Monday, November 7, 2011

More of our October travels

We enjoyed a few meals with Leigh Ann and Tatum while we were located in North Georgia. That was very special. Leigh Ann spent two weekends with us while we were in Chattanooga and that was also great.

On the 11th we relocated to the Whitetail Ridge Campgrounds near Lagrange, Georgia. The next day, Ron had cataract surgery on one eye in Carrollton. It turned out to be more difficult than he expected. When he returned on Thursday, a week later, he still could not see very well. The Dr. decided they had put a lens in that was too weak. He scheduled him to come back that afternoon at 4 p.m. for another surgery.

We had scheduled a luncheon meeting with a major supporter in Alpharetta, GA. Ron was not able to eat lunch after all because of the surgery later that afternoon. We had a good meeting and drove back to Carrollton for the surgery. He was in the OR for almost two hours. The doctor explained to both of us while he was in recovery how easy it is to put a lens in the eye but how difficult it is to get it back out after it has expanded over the eye. Ron continued to have some pain and/or discomfort for several days following the surgery. Now, almost two weeks later, his vision is still not great. He has dry eyes due to medications in the past years so that may be part of the problem. Dryness of the eye will cause blurring.

Ron spoke at Forest Park at their World Mission lectureships on Friday night, October 21st. The next day, we left Whitetail Ridge to go to Albany, GA. We went to help Jennifer May with some training since she is going to be our bookkeeper. Judy handled this work while she was in the U.S. Jennifer took it over in May but was limited in some areas without proper training. She and Ron spent a good part of two days together and she now says she can handle it. While In Albany, we parked on the military base in their RV park. Jennifer’s husband works with the fire department at the base. Ron also gave a report on our work to the Beattie Road congregation while we were there.

On the 25th we left Albany and drove to Lake Seminole. We will be parked at this Corp of Engineers park until November 15th. It is a pretty park with tall trees and spacious campsites. Trees are beautiful with Spanish moss hanging in low branches. There are many campers here because it is warmer here. But, we have had some nights in the 40’s and it seems too cold to me to be sleeping in tents. During the week, there will be a small amount of campers here but on Thursday or Friday of each week, the campers pour in and fill up the park for the weekend. The lake is quite large but very shallow all around the edges with water lilies growing. The park officials said there are alligators (large ones) in the lake so it’s not safe to be in the shallow waters. This park has no swimming beach. I think all of the other parks had an area roped off for safe swimming. I guess there is no safe swimming in this large lake. The lake is located at the corner of Georgia, Alabama and the Florida line. Although the park is slightly in Georgia, we come through Chattahoochee, FL to get here. It is a very small town. I told Ron we needed to take a day to explore the town, but it’s too small for a Walmart or Home Depot so we would have no place to shop except at the local IGA (food store). Our shopping has narrowed down to the above two stores (we buy groceries at Walmart or Sam’s Club). I laugh and say I go crazy when we find Camping World where I can visit their store but the truth is, I seldom find anything to buy. If I found anything, there’d be no place to keep it. We literally are packed in the RV with summer clothes now stored underneath in the bins. We keep supplies underneath as well. Each closet, cabinet and space inside the RV has its own contents and there’s no room for anything else.

I recently met a lady who said she would love to clean out her house of 30 years and live simply like we are doing now. It is easier in some ways. I can do cleaning in a short time. I cook quick but good meals. Ron is not difficult to please so if I am tired and don’t want to cook, he is fine with a granola bar and a banana for dinner.

I told Ron this once and he repeats it to others so I guess I can write it too. I have gotten used to living in the RV and it feels like home after a year. No matter where we are parked, once we return to the RV, it is home. I have said in past years that wherever I hang my hat is home. Since we began the mission work in 1984, I think we have moved about 19 times. Now the expression is wherever we park the RV is home. But, what I told Ron that he likes to tell others is this: “To live in an RV full-time, you must be very good friends or lovers.” There’s no place to go other than be together all the time. We do everything together. We have to take turns in the bathroom and when he wants to cook his own breakfast, I stay in bed or watch TV until he’s finished. Two people just cannot occupy the same space in the RV. It is livable but there’s no extra room. I understand RV stands for “recreational vehicle” but I’m still trying to experience the “recreational” part.

I feel so blessed because many people have lost their jobs and their homes. We have a rewarding work that brings us great joy. We have everything we need. The difference now is that we don’t have more than we need. We are not lacking for anything. God directs our way, provides the necessities, which he promised, and watches over us. What more could I ask for? I completely put my trust in HIM and it’s the best way to live.

We have met a lot of wonderful people on this round of visits to churches. We have seen very few friends because we had no time. Ron’s health issues, especially the eye surgery, took many visits and blocked out quite a few days. It was important to get that done but we didn’t realize that it would take most of our time on the south side of Atlanta. He also intended to see a dermatologist about some areas that may be skin cancer but he will have to take care of that when we get back to Texas.

We will have some relaxing days here on Lake Seminole. We will make some side trips to Tallahassee, Quitman, GA and perhaps other cities. There’s less for us to do here than on most of our travels. We still plan to go to Pensacola, Jacksonville and perhaps Valdosta when we leave here. Then , we will travel to Baton Rouge, LA for a few days. We should return to Lewisville, TX about the 22nd of November and spend the next month there.

Friends in Greenville, TX are planning a Christmas Eve dinner for us. We were in the home of Henry Sherwood last year for Christmas Eve so maybe this is going to be an annual event for us. We had a great time last year and I know we will again this year. If you can’t be with family members, this is the best it can get. You have not enjoyed Christmas Eve enough if you have not heard Henry read the Cajun Christmas Eve book. Leigh Ann bought me the book after I told her about it, but I would never be able to get the Cajun accent down to make it sound so good.

We hope to spend January and February in the south part of Texas (Houston, Corpus Christi, Brownsville and a few other places). We want to soak up as much warm weather as we can those months. Last year, we did not get out of the Dallas area until the 2nd week of February and we nearly froze during an ice storm. We hope Leigh Ann will get to come down while we are in Houston to visit us and her friend, Myra, like she did last year.

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