Monday, December 29, 2014

Airing Dirty Laundry

This is my attempt at the Welcome sign as we entered Louisiana - I missed.  So, here is a photo of the very first rest area instead. 

We are parked at Abita Springs, Louisiana, another campground, this one is not involved in any construction, the pool is open and the laundromat is outdoors!  I love it.  Abita Springs, is about an hour north of New Orleans, but that is a blog for another day. Meanwhile, I am airing my dirty laundry. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014


We spent two weeks at Lake Conroe, just north of Houston.  The area was lovely, but...

the noise nearly did us in!  They are working diligently EVERY DAY from 7:20 AM - 5:00 PM Beep,beep, beep The pool and the hot tub were closed for renovation. *sigh*  The water and electric were turned off frequently during the work day. Still, it was a fine stay and the staff were EXTRA friendly.  

During our stay, Dave was able to complete his newest PVC project.  Some people spend actual money on a sewer hose holder, but my clever hubby built his own model using supplies we ALWAYS have - PVC pipe :) - and a couple of gutter pieces we already had.

So, on the bright side of construction, the flow of our sewage is much more uniformly downhill. The last thing you want is a pool of sewage sitting in the hose, and that's enough said about that. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Joy in Houston

Thank you, new friends, for the gift of time together!
Summerwood Elementary School in Houston, Texas, takes on a whole new look each Sunday when it houses Joy Lutheran Church.  Members of Joy take to the school cafeteria/gym and set up chairs, the sound equipment, the altar, the refreshment goodies, and are ready to greet any and all.  It is a mission church - vibrant and growing! 

We couldn't help noticing that one of the school's cafeteria posters - our guess was that it was made by a student as a helpful learning exercise - was particularly appropriate for a worship service: "No tooting or belching at others seated at your table." 

Pastor John and his wife, Linda, took us out for lunch so we could all eat yummy nearly authentic Mexican comfort food (I think cheese is their nod to the American palate). 
During our lunch conversation we, of course, discovered a number of people we have in common. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Coming Common

 St. Andrew Lutheran Church located in Houston, Texas, has an interesting life.

During the week they offer Early Childhood Care, we have noticed a lot of churches moving to this model of serving the community. 

On Saturday evening there is a Hispanic Church that worships here.
On Sunday morning at 9:30 AM St. Andrew worships and at 11:30 Hilltop Lutheran Church, a Korean congregation worships.

All of these different people groups use the space, and call it "our" church.  They all come together on occasion for potlucks and other events throughout the year. This is a really big idea it makes me reconsider what God's House looks like from the inside out. We laughingly talk about  "my pew" but what if we shared our pew with someone new?
Dave is pictured with our gracious hostess, Carolyn Koch. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Bells of Branson!

Remember the "extra" cold snap a few weeks ago? We were in Branson, Missouri.  It was just plain cold.  It was also the weekend of the handbell workshop at Faith Lutheran Church in Branson.  There were ringers from many area churches and the turnout was great. It was truly inspiring to see all ages and stages of skill together in one place.  The music was delightful - give a listen. We came in the building and thought one of the choirs must be playing. Quite good. Very precise. We looked over the rail to see everyone playing together in a mass choir - as one. It was amazing. 

I have been in a handbell choir for only one season, but it was so much fun and now I am drawn to bells whenever I hear the delightful sweet ring.

We had a great weekend with our friends at Faith.  On Sunday morning as guests raised their hands we counted about twenty - and that was a low count compared to "high season" in Branson.  What a great ministry to have - just being present and having a welcoming place to worship. Faith invites ringers to ring, a traveling preacher to teach and cheerful company for those visiting. I hope you will visit Faith when you are in Branson.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Many years ago when we lived in Missouri, we did not see much of the state.  Our travels were primarily limited to work, school, and long drives home to see family in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  This trip through the state has been fun, in a terrifying, wild, freefall sort of way.  When you are traveling in a car on roads with no shoulders, it is not really such a big deal, but when hauling your house it is downright exciting! I am sharing photos of Castleview Campground to document what I mean by "way down the hill."  

Our campground while in the Branson, area. Beautiful. 

pretty sure it was the end of the road - it was not.

Our campsite at Stockton State Park, last week as the cold front came through, the Camp host left, and the water was turned off. We were the only ones in the park. It was great.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Visiting Lockwood, Missouri

Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Lockwood, Missouri- Thank you for your kind hospitality! If you find yourself in Lockwood, stop in for a visit!

The cars in Lockwood...are ALIVE! Well, maybe just a few of them. 

... and some of the utility vehicles.  Fun place.

And when driving the curvy roads it is good to know that Wreck-O-Mended is just down the road. :)

Set up

Load out. It does not look like much, but everything must be packed into the back seat of the truck - just so...I don't want to know and therefore cannot help. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Has It Been That Long? or I'm BACK!

I have taken an extraordinary long hiatus from blogging.  I am ready to pick up my camera and chronicle the 2014 - 2015 God Provides Tour!
First up... I published a photo on FB about this first bit, but I also wanted to tell the rest of the story. 

This is our fourth tire blow out in seven years, not that bad really.  It seems it is always a back tire and ALWAYS on the driver's side. 

God provided Eric, a stranger who stopped to help change the shredded tire.

After this incident, we made a few changes

We moved books to the front of haRVey, nearer the hitch. Our plan is to even out the weight distribution between the RV tires and the hitch. The messy pile of books  - well everything shifts a bit as you move on down the road. This plan needs a bit of a tune up.

We moved our towels into a living room cupboard under the TV. When you go to take a shower, you must first go to the living room and get a towel. Isn't that how it is done at your house?

Books are now stored where light weight clothing used to be. My pajamas (top shelf) are now also stored under the TV and heavier items are stored here.  We actually don't have that many books -- well, maybe a few too many. (Dave - just saying)

Dave's shoes are now stored above his desk where books used to be. Mine are in the closet with books stored below where the shoes used to be. Dave and I agree, with these few changes haRVey looks to be riding a little more evenly distributed down the road. This topic may be revisited. :)


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bad Grandma

 Saturday morning while having coffee, Logan played with sand. Moving sand...

carrying sand...
discovering how it falls through the holes

how it can be used to decorate all surfaces

Later in the day, I heard his father say, "Logan, if you don't keep the sand IN the sandbox we will close the lid."
It is so very hard to follow the house rules!!! And should a grandma feel compelled to follow ALL the rules? or just some :)

Heading North

As we turned the big corner that is Texas and started heading North we camped near Lawton, Oklahoma.  The trees held just a hint of Spring.  By the time we pulled out it was joyfully GREEN.

We parked briefly in Topeka, Kansas, as Dave led the weekend services, then moved on. The trees held just a hint of Spring. By the time we pulled out it was a pretty strong hint.

Our next stop as we headed north was at Cutty's RV Resort in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Here spring was not hinting, but hidden. This picture is deceiving. It was cold. But there were buds...hiding...waiting...

  Find the church and the RV in this photo!  Door to door might have been 10 feet.  We really enjoyed our overnight stay in Vernon Center, Minnesota, where Dave led services. There is something about being in a small town. The trees held just a hint of Spring. Did I say that already? Spring is closing in and getting ever nearer!
And our reason for that quick dash - well, 'quick' is a relative term when hauling haRVey - but, here we are parked on the street at the home of our kids, and our grandson, who all make the Spring dash well worth it. Now we are, once again, experiencing Spring and the dash is done. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Oklahoma Where the Wind Comes...Sweeping Ore

I have been humming tunes from the musical "Oklahoma" for the past few days.  I especially enjoy the line from the song, "Oklahoma" about "wind sweeping ore the plains."  I would like to add that the wind sweeps ore the truck, ore your awning, and ore your RV slides which can make you feel seasick. 

I could not really capture in a photo the true force of "sweeping ore" we have experienced.  

In the photo of our picnic shelter you can barely discern our outdoor rug, which is weighted down to keep it from traveling ore the plains as it dries out from the much-needed rainstorm.

We are in a great spot for birding, bike riding, running, and enjoying the outdoors.  Each activity includes the added bonus/challenge of  - wind sweeping ore. We are enjoying our week just outside of Lawton, Oklahoma. It has been warm and sunny our windows are open and everything is getting a nice clean sweep! We look forward to meeting everyone at St. John this weekend. Pastor Bill and Barb Schneider have been more than gracious hosts. If you ever find yourself in Lawton, Oklahoma, stop in for a visit you will be warmly received.  

I just checked the lyrics... "the wind comes sweeping DOWN the plains. I think "ore" sounds better, but it is not my song. 

We love our campsite just outside Lawton, Oklahoma

The white caps should be called wind caps!

About two hours after I took these photos the wind calmed and the water was like glass. I love this place. On Sunday, we had severe wind warnings.  I still like it here. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Help for haRVey!

 We cleverly noticed that this spring bracket (it holds the spring in place so the RV rides smoothly) was broken. We were parked at Faith Lutheran in Stephenville, Texas at the time. Dave immediately found a welding shop in town, (every town has one, right?) and made an appointment to have our bracket welded the next morning and voila! 

When you are at the mercy of a mechanic, a plumber, a carpenter, or an electrician you ponder the cost because you cannot fix it yourself, but clearly it must be fixed and who knows what the final cost will be.  In our case $65.00. We were very thankful as we thought it might be $200.00.

While haRVey was in the shop we walked to a nearby cafe.  We noted that some fixes are easier than others. :)

  A saucer sans the cup and the table is "fixed."

A Sweet Reunion

Sue Davis and I shared dorm room at Concordia College along with another friend, Darla. As we moved on got married, had children... we lost touch as so often happens! Dave and I were camped in Arlington, Texas for a few days and we were able to get together with Sue, and her long-suffering dear husband, Phil.  I am not sure we took a breath! There is nothing as sweet as claiming the treasure of friendship. As we hugged goodbye we promised not to wait another thirty years before our next visit. Amen to that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hospitality in Texas

haRVey at Faith Lutheran in Stephenville, Texas this last week.

In Texas, the acolytes wear cowboy boots!

 Our travels this winter have taken us through California and east through Arizona, New Mexico and now we are starting our northward trek through Texas. 
We always enjoy staying in campgrounds - lots of electricity, water and usually a place to run, walk and ride our bikes. 

In a Church/School parking lot -  were are usually met by a church member as we arrive and enjoy a lively chat while we set up our house, we are sometimes given a key so we can utilize the kitchen and have access to the sanctuary and set up our equipment. Just this last week: we met Phoebe, a comfort dog (who has her own facebook page!), sang for 100 preschool children, donated two items to the annual garage sale and bought four items (not the preferred way to minimize). We were guests for fabulous lunch filled with good conversation. I love my job! Campgrounds can be quieter on occasion, but for the most part we really do like to meet the people in our neighborhood. 

haRVey parked at the teacherage in Thorndale, Texas.