Tag Archives: Travel

Ready to go – Sad to say good-bye

UntitledThis morning we bungyed down the breakables, pulled in the slides and hooked up that pretty red truck to begin our trek east to our next SOWER project in Mississippi. As much as we were ready to go (it’s our internal time clock – three weeks, and it’s time!), we weren’t really ready to say good-bye to our new friends, Tom and Wendy. We’d had a great month with them – kinda low key with all the COVID stuff going on, but still very special. Wendy and I especially shared lots of stories since we were diligently painting that hallway and meeting room for the entire three weeks. Lots of story time there!
I loved that we had developed our own painting rhythm – she would wrangle the pole and do the ceiling cut in while I scooted along the floor and did the “lower trim” – baseboard (carpet – how weird), corners, doorways, etc. Then we would both grab a roller and tackle the main walls.  We were like a chatty finely oiled machine!
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(No pictures of me scooting, but trust me – my fitbit was NOT getting a work out!) By the end of the three weeks we had both areas completed, switch covers were back on, drop clothes stowed away, and furniture returned to the walls. Of course, I have no picture of that. But while it didn’t look really any different (beige A being painted over beige B), the room and the hallway did have a wonderful fresh look. Thankfully we will not be there to see the first ding. (That’s the beauty of our three week schedule!) So while we painted (and solved most of the problems of the world), the guys were busy with about 137 various tasks. They did some electrical work, including moving and hooking up a mini-split A/C unit, some plumbing work
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and Tom even stopped by to try and get us some better lighting.
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(Ah, the fickle fluorescent lights. Which ones will come on today?)
If you look closely at the bottom right corner of the building you can see Gary sitting there replacing some broken siding pieces. Like I said, they were doing a million small jobs – but nothing was left unfinished and I do believe the camp was oh-so-happy to cross those pesky “little things” off their to-do list.
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Tom and Wendy are fairly new SOWERS, and after this month I know they’ll continue to be a true blessing wherever the LORD sends them to serve in the future!
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Instead of heading straight to our MS project, we decided to use our ‘in between’ week to lend a hand to our two Louisiana projects, one of which took a terrible direct hit from Hurricane Laura.  We’ll get to Dry Creek Camp tomorrow, ready to help in any way we can. Before the week is out we’ll head to Acadian Baptist Center which has also been affected by the recent hurricanes.  Then by the weekend we’ll be getting settled at Forest Lake Ranch in Macon, MS for our November project. We’re looking forward to a busy and blessed week!

Right now we’re tucked into a Walmart parking lot in Leesville, LA and once I hit the Publish button and then get the coffee ready for tomorrow morning it’s off with the generator and into bed for me!

Sleep well, good friends,
Steph

Driving, driving, driving…..

We got an early-ish start this morning (after our lovely two day retreat at Rend Lake), and drove and drove and drove. Thankfully the traffic wasn’t too bad – well, Little Rock and West Memphis were a little busy, but that’s to be expected. Tonight we are in a nice little campground just outside of Texarkana, AR with lovely pull through spots (so we don’t have to disconnect the truck). And given the Arkansas heat and humidity, we’re very grateful for an electric hook-up so we can run the A/C.
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Leftover anniversary steak with corn on the cob for a quick dinner, and we’re calling it a day! Sweet dreams, everyone!
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Tomorrow we’re off to Waco – and another batch of Grands!

The Best Getting here in a while!

I would have to say that lately when we’ve been moving from one location to another, our goal has been to get there. We haven’t done many stops along the way (except for fuel) in a good long while. And with the current COVID19 climate, the less stops the better, right? Well, as we plotted out our course from N. Florida to Eastern TN, we realized that we would be driving right by some good folks that we hadn’t seen in quite awhile. Seemed to us like a great time to add some friends and family stops to our travels.
We left Middleburg (FL) a little before 9AM on Sunday –
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just in time to enjoy worshiping with our favorite Washington, DC church while we ambled down the road.
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In fact, Church was just wrapping up as we pulled into the Winn-Dixie parking lot just off I95 in Brunswick, GA. Friends that we hadn’t seen in almost 10 years met us and took us to their home for a lovely early lunch. It was so wonderful to catch up with Drew and Francis (and their son Kevin) – we really tried to resist, but gentle (face averted) hugs did happen! After lunch they took us to see Drew’s latest venture – The Village Oven. It’s closed, of course, but we were able to see what a delightful little bistro it was/is – and will be again, we trust! Like most small businesses, so many things are up in the air with them, but they are still trusting the LORD to see them through! We’ll certainly be praying for them in the days to come as the economy begins to wake-up. And the bread begins to bake again!

Next time through that area we will definitely try to stay longer!

But back on the road it was! There were a couple of interesting things that happened along the way….
Here’s Gary being Gary –
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He’s in the orange shirt, getting ready to help the fellow fix the tire on his tow dolly. I figured there were enough people milling around on the shoulder of a busy interstate, so I stayed put and prayed!
An hour or so later we came upon this….
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Yikes! The people were well away from the car and the state police were pulling up as we drove by, so that is all we did. We drove by.
By late afternoon we were heating up our leftover pizza at a (surprisingly quiet) rest stop on I26 and settling in for the night.

As we set out the next morning we were thrilled to see those mountains in the distance. Oh, it’d been a while since we’d seen mountains!
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Now it did mean that we were going to have to climb those mountains…
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and then go down the other side,
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(that was the second runaway truck ramp on the decline!)
but that was all well and good, because before we knew it we were meeting my niece in the Walmart parking lot in Hendersonville and joining her, my nephew and his wife and 4 beautiful kiddos for a lovely (though too short!) visit.

Careful hugs may or may not have happened. (Who am I trying to kid – of course there was (limited) hugging!)
Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the road. Up over another mountain (or were there two?) and we were at Doe River Gorge Ministries, our sheltering spot for the next several weeks.
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In these days of of #stayhome and #shelterinplace directives,  it was just over-the-top wonderful to make those connections.   Zooming and FaceTime are amazing technologies, but to be truly face-to-face – now that’s a joy filled experience!

Thanks for coming along – praying you all are staying safe and well connected with family, even as we all navigate this “new normal”!

Steph

Real Time

Life is certainly getting away from me these days and I’ll have lots to share in the days ahead. But for now I just wanted to check in and let you know that we have (sadly) left the Cabin, traveled to Columbus and are currently enjoying time with our two Ohio families. Since everyone is either in school or working we’ve been hanging out at the RV, catching up with life (and bills and emails and cleaning!). But our afternoons are full with family and fun.

We’re parked at the Union County Fairgrounds, and even though we’re here all by our lonesome, we have a lovely view –

(My Dad was big into Harness Racing, so every time one passes by it stirs all kinds of Dad-memories!)

Once I get the SOWER Newsletter wrapped up, I’m going to work on getting this blog caught up. You can check out the “So where are we now?” page to get a feel for just how chaotic our next couple of weeks will be!

Thanks for stopping by (even when it gets a little quiet over here!)
Steph

My Introvert Gene is calling

Oh, My! I honestly didn’t believe that I had an introvert bone in my body!! But after a super busy and fun 6 weeks in Waco and then a wonderful two weeks with the rest of the family in Columbus (I promise I’ll share more about that soon!), my recessive introvert gene has risen to the surface and it’s saying things to me like
Alone
Quiet
Still
Breathe
Rest

We’re settling in for our first night’s rest at our January location (see Where Are We Now for more details!) and for the first time in a while we’ll be working alone. Oh, we’ve already met some sweet folks that will be working with us so we’re not ALONE alone, but by and large I’m really looking forward to a lovely, quiet, restful, month.

And since I haven’t even had the time to look through the pictures of our Columbus Christmas to share any of those, I’ll just leave you with a funky photo I took from the plane.

Love those city lights peeking up through the clouds!

Wishing you all the best in the coming year – good health, kind words, deep thoughts, and a fresh experience of God’s Grace!