Tag Archives: Texas

Look back – and give thanks

One of our favorite quotes these days is very simple –

As I look back on even just the last month, I can find so many things to give thanks for.


For the work that God has given us.
Everything from re-siding a building –
to installing a snackshop window.
to painting
to sorting and packing clothes
to painting lambs
we were thankful to be able contribute as we were able. Continue reading Look back – and give thanks

Rough Day

It all started out with such promise. Since it was our last day in Hitchcock before we moved to our next project (just 20 miles or so up the road), we decided to take one last trip to Galveston. The sun was shining, the projected temperature was close to 80, and we figured folks were too busy shopping to be doing lots of touristy things. Perfect, right?

We took the fact that we were held up for about 15 minutes at a train crossing in stride. We were in no hurry since we had left plenty of time to see some sights.
We didn’t even mind to much when above mentioned train blocked the way to our destination.

It was just the excuse we needed to enjoy an expensive cup of coffee and watch the traffic go by.
When the train finally moved down the tracks (or maybe it moved up the tracks – whatever), we moved the truck from the free Starbucks parking spot and parked it in an all-day parking spot. After we paid our $12.00, Gary went back to put the stub on the dashboard. That was when he realized he’d locked the keys in the truck. UGH.
Oh well, that’s what you have roadside assistance for, right? Made the call, confirmed it would be about an hour and decided to check out “the Strand” – the historic shopping district that happened to be just a block away.
Great walk, lovely architecture and a sweet way to spend an hour.
We wandered back to the parking lot and checked in with our Roadside Assistance folks. Yep, looks like it was going to be another 45 minutes or so.
That’s OK, we just hung around the Jimmy John’s that was adjoining the parking lot and continued to wait.
Hey – I wonder what those guys are doing up on that mast. Sure would be fun to check it out. AFTER the lock-out service guy gets here.
Finally, after a two hour wait (but that’s okay, we still had time to do stuff), the rescuer arrived. In a giant tow truck.
Seemed a bit of overkill for a mere lockout, but whatever.
At last! The keys had been retrieved and we were on our way!
We weren’t deterred when a train ONCE AGAIN blocked our way to the pier
but the wait was short, and with keys in hand we headed to the Pier 21 Theater to see “The Great Storm” about the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900 and claimed at least 6000 lives. Imagine our dismay when we discovered that the theater is closed on Tuesdays. (Honest, we had researched this theater – OPEN DAILY was plainly displayed on all the advertising.) We were disappointed, but pressed on to our next destination – the Ocean Star Oil Rig Museum. We had heard how interesting it was and it was the main destination of our excursion.
I’d love to share pictures of the tour and museum, but alas, it was when we went to purchase the tickets that we realized that Gary no longer had his wallet. And that was the real show stopper for the day. We carefully retraced our steps, thoroughly checked the area where we had been waiting for the lockout guy, looked everywhere in and around the truck and finally accepted that it was gone. Last known sighting was at the Jimmy Johns outdoor eating area, and if we somehow left it behind it was almost an hour before we got back to look for it. Plenty of time for it to walk away. In someone’s pocket. We left our name at the sandwich shop (hope springs eternal!), stopped at the police department (they don’t actually do ‘lost article’ incidents?), and began a very quiet drive home. So far we’ve cancelled the credit cards, requested replacements on other cards (Medicare, etc.) and put a temporary fraud alert on the major credit reporting websites. Tomorrow we’ll head to the DMV for a drivers licence replacement. We’re very thankful that we never carry all our credit cards, and that new cards will be in our hands tomorrow and in the days following.
We know that even THIS horrible-terrible-bad-day (in our perspective) is not outside of God’s plan for us. So while we’re praying that that lil’ol wallet may still be returned, we’re content in knowing that all is well. We’re healthy, and fed, and loved. Guess a little inconvenience is just part of the plan. I hope we’ve learned whatever lesson it is He’s trying to teach us. =)

Thanks for listening!

The List

A fellow blogger once said to me that Lists are a great tool to use in blogging. You know – the 10 best ways to scramble eggs or 10 things I’ve learned while mowing the grass. Since I am sufficiently behind on my blogging, this seemed like a good time to employ that List Technique. Here goes – 10 Not Terribly Related Things.

  1. Our work here at Gulf Shores is going well.  We started out sorting clothes (mostly leftover from the massive amounts of clothing that was donated just after the hurricane hit) and boxing it to be sent to Puerto Rico (or other areas of need).Untitled
    We’ve also done some post-shelter clean-up and organizing of stuff left behind, and of course, we’ve done some painting.
  2. The guys have been busy too – though totally in a different area than we are, so I have some very limited pictures.
    Mostly he and Jeff have been working over at the parsonage, hanging drywall, repairing plumbing and basically getting it closer to being able to be lived in! Meanwhile, the pastor and his wife are in a fifth wheel in the driveway.
  3. Remember those nine guys who drove down from Montana to help out? They were amazing – and even though we didn’t actually work with them, we were able to share devotions with them and some meals. IMG_5854
    They helped out in many different areas, and did excellent work where ever they went!  This is a new floor they put in the rec hall.
    These men were just an small (and wonderful) example of the folks that have responded to the great need that remains here in the Houston-Galveston area.
  4. The disaster here is almost invisible. Unlike most hurricane damaged areas, there are no (or few) blue tarps on roofs, no trees down, and hardly any visible damage at all. Once the piles of trash are picked up from the street, the houses here look like they’re in pretty good shape. What you can’t see is that there are no walls inside those houses – or at least none for the first 4 feet or so. Foundations are cracked, mold is growing, and all kinds of other interior damage needs to be repaired so these homes are once again livable.The need is still great in this area.KenLongHitchcock
    (Photo by last month’s SOWER worker, Ken Long)
  5. I finally got my “Year 13” photobook finished! Since the year officially ended on July 31st, it’s about time, right? Let’s face it – having the coupon about to expire is the motivation needed to sort through the 7436 photos I took over that 13th year, choose the ones that represent our different stops and then organize them into a photobook!
    If you’d like to take a look at the inside of  book, you can check it out HERE!
  6. Oh – we checked out Galveston Island over the weekend, and took advantage of the free ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula.
    We just walked on, rode to the peninsula, rode back and then went out for lunch, but it was a fun little excursion. We spotted some porpoises, saw lots of birds, and a fair variety of boats and ships!
    A little windswept, but having a grand time!
  7. Back in the day (a couple of lifetimes ago when I was in high school) one of my best friends was Janet Cruise. We were ‘church friends’ (and in fact she went to a rival high school), but she and her brother Dave (a good buddy of Gary’s) were a big part of those high school years. We always thought her folks were pretty cool (and very accommodating to our youth group antics), but I didn’t realize until years later how inspirational her dad actually was. This video is a short documentary about Les Cruise – one of the last living paratroopers who jumped on D-Day. Thank you to ALL our veterans!
    All American from 7 Wonders Cinema on Vimeo.
  8. Since this has taken me two days to put this all together, I thought you’d like to see the progress on our painting project –
    I think a final coat tomorrow should wrap up this painting job. =)
  9. Since we’re all about The List on this blog post – have you ever read the book “The List” by C.D. Baker? It’s an historical novel about a family in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.  I really enjoyed it – perhaps because I’m familiar with the area and perhaps because I know the author, but I have to say it made me see the Revolutionary War in a whole new light. Check it out!
  10. On a final note – the Birthday month is going quite well! I’ve had some nice long conversations with the kids and my sisters, some mushy cards, and enough meals out to call the entire month celebratory.  Here’s a nice fuzzy photo of the Marysville Seven singing Happy Birthday to me –
    I love my crazy family

Continue reading The List

Ah, Sweet October – where have you gone?

Sometimes it just creeps up on you. You are just going about with life in general when suddenly it’s time to turn the calendar over! October has been a busy month for us – three locations, becoming Texans, working a SOWER project and spending time with family. So before we start that new month  tomorrow, here’s a bit of a summary-


Aside from all the licensing and address changing and becoming Texans, we also had a sweet time with our Waco kids and grandboys!
Although Weston, the 6 year old, was in school most days, we did get to have him for an overnight and then he rode with us as we got the RV inspected.
Having him along made the inconvenience of having to move the house in the middle of our stay much less painful. There were also a couple of intense games of Battleship, which I may or may not have lost. Continue reading Ah, Sweet October – where have you gone?