Saturday, May 12, 2012

May travels in Texas

We are finally over jet lag from our March trip to China. We got back April 4th but the trip was so hard, it seemed to take a very long time to begin to feel well again. I want to blame it on my illness while in China, my sprained foot, the lack of sleep two days before returning home and the long flight from Seoul, South Korea. But, we could also say it’s our age because the trips seem to get harder. Ron had a difficult time after this one too.

Leigh Ann came from Atlanta on April 24th and spent a week with us in Lewisville, TX. It was a busy week with work coming in from China so we had very little free time. We took about 45 minutes each day to walk around the lake at the park but that’s about the extent of our recreation. She returned to Atlanta on May 1st. We really enjoyed having her with us.

We left the park at Lewisville two days later and relocated the RV to Bear Creek Park in Fort Worth. On Saturday, May 5th, Dr. Joshua, our doctor from China arrived to visit with us a few days. He stayed with us in the RV and got to experience us closing it down for travel on Sunday afternoon to Proctor Lake Park in Comanche, TX. We went to church in Lewisville Sunday morning and then rushed back to the RV to prepare to move. I quickly prepared some lunch and began closing things down for the trip. Joshua was very interested in the process of removing all loose objects and storing them away, bungee-cording doors and areas that might open during a bad bump in the road, bringing in the sliders to reduce the size down, etc. We drove to the dump to “dump” the sewage, a process no one should miss! At the gatehouse, we hooked up the car on the dolly. Ron had slipped on a ladder trying to clean windows on the RV on Saturday. He had a bad place in his side (either cracked ribs or a sprained muscle) so he was very sore. Because of Ron’s limited mobility, I got down underneath the car to hook a steel cable from the car to the dolly for extra security. I thought I heard Joshua’s camera click. When I got up, I told him he better not post a picture of me in that position on Face book. He said he would not do that. I believe him. He’s really a super nice guy and a good friend.

When we arrived in Comanche, it was late Sunday afternoon. It was about 96 degrees as we took the belts off the car tires and removed it from the dolly and got set up in our spot in the campground. Dr. Monte Horne and his son, Caleb, stopped by on their way home from Amarillo. I quickly prepared some snack foods and we all had dinner together. Because Dr. Horne had gone to take his son to a tennis tournament that weekend, we met with Rosy and Marissa, his wife and daughter on Saturday night and had dinner with them. Joshua also took a short tour of the hospital in Hamilton, TX that evening.

Our May newsletter tells about the charity hospital we plan to build for Joshua in China. He was visiting with Dr. Horne and the hospital in Hamilton to get ideas about the hospital he wants to construct in China.

Monday morning, we drove from Comanche to Hamilton for Dr. Horne to spend more time with Joshua and give him a complete tour of the hospital. They completed their meeting about 9:30 and we drove Joshua back to the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport for him to catch his flight back to California and then from there back to China. Joshua was only in the U.S. a week so he experienced jet lag for almost the entire time. Each time he got in the car, he began to nod and go to sleep. He slept well the two nights he stayed with us. Our leather couch makes a queen-size bed and it is firm like beds in China. He said he got a full night’s sleep the last night he was here. We surely enjoyed his visit with us. One of the elder’s wives at church told me Sunday morning that we should have called them and let Joshua stay with them. I told her how much I appreciated their hospitality but I thought Joshua wanted to experience a “camping” experience. I told her we have known Joshua for about 10 years and he’s just like family to us. We didn’t want to share him on this short visit anyway! He said it was most interesting, seeing how we live and move around to do fund-raising. I think he has a greater respect for our work now.

We have limited access to the internet in this remove area. We are not near any big city. We are several hours from Ft. Worth or Waco. We have been going to the library to have internet but they are closed today. We have struggled along getting internet only partially throughout the day. It is very frustrating when it works part of the time.

Yesterday, we left at 3 p.m. to drive to Franklin, TX (3 hours’ drive) for Wednesday night service. We were there about two years ago and received a friendly reception both times. It was midnight when we arrived back at the RV. The gatekeeper put the lock on the gate to appear it was locked but left it for Ron to push the lock together after we arrived. That was exceptionally nice of him. Otherwise, we would have parked outside the gate and walked almost a mile to the RV. I was not looking forward to that because there are wild animals in the park. We know deer is in all of the parks and a buck will actually attack someone at times. We saw a fox run across the road one day. We have not had any campers in our particular area all week but two big dogs have come around the RV at night barking at some animal they were chasing. Campers have to keep dogs tied so we think these dogs were from the farms near the park. I was not excited about facing all of these varmints on a very dark walk to the RV. We were dead tired after the six hour drive and fell into bed and slept until 7:30 this morning.

Rain has moved in this afternoon and is supposed to continue throughout the day tomorrow, tomorrow night and for part of Saturday. Rain is loud in the RV. It is like rain on a tin roof but if there’s no wind and storms to worry about, the rain is peaceful and soothing. Ron just said maybe he can sleep 12 hours tonight but now it’s really coming down hard. Flood warnings are out in some areas but it’s still so dry in this area of Texas, I think the ground is going to soak it up quickly. Farmers are very happy that some rain is happening these days.

We had dinner on Tuesday night with the preacher and his wife for the church in Comanche. Their nephew and his wife came with us to a Mexican restaurant and we have a very good meal together. The restaurant has a teepee out front. We thought that was a bit strange but the motif all over the walls and in some sections were all Indian, with wooden statues and relics. It was certainly different but since we are in a city called “Comanche” it is appropriate. Their nephew’s wife said she was full Indian and her grandfather was a “medicine man.” I thought she was Hispanic but with her black hair and dark skin, they look a little the same.

We will be with the church in Comanche on Sunday. The preacher told us they will treat us to lunch on Sunday. Sunday is Mother’s Day so that will be a nice treat. We have appointments in several other cities over the next several weeks.

Without internet access and no TV reception, it really feels like “camping.” Ron does not miss the TV but I do. I feel like we are cut off from the rest of the world. We should be in this area through the month of May and into the first of June.