Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2020

Lake Forest Ranch Wrap-up

It’s happened again! Our three weeks of work is over, and now is the time to look back and see what was accomplished. For me, it was all about paintin’ dem closets.
Big Closets
Medium Closets
and even some Smallish Closets –
When I ran out of closet beige, I tackled some door frames –
And then at the very end Gary and I worked together and painted a hallway!
Yes, it was still beige on beige, but the walls were farther apart AND I had company!
All good!
(Full disclosure – I didn’t mind all that closet painting at all! I got to listen to my favorite podcasts and then my favorite Pandora stations. Definitely a bonus when painting alone!)
Three gallons of beige paint later – 12 closets, 4 doorframes and one hallway. Done.
Gary bounced around doing several different jobs – taking care of some drywall repair, doing a bit of woodworking, and yes, painting doors!
Considering that virtually every door on campus is green, I was pretty sure he was going to run out of paint before he ran out of doors!
Sometimes painting doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But when finances are tight (as they are at every retreat center during this pandemic) there is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to brighten up an area. We were happy to be able to help in this way!
We finished out our time here with a lovely gathering of SOWERS (either working in the area or or living nearby) for lunch today. Wonderful food, but even better fellowship! I’m so thankful to be part of this SOWER Family!

It was a lovely month – the weather was quite cooperative and we enjoyed the quieter pace of working a project with ‘just us’.  But as often happens, when it comes to the end of the project, my guy is ready to go. And when he’s ready to go, we go. Simple as that! Since we’re heading out in the morning for our little road trip back to Texas, I better get the dishes done and tidy up some! I fear the truck will be pulling out early tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by! Stay safe and keep washing those hands!
PS – The header for today’s post is the yet-to-be-filled lake. They shut the drain today, so it should begin to fill up. Yippee!!

Plan Re-adjustment

If we’ve learned anything during these pandemic days, it’s the very constant need to be flexible. F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E.

We still have another week here at Lake Forest Ranch, and then our plans were to mosey over to  Whispering Pines Camp in Citronelle, AL for our December SOWER project. It was going to be a new-to-us project and also a new-to-us area, so we were looking forward to the adventure. God seemed to have different plans. Due to damage to the RV park at the camp from the recent hurricanes combined with lack of resources as a result of no guests in recent months, the planned SOWER project has been cancelled. =(

Time to practice that flexibility thing!

We looked at some other options in the general area and decided that we’d head to Gateway Academy (Teen Challenge) in Bonifay, FL (in the panhandle, north of Panama City).  If that sounds a bit familiar it’s because we spent two winters there ‘back in the day’.
We haven’t been back since May of 2008, so I know there have been lots of changes. In fact, I think we’ll be fortunate to find any familiar faces in the staff. But that’s OK. We are looking forward to seeing how God is continuing to work there at Gateway and as a bonus we’ll be trying to connect with some friends that live in that area!  Pretty much a win-win as far as I can see.

I guess we’ll have to catch that Whispering Pines project another time!

‘In your heart you may plan your course, but the Lord determines your steps’ (Proverbs 16:9)

Stumped Him Twice!

As Gary was trying to figure out just where those pictures were taken back on WITWW (he never did get it, but then again, we’ve seen a lot of rocks in our travels), he asked where the header photo with the lake and gazebo was taken.
“Why, it’s from here,” I replied.
“It is? The lake doesn’t look anything like that!”
I understand his confusion! The header picture was taken during a quick visit here back in April of 2019. I was struck then with just how lovely that lake was and was looking forward to getting reacquainted with its beauty as we served here. However, given the combination of a “No Guests Due to the Pandemic” and a long overdue fix needed in the lake pump, that was not to be! This is the current state of the lake.

Kinda sad, I know!

I don’t imagine it will be full again before we leave, so I’m just very thankful  we got to see just how lovely it is meant to be! But aside from a less than lovely lake, the rest of the camp is quite beautiful and well cared for.
And they have some newly painted closets and doors to boot!
Have a good weekend everyone!

Putting it back together and the answer

We had a good last day of our first week today. Turns out all of the cabins I’d been busy closet-painting this week were going to be used this weekend, so we had to make sure all the painters tape was up, all the paint supplies put away (even it that means they are just under a tarp by our RV), and the shelves re-installed.
Gary and I worked together and got four of the six closets done. (The other two still had wet paint from this morning, so he’ll get them done in the morning!)
Now I know those aren’t the most impressive closets, but I must confess I was pretty pleased with how fresh and clean they looked. I probably won’t go back after the weekend to see if they got banged up again! Sometimes it’s the little things, right?

Oh – the one official guess on my Wednesday Mystery Location was generally correct. Yes, it is Utah! Those were some pictures from Zion National Park taken 10 years ago during what Gary affectionately calls The Rock Tour. You can check out a bit more about our time at that fabulous park HERE!

Thanks for stopping by!

Beige on Beige

Same song
Second Verse….
Last month Wendy and I painted a beige hallway and meeting room a different shade of beige and this month is sounding like the second verse of that same song! Except this time I’m working on closets!
While I’m pretty much a “party worker” (as in I love tackling projects with a gang of friends), it’s probably a good thing we’re on our own this month. These closets are pretty much one-person painting size!
I got 3 1/2 closets done in these first two days – only have about 10 or so to go!
Gary’s also been playing with paint! He’s been working on some drywall repairs in the kitchen and painting doors between spackle coats!
Except his is green on green.
We’ve been enjoying the Mississippi weather too – cool nights and mornings (OK, it was cold this morning – 37!) but bright and sunny during the day.
No complaints here – either on the weather or the beige paint!

I hope you took the opportunity to vote today (or earlier as we did!). Regardless of where we stand on the candidates, the ability to vote in a free election is a privilege denied many around the globe. Let us all remember that whatever we wake to tomorrow (or the next day or the next….) Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21