Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beginning to think Assisted Living will be good!

We have enjoyed our month in Lewisville, TX.  It is wonderful to be with our church family at the Lewisville Church of Christ.  We have developed some deep friendships and enjoy our fellowship and worship with these good people.   We have been in wonderful classes and heard good preaching.
Ron recovered from jet lag in about a week after returning from China.  We have been busy with our normal workload but had time to have meals with some friends.  We met with two men that were highly recommended to us, as we hoped they would get interested in our work.  Neither of the two men are available at this time but maybe they will think about the work in China and make a decision to come with us in the future.  We will continue to search for men that could do fund-raising so the work will continue once Ron cannot do it.  We hope we are able to travel a few more years but it will also take anyone else a while to get into the work and understand it fully to be able to report to churches.  It does not appear we will have any relief from our full-time work anytime soon.

One of our downfalls or maybe it’s an advantage, is that when we are in Lewisville, Ron checks out better deals on RV’s at McClain’s RVs.   The manager grew up in the church although I’m not sure he attends any church now.  He tries his best to be helpful because he does appreciate our work.  He had a Tiffin Industries Phaeton RV in from the Fort Worth branch.  This is the view from the back.  I have another picture further down that is from the front.

Since they don’t have service at Fort Worth, they sent the RV to Denton for them to make the check list and get things up-to-date for the vehicle to sell.  Before they had actually done anything, Ron heard about the RV and looked at it.  He wanted me to go see it and I told him unless it was less money, I really did not want to change. 
The RV is one year older than the model we have enjoyed for the last l-l/2 years, but it has 12,000 less miles.  It’s also a better manufacture and looks nicer with some great features (like two sinks for us to both get ready at the same time).  In addition, the sale price was considerably less.  That is what really got my attention.  The one we had was livable and we had not really had any problems with it.  It has always worried me that we owed so much money on something that travels on the road.  Yes, I know houses can get blown away in tornadoes and burn down but it just seems that there’s more risk for a vehicle on the road. 

I have become more relaxed as we travel.  Ron does a good job maneuvering this big rig and he is driving carefully and not too terribly fast - most things on the road passes us.  You have to keep up a good speed to keep people from getting irritated.  

Sunday morning our preacher told this about his little granddaughter.  I think she's about 3 years old.  They were visiting them in Oklahoma last week and were driving in the car during a heavy thunderstorm.  The little girl started crying because she was afraid.  Her mother told her not to worry because God would take care of them.  When they got home, she said, "That was really nice of God to take care of us in the storm."  

I will remember this from the mouth of a babe.  I know God takes care of us and is with us all the way.  HE has blessed us so much that I never want to complain.  I am grateful for a nice motor home, air conditioning, warm showers and everything I need.  We are so blessed even with the troubles in our country and with our poor economic situation.  Let's remember to thank God that we continue to have blessings,  We are blessed beyond most people of the world. 

Ronald sent us this picture when I told him we were thinking of trading RV's.  He didn't get the message that we are DOWNSIZING...We don't have a Mercedes to drive underneath.   But, not everyone is DOWNSIZING these days...we see a lot of expensive rigs on the road as well as a lot of terrible looking campers.  It is very popular in TX and the roads are covered with motor homes.

I heard an RV leaving the other morning and looked out the window and saw this one loading.  The little sports car was driven into the trailer behind the RV (picture to the right).  See the beautiful little car in the second picture below.  It was too special to pull behind the RV as most cars!   We don't have a sports car or trailer for a car either!   Our Honda has been through three hail storms and looks like it's had a very rough life.  It gets dirty and covered with thrown gravel so I can't blame the man for putting his beautiful little car in the trailer.  (Expensive toys that older men have these days are interesting!)
If we could park and stay in one place, I would truly love living in an RV.  It’s so much nicer and better than any house trailer and the parks are certainly nicer.  It is such a simple lifestyle compared to the upkeep of a house.  We actually like it better than a house or an apartment.  It's the traveling that is rough!  We have never had anyone around us that we didn't trust.  Parks do not allow fireworks or alcohol.  They restrict quietness at 10 p.m. and enforce the rules.  The gate is locked at night so it’s safe.  While Ron was in China, I locked the door and slept soundly without any fear.   

To finish the story, we decided to purchase the other RV after Ron called Mr. Tiffin at Tiffin Industries.  Mr. Tiffin is also a member of the church so we trust his opinion.  He said a 2007 model with so few miles (17,000) should not have problems and last us for many years.   He said parts are available for one that old and if there’s any major problem due to factory defects, to bring it by Red Bay, AL and he would correct it.  There were three things he mentioned that might be a problem with that particular year’s vehicle.  It was really hard for us but we got it done and both of us hope this unit will be the last one.  This is it parked again after we completed the moving --

We invited one of the elders and his wife for dinner last Thursday night.  We didn’t want to cancel because they have a tight schedule and are not available very often.  We began packing up boxes of stuff we could do without and put them in the storage underneath the RV to get them out of the way.    We had a wonderful evening with our guests and then began packing again after they left. 

We got up to begin more packing at 6:00 a.m. and had it all done by 8:30.   It was 10:30 before we signed papers to switch over the units.  I was very happy to see the bottom line showing that we owe much less money now.  They switched over my little washer/dryer unit that we bought ourselves a couple of years ago and then went through the training so Ron would know how to operate everything.  It was after 12 p.m. before I could begin to move things from one RV to the other.  I got a little bit of help from the salesman but he had not eaten lunch and didn’t last too long.  Ron and I finished moving everything either to the inside of the RV or to the storage bins underneath about 5 p.m.  Then they had to take the unit to a gas station to fill up with gas.  We brought in a full tank on the one we had.  We got back to Lake Park about 6 p.m.    Here are pictures of the inside.  It's very livable and comfortable so it will serve our needs just fine.  Ron works from the front seat that I sit in when we are traveling. 

The kitchen is really nice in this unit.  I don't have an oven but with the toaster oven and microwave, I can manage.   I have the old-fashioned dishwasher (ME).   The fridge is opposite the kitchen as you go down the hall.  It's double and plenty large enough. 

I work at the dining table.  I move my stuff over for us to use it for meals but it's a great location with good light.  I have cabinets all down that side for my office stuff.  (See below).

We enjoyed good leftovers from the night before and began unpacking and putting stuff away just so we could walk through and get to bed.  After a couple of hours, we had made a dent in it and went to bed really tired.  We got up early Saturday morning and worked all day to get it straight.  Today, we missed some office supplies so Ron went to find them underneath in storage.  I think now we have everything we need on a regular basis.  We have winter clothing underneath and things we do not need very often. 

I was so very tired on Saturday night.  I told Ron I was really looking forward to assisted living.  I envy those who have a nice retirement place to live but don’t have to do anything.  I think we will have to move from this RV on a stretcher, feet first!    We are getting too old to move!  It’s remarkable how much stuff we had since we live in it full time and have all the office stuff.

There is  separate small bath and sink besides this sink in the corner of the bedroom.  This works really well so we can both have a place to get ready at the same time.  It is much more spacious and there are many more cabinets and storage areas in this unit. 

We spent the day at the RV dealer again today because some things did not work on the RV and Ron found out they had not changed the oil and lube the vehicle as they promised.  The ice maker leaked so they had to replace a value.  There were a few other minor things they had to do but so far as we know, it's in good condition now.  I think vehicles, like old bodies, could have things wrong that we don't even know about just yet.  If it proves to be a reliable vehicle, I think we will like it a lot.

Wednesday morning, we leave for Oklahoma.   Ron visited a number of churches in OK about 10 years ago but he could not get appointments as we were traveling that way.  We still have at least 10-12 active sponsors in OK.  I’ve never been to OK.   John and Mary Ann Kelly, and Mary Ann’s father, Bob, live just across the TX border.  We are going to an RV park near them and Ron will speak at their congregation Wednesday night.  When we first moved to Peachtree City, GA, Mary Ann was a member there.  She was one of the most active women in the congregation and everyone loved her.  We really look forward to seeing them again.
After we make some visits in OK, we will go to several churches in Missouri and Arkansas.  Our heavy concentration of appointments will be in KY and TN.   We will also visit churches in North AL and Georgia.  We will spend the next six months on the road reporting to churches and individuals that have supported our work for many, many years in these states.   We hope to return to Lewisville by Thanksgiving.

I’ll try to post segments about our travels as often as I can.  Maybe I’ll find some interesting and funny things to report about since we are going into areas that I have not been to before.  Thanks to my friends and sponsors for your interest in reading about our travels and work.
God bless you!   

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