good bones and now it had good electric service too!
Luciene and I concentrated mainly on post-meal clean-up – wiping tables and serving lines and sweeping/vacuuming/mopping the floors as needed.
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We were essentially on flex-time – available when we were needed, but often able to enjoy some extra time at home. Some months I might’ve minded not being busier, but after a busy July at the cabin along with that wild Delawarean Adventure with Noah, it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. God, in his mercy, gifted me with a SOWER-lite month!
Untitled It was a good month – just a little different for us. But still filled with sweet fellowship, delightful family time, and satisfying SOWER work. Oh. And ice cream.

August 2021 SOWER project documented.
Check.

Made it!

WV-MD-WV-KY-IN-IL-MO-OK
Two State Capitals (Drive through only!)
The complete length of I68
All but about 7 miles of I64 (Did we really want to drive through St. Louis on a Wednesday morning? No.)
Found an easy in-easy out campground for our last night just outside of Springfield, MO where we didn’t even have to unhook the truck
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and journeyed the last 90 miles on nice two lane highways! A sweet change of pace after  ~1100 miles of zipping across interstates!
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There were some small All-American towns to navigate
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but we did enjoy the more leisurely pace of the ‘less traveled’ road.
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We made it to our final destination by 10AM before the worst of the heat kicked in, and were able to have a lovely afternoon getting settled.
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And while we haven’t done much exploring yet, this looks like a pretty incredible camp!
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Stay tuned for more about Frontier Cove, but for now, here are a few more photos added to our “Road To OK” slide show!

Thank you for your prayers! We were blessed with lovely, uneventful 1150 miles of travel, and for that we are truly grateful.

But my, it feels good to be still!