We stopped to spend some time with our SOWER friends, Kim and Joe, who live in Upstate New York. We love our visits with them – totally laid back at all times.
Two of their grandsons (ages 14 & 12) were there one day since Kim’s been helping out with their virtual school days. They wrapped up their school requirements by noon and spent the rest of the day on the tractor or 4 wheeler or Gator. Pretty much this is a young boy’s paradise!
Along with all those fun-for-boys (young and old) vehicles, they have also helped build this incredible treehouse!
I mean really. Does this resemble any treehouse you’ve ever built?
When we visited them last summer it was ‘mostly’ done. The “Phase Two” structure (bedroom) was complete (and mostly decorated!)
and the kitchen/living section was just waiting for cabinet doors and countertops.
But even then it was most impressive. Did I mention that Joe has milled all the wood he used at his home sawmill? Almost anything that isn’t wood is something that has been repurposed (windows, roofing, doors, etc.).
Here’s the living area this year –
Love this sink and counter!!! The running water comes from a 250 gallon tank, and the fridge, lighting and stove are propane. This baby is totally off grid!
We thoroughly enjoyed getting a tour of this year’s improvements and finished out our treehouse time with a hotdog roast around the campfire.
Does it really get any better than this???
It was a wonderful way to end our little early summer get-away to Vermont!
Just for the record – we call them “SOWER friends” only to identify how we met them. We are such good friends at this point that I can’t quite remember when I did not know them and I thank God continually for merging our lives together. How gracious He has been to us!
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. If you’d like more information about Joe and Kim’s Treehouse, he’s entered a contest through the Wood-Mizer manufacturer (the sawmill company). Here’s a link that should take you right to his spot. Feel free to vote for him too – or check out some of the other entries. It’s pretty impressive what you can do with a ‘backyard’ sawmill and lots of ingenuity!
So Ohio was great! We were so excited when we learned late last year that an Ohio ministry had joined our SOWER family! And especially pleased that it was only about 45 minutes from our Ohio kids. Not in the same direction, mind you, but still. We didn’t make any weeknight jaunts (we are, after all, working folks during the week) but during the weekends we did manage to get in a couple of sporting events,
a Kentucky Derby Party
a lovely family Mother’s Day gathering
and even a purple manicure from an experienced technician.
Oh, and did I mention there were some fun games on the deck
and some lovely snuggles.
Being able to work at Heartland this May was especially fortuitous because it coincided with our oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation!
Not sure where the years have gone – but we were delighted to be able to share in the festivities. Although we weren’t sure we’d be able to actually go to the ceremony with all of the COVID restrictions, at the last minute the family was granted a couple of extra tickets so 6 of us (7 counting the daughter in the band and already there) were able to be there in person.
OK, it was kind of a far away in person sort of thing, but it was still thrilling to see this young beauty take this momentous step.
(Pops stayed home with the boys and the baby and watched it on the TV!)
I loved watching the three oldest girls interacting together down on the field after the ceremony –
But I think maybe this one is my favorite!
Because, well, they’re sisters! And God made each one of them delightfully different!
Another highpoint of our time in Ohio was our last day when the whole clan (except Ellie B) came up to OUR Place for a picnic!
We took a fun hike
and the kiddos had a great time playing in the creek!
After we stuffed ourselves and folks began to pack up for the trek home I even remembered to get some group pictures before we said our final (for this time) good-byes! (Lord willing, we’ll be seeing them all in July at our Family Reunion at the Cabin!!!!)
Man, I love these guys! I think we might just have to volunteer at that Ohio project again!
The next morning we packed up and hit the road. But more on that later……
I know this has been long, and more than a little photo heavy, so thanks for persevering to the end! I did spare you from SOME of the photos, so if you’d like to see the rest of the set, you can check them out HERE!
…for some of those blogging habits (as in doing it more regularly) to fall by the wayside. And I’m running out of excuses for not keeping up with things better. The SOWER newsletter has been sent out and is off my plate for a couple of weeks. My sewing projects are right on target (pictures of those after they are actually gifted), and our SOWER work is going well. Maybe the best way to get myself back on track is to just chose an assortment of recent cellphone photos.
So let’s get started!
Gary joined me in the Health Office late last week as he replaced an under-counter hot water heater. It was a fun diversion as I continued organizing camper health forms. It’s always fun to work alongside my guy!
Gary took care of some RV chores. He really does get into some interesting situations! I love that man!
We enjoyed a lovely end of the week campfire with our co-servants. It was good to kick back and rehash the week. And the fact that we’d finally had some non-rainy days! (Still chilly, but blue skies!)
I spent a little too much time trying to figure out an email glitch. Grrrrrr…. I know, I know, it’s a total First World Problem, but it was super frustrating.
We also spent a sweet overnight at Toby’s house. Took in a little league game, had lots of sitting around the table time (which may or may not have included losing at cards), and had my heart filled with snuggles from this little one!
I took a couple pictures of us going through the car wash too, but that seemed a little TOO weird to include in this little potpourri of photos from last week. You’re welcome. 🙂
Better wrap this up and head to bed – the alarm will be going off before I know it! As always, thanks for stopping by!
…not to do a post yesterday!! So here’s a bit about our first couple of days on our new job!
After 4 months of doing mostly cleaning and painting (with a little gardening and ladder holding thrown-in), the first two days on the job here at Heartland had me sitting at a desk. Working on a computer.
Yes, this a happy place for me! While I was doing some computer work the other ladies on the team were busy getting all the paperwork (that I was printing) organized.
It’s wonderful for the retreat center that even with COVID restrictions it appears that summer camp will be happening this summer, and we’re happy to be able to help with some of the preliminary organization. I’m sure we’ll be doing more ‘maintenance’ (read “cleaning”) in the weeks to come, but this has been a great start for us!
Meanwhile, the guys….
Well, Monday was a pretty rainy day, so they started doing some drywall repair and painting in one of the offices.
I don’t know exactly what Gary is doing up on the ladder, but I’m pretty sure I can see wires hanging down, so it’s electrical in nature. But today the sun broke out for a bit and the guys got to hop on those zero-turn mowers. Oh boy!
The rain eventually returned and they went back to inside work in the afternoon, but they really had a fun morning on those mowers!
As Heartland ramps up for a (somewhat back to normal) camping season, we’re happy to be able to help in anyway we can. We’re so thankful we get to be a part of this chapter of God’s story here!
May the Fourth be with you!
In between our April SOWER project (The Potters Place in western SC) and our May SOWER project (Heartland Retreat Center, in north central OH), we’ve been able to do a quick catch-up with our kids who live in the Columbus OH area. We are only here two nights (we head out tomorrow), so it was a quick visit indeed! We never made it to Gahanna where Lara and family live (we’re hoping to connect over this weekend), and even our time with the Marysville gang was limited. Seems that even though COVID-19 is still a ‘thing’, families are once again back in the hyper-busy mode. Besides being back in school, the two evenings we were there had kids were involved with a baseball game (Reis),
a lacrosse game (Ellie),
(pretty sure someone out there is related to me!)
track practice, babysitting, and small group. Phew! Since we’ll be within an hour of both of our Ohio families this month I’m sure there will be more ball games, concerts, family gatherings, and of course, the graduation later in the month. The one family member whose schedule isn’t chockful of business, is this little one –
Eleven months on Saturday, she’s quite the charmer.
And I am the happy charm-ee!!
Better wrap this up – we’ll be packing up tomorrow morning to get back to our SOWER work!
Thanks for stopping by!