Saturday, September 17, 2011

More boring updates on our travels

I don't have any funny incidents or any spectacular events to report but we have been doing well and having good success with our travels. 

Toward the end of our time in the La Vergne, TN area, we drove the car back to Benton, KY on a Wednesday night to meet with Linda and Rick Clark and their congregation. It was a wonderful visit and getting to know them was a treat. We spent the night in their 5th wheel camper sitting in their yard and drove back to our RV the next morning.

Our time in Chattanooga has gone well. We have no Corp of Engineers’ park in this area, so we are now in the Red Bank C of C parking lot where they have a 50 amp plug and a sewage connection for RV’s. When we first came to this area, we heard of a long-time gospel preacher who lives in Rossville, GA. We parked in the yard of David and Mary East. However, the tropical storm headed this way and with so much rain predicted, we knew we would mar up in the grass and ruin their yard. We relocated to Red Bank on Saturday before the rain began that night. We did get about 10” of rain over that weekend. We have had great visits with the churches and friends in the Chattanooga area.

This weekend we will be with congregations in Chickamauga and Dalton, GA. Next Sunday, we will go to Cleveland and Maryville, TN.   About the time we get settled in and know the area surrounding us, it's time to leave and move to another city.

We will leave here on the 27th and go to McKinney campground on Lake Allatoona, just north of Atlanta for two weeks. Our next park will be at West Point, near La Grange for the last two weeks of October.

We have little time to relax. Every day there is too much computer work to catch up and when we travel and have appointments, we also get behind with the work.

In some cities, we have to get the RV in for repairs and sit inside it (or in a waiting room) without internet for most of a day. This past week, we had to stay in a hotel one night because they broke a part as they were trying to remove it to replace something else. They had to get the broken part from Atlanta overnight so we could not spend the night inside a garage. The oil leak that was found when we bought the RV has now been corrected and paid for by the dealer that sold us the RV.

We have also been having various portions of the car replaced because of the hail damage we got in TX. When we got back from China, we left the car for two weeks at a body shop but they never got around to doing anything so we had to take it back still damaged. We are never in a city long enough for them to order parts and do all of the work so it’s been done piece-meal in various cities. The hood and trunk were replaced in Paragould, AR. Ron got the chrome trim this week from the Honda dealer in Chattanooga. He’s been working on the dents on top of the car himself. It is almost ready to be painted so we hope we will have time to get that done while we are in Atlanta.

Having one car between us and a tight schedule, we do everything together. We have everything we need, but I have little opportunity to go window shopping. This is a big change for me because I have always enjoyed going to a mall for a day, walking around, looking, or stopping to rest with a friend for lunch or coffee. It’s just one of my favorite things to do. I’ve replaced that favorite time with reading and crocheting. I can make a baby blanket in about two weeks’ time. That is just working while we are traveling or sitting for some reason.

We have limited access to internet (sometimes we go to a public library). We have a wireless but often we run over the minutes we pay for unless we are very careful. Sometimes, we can connect to a church’s wireless or the park may have coverage. To get our work done, it’s a challenge to have sufficient coverage. Ron is on his phone a lot making appointments at the next cities, leaving messages for people to call him back and receiving calls.

Ron will speak on a lectureship at Forest Park C of C, just south of the Atlanta airport, on the 21st of next month. Then, we will go to Athens, GA where Jennifer May lives and get her trained to do our accounting. She’s been working on it since Judy left but we had no time to train her. Ron needs to spend at least one day with her. We will work our way back across southern AL, MS and Louisiana and back into Texas. We will probably spend some time at Lewisville and then for the winter months (January & February) try to cover southern Texas (Houston, Bay City, Corpus Christi, & Brownsville).

We do not know when we will need to go back to China.  It all depends on how things are going there. If there are any problems , we will make a trip whenever Ronald feels we need to return.  Ronald is overseeing the work in such a wonderful way, Ron tells people “it has really relieved the old Ron.”

This time next week, we will have a daughter-in-law. Ronald and Gigi will marry in the Philippines on September 24th. After a short honeymoon, Ronald will return to China and we will begin the process of getting a VISA for Gigi to join him. Ronald has rented a small apartment in the city of Nanning. We regret that we could not make the long trip for the wedding. They understand our commitments and limitations and promise to send a video and pictures. We are happy for them and pray for them to have a long and happy life together.

We have been in good health. Ron’s had some skin cancers removed, but I don’t think they are a problem anymore. He may still have one or two places that need to be done soon. He has a shoulder bothering him a lot. It has been hurting since he had shingles about two years ago but it seems to be getting worse. Or, it may be that he’s working too much and using it to excess which makes the pain worse. It may not even be connected with the episode of shingles. He will try to see a physician while we are in the North Atlanta area. Otherwise, we seem to be doing well for our age and pace of life.

I enjoyed being the Ladies’ Day speaker at the Mountain View C of C in Rossville, GA last Saturday. Our daughter, Leigh Ann, came for it and spent the weekend with us. Everything went very well with this wonderful group of ladies. Ron also spoke at this same congregation on Sunday morning and created a great deal of interest in our work in China. On Saturday night, we attended an 80th anniversary dinner at the Red Bank C of C and enjoyed a singing performance from a gospel quartet. Leigh Ann enjoyed being with some friends she knew from Freed-Hardeman University years ago.

We had a wonderful dinner at the home of Dr. and Mrs. John Morgan. John and Donna have been close friends for many years. Dr. Morgan reviews all of the patient records for the heart surgeries to be sure the children are operable before we commit to a surgery. He has been a great blessing to our work for many years. They also invited several other people for dinner on Friday night to meet us and learn more about what we do in China.

We also met two young men that have worked in China, teaching English in recent years.  We really enjoyed our time with them to talk about all that is happening in China.

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