Well, I did it! It was a month filled with holidays, haircuts, and happy birthdays! There was work and play, adventures and rest, new family and old family. And there were thirty days of posts – hymns and stories and memories. Thanks for coming along on this marathon month!  I can’t promise that December will be quite so intense, but it looks like it will be a pretty full month too! Something about a big holiday at the end of the month…….

PS – If you missed any days, just hit the “Previous Post” at the bottom of the page, and it will back you up through the month. (Or maybe just give a sigh of relief! I get that too!)

And behind wall number one…

It’s been an interesting start to our new projects. While we ladies were working on getting bunk beds ready to paint,
the guys got started on a bathroom remodel. And as often happens, what started as “we need to make some improvements with these showers” turned into “why don’t we take down this wall and move the showers over there.” The first wall was about as easy as taking a wall down can be.
Remove drywall, remove studs, and done.
But then they tackled that interior wall. It seemed to have some interesting depth to it, but I don’t think any of our guys were expecting to see what that wall was actually built from.
Wait. What are those things?
These walls were constructed before the current owners took possession of the camp, so there’s no telling what the reasoning is for this interesting use of ammunition boxes. (Ft. Sill, home to the Field Artillery School (USAFAS), is located about 30 miles away, so maybe there was a big over-stock sale back in the day?).
Ah, but the stories these walls could tell!
I’ll keep you posted on the bathroom remodel and those bunk beds in the coming days, but here’s a picture of Gary I snapped before lunch. Did I mention they have to move the plumbing in the concrete floors?
Thankfully he’s NOT the one using the jackhammer! Phew.

Mondays are for Memories – A String of Pearls

Since we’re still in November – the Thankful Month – I was reminded of a blog post I did many years ago about the blessings of dear friends from our “previous lifetime” blending with some of the precious friends we’ve made since we’ve been on the road. So I tracked it down, and here you go – from August 15, 2013

A String of Pearls –
We’ve returned from our weekend (+) excursion to see friends and family in Lancaster and Doylestown and I don’t think we could have had a better weekend. Each day seemed to represent a perfect slice of the different stages in our lives. Friday we were hanging out with some of our most precious SOWER friends. We did “Lancaster things” – a farmers’ market, a quilt shop, an Amish hardware store, and the like, and then a traditional potluck rounded out the day. A good day with good friends – what a great start to the weekend!
weston and the train

But then –
Saturday we spent with our sweet grandson, Weston (age 2), and his mom and dad (also some of our favorite people!). Abigail and I did some girl things while the guys ran some errands, we ate out and took naps and delighted in watching Weston watching the trains at the Choo-Choo Barn.
A beautiful day with our beautiful family – who could ask for anything more?
But then –
Sunday we drove to Willow Grove to worship at our old church. The church we were married in and the church where we found Jesus (or rather, He found us!). We expected that many faces would be different (we left that church when we moved to Jamison in 1981, so aside from some occasional visits over the years, it HAD been a while), and they were. But many were the same too. Oh, the sweet hugs from that morning! To worship with folks who had come to our daughter’s 1st birthday party and then to enjoy an impromptu lunch with those dear friends.

Oh, does it get any better than this?
But then –
Sunday afternoon we dropped in on some other friends and before we knew it we were enjoying another unexpected gathering. Sweet corn and sweet conversation and a bottle of red wine shared among friends.
Oh, the delight of it all.
But then –
on Monday I started the day with a coffee date with a dear friend, followed by lunch with my work buddies, and an afternoon hanging around with my BFF from our Doylestown days. BLTs made with thick slices of fresh from the garden tomatoes – Oh, now that was a great day.
But then –
catching up with my quilting buddies Monday night. Oh, my. Our days of quilting for the kids’ school are long over, but still, we start up right where we left off those many years ago. Oh, these days we might talk a bit more about our grandchildren than our children (to their great relief)and we might not spend quite so much time solving the problems of the world, but those precious friends will always be a safe place for me. Being the last ones out of Panera (almost an hour after they officially closed) and then still talking in the parking lot for another 30 minutes (honest, it wasn’t really that late! Panera closed at 9 PM – who knew?)came as no surprise. Regardless of our different places in life, we are truly kindred spirits. It was crazy wonderful!
But then –
just to add a bit of icing on the wonderful weekend cake, before we headed back to Montrose on Tuesday, we managed to squeeze in a quick visit with friends we don’t usually get to see. As we sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee (and were thankful for the rain that freed up her morning schedule) it was so wonderful to hear about their lives over the last two years. Sweet times, indeed.

So as I was trying to somehow quantify this weekend I was having trouble finding just the right metaphor. Was it worlds colliding? Not really. Though we saw folks from many different stages in our lives, there certainly wasn’t any colliding going on.  Was it picture-perfect? Actually, yes. Though I failed to take many pictures (you know I must have been distracted, right?). A medley of friends? A potpourri of relationships?  As I thought about how those five days strung together just perfectly, I remembered the lovely string of pearls I have in my cupboard. And I thought, yes. This weekend was like a string of pearls – each one smooth and delightful, strung together to make a thing of beauty.  And that’s how our weekend was – beautiful days strung together and filled with people we love and who love us back.
Just sorting through some pretties!

Sabbath Rest – Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

On this first Sunday of Advent – Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Let us find our rest in thee!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Dark and Dreary, but still a bright spot

For once, the weatherman was right. It rained all day, just as he promised. But still, we needed to make that short drive to our next project. So we donned our raincoats and got on our way! The biggest challenge was the first two miles of dirt/gravel road
but once we got to the paved road, we were good to go. (And I stopped taking pictures since I was driving the truck, right?).
We arrived, parked, plugged in, greeted our fellow SOWERs, and hibernated in the rig for the rest of the day.
It definitely was a three-nap day. But there was a great bright spot! This little bundle of energy
turned 18 today!
How can that be? She’s smart and funny and kind and still full of energy (see that first picture!). And pretty darn beautiful to boot!
We got the whole family in the picture for her birthday call to help with the birthday song – and it was so fun to see everyone!
It certainly added a beautiful bright spot to an otherwise dark and dreary day!

Happy Birthday, Hayley! We love you so!!

Seeing the country……Serving our Lord!