Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May travels in western Texas

Summer is definitely here. We had 102 F on Saturday and 97 F yesterday. Yesterday, we relocated to Waco Lake at the Airport Park (Corps of Engineers). Last week this park was full so we went on the other side of the lake to another park but it was unsatisfactory. They only had 30 amp power outlets and with the summer heat, our air conditioner ran full time and kicked out the circuit breaker every few minutes. We could not use any appliance unless we turned the air conditioner off and then it warmed up more inside and the air conditioner would kick into the high phase immediately to cool it down and there the power would go again.

This morning, Ron looked at this park’s website and saw that there were many parking sites available for motor homes. We just packed things up about 11:00 a.m. in 97 degree heat and drove to this park. Unfortunately, they can only give us a place for two days. She told us at the gate that it wasn’t fair but when they book a group shelter with many people coming in for activities, it takes up lots of their sites but it’s not reflected on the internet. That’s why there would be no sites available for Wednesday night or for the rest of the time we needed a place to park.

We stayed at this park about a year ago so I checked our GPS to see if the address was still there. It wasn’t, of course. It had dropped off long ago. There’s a button that says “GO HOME” and our address in Georgia used to be listed. Just for the fun of it, I hit “GO HOME” and it asked for an address. That’s the story of a vagabond’s life – where is home? It’s wherever you spend the night, I guess.

Across from us at the park, in one of the sites, there was an old man living in a van. He apparently had a bed in the back and he spread out all his other stuff on the picnic table and was living outside under the trees. In the 102 degree weather on Saturday, that could not have been too easy. This may be all he has in life.

Last week, I ran across this saying…”No matter what you have, there is someone in the world that would be happy to have much less.” I am truly thankful for the conveniences I have, the beauty of the parks and the many ways God blesses us daily. Although our work is difficult and the traveling and relocating every few days to another area is frustrating, I am still contented. I know the inconveniences of this life are few compared to the joys that await us one day.

We are settled in again with internet, good air conditioning and sewage connection. If only it would last. It takes an hour to get everything ready to move to another location and almost that long to unhitch the car and get things set up again. It seems longer when we are working in temperatures over 95 degrees. We are parked in full sun (the one tree on the site might give shade in the mornings, but it’s not helping this afternoon.

The parks are pretty. We see deer and many beautiful sights with the lakes and wild flowers. Crepe Myrtles are in full bloom now. Yesterday, while driving to the two cities, we saw fields and fields of sunflowers. I did not have my camera with me so I was upset about that. We had neither seen such huge areas with sunflowers growing. It was a very beautiful sight. 

We have spent four weeks in small towns south of Abilene and east of San Angelo. Ron gave reports/sermons for the churches in Comanche, Cisco, Coleman and Brownwood. We also visited churches in De Leon and Early. We will not go back to Early. They have some changes underway that we consider questionable. We had no TV connections and only limited access to our wireless internet connection so we had to go to the library or a church building to work. We had to abide by their hours and limitations so it was not easy. The last few days, we moved to a regular RV park in Early, TX so we could have internet enough to catch up our work.

We got a yearly check-up while we were near Dr. Monte Horne in Hamilton, TX. I got my blood test results back the morning of my birthday. My cholesterol was low so I ate a nutty buddy ice cream cone for breakfast. Ron took me into Brownwood (we were staying in Coleman) for lunch that day. There were no big restaurants there but we ate at Chili’s. It was even smaller than any Chili’s I’ve seen before. I had their avocado, swiss cheese hamburger with avocado dressing. It was delicious but I was truly stuffed. I’m not used to eating anything that heavy so I could not eat dinner that night.

Yesterday morning, we were in Palestine and last night in Eastland. The date was changed for the appointment in Palestine so we had lots of driving. We got up at 6:30 a.m. and got there at 9:00 a.m. One of the elders took us to lunch and then we left immediately for the four hour drive to Eastland (west of Ft. Worth). We arrived with 30 minutes to spare and still Ron was late starting because the person at their sound booth could not get his power point to load. Ron ended up using his own computer. Ron works on 2007 or 2009 Word (I can’t remember which) and when a church’s system is older than that, it’s a problem.

As soon as the evening service was over, we packed up our displays and left to drive back to the park on the north side of Waco. We had to get back by 10 p.m. or the gates would be locked to the park. We were parked more than a mile into the park and without any lights in the park, we would be walking in total darkness. We drove the speed limit the whole way to make it in time. I started driving when we left the church building and drove until it was started to get dark. We made it with just a few minutes to spare. When we drove in, the guard house looked totally dark so we thought they had locked up early. But when we got to the window, the man stood up and opened the gate for us to drive through. I think he was just watching TV inside without lights so it appeared that everyone was gone.

With 8 hours of driving and the heat and stress of the day yesterday, we were both feeling really tired this morning. We didn’t get up until almost 8 a.m. I had the Today show on but kept dozing back to sleep and dreading getting up. We have one more appointment set at Temple, TX but Ron is trying to fill the other spots until we leave this area the middle of June.

The work in China continues to go well (with some ups and downs, of course). I’ve come to believe that if things are going too smoothly, without problems, you only have to wait a short time until it all changes. Life is just that way.

Gigi, our daughter-in-law from the Philippines has been blessed to get two extensions on her Visitor’s VISA but the time is up and she’ll go back on the 15th. She will soon apply for another Visitor’s VISA to China so she can be with Ronald more but they are also planning to visit the U.S. in October. A man told Ron yesterday that his son married a Chinese girl and it took him over a year to get her to the U.S.

This summer, Ronald and his assistant, Simon, will rebuild the kitchen at our Neil Taylor Christian Care Center in Rongshui. As soon as drawings and preliminary work is completed for the hospital construction, Ronald will begin that phase of work. In addition to overseeing the six orphanages, he has made site visits to where the hospital will be built and to Wuhan to see a facility where we could care for more orphans. I think he and Gigi visited about five locations in the three months she has been with him in China. She must have a greater insight about what it’s like to live and work in China now. She knows what Ronald’s job is and she’s very proud of him. She is supportive and they are very compatible so it’s going to be very hard for them to spend time apart again. But, God has answered our prayers for another wonderful daughter and she is a blessing to all of us. Gigi tells me that Ronald is her gift from God. I think God granted gifts to both of them when they found each other.

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