Prequel

Evening visitors to our backyard

Evening visitors to our backyard

 

  • In 2013 we became interested in the possibility of working in the mission field with a couple our church supports or travel in our Minivan around the USA because we knew it was very likely we would be downsized due to a reliable rumor of a reduction in force at the large company my husband worked for and the sale of the company I worked for.
    • First, however, we needed to begin a relationship via Skype and email with the mission and make plans to meet them when they come to the States for a Mission Conference in May, 2014.
  • As expected, Sweet Husband was downsized from in December, 2013 and I was downsized in April, 2014.
  • Because Sweet Husband decided we are moving out June 1st with the house sold or not, we start the process of cleaning and packing.  It was then I discovered what appeared to be water damage to the ceiling, walls and floor of our dining room and master bedroom from a new and significant roof leak. 
  • We called our insurance company, got contractors, picked out paint and flooring and went back to packing with passion.
  • This was truly an unexpected blessing, actually more than that, God’s provision to get the house sold.  It had been on the market for over two years and it NEEDED new hardwood floors.
  • We had the roof damage repaired and completed just before a tornado crossed over our subdivision.  Sweet Husband, my brother, his grandson and I spent a tense half hour in the hall bathroom.  Heavy rain, but no further water damage noted. PTL! 
  • Thursday, May 1st we drive to my sweet daughter’s home to give our sweet, 14 year old, eight pound puppy dog to her as sweet puppy won’t be able to travel with us the rest of the year (sad, very sad face).  Sweet daughter and her husband were days from closing on their new house (with a fenced back yard for sweet puppy’s safety) and they were in packing mode as well.
  • The next day we drove to meet our pastors near Pensacola to attend the afore mentioned mission conference.
  • While on the road and during the mess of construction, we got an offer on the house.  The house had sold while in this mess…only God’s timing counts…a miracle to be sure.
  • We arrived home Friday night to a huge, unfinished construction mess. 
  • Sweet Husband’s sister & husband had planned months previously to fly in for a visit.  Thankfully on May 25th they moved to visit with Sweet Husband’s daughters who also took them to the airport on Monday (whew!). 
  • Mind you, since getting home from the Mission Conference all I can do is clean and pack because Sweet Husband declares we are moving out on June 1st … PERIOD.  The closing on the House is scheduled for June 12th.  We will have to do this long distance. 
  • We had also promised our back yard for a wedding many months prior to the sale and moving DEADLINE.  That went well, as the construction was finished and (mostly) cleaned up and almost everything packed. 
  • Naturally, we had to quickly squeeze in dental appointments and a doctor’s appointment to get all our prescriptions converted to hard copy to take on the road with us.
  • We leave June 1st with my sweet brother, who had been living with us, not fully moved out, a carpet cleaner, a house cleaner, a yard person all scheduled to come in to do their thing as a condition of closing.
  • All this and more was accomplished.  If interested, you can read part 2 of the prequel in a few days.

 

Wedding

Wedding

Day Two Camping

Rangely Lake, MaineRangely Lake

tentMinivan tent (it attaches to our van & is made by Honda).

All is well.  Praise God!  I think we got it now as long as we do it often enough to keep it fresh in our minds.  We are going to stay two nights here because I cannot undo and redo the tent two nights in a row.

Rangely Lake State Park, Maine is much larger than the one in New Hampshire.  We are on the lake again, but have to walk through the woods for several yards to see it.

Sound carries in this park because of the lake.  Many children running, giggling and playing, a nice sound.  Someone across the lake is playing rock and country music, not a nice sound at a camp site.

We got a little rain last night.  No one and nothing except the exterior of the car and tent got wet.  The sound of rain on the tent is soothing.  I was not as cold last night as the evening before, but still in the 50s…very nice.

OBSERVATIONS
1) I officially HATE state park showers.  This shower was good size with a bench, pull down wall shelf and wall hooks.  However, it had one poor light and no hot water because both were powered by solar panels.  The water is cold or slightly warmed to 50/60 degrees from the hypothermia levels of the lake water…..Solar panels are a waste of good tax dollars…just and FYI to anyone in authority.
2) I brought too many and the wrong kinds of clothes.
3) We need to pack differently, too.  We are learning.
4) I am shocked at the number of people who pack up and leave on Saturday morning.  These are people who are taking this camping stuff seriously.  I’m guessing they have to go home and unpack and clean up, which is probably a two day process…SERIOUSLY!

I cannot take another cold shower.  Therefore, we are going “home” and back in our own bed (sort of).  I told Sweet husband that three nights camping is my absolute maximum.  There is so much we want to see and we cannot afford motels/hotels.

We did not make it to Canada, as originally planed, as we had a gun in the car and that is not allowed across the border.  We want to see Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, above all, so that is the plan for next week, the gun (we forget we even have it) will stay “home”.

PS:  I have had a HOT shower, I have clean hair and a grateful heart.  Beloved, we here in the USA have such a good life.  There are people in our world who would consider what we had on our camping trip WONDERFUL.  Go on a mission trip in any of our neighboring countries or in the inner-city of any of our large US cities.  I have nothing to whine about.  I’m done preaching

PPS:  “Home” is our base of operations supplied by (very good) friends and family in various parts of the areas we travel in.  So, “home” is that base.

PPPS:  I want to sell the tent.  I do not think it is needed.

First night camping – STRIKE ONE

image (1) View from our camp siteimageWe stopped at Umbagog Lake State Park in New Hampshire.  Very large, beautiful lake, very, small camp ground (Go to Google Earth and pull it up!).

We had been driving through extremely rural areas of Maine and New Hampshire and began to be afraid we wouldn’t find (1) supper and (2) a place to camp, when we saw a sign for Bull Moose Lodge and Restaurant and they were open (PTL).

There were 5 people bellied up to the bar, we found a table, which indicated we wanted food (smile).  We asked the waitress what was our chances of finding camp accommodations within the next 100 miles and one of the patrons spoke up (she is a park ranger who just got off work) and said the State Park was 1/4 mile up the road with camp sites still available (the last park was not a shock).  She specifically told us to go to site 41, as it had the best view (SOOOOO true).  Dinner of Cajun Gumbo (NOT!) and one cold beer each was fairly good.

By 9:30 p.m. with the help of a tow truck courtesy of AAA, we curled up in the bed of the van for a long winters nap – 48 degrees.

OBSERVATIONS:
1) Going to the restroom in the middle of the night works well IF you go together and you think ahead to put your shoes and the flashlight in a quickly accessible location, which we did.
2) Showers require rubber shoes and 25c for hot water.  Getting dressed in a shower stall is quite an experience…I broke a nail, thank God that was all.
3) Makeup is optional, but I did it anyway.
4) I own one sweatshirt and (thank God) I packed it.  I slept in it and my jeans and was plenty warm.
5) I do not like to cook, even in a nice, fully equipped kitchen, so I have discovered as long as I have coffee, I am GOOD.  Peanut butter and crackers are a great breakfast, BTW.  Sweet husband thinks we should invest in cooking equipment.  I’m not even sure this is something I can do with pleasure, so we will wait.
6) There is absolutely, positivity NO cell coverage or WiFi up here.  This was written and posted after we left the camp site.  Thank God there was a pay phone outside the closed park office or AAA would not have been called.  We will not speak of this further.  
7) AAA annual membership $160.00, Campsite rental $35.00, Loons singing you to sleep at night and morning coffee on the bank of this lake, PRICELESS.

Onward Christian Soldiers.