We were disappointed when we got the call in June that we had been canceled out of our August SOWER project at Shoshanah Ministry in upstate NY. Apparently the ministry realized they did not have enough work for five SOWER couples, so the last two that signed up were canceled. We fell into that category. This was the second time we had tried to serve there, the first being the summer of 2020. (And we all knowÂ New York wasn’t letting anyone into the state that summer!) We had been looking forward to serving there, getting to know several SOWERs we hadn’t yet met, enjoying many of the classes the institute offers, and exploring a new area. But (once again) it wasn’t to be.
We regrouped quickly, though, and signed up for High Braes Refuge – also a new-to-us project in a new-to-us area of NY. But we were going to be the only SOWERs there.
Turns out it was a practically perfect combination!
This is a relatively small ministry, with essentially one main building.
And we were a small group. Just the two of us! They had one big project they were hoping we could accomplish – renovating a bathroom and repainting the guest room where it was located.
As sometimes happen, when Gary didn’t need me, there wasn’t a lot of other SOWER work for me to do. Sometimes that can be frustrating. I mean, after all, we came to help. But this month having a ‘modified’ work schedule seemed just about perfect. Some mornings I would go to work with Gary to see if I could help with anything, and some mornings I would just hang back at home and he would call me if I was needed. Once they got to the paint stage, my work hours ramped up.
But still – it’s a small empty room so it went pretty quickly.
Once the painting was done, then came the floors
and then the trim
and I think by the end of today, even the toilet was installed. But again – no photographic evidence of that! There’s always tomorrow, right? Lots of cleaning up was done today – along with gathering and organizing all the tools.Â Due to some groups coming in over the next couple of days, we won’t be able to get the guest room painted, but overall I know our hosts were pleased with the work that got done.
But while the guys (Gary and Jeff (the host)) were busy in the manor house, I was taking full advantage of my mornings at home.
I got the SOWER newsletter put together TWO DAYS EARLY. I don’t think that has ever happened!
I got caught up with lots of computer/bookkeeping and housekeeping/clothes sorting chores and even put together a couple of bags of clothes to go to the local thrift store. That felt pretty good!
But my biggest joy was being about to pull out the sewing machine and work on a quilt for one of my granddaughters! She and I had shopped for the fabric when we were together in July, and those beautiful fabrics had been calling to me ever since!
The top is complete, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out! It still needs to be quilted, but I’m excited that I was able to get it this far!
So our August was different than what we had originally planned. But of course, our LORD knew just what we needed!
The heart of man plans his was, but the LORD establishes his steps.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway through this project. And the bathroom renovation is coming right along. Here’s a photo-a-day (or 2) of the job –
Job assignment – move the door and the sink so a new shower can be installed. It sounded pretty simple to me, but Gary knew it was going to be a big job!
Day One –
It started with a ‘delicate demo’ since we were trying to save as much of the trim as possible. But by the end of the day the fixtures had been removed and Gary was beginning to remove the many layers of flooring that had to come up to be able to move the plumbing for the sink.
Day two – finally got all of the plumbing exposed.
Still fighting the flooring though!
Day 3 – beginning to move the plumbing and adding boards to the joists to adjust the floor height.
(The hole in the floor is where Gary fell through. I was back at the rig and got this text – “Bring the first aid kit.” Oh, my! A pretty big abrasion down his shin and a good size gash on his arm, but we patched him up and he went back to work. He’s healing up just fine!)
Day 4 – the new plumbing was moving right along…
and the new door opening was cut.
Also – the floor was beginning to be laid! Yea!!!
He put in a couple of extra hours on Friday and got some framing done for the new door and the new wall.
Day 5 – Let’s hear it for a solid floor!!
Day 5 addendum – This was also the first time in our 19 years that we evacuated the RV due to a tornado warning. We hunkered down in the neatest basement I have ever seen on a SOWER project. We weren’t there for long – and were thankful that although the rain persisted through the night, the tornado watch/warnings were no longer an issue.
Day 6 – By lunchtime today the electric was roughed in and the plumbing was ready for fixtures.
Just waiting for the drywall and flooring!
Rumor has it some drywall was installed this afternoon, but I didn’t get back to document that, so I’ll just have to take Gary’s word for it. But he’s a trustworthy guy, so I’m sure it happened.
So that brings us up to date! I’ve been on light duty this week, mostly staying home but always ready to come when he needs an extra set of hands (or the first aid kit!). But once the finish work kicks in (i.e. painting), I’ll know I’ll be doing double duty so all will even out!
Thanks for stopping by!
Wrap up our July SOWER project.
Review our wonderful “week between”.
Share some of the Hard Things about being full-time RVers.
Spend time remembering a sweet (though short) visit with family at the Cabin.
Yep – I think that just about brings us up to date!Â We’ve just finished our first week here at High Braes Refuge. And it’s been a good one. =)
Our main task is a bathroom renovation in one of their guest rooms.
They want to move the door to the other side, move the sink and put in a better modular shower. Sounds pretty direct – but when you’re working in a 100-year-old manor house, nothing is ever quite as simple as it sounds. I still need to organize my ‘work in progress’ picture, but let’s just say it’ll be a while before the room looks this tidy again!
But to summarize – it’s been a lovely week! Our location is beautiful and peaceful, our hosts are gracious and welcoming, the work is progressing nicely, and my boss is very understanding!
Have a good weekend, friends!
Ah – I’m beginning to sound like a broken record! Days whiz by and suddenly I’m trying to catch up with all of the comings and goings since my last post.Â Which was over a week ago!Â We finished up our July project, spent time with friends and family during our ‘off’ week, and are now parked at High Braes Refuge for our August SOWER project.
We’re working by ourselves, and it feels like it will be a productive month with very few distractions. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll get caught up here with some of the fun things we did during the last week, and even include a little wrap-up of our July project.
One final thought before I start looking for a hymn for tomorrow’s Sabbath Rest – although the first part of our trip today did include the traffic model in the header picture, there was also a fair bit of highway driving. Which also included a bit of this –
There was rain most of the day, but once again we are thankful for safe travels and a lovely resting spot for the next three weeks! Praise be to God for his mercies to us today (and everyday!).