Farewell, Friends!

My last post was some time ago, and a lot has happened since then. I last wrote about the electrical problem in our rig that was playing havoc with our hot water heater.  The new hot water heater was installed, and all seemed well…until we completely lost all electric in our rig.  We toughed out the freezing night and found an older gentleman RV tech who hooked us up with his electrician friend.  We were able to coax this electrician into checking out our rig to track down the ongoing electrical issue.  He took pity on us, as we had no heat or any electric at all, and it was winter.

After much investigation, the electrician found the source of all our electrical woes. Our rig is generator prepped with a transfer switch.  The transfer switch had shorted out due to a loose connection and had literally burned up.  The electrician figures that it had come from the factory that way.  The screws had never been properly tightened down on the wire connections.  The loose connection had been arching and sending 220 volts throughout the rig causing our lights to randomly dim and brighten, not to mention all the problems it caused with the hot water heater.  The electrician removed the burned up transfer switch, and we all marveled that the rig had not caught fire.  Problem solved.  Finally!

I also mentioned in our last post that we were working on a project. We built a new home!  We gravitated back to Georgia because of G’s continued health issue.  We decided it was best to stay grounded, as MDS is a lifelong condition which requires monthly treatment.

We moved into our new home December 30, 2014 and basically resumed our former life. I have my own studio room for sewing, crafting, painting and practicing violin.  I took up the violin ten months ago.  G and I joined the Worship Team at my church.  He is singing, and I’m playing the violin.

We are very happy. Our lives are low-stress.  We celebrated 30 years of marriage in 2015 and have finally achieved a harmonious marriage.  G is my best friend, and I’d be lost without him.

We sold the Cameo to a single girl who lives and works in western Texas. We explained the burned up transfer switch story to her, etc.  She got a great deal, as we sold the rig at a discounted price.  Since all the electrical issues had been sorted out, we felt comfortable with the sale.

I started this blog at the request of our friends who wished to keep up with us during our travels, and since we are no longer travelers it is time to say “farewell.” This is my last post.  Thanks for joining us in our crazy RV adventure where our lives took many twists and turns.  Farewell, friends!

Farewell!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Posted in RV Adventure | 6 Comments

Home Is Where You Park It

Home right now is back in Georgia.  We have a wonderful church family and great friends here and miss them terribly when we travel.

We transferred to Georgia in 1997, and after many years of living here the south has gotten under our skin.  We love the sunshine.  We love the easy-going folks.  We’re here working on a project.  More about that another time.

Our 2012 Carriage Cameo makes for very nice living quarters.  However, problems and repairs come with RVs.  We’ve had this ongoing problem with our water heater nearly from the start.

While in Colorado in late October 2011, I smelled the distinct odor of melting plastic.  The smoky odor seemed to be coming from under the kitchen sink in the area where the water heater is located.  I was afraid it might be electrical wires melting.  By the time we arrived in Yuma, Arizona for the 2011 winter we had to have a mobile RV tech come and take a look at the water heater.  Thankfully, it was covered under the components warranty because to our shock and dismay Carriage had gone belly up the month after we took delivery.  Goodbye warranty!

A few months later, I again smelled the odor of melting plastic, and since then we’ve had to run the water heater on propane and have replaced five elements in three years.  I’ve always said that the problem with the water heater was electrical but my theory falls on deaf ears.  Every mobile RV tech that has worked on it has never bothered to delve deeply enough into the issue.  They replace the element; charge us an arm and a leg and leave.

The other morning we woke up to discover the water heater was leaking.  The entire base cabinet area under the kitchen sink was water-logged.  We managed to get a young tech out here.  He pulled the water heater and checked it for cracks but couldn’t find any.  He replaced the element and found that the water heater would not operate on electricity.  (No surprise there, right?)  After several hours of futility the tech said to my husband, “I hate to admit this but I think your wife might be right about there being an electrical issue also.”

My back was to him at that moment, and I just rolled my eyes wondering why it is so difficult for some men to concede that a woman might be onto something.  Is there some unspoken rule that women cannot be mechanically inclined?  I had to give him credit for at least hearing and considering my theory about an electrical issue.

After more investigation, he found a melted, clear plastic junction box under the kitchen sink area.  Remember the odor of melting plastic?  The clear box containing electrical wires had melted and had been sending 220 back through the water heater which over time would burn out element after element.  The tech removed the melted junction box and decided to hard wire it. The hot water heater was working and running on electric when he left.  Issued resolved…well, maybe not.

The next morning we found that the water heater had again leaked all night and soaked everything.  It has a crack and needs replacing.  It being Labor Day weekend, the tech wasn’t working the weekend.  He flat-out said we would just have to survive until after Labor Day.  G shut off the water heater, drained it, and we spent the better part of the day sucking up the water with a mini Shop-Vac and setting up a fan to dry the area.

Normally irritated by such things, I made a conscious effort to rise to the occasion and decided I would not complain or be irritable.  So, for several days I’ve been cheerfully heating water in the tea kettle on the propane stove for dishes and bathing – kind of like the “old days.”  G is a bit tougher and is able to tolerate a cold shower.  It’s not quite as bad as the “old days.”  We thankfully have electricity along with AC to keep us cool during these hot, humid, sultry summer days in Georgia.

“Roughing it” has caused me to really ponder a few things.  Very quickly I came to realize that we really only need a three things to physically survive – air, water and fire.  All the rest is extra – bonus, blessings, good gifts from God.  We are so far beyond the caveman era that we have forgotten to be thankful for all the bonus stuff.

Thank you, God for all the bonus stuff!

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Skaneateles, New York

One of our favorite places in New York is the village of Skaneateles.  This quaint village is nestled at the northern end of sixteen mile long Skaneateles Lake in Onondaga County, the eastern gateway to the Finger Lakes.  Skaneateles is an Iroquois name meaning “long lake.”  It is pronounced (skæni’æləs) or local (skini’atlas).

Village of Skaneatles

Village of Skaneatles

Skaneateles Lake

Skaneateles Lake

Farms and rolling hills surround Skaneateles Lake.  This picturesque village is filled with New England architectural homes both colonial and Victorian.  The lake is considered the cleanest lake in the Finger Lake region.  Many boaters prefer this smaller lake to the larger Finger Lakes because is less choppy.

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Visitors can occupy themselves exploring the specialty boutiques, eating good food at the Blue Grille, The Sherwood Inn and Doug’s Fish Fry or taking a dinner cruise with Mid-Lakes Navigation.  Boaters can dock at the village public dock and go on foot through the village.

Skaneateles has a full calendar of events some of which are the Antique & Classic Boat Show, Trivia Night at the Lake House Pub, Live Music Oak & Vine, Aviation Summer Camp, Captain Jack – hunt for pirate treasure & fun at the library, Farmer’s Market, Syracuse Symphony Summer Concert, Black Light Hike, Bon Ton Roulet Bike Tour, Annual Blues & BBQ Festival on the West Lawn of the Sherwood Inn, Pulled Pork Picnic at Holy Trinity Lutheran, Skaneateles Festival, Frog Catching Party, and my favorite Dickens Christmas.

Scrooge

Scrooge

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My Favorite House

My Favorite House

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20th Annual Dickens Christmas in Skaneatles!

Step back in time and enjoy the holidays the old-fashioned way with Dickens Christmas, as Skaneateles Area Businesses give a gift to the public for their continued support throughout the year. Plan now and join the Village of Skaneateles, located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, this holiday season.

An annual tradition, the celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs every Saturday and Sunday through December 24th from noon to 4 pm. Charles Dickens and his cast of over 50 characters will interact with residents and visitors in the streets, stores and restaurants. Don’t miss lively acts at the Library (and Mother Goose too!), live music, unique shopping, wonderful food and horse and wagon rides around the Village.

  • Christmas carol sing-along, The Revels Live, at 2 p.m. at the Gazebo with the entire Dickens cast. (Bad weather place is the Sherwood House.)
  • Free horse and wagon rides around the Village.  Pick up in front of the Sherwood Inn.  Sponsored by the Old Stone Mill and the Village Inn.
  • Free roasted chestnuts in front of Johnny Angels, donated by  TOPS Market, and roasted by Mid-Lakes Navigation.
  • Mother Goose reads holiday stories to the children at the Skaneateles Library from 12:30 – 4.
  • Father Christmas greets the children on the porch of the Masonic Temple (13 E. Genesee St.) each weekend day from noon to 2 p.m and 3-4 pm. He will have special treats for especially good children.
  • Special shows at the Skaneateles Library at 1 and 3 pm. (except December 1st and December 24th).  John Henry Anderson, the great magician, will appear on the weekends of December 7th and December 14th) Free, however donations are welcome.
  • Every Saturday, and Sunday during Dickens Christmas – visit the Mirbeau Inn & Spa Winter Wonderland “French Country Christmas Display.”  Enjoy free spiced hot cider, hot cocoa and cookies from noon to 4 pm!  851 West Genesee Street, Skaneateles. 315-685-5006 or 877-MIRBEAU (647-2328)
  • Get your picture taken professionally by James Peluso in front of the Currier & Ives cutter sleigh by the Mirbeau Christmas tree every Saturday during Dickens at Mirbeau Inn & Spa .  Make it your holiday photo.  851 West Genesee Street, Skaneateles. 315-685-5006 or 877-MIRBEAU (647-2328)
  • The Dickens characters will be acting out scenes from a Christmas Carol on the steps of the Masonic Temple at 12:30, 1:30 and 3:30.  These interactive trunk shows are sponsored by the Summit Auto Group.

Don’t miss the World’s Smallest Christmas Parade ever on opening day, Friday, November 28th at noon. Watch for Charles Dickens and his entourage as they meander down Fennell Street, turn right onto Jordan Street, then right onto Genesee Street to their grand opening on the porch of the Sherwood House next to the Sherwood Inn at 12:10 pm.

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Miss Porter’s School

1583While in Connecticut visiting G’s family, we took a side trip to Farmington, Connecticut.  We learned several months ago that G’s grandmother had attended Miss Porter’s School beginning in 1909, so we set off one Sunday morning to see “Nan’s” school.

Farmington is a quaint little village with a big history.  During the Revolutionary War, George Washington passed through the village on six separate occasions.  He called Farmington “the village of pretty houses.”  Indeed, it is filled with historic colonial homes.

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The village was also known as “Grand Central Station” on the Underground Railroad or Freedom Trial.  Many slaves passed through here aided by the villagers on their way to freedom.  The Amistad captives were sheltered here after they took over the slave ship that was carrying them to America.  They received a court trial and were returned to Africa from whence they came.

Map of Underground Railroad

Map of Underground Railroad

Miss Porter’s School was easy to find since it occupies much of the village center.  Miss Porter’s School is an exclusive college preparatory school for girls. The school is a significant historic and cultural institution in its own right.  It was founded in 1843 by educational reformer Sarah Porter.  Miss Porter’s has long been one of the most selective preparatory schools for girls in the country.  Famous alumni include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lilly Pulitzer and members of the Bush, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller families.  (At the end of this post is a more extensive school history taken from their website.)

New Place Dormitory where "Nan" was housed.

New Place Dormitory where “Nan” was housed.

Along the Farmington River lies a trail system that runs along the old railroad bed.  We didn’t get to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail or River Trail, but we were told that it is very nice.  We hope to return one day when the Historical Society and Museum are open to satisfy our curiosity about the “village of pretty houses.”

Sarah Porter

Sarah Porter

Early students at Miss Porter's School

Early students at Miss Porter’s School

School History 2

School History 3

School History 4

Stanley-Whitman House c. 17th Century American Architecture, Colonial Saltbox

Stanley-Whitman House c. 17th Century American Architecture,
Colonial Saltbox

Stanley-Whitman Home

Stanley-Whitman Home

 

Old Stone Schoolhouse 1790's

Old Stone Schoolhouse 1790’s

1830's Farmington Canal

1830’s Farmington Canal

1870's Post-Civil War

1870’s Post-Civil War

1880's Meeting House Square

1880’s Meeting House Square

 

1900's Round Hill

1900’s Round Hill

 

Post Office & Stage Coach in 1906

Post Office & Stage Coach in 1906

Farmington.  Miss Porter's School is center photo.

Farmington. Miss Porter’s School is center photo.

Hill-Stead Museum

Hill-Stead Museum

Lathrop Dormitory

Lathrop Dormitory

Keep Dormitory

Keep Dormitory

Humphrey Dormitory for Seniors

Humphrey Dormitory for Seniors

Ford Library

Ford Library

Brick Dormitory

Brick Dormitory

Colony Dormitory for seniors

Colony Dormitory for seniors

Cottage Dorm

Cottage Dorm

Crisp Athletic Center

Crisp Athletic Center

Hamilton - English & History Departments - School Website

Hamilton – English & History Departments – School Website

Ward Dormitory

Ward Dormitory

Thomas Hart Hooker House c. 1770 Office of Admissions

Thomas Hart Hooker House c. 1770
Office of Admissions

Pool and Squash Building

Pool and Squash Building

Sarah Porter Memorial Building

Sarah Porter Memorial Building

Village of Pretty Houses

Peter Curtis Home - Blacksmith

Peter Curtis Home – Blacksmith

Samuel Smith Home 1769, Horace Cowles 1782-1841

Samuel Smith Home 1769, Horace Cowles 1782-1841

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Major Timothy Cowles House 1815

Major Timothy Cowles House 1815

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Chauncy Cowles Home 1846

Chauncy Cowles Home 1846

Deming Lewis Home 1740

Deming Lewis Home 1740

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24 Main Street

24 Main Street

St. James Episcopal Church This may have been the church "Nan" attended each Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church
This may have been the church “Nan” attended each Sunday.

First Church of Christ Congregational Church 1652

First Church of Christ Congregational Church 1652

 

School History:

Sarah Porter came from an illustrious and learned Farmington family. Her father was the minister of the Congregational Church for 60 years, and one of her brothers was the president of Yale University. She received the most advanced education available to a young woman of her time, including tutoring by Yale professors. A life-long scholar, she not only mastered four languages, but taught herself Hebrew when she was in her 80s. In 1843, she founded Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn. The school, which had only 18 students its first year, grew with the support of a progressive group of Farmington fathers who wanted their daughters to be educated in the liberal arts. By the 1880s, Miss Porter’s School had risen to national prominence and boasted nearly 100 young women as students. Sarah Porter emphasized traditional values and the importance of educating women. She recognized the value and importance of service to others, and believed that women must be prepared to shape the future by educating their own families and running their households. As such, she made certain that the school was welcoming and homelike.

However, there was nothing traditional about the educational opportunities she offered young women. In the 19th century, her curriculum included Latin, French and German, spelling, reading, arithmetic, trigonometry, history and geography, as well as chemistry, physiology, botany, geology and astronomy. Each student was expected to design her course selection to meet her individual needs and talents.

To ensure that her students were well-rounded, Miss Porter emphasized excellence in the arts as well as in more traditional academic subjects, a tradition that continues today. She also required her students to exercise regularly—a notable idea for the time. She encouraged participation in sports such as tennis and horseback riding. In 1867, the school even formed one of the first women’s baseball teams, called the Tunxises. After Sarah Porter’s death in 1900, management of the school remained in the hands of her nephew’s family. Robert Porter Keep, his wife, Elizabeth Hale Keep, and their son Robert Porter Keep Jr. ran the school from 1904 until 1943, when Miss Porter’s School was incorporated as a non-profit institution.

Today, Miss Porter’s School continues Sarah Porter’s mission of educating young women to shape the world in which they live. By providing students access to an excellent academic program, a premier arts curriculum, an array of high caliber sports teams, and community service, our graduates are prepared to become the local and global leaders of the future. Yet, Porter’s remains a place where girls are supported by a close-knit community of students and faculty. For Porter’s students, Farmington is home.

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Sweet Sixteen

Kaylee just turned sixteen.  She is my eldest grandchild.  She just finished the tenth grade.  She’s an only child.  She has the most incredible sky-blue eyes.  Kay is sweet and kind and level-headed.  She cannot tolerate the drama that sometimes comes with her female peers.  At her young age, she is already practicing character traits such as honesty, integrity and discretion.  She plays softball and volleyball in school.  Kay is a horsewoman like her mother.  She rides at a western riding stables and participates in horse shows.

Kay is quiet and thoughtful but not shy or timid.  She spends more time listening than speaking and doesn’t seem to mind being surrounded by adults most of the time.  She does not possess the need to assert her opinions.  I wish I could be more like her and keep my opinions to myself.  She isn’t full of nonsense.  I love her company.

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She’s still trying to sort out her strengths and interests in order to find her career path and is still uncertain which path to pursue.  She told me that she likes it when we come to NY to park our fifth-wheel at her house.  She humors me by occasionally joining me for afternoon tea and “Old Bachelor” card games.

I wanted to mark her sixteenth birthday with a special gift.   I wanted the gift to remind her of how much I love her.  I wanted to reward her for being so mature and level-headed for her age.  I pray that she finds the path to God who loves her perfectly.

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I also designed and created a “wisdom banner” to hang in her room.  I wanted to speak words of wisdom into her life.  That’s what grandmothers are for.

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Believe

Believe – As you grow you are influenced by the beliefs of your parents, friends, church and educational institutions.  Eventually, you will establish your own beliefs based on some, all or none of these influences.  Be careful not to base your beliefs on false truths which lead to false hopes, in turn leading to poor decisions with unhappy consequences.  Seek wisdom.  Find truth.  Your Creator says that His Word (the Bible) is truth.  Set your heart on seeking God, and you will find Him and find His favor.

“Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek Him with all their heart.”  Psalms 119:2

Compass

Compass – Your compass will guide you.  Choose your compass wisely.  Your beliefs will influence your choice of a compass.  The Bible is a compass that gives instruction how to find God, how to be saved and live well.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105

Key

Key To Your Heart – One day you will find a boy that you will want to give your heart to.  It is wisest to find a boy who shares your same beliefs and uses the same compass that you use for your guide to ensure that as a couple you will be heading in the same direction.

Always remember how much you are loved by your parents and grandparents.  But, remember most of all that God loves you more perfectly than any other.  Let God be your first love with everyone else second.

“What a man desires is unfailing love…”  Proverbs 19:22

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3

Wings

Wings – You are slowly growing your wings in readiness to fly the nest.  Your beliefs and compass and in whom you place your loving trust will collectively aim you onto your life’s path.  Where you fly is up to you.  But, know that God has a good plan for you and that His flight plan is best.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

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PD_0013 (2) PD_0017 (2) Kaylee Reneelee Kaylee7

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Happy Sweet 16th Birthday, sweet girl!

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Spaghetti Western

We’ve been on the move again heading to the southern tier of New York state.  At the end of our second day of travel we stopped overnight in Newville, Pennsylvania.  G backed the fifth wheel into our site and went to work on the hookups.  I unlocked the door to go inside.  My stomach instantly turned nauseous at the sight that met my eyes.

Spaghetti sauce.  Everywhere.

A spaghetti western had been filmed inside our rig without our knowledge with lots of drama and lots of spaghetti sauce.  Actually, a slasher movie might be more accurate.

It looked like somebody had a wild food fight inside our rig.  Four jars of Rao’s spaghetti sauce had fallen out of the cupboard.  Three were intact.  One was smashed.

It was the chunky marinara kind.  Our chuckwagon was now a chunky spaghetti sauce wagon.  Red sauce was thick on the floor, splattered all over the carpet, slopped in both open pantry drawers contaminating all the other jars and boxes of groceries; it was painting the walls and countertop and cupboard doors and both the screen door and front door.  Glass was mixed in with the sauce.

G likes to buy in bulk.  I can’t break him of this even though we live in an RV with limited storage space.  We’d both forgotten he’d stashed four jars of his favorite spaghetti sauce on the top shelf high above the pantry cupboard.  The rig must have tipped hard to the right shifting cupboard contents against the two cupboard doors causing them to open.  The top cupboard door had closed on its own sometime after the smash.  But, the bottom pantry cupboard had remained open with both drawers in the forward position dripping sauce.

When did we tip to the right?  Oh, yes…the rest stop.  The parking places in the truck parking area where alongside the road…on the slanting shoulder of the road.

I pulled on rubber gloves and carefully starting picking up glass coated in sauce.  Sauce was in every nook and cranny and crack and crevice.  Did I say that I have never been fond of tomatoes and marinara sauce and anything tomato based?  I hated it all as a kid.  I barely tolerate it as an adult.  Now, I am back to hating it all.

G helped by hosing down the screen door and front door, throw rug, flip-flops and crocs.  The pantry drawers had to be emptied of their contents and all items washed off, dried and returned to the newly scrubbed drawers.  You’re wondering if I got the sauce out of the carpet.  Yes, it came out of the carpet with soapy water and a wash cloth and a lot of scrubbing.  I have no idea what this carpet is made of, but I’ve always been able to clean every spot out of it with soap and water.  It miraculously never retains a stain.  Clean up took us three hours.  THREE HOURS.

I was too distraught to think of taking a photo for the blog.  A video would have been better.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.  However, the scene of horror will forever be seared into my brain.

Did I mention that red is my least favorite color?

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The Great Escape

I was chomping at the bit to leave Austin, Texas and get back to Georgia where our roots run deep.  We have great friends there along with our church and G’s son, daughter-in-law and grandbaby.  I wanted to leave on March 4th, but we had a slow leak in a tire on the 5th wheel and tickets to the rodeo for that evening.

So, we got the tire fixed and went to Rodeo Austin at the Travis County Exposition Center and had a good time.  The events included mutton busting, bull riding, bronc riding, calf wrestling, calf roping and barrel racing.  Cameras were not allowed; I have no photos to share.  A concert immediately followed the rodeo featuring the duet couple Thompson Square and their band.  They ended the concert with my favorite song of theirs, “This Life Would Kill Me If I Didn’t Have You.”

Rodeo Austin

Rodeo Austin

We left Austin at 10 a.m. on the following morning.  The traffic and construction between Austin and Waco kept us from making much progress.  It took an hour to go the first 58 miles.  We drove seven hours that day and only traveled 304 miles.  It was like we were treading water in place.  There seemed to be a conspiracy going on to prevent us from making the desired progress.  We stopped in Waskom, Texas for the night on the Texas and Louisiana border.

The following day was a repeat of the day before.  We again drove for seven hours and traveled only 330 miles.  On average, we usually complete 330 miles in five hours.  While traveling through Monroe, Louisiana we saw billboards advertising Duck Commander at exit 119 in West Monroe.  The bearded Robinsons were plastered as large as life on a billboard.  Too bad we were towing a 37 foot 5th wheel behind us or we would have stopped since we are Duck Dynasty fans.  We stayed in Meridian, Mississippi the second night.

The mighty Mississippi River.

The mighty Mississippi River.

Fog over the Mississippi.

Fog over the Mississippi.

Friday was our third day on the road.  We were due to make it to Georgia and had permission from our church pastor and elders to return to the RV site on our church farm property.  We’d stayed there before from August 2012 through mid-June of 2013.  During our memorable time there G was diagnosed with MDS and also had a successful total knee replacement.  We hadn’t been back to Georgia since, and we were excited to return.

As we headed onto the interstate I checked my voicemail.  The message was from our church elder and friend Kirk.

“Sorry guys,” he said.  “Your RV site is gone.”

The church barn had burned to the ground at 2:30 a.m. that very morning!

The church barn completely engulfed in flames.

The church barn completely engulfed in flames.

An electrical fire started the blaze.  Three small propane tanks were stored in the barn.  The heat blew off the valves, and they hit the metal roof sounding much like gun shots.  The barn structure was very old, dry timber.  Flames roared high enough to scorch the top branches of a tall pine.  Pastor Blake felt the intense heat of the fire from inside the farm-house where he and his family live and were in no danger from the fire.

The RV site with full connections was right next to the barn.  We were stunned.  If we had left Texas one day earlier we would have been sleeping next to the barn when it caught fire.

Would we have awakened in time to flee the fire? 

Our 5th wheel would have eventually been engulfed in the fire, and our pair of 30 lb propane tanks would have blown like the others and fed the fire.  Our chuckwagon would have been a total loss; our home and possessions incinerated.  Possibly our truck would have been damaged by the fire if we couldn’t have gotten to it in time.

In retrospect we can see how God conspired to slow us down.  The tire repair prevented us from leaving a day early.  Yet, God saw fit that it happened while we were stationary.  A flat tire on the road would have been very dangerous and perhaps damaging to our rig.  The rodeo tickets also kept us in Austin.  Then there was the strange inability for desired progress while traveling.  But, as soon as the barn burned down we suddenly had smooth sailing and were able to make up for lost time arriving in Georgia just nine hours after the fire.

By design, it was not our time to die or suffer loss…this time.  But, it could have been.  This near disaster did not scare us because we clearly saw how God orchestrated events to keep us away.  And He also protected us during all the previous months that we were parked beside the barn.

If God had taken our lives that day our family and friends would have been in mourning.  But, they would have had the assurance that G and I were in heaven because we live out the truth of how God drew us to Him all those years ago, and how we reconciled with Him and handed ourselves over.

Life is rough.  Everybody has their fill of loss and suffering, pain and difficulty.  But, in the midst of it all are God’s grace and miracles if we know how to recognize them.  I’d never make it through this life in one piece if it weren’t for my faith and ability to trust in a holy and sovereign God.

“This Life Would Kill Me If I Didn’t Have You.” – Thompson Square.

Our 5th wheel parked beside the barn at our church farm in 2012.

Our 5th wheel parked beside the barn at our church farm in 2012.

Same view after the fire.

Same view after the fire.

Surrounded by barns on three sides.

Surrounded by barns on three sides.

Another view of our truck and 5th wheel parked at the church barn at our last stay here.

Another view of our truck and 5th wheel parked at the church barn at our last stay here.

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Before

Before

After

After

Before

Before

Before

Before

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The flames were high enough to scorch this tall pine tree.

The flames were high enough to scorch this tall pine tree.

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