Tag Archives: SOWERS

A profitable weekend

I don’t know if you remember, but almost a year ago (April 2016) we had a little incident with our main awning.
UH OH Awning
Yeah. Not good. We looking into filing a claim with our insurance, but when all was said and done (the awning (like the motorhome) was 13 years old, and the value of the awning had depreciated significantly) we decided not to go through the insurance. Gary also was hankering to change it over to an electric one and felt he could probably handle it himself – with enough additional muscle power from some good friends. Since we are working this month with many good SOWER friends AND our checking account had bounced back from the holidays, we went ahead and ordered the new awning. And this weekend, the main activity in Gary’s book was AWNING INSTALLATION!
It truly was a team effort –
The directions said that you only needed one guy on a ladder and two guys supporting the awning arms. What they didn’t stipulate is that the two guys on the “arms” needed to be twenty-something body builders. Let’s just say “supporting the arms” was a really heavy assignment.
We eventually wrangled up a couple more ladders (mostly just to support the weight of the thing) and they finally got the awning threaded into the channel on the rig.
Once it was up and secured, though, then the fun really began!
It was a little tricky getting the wire from the rear end of the awning to the power source (at the door), but Gary made it happen, and by the end of the day Saturday, we had a power awning.

Kudos to John and Rosie and Jay whose hands-on-help (quite literally) and additional ladders made it all come together – and to the rest of the gang who were cheering us on!!! We do so love our SOWER Family!

Last Week

Man, this month has gone by fast! We’re in our last week of work here at Twin Oaks, and this week has turned out a bit differently than we expected. Oh, it’s still all good – just different.
Last week Gary worked on installing a new air conditioner in the director’s residence (part of the camp).
Since the office (where I was busy scanning and organizing receipts) is connected to the house, it was kinda nice having him nearby. And I even got to help a bit when he needed another set of hands – or someone to open the door! Just call me Hannah Helpful!
This week, with the A/C good to go, the director decided it was time to add three new RV sites. And while that is pretty easy to say, accomplishing it is another story. It involves a backhoe, a new electrical panel, sewer pipe, hundreds of feet of electrical wire, lots of conduit, and fair bit of playing in the dirt.
Gary was concentrating on the new electric panel and let the other guys do most of the dirt work. (For all of Gary’s skills, running big equipment is not one of them. And he was pretty happy he wasn’t in the driver’s seat when the first scoop of dirt broke the sewer line. Yep, he as happy as a clam playing with wires!)
He let me help a bit
when he needed someone to test the outlets and yell when the thingamabob started beeping. He really does need me!
Meanwhile, back in the office I was learning the ins and outs of Google Calendar, printing brochures and posters for an upcoming men’s retreat, and continuing on with the scanning/organizing. For me, it’s been a good month all around!
Oh – even F. Stanley stopped by to see what Gary was doing…..
Two more days – I can hardly believe it!

The Road to Friends….

Today we took a mini-road trip to San Antonio.
We brought along F. Stanley since we were pretty sure he had never been there before (at least in this lifetime!).
Now there is lots to see and do in San Antonio – the Riverwalk, the Alamo, lots of other missions and historical and beautiful sights. But we had our sights on something much more precious –

These dear friends!
We met Jo and Roy early on in our SOWER travels, and they’ve been kindred spirits ever since. They were with Gary when he had his subdural hematoma episode back in 2010 and have long had a special place in our hearts. Due to some health issues, they’ve hung up their SOWER tools, sold their sweet home on wheels and moved into a small retirement community in San Antonio. And while they’ve stopped doing SOWER projects, they still have their servant’s hearts. We had such a good visit with them – God has been very kind to bring us together those many years ago and keep us together as the years have passed. We’re those friends that don’t necessarily talk very often, but always connect again as if we had seen each other just last week. And we’re so glad they are in our life!


What a beautiful day!

Here’s a question –

Can you guess what these six pictures have in common?


bags lightswitch



painttray Journeythrugreif



souplabels SPIKiteFestival

Answer – They are all found in the February SOWER e-Newsletter! Every month I put together a little newsletter for the SOWER Ministry called “Hear Ye the Master’s Call”.  This month there was a real potpourri of items, and since I spend the better part of the first part of each month putting it together, I thought I’d share a link to it if you’d like to see just how all these pictures relate to each other. 🙂

Mondays are for Memories – Canyon Lake and the Hill Country of TX

A good friend left a comment on my post about our New Neighborhood asking whether or not Austin was pretty. Well, truth be told, I haven’t actually formed any “pretty” opinions about Austin since what I mostly see in Austin is TRAFFIC. Perhaps we’ll get a bit more into town later in the month and can form a more accurate opinion (especially since I’ve heard that it really IS a lovely city!), but in the meanwhile I did want to report that the Austin Area is in one of the prettiest parts of Texas. Austin is located in the Hill Country, filled with lakes and winding roads and, yes, hills! Several years ago we stopped for a couple of days at Canyon Lake in the Hill Country, and I thought I’d share that post today. As you can see – it IS a beautiful part of Texas!

October 5, 2013 – Canyon Lake


What a beautiful couple of days we had at Canyon Lake. It’s just outside (north) of San Antonio and in the beautiful Hill Country area of Texas. Our good friends Jo and Roy had raved in the past about the beautiful Corp. of Engr. parks on the lake, so we thought it would be a great stopping over place before we completed our final leg of our journey to the Rio Grande Valley. And the fact that Jo and Roy were actually going to be there = well, we couldn’t not stop!
Unfortunately, due to the partial shutdown of our dear Federal government, the COE campgrounds were closed, but J&R found nearby private campground (still on the lake) and soon we were settled in nicely!
And look, nice quiet neighbors!
Canyon Lake-1
Our buddies had some in-town errands to run on Thursday, so we were left to our own devices. It seemed like a good morning to check out Canyon Lake.
The morning walk at Canyon Lake. All good!.
Canyon Lake-5
Canyon Lake-3
Canyon Lake-12
Canyon Lake-13

It’s always a treasure to find tiny pockets of color appearing in the pot marked surface along the water’s edge.

Canyon Lake-9 Canyon Lake-7
Canyon Lake-8 Canyon Lake-10

Given the heat (it was in the 90’s) and the fact that we were on our own, I confess that we spent the rest of the day in the cool (relatively) of the RV. (I had a couple of deadlines to meet, so it was really a good thing!) But Friday was a play day for sure!
With Jo and Roy as our guides we set out to Gruene, TX (pronounced Green). It’s a quaint Texas town located along the Guadalupe River, just outside of New Braunfels.
Along with interesting architecture and touristy shops and places to eat, it is also home to Gruene Hall – one of the oldest (if not THE oldest, depending on who you ask 🙂 )dance halls in Texas.
Apparently, on this very stage, George Strait got his start!
Oh, the historical significance of it all! But Country & Western legacy beside, it really was a fun little town!


It’s all about tourism these days in Gruene, but they do it pretty well and Jo and I even found a bargain or two! After a lovely late lunch in Gruene (check out the Gristmill River Restaurant for great riverside dining if you ever get to town), we took a little drive to nearby New Braunfels but found we were too late to get into some of the historic buildings there. Besides, we had one more important stop to make –
As you can see, Mrs. Bush also sells Texas sized cookies!
But that Key Lime Pie – My.Oh.My.
Mrs. Bush's Key Lime pie. Oh yeah, baby!
We showed great restraint in not eating the whole thing!
So it was a wonderful couple of days. We shared meals when we could, got in a couple of games, and just hung around and caught up with each other. We love that we have such dear SOWER friends that we can go for years between visits, and still pick up right where we left off.
But – like many good things, it came to a prayerful end on Saturday morning. We hugged and prayed and promised to keep in touch (thank-you, Facebook, for making that easier than it used to be!).
And then we hit the road!
Final leg of our fall journey. The long road to the Rio Grande Valley!
300 miles later, we were parked and getting settled in the Flame of Truth Campground in Alamo, Texas.

And here we will be for the next little while. Gary’s been asked to head up the A/C installation at the new school building for Macedonia Christian School. There is one small glitch, though. The actual building isn’t up yet. Soooo….we’ll see what the weeks ahead will bring. Right now we’re thankful for our safe arrival and are looking forward for tomorrow’s cold front. Right now, it’s 93 and the A/C is a humming away, trying to catch up from the hot drive. And I think it might just be time for a nap…….
…………….and I might just be dreaming about that pie……………..