Tag Archives: Friends

Backtracking Part II

It wasn’t all work, my friends. Not at all!  We filled these Florida months with lots of special people!
The first weekend we were in Lake Wales we took a mini road trip to see our friends Jim and Sue Taylor in Ft. Myers. We’d been friends with Jim and Sue BK (before kids) and kept loosely in touch with them over the years since Gary’s mom had also lived in Ft. Myers. It’s been so lovely these last three winters in Florida to reconnect and spend time with them!

Yes, they are still trying to teach me the finer points of Pinochle!
Sure do love these guys! Now we just have to get them to the cabin, right?
As we headed back to the rig that weekend, we made another stop to see a high school friend that I don’t believe I’ve seen probably since 1969. OK, maybe at a random reunion, but I can’t be sure. Any who, through the miracle of Facebook, we’d reconnected several years ago and it was great fun to see Gary and his wife at their new digs in Port Charlotte.
Untitled(I actually grew up in the same neighborhood as Gary until halfway through third grade. He had this picture of he and his brother and dad- and my house in the one on the right behind them. (or the one next to it. It was very long ago, and they look pretty similar!))

What a fun weekend of connections!

We also connected with area SOWER friends during March too! Once for ice cream
and once for a picnic at the park which included not only working SOWERS but also 3 Alumni couples and a single Alumni.
Green Isle GroupFor Gary and I it was very special because one of those alumni couples was our group leader at our third project way back in January of 2006. What a blessing to reconnect with them again!

Connecting with friends – old and new! It’s one of the best parts of this crazy life of ours!

Stay tuned for the next installment of my backtracking tomorrow!


Thirty Days, Thirty Posts

I thought I’d finish out the month with a little ‘small world’ story that happened just this past Sunday. We worshipped at the church where we are serving this month (Dothan Community Church) and as often happens, the pastor asked us to stand and introduce ourselves. We obliged with our standard “We raised our family in Pennsylvania, but we’ve been on the road for 17 years now, so we’re pretty much from everywhere and nowhere.” The service continued on, and afterwards many folks came up and greeted us, warmly welcoming us to DCC and thanking us for the work that we would be doing. As Gary and I were heading out, one sweet lady came up and asked where in PA we were from, since she also was from Pennsylvania. We fine-tuned our geographic area and she said she was from the Harrisburg area.
“Oh, where abouts,” I asked.
“North of Harrisburg, actually. I live in Perry County.”
“Wait. Perry County? My sister lives in Perry County!”
(For those of you non-Perry Countians, it’s a very beautiful rural area with more farms that industry and at my last count, one traffic light.)
At which point, the dear lady said, “I thought you looked familiar – are you Joie’s sister?”
“Well, yes I am!” came my astonished reply!
It turns out Sue(from Perry County)’s sister is married to Chester who is our ‘boss’ on the job here at DCC! She was down visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. What a lovely totally unexpected surprise – and delight! We spent the next 10 minutes or so tracking down connections – it’s possible that we had even met many (many) years ago as they had gone to the same church as Joie & Fitz ‘back in the day’.

I suppose it’s a small thing – running into someone in Alabama who knows someone you love in Pennsylvania. But it felt pretty big on that Sunday morning when in that sea of all new faces, someone thought my face looked familiar. And it was!

Thanking God for his kindnesses – big and small! I just love how He is a God of details!

Mondays are for Memories – Birthday Buddies!

As we wrap up November, there is one more birthday I need to mention! Actually it’s a cluster of birthdays – the 2nd (Connie), 9th (Me), and today the 29th (Bonnie). Here is a post from a couple of years ago that pretty much sums up my affection for these two very dear ‘Birthday Buddies”.

Long, long ago, in (what seems like) a galaxy far, far away a young bride met with a ‘more experienced’ bride once a week for lunch. And encouragement. And prayer.
Time passed, babies came, and schedules changed. But the friendship and encouragement and prayers never ended. Our little twosome grew to include others as we changed from being young brides to being young moms.
Friends moved, babies grew, and life happened. Things changed.
But through it all, three of us somehow, by hook or by crook, managed to continue to meet once a year to celebrate our November birthdays. We’d often meet at church on a Sunday in November, enjoy lunch, catch up with each other and end the day in prayer. It was a very precious day for me, as I would often go the whole year without being in contact with them. But that thread of friendship never broke. Never even frayed!
Since we’ve been on the road, we three birthday buddies haven’t always been able to connect during November. But whenever we can work it out, we work it out!!

birthdaygirls08 ConnieBonnieandme
birthdaybuddies Connie Bonnie BonnieConnieand me

I didn’t make it to back to Hometown this past summer, so being able to connect with these precious Birthday Buddies, these Sisters in Christ was especially sweet this past October.
I’m so thankful for these friends from that galaxy far, far away!
So Thankful for US!

South Dakota in October

Tomorrow morning we head to Galveston with our grandson Weston for his Great Galveston Adventure! Guess I better get this South Dakota goodness written down before I once again sink into Blogging Never-Never Land!) So –
Here, in no particular order, are 10 South Dakota October Things we love!
1. Harvest Time. Oh, my! The combines!!
We learned a lot about how the combines work, how both corn and soybeans are harvested, and how hard the farmers work out here (and everywhere! Farming is HARD, folks!). Not only did we get to watch combines in fields as we traveled around, we even got to watch them in the backyard field! (They were working at 9 o’clock at night and I didn’t get any pictures of those headlights. But here they are getting ready for the dew to dry so they could start again!)

2.Long Walks. Long Straight Walks. Long straight soul enriching walks.
‘nuf said

3. The Community Dinner. Howard is a small town – well under 1000 folks at the last count. And like most small communities, they take good care of their neighbors. The first Wednesday of each month there is a Community Dinner at the local Methodist Church, hosted by a variety of local organizations. October’s ‘organization’ was a neighborhood group that Don and Jenny are a part of. SO – we got to join them in preparing Chili with all the fixings for about 50 folks who came out to enjoy the evening.
What fun to get to know their neighbors and to see a bit of ‘love your neighbors’ in action!

4. The Corn Palace down the road a piece in Mitchell-
The palace itself was closed when we were there, but we still got to enjoy the amazing murals all made from (wait for it….)CORN!
It was especially fun to see one that was still in progress –
Can we call that “Corn by Number?”

5. Games – We can’t get together with SOWER friends without some game playing!
Don & Jenny introduced us to “Fast Track” – which is like, but not the same as, Pegs and Jokers, which is like, but not the same as SORRY. Confused yet? Think how we feel! Glad our aging brains could be taught some new tricks, though!

6. Bawling calves. While this might not fit into the “Things we love about SD” category, it does fall into the “South Dakota in the Fall” column. About this time every year the area ranchers divide out the calves from their mommas. The mommas are moved to their winter pastures, while the young’uns learn to live life without mom nearby. Needless to say, when that happens to about 250 pairs of cattle on the next farm over, there is a bit of an ongoing ruckus as the ‘babies’ are moaning about being deserted. Rumor has it that the mommas are over in their new pasture feeling like (some) moms feel when school starts in the fall!
(Full disclosure – these are not the bawling calves. But they are representative of the cattle in the neighborhood!)

7. Dignity. We took a little road trip to see this well-known statue located in a rest stop in Chamberlain, SD. So stunning!

8. Also in Chamberlain is the St. Joseph’s Indian School and the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center.
Very interesting and well worth the stop.

9. Sunsets
Does my heart good every single time!

10. Dear Friends! How kind our God is to enrich our lives with beautiful friends around the country!!
For us, the best part of South Dakota are these good friends, who share devotions with us, laugh with us, support us in prayer, and love on us regardless of where we are in the country! So glad we could spend this week with them!

If you’d like to see some additional photos of our time in South Dakota, here is a little slide show or you can check out the album HERE!

Thanks for coming along for my Ten Things! These just really scratch the surface of South Dakota in the Fall – you should check it out sometime!

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you after our Great Galveston Adventure!

On Our way home from Vermont

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!