The Founding Fathers of the SOWER Ministry built a week ‘off’ between each SOWER month’s projects. And we continue to relish the genius of that plan. The other beautiful part of that plan is that we are allowed to remain on the project if we choose during that week off. Our fellow SOWERs pulled out early in the week, but since we are only moving about 14 miles down the road, we’ve been hanging out at the Ranch. And it’s been a good week!
We got to greet some new young horses that had just been picked up in New Mexico,
Hello, Delta and Mesa!
We got to meet some very shy kittens –
This is my attempt to reach through the gate to try and get a picture of the litter.
E for effort?
My time was spent mostly in front of my sewing machine (yippee!), and Gary decided to tackle a job down at the arena. A new hospitality center is being built in the front of the arena, with two wings and a central gathering area where the front of the arena is.
(The two white buildings coming out from the arena are part of the new construction. Contractors are working on that – we’ve just enjoyed watching the progress!)
(They are filling the looks-like-Styrofoam-because- it-is walls with concrete!)
The plan is to put big viewing windows at the front of the arena so folks in the gathering area can view the arena. Gary’s job was to frame out those window areas.
I believe there will be four sections, each with five tall (35X85) windows. Now, the actual wall hasn’t been cut away except in certain areas, so you’ll have to use your imagination on this picture Gary took of the five windows he installed today.
Lest you think I was only working at my sewing machine while Gary was hard at work, he did need me to help when he was cutting and routing out the boards for the windows.
(And quite the fashion statement I was, right?)
Gary was having a good week figuring out the best way to get those windows installed, I was happily sewing away on some UFOs (unfinished projects), and to make the week especially lovely, we joined our host family for Thanksgiving Dinner.
It was the first time for us to be at a Golden Corral for Thanksgiving, and I have to say the food was great, the fellowship sweet, and there were no dishes to wash (or stress in preparing things!). It was nice to be doing something totally different since we couldn’t be with any of our kids and grands.
Tomorrow we pack up and head down the road. As I said earlier, it’s just about 14 miles down the road, so it will be a ‘light packing’. Things still need to be battened down as usual, but more stuff can just be put on the bed instead of being put ‘all the way’ away. I spent today doing laundry and getting my sewing stuff put away, so tomorrow morning should go smoothly. And there’s no rush to get out.
It’s been a year, hasn’t it? Some beauty, some hard, some very hard. But still, we have so much to be thankful for, don’t we? But I think the bottom line of what I am thankful for is God’s faithfulness and lovingkindness to me. I wish for you the very best of Thanksgivings – filled with friends and family, good fellowship and yummy food, and a deep abiding sense of who you are in the Lord.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your Faithfulness Lamentations 3:21-23
I wrote this post in 2014, so there are eight more Thanksgivings to be accounted for, but it seemed like a good place to start! So here you have it – a brief recap of our first 10 Thanksgiving “On the Road” –
November 27. 2014 –
So here we are, in a city park RV spot in Opelousas, Louisiana celebrating our 10th Thanksgiving “on the road”.
We have no plans for turkey (here or at Cracker Barrel) and the closest family member (Gary excepted) is over a thousand of miles away. It might be easy to fall into a bit of a holiday-funk, feeling sorry for ourselves with no kids to hug or leftovers to eat. Instead I thought I’d just take a refresher course on how blessed we’ve been on other Thanksgivings since we’ve started this great adventure!
The first three years (2004, 2005, 2006) we were over-the-top blessed to be able to spend them with our good friends the Sensings on Amelia Island in Florida.
Oh how those precious times got us over the hump of being far from family!
In 2007 we DID make it to Ohio for a big ol’ traditional Thanksgiving.
New baby and new bride – all Conrads present and accounted for! So much to be thankful for that year!
2008 found us far away in Arizona and enjoying our Thanksgiving day with SOWER friends. We were having such a special time that I never got around to taking any pictures! When I checked back to find the post from that Thanksgiving, I did find this, though –
We spent Thanksgiving 2009 on the road. Tires turning, heading south.
We were driving from the Coachella Valley area of California south to the San Diego area, preparing to pull into our December project on Friday. We enjoyed dinner at Perkins (it was in the parking lot where we spent the night), and while we missed being with the family I knew we would be seeing them at Christmas-time, so my heart was content. 2010 we were in Waco, just getting started on Lara’s big kitchen remodel!
Needless to say, we weren’t cooking in THAT kitchen for the holidays, but we did spend the day with good friends of Lara’s (and now ours!), the Swansons. Family, kiddos, and great food – it was a very special holiday!
In 2011 we were parked in Texas (Lindale, actually), but we piled into the truck (including Lara and Denali) and we drove to Ohio for a big ol’ family gathering.
Now that was one wild and crazy and Oh-So-Wonderful Thanksgiving!
The family just keeps growing – blessing upon blessing!
We celebrated Thanksgiving back at our favorite Waco campground in 2012 and actually had a sweet little pre-Thanksgiving dinner right at our campsite!
(OK, so the guests hadn’t arrived yet – but you get the idea! =)) We also had another great meal with the Swansons – Yummm!!! It was another lovely holiday filled with much thankfulness!
Just last year we were still in Texas, but all the way down in the Rio Grande Valley. Our day was spent in sweet fellowship with about 20 friends from the church we were attending. “We had a lovely day, enjoying the Big Meal with about 20 friends here in the Valley. Enough delicious food to feed an extra 20 folks, just the right amount of little kids to add some sparkle to the day, and sweet fellowship. Add to that a nice little package of leftovers so we could enjoy some turkey later in the weekend – and we would definitely call the day a Win!”
And that brings us up to today! While it’s true that holidays on the road can present certain challenges, it can also present wonderful opportunities for experiencing blessings in unexpected places. Whether we’re sitting in a parking lot campsite or surrounded by friends and family, we have so much to be thankful for. Today, and everyday!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have a couple of pumpkin muffins I’d be happy to share if you’d like to stop by!
It’s cold here today. In fact, it’s been snowing here today. So I thought for my memory this week I’d look back at our very first Thanksgiving on the road – 2004. We shared that first holiday away from our family with another dear family, and these are treasured memories indeed. Those little girls are married now, and that sweet young boy has graduated college and begun a career in Texas. Georgi and Troy are grandparents these days. But that first Thanksgiving on Amelia Island – well, it was just what this heart needed!
November 28, 2004 – A Day at the Beach
First the morning – Gary and I walked to the beach just in time to see the sunrise through the clouds. It was soooo beautiful…….
Later that morning, Georgi sent Troy and I to the beach with the kids while she got things ready for them to leave the next morning. I played photographer while Troy played with his kids. It was a great way to spend a late November morning!
Here’s Troy with his new toy – an ocean kayak~
Wishing you all a very blessed Thanksgiving! Gary & I have so much to be thankful for – our family, our health, our ministry, our travels – but what holds all that thankfulness together is our faith in the God of the Universe who sent his Son to invite us into His Family! May your day be filled with love and grace, and hopefully some pretty good food!