Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2021

Mini-Montrose Mission

To say I am well acquainted with the laundry situation at Montrose Bible Conference might be an understatement. I’ve washed and folded my share (and maybe your share too) of sheets and towels over the summers that we’ve been coming,
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and I have an up close and personal relationship with the quirky laundry equipment in the conference center’s laundry room.
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(See – even Gary pitches in when there’s a quick turn-over and guests are on their way! He mostly handles the pillowcases!)
When we learned that new laundry equipment was being donated to the conference center, we jumped on the bandwagon to help get the job done! And the timing was perfect! The new units arrived the day after we returned from our quick Cabin trip over Memorial Day/week –
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and everyone pitched in on getting the old (mostly not working) equipment out so the area could be prepped for the shiny new washers and dryers.
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That old green monster had been part of the room for over 40 years, and let me tell you it was no mean feat getting it unbolted from the floor!
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Or getting it out the door!
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Or onto the truck!
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Finally only the Big White Dryer was left – and it was deemed OK to stay! But then the question was – what about the floor?
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Completely replacing it wasn’t an option at the moment, so the guys began the arduous task of taking up what they could.
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And it was inch by inch for sure!
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So. Many. Nails.
Eventually prep for the new installation could begin!
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(The Big White Dryer has a large vent which is why the new dryers had to go up on a platform. Good for loading and unloading, not so convenient for the controls. But certainly doable!)
New water and drain lines, new electric and venting – the room even got a nice fresh coat of paint!
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And less than a week later – voila! With fresh curtains to boot – an updated laundry room!
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That there is one happy group of laundry do-ers!(AKA the director, Jim, and his wife, Becky, and son Daniel!)
Now all they have to do was figure out all those crazy control options!
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There will be a learning curve I’m sure, but it’s one I think they’ll (mostly) enjoy!
One last chore for Gary – installing some improved lighting in the new walk-ins:

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Now no one will ever again be able to say – “I can’t find the carrots!”!
(It’s usually chock full of food – we just happened to catch it at a pre-delivery low!. Another good-timing blessing.)

With our mission accomplished we packed up the truck (and I mean Packed Up The Truck!)
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and headed back to the Cabin!
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Where I sit this morning, sipping my coffee by the fire! It’s all good, my dears, all good!

Make it a great Tuesday, friends!
Steph

 

What’s Next?

We had a busy last week in Ohio – besides wrapping up work at Heartland Retreat Center there was also The Graduation of our oldest granddaughter (whoohoo), and then we had the entire gang (less one) up at the campground for a fun final day picnic. But before I get into all those pictures (oh, and there are plenty of them!) I thought I’d just let you know What’s Next for us –
Montrose to The CabinThis summer our main focus is our family reunion at the Cabin, scheduled for the middle of July. We’ve parked the coach at our favorite PA project – Montrose Bible Conference, where they are kindly allowing us to leave her while we traipse back and forth to Vermont. Gary has a number of pre-reunion projects in mind, so we leave tomorrow (May 26) and will be staying until June 7th or so. Then it’s back to Montrose where we’ll work for a bit to earn our keep, and then back up to the Cabin by July 1st. While it’s technically R&R (from SOWER work), I’m pretty sure it will be more Rebuilding and Reconnecting than actual Rest and Relaxation. Though I dare say there will be a nap or two happening as well! And oh-so-many family hugs!
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The gang from our last reunion at The Cabin – 2012!

We’re looking forward to a great summer! The Cabin (my happy place), Family (my happy people), friends (ah, beautiful friends), and a bit of work for the LORD to round things out!

Spreadsheets to Bed sheets

And just like that, our May project is over! During the first of our three weeks at a project we’re finding our way, scoping out the new surroundings and getting to know our co-servants. During the second week we’re in our stride.  Our ‘new’ neighbors have become good friends, and we have a pretty good understanding of what we’ve been doing and what we’ll be doing in the days ahead. Then the third week hits. It’s like – WAIT. It’s almost over? But, but….didn’t we just get here? This month was no different! Thursday was our final official work day and already one of our neighbors has returned home.  So I before get too maudlin over these ‘leaving’ days, here’s a bit of a recap of our time here at Heartland Conference Center!

As mentioned before, I started out in the Health Office, helping to organize registrations and health forms that came in daily for summer camp. (YEA for summer camp this year!!!)
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This last week I moved from spreadsheets to bed sheets as I joined the other ladies in housekeeping – transforming this
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into this!
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It was fun to work as a team as we got the rooms ready for the next batch of visitors!
Since I had my sewing machine set up, I also mended about 10 of the spreads that were showing some wear and tear.
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But lest you be too impressed – I was really only stitching a small void in the binding – trying to prevent further ‘unsewing’.
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I truly did enjoy working with these sweet ladies!
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The guys worked on a variety of painting and plumbing projects, but I think the most memorable “guy job” on this project was the mowing on those fun zero-turn mowers!

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They were on those mowers at some point most days that the weather allowed it, ’cause folks, there is a LOT of grass here!
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(and this is only the view from our coach!).

Although it was work, I think it was just a bit like playing on go-carts for them as they’d drive them to break and home for lunch!
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The Mowing Team – spruced up for pictures!
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In the three short weeks we have been here, the trees have filled out,

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and so has our circle of SOWER family (also known as friends!)! We welcomed a brand new SOWER couple (whose last name is Sowers – how crazy is that!), and got to know a couple who reminded me of Gary & I ten years ago (high school sweethearts, three kids, full-timing, etc…)! Today we’re wrapping up loose ends, tonight we watch our beautiful Ellie graduate from high school, tomorrow everyone is coming here for a post-graduation/last day with Grams and Pops picnic, and Monday we pull up stakes (or levelers as it were) and hit the road!

What a stellar month it has been – filled with family and friends and a good bit of Kingdom work!  Thank-you, LORD, for this adventure you have led us on!

Seemed kinda weird….

…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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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The rain eventually returned and they went back to inside work in the afternoon, but they really had a fun morning on those mowers!
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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!
Steph

 

 

Made it!

A. We made it to our May SOWER project, and our resting place for the next three weeks! Thank you, Lord, for safe travels and a beautiful place to serve!

This month we’re volunteering at a new SOWER project – Heartland Retreat Center – in Marengo, OH. It’s north and a bit east of Columbus, and this is the first time they’ve had SOWERS! It’s also less than an hour from both of our kids who live in the Columbus area! In different directions, of course!

To Toby’s To Lara’s
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We haven’t figured out just how the Visiting the Kids will look (everyone is super busy these days!), but we’re looking forward to great month. Not only are we working at a new SOWER project, but we’re working with a brand new SOWER couple! It’s always so encouraging to see the excitement in new folks as they begin their “RVing with a Purpose” journey!

Let the Project (and fun!) begin!

B. I’ve also made it to May, ending my self-imposed challenge of doing a blog post everyday! Phew! I certainly can’t promise (or maybe it’s a threat??) to do it again in May, but I’m hopeful that I can continue on with a more regular schedule of tidbits from our life. Thanks for coming along this month – I really appreciate each one of you!

Have a lovely first day of May, dear friends!
Steph