After getting everyone settled in the for the night, or at least to the point that Rick and i could crash :-) ... we slept ... LOL
Around 7 a.m. Saturday, I got up, and with Joshua's help - woke the granddaughters, Brooke and Kyla, up. We went to the grocery store and the donut shop while everyone else slept in. :-) ...
That was a FUN trip!!! Or at least it was to me! LOL ... Granddaughters were still in their PJ's and we teased and played thru it all. Joshua had challenged me saying that there was no way i could get to town and back by 9 a.m. HA!!! I drove back in and walked into the house at 8:55!!! LOL
Donuts and kolaches for breakfast ... for snacks ... for the morning - LOL
Dessie had coffee ready ... house was already full when we got back - LOL ...
Truck was backed up to the carport - because of the forecast for rain. Ramps were pulled out and the unloading began. Well, after some looks to Daddy and me from the kids when the door was opened and they got their first look at our "little bit" of stuff! LOL
As the unloading was being done, the laughter, the fun-arguing, and the giving a hard time to daddy and momma for all the junk that was kept for 7 years began. Some things were laid claim to ... other things were questioned as to why they were kept. LOL
Jimmy came down - he was laboring for breath so hard that it concerned us all. After some threats were made to physically load him into a car and take him to the hospital, he relented. Mandy took PawPaw to the ER. He was soon admitted to the hospital - congestive heart failure, a LOT of fluid build up around his heart and in his lungs, and having had a mild heart attack recently. He spent the better part of the week in the hospital. Tests and more tests were done. Finally, he was sent home with some new medications, a new diet, and the instructions to not just go home and sit or lay - but to get up and get active. He is SO much better!!! He looks better, he sounds better. He told us yesterday that it was amazing to him how much better he actually feels after losing about 20 pounds in fluid this week :-)!!!!!
My cousin, Johnny Horton, came down last Saturday - not to help us unload (although he did lay claim to a box of stuff! LOL) ... but to perform his magic act for the grandkids. This is his ministry - and he had done this all over the South, even as far as to Belize. He tells Bible stories, and the Gospel, as he does the magic tricks for the kids. It was awesome to watch!!! And the grandkids LOVED it! :-)
Johnny had said that he needed to leave around 3 - which we understood. Course, he didn't leave until around 11:30 that night! LOL ... He just could not drag himself away from Mandy and Joshua and all the laughter!!!
I honestly don't remember ever having laughed so hard or for so long in all of my life!!!
The kids - all 4 of them, Mandy, Joshua, Dessie, and Charlie - were on a roll!!! OMW!!!
Sunday noon came to soon -- it was time for Joshua and Dessie with the kids to pull out. They had another stop before leaving for Graham. And they needed the time to get home with the trailer before dark.
Daddy gave them the tent that we had had built for the side of our RV several years ago. It was 1/2 an elk tent. Joshua is going to attach it to the side of his horse trailer, so that when they go to rodeo's they can sell their tack and such out of it. Or they can sleep in it :-) ...
Mandy and the kids left about the same time. She needed time to get her house settled a little with all the stuff she laid claim to before it was Monday morning.
Wow! Silence really can be deafening!!! After the last 36 hours of NO silence in the house ... WOW!!!
How much i miss my kids and grandkids when they aren't here!!! I LOVE a full house!!! :-)
We drove from OKC to Norfolk, Nebraska - spent the night (2) ... on to Spearfish, South Dakota (3) ... then to Butte, Montana (4) ... made it to Gresham, Oregon for night 5 ... wow!!! It was a Long trip - but a good one.
The Honda Element did GREAT!!!
Cheri` is officially a ROAD DOG :-) ... She did great riding in the car.
We had some rain along the way - but no "wintry precipitation" ... saw some snow and ice, but didn't get snowed or iced on. Which was a blessing!!!
Rick and I had some long conversations - good times :-) ...
We saw some country!!! Some of it (no offense) was not much to look at - unless you like farming country in the winter time. But some of it was absolutely beautiful - any time of the year!!!
I have Lots of pictures that I am working on getting uploaded - will make a gallery on here as soon as I get them ready :-) ...
We were blessed with good motel rooms - Rick requested a handicap room each night. Which made it easier to unload the cycler and supplies (and then re-load them the next morning). He did not miss one dialysis cycle on the whole trip - on the way, while in Oregon & Idaho, or on the way back. He did very well.
We stayed with Craig and Colleen several nights. They opened their home and their hearts to us - made us feel more like family than "long-lost friends" :) ...
The Wednesday night we were there, we went over to Brian and Vanessa's for supper - or dinner as they call it. LOL ... What a beautiful home for a beautiful family!!!!! Precious little girls - full of life and energy!!!!! I need to get Brian & Vanessa's recipe for the BBQ chicken pizza - wow!
While we were in Oregon, we also visited with Ray. Tuesday night Ray took us out to eat - the fellowship was so much fun!!! We have truly missed him -- he is an awesome friend and a treasure as a brother!!! We were blessed to spend most of Thursday with him at his house. I fixed a King Ranch chicken casserole for lunch that day. It was so good to just sit and visit :-) ...
We played Mexican Train (dominoes) with Craig and Colleen a couple of nights. What fun!!! The laughter ... the viciousness of the game!!! LOL
Too soon it was time to leave Oregon ... Saturday we drove over to Idaho.
Sunday morning ... we had been invited to brunch with Casey and Lisa's family. They have a beautiful home as well. And 4 precious kids - more for Grannee to love :-) ...
Rick spent most of the time there talking with Casey & Lisa -- I, however, was taken by the kids to their rooms and shown all their treasures :-) ...
I was told that I sounded like the "Old West" - LOL ... and i was told that i was "crazy"!!! LOL
Their oldest son (around 7 years old) told me that he wished i was his daddy's daughter - LOL ... I asked him why? He said, "Because you are fun to have!" LOL I told him that it would be hard for me to be his daddy's daughter because i am 52 and his daddy is in his 30's!!! The precious boy just looked at me and said, "No it wouldn't! And that way, you could be here all the time!" Oh ... boy does he know how to melt this Grannee's heart!!!
Monday morning we visited a few minutes with Rick's boss from several years ago - Dave. :-)
Then, it was time to pick up the rental truck and begin the process of loading it from the storage building ...
We had contracted with Simple Movers for 2 helpers to come over to the storage building around 1-2 p.m. for 2 hours to help with moving the heavier things into the truck. $200 to have these 2 guys help. It was going to be worth it - cause Rick and i cannot handle the heavier things any more.
By 2 p.m. we still did not have helpers. A couple of phone calls back and forth with the company later ... and the guys had gotten the wrong zip code, and due to using GPS - went to the wrong place. They went to Banks, Idaho, not Caldwell. Sigh. And we were told that since they were "tired from driving" that it would be tomorrow before they could be there to load us. Uh ... not acceptable!!!
Rick and I had been at the storage building since 12:30 p.m. - and we had a parking lot full of stuff!!! We had pulled out all the lighter and smaller things that we could handle - trying to make it easier and quicker for the helpers to get to and load the heavy things. We were exhausted!!! No way did we have it left in us to put all that stuff back!!! Besides, we had already checked out of our hotel room, and had the truck rented for a certain number of days.
Rick called the guy who rented us the Penske truck there in Caldwell, and asked him if there was anyway he could bring someone to help him and they could load us that evening. (The guy had told us that morning when we picked the truck up that he did this on the side - usually only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)
Graciously, he and a friend came over and took a quick look at the building. He told us that he thought he could get it loaded in under 2 hours. He asked if we would be willing to pay him the same amount - $200? He was going to have to cancel plans for the evening to do this. We said - YES!!!
6:03 p.m. they pull in ... 7:55 p.m. they are finished!!! Truck is loaded, storage building is empty. It was even a good evening of fellowship and conversation :-) ...
Due to the late day, we got another hotel room, spent another night in Caldwell, ID.
Started back to Texas the next morning.
We didn't do any side trips on the way back to Texas. We were tired and weary ... blessed with good hotel rooms at good prices :-) ... blessed with some good meals in the evenings ... blessed with good weather and no troubles all the way back :-) ...
Made it in late Friday night (a week ago now) ... Mandy and the kids were here waiting ... so was Charlie :-) ... Joshua, Dessie, and the kids got here about an hour after we did ...
And so the road trip was over and the weekend began ...
We packed and loaded the Honda Element ... picked up Rick's check at Ballard's ... and got on the road headed north by northwest -- somewhere around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon ... :-) ... At times it seemed almost like a conspiracy against us going ... we took a step forward into leaving, and then 2 steps back. But, we did get it all done ... and on the road :-) ... Thank you God!!!
We drove from Sulphur Springs, TX to Oklahoma City, OK - made it just north of OKC for a fuel fill up around 6:30 p.m. Not bad time at all. As we were getting fuel, it started raining/snowing. We were already tired and stressed from the day, hungry and now cold and wet. So rather than fight it all any longer, we just called it a day. Got a hotel room at the Days Inn - everything was unloaded into the room. And we went out for supper.
Decided on The Cracker Barrel, just up the road from the Days Inn. Walked in and it was warm and inviting. The people were very friendly. We were seated at a comfortable table. Mary was our waitress. Her first question was if she could start us off with something to drink. We both ordered tea. Before she could walk away to get the tea for us, I told her to "be prepared" ... it had been a long and hard day, we were cold and hungry, and I was THIRSTY!!! She smiled and said that was fine - she liked a challenge! LOL Right then we knew we had a good waitress! LOL
Rick ordered a steak and veggies ... I wanted to order the chicken and dumplings, but didn't know how they tasted. I asked Mary about them, and she said that she would get me a sample. :-) ... Oh my word!!! Awesome! Absolutely awesome! Made me think of my momma :-) ... So, i ordered the chicken and dumplings with a sides of broccoli, baby carrots and mashed potatoes.
The meal was the best that we have had anywhere in a LONG time!!! Rick is VERY particular about his steak - and he said that this one was perfect! Cooked to his standard of perfection, seasoned to where it melted in his mouth. My chicken and dumplings? Well, I felt held and comforted.
Oh, and the tea glasses? Well, they stayed FULL!!! LOL
After we ate, Mary asked if everything was good ... we told her better than good, better than excellent. Just awesome!!!
My only complaint? Why did she bring me so much tea??? LOL She just laughed. And then gave us both a great big hug!!!
We complimented her to the "in charge" people. Mary was great!!! So, if you are ever headed north on I-35 out of OKC, take the 137 exit, go to the Cracker Barrel and ask for Mary :-) ... tell her we said HI! :-)
Just a bit of trivia --
*Oklahoma City, OK is the capital of the Oklahoma, and its largest city.
*It is also the county seat of Oklahoma County.
*It ranks 29th in population of all US cities, as of 2012 599,199 people called OKC home.
*OKC features one of the largest livestock markets in the world.
*OKC is situated in the middle of an active oil field, and oil derricks dot the capitol grounds.
*OKC was founded during the Land Run of 1889 and grew to a population of over 10,000 within hours of its founding.
*Some of the "famous" OKC people --
--Johnny Bench, baseball Hall of Famer
--Lon Chaney, Jr, actor
--Vince Gill, singer and songwriter
--Anita Bryant, singer
--Toby Keith, singer
*OKC is 621.2 square miles large
*Sits at an elevation of 1,201 ft above sea level
*Oklahoma is based on Choctaw Indian words -- "okla" meaning "people" and "humma" meaning "red".
*Recorded history for the name "Oklahoma" begins with the Spanish explorer Coronado in 1541.
*Oklahoma became the 46th state in the United States of America on November 16, 1907
*Nickname is - Sooner State
*Motto - "Labor conquers all things"
*State bird - Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
*State flower - mistletoe
*State tree -Redbud
*State song - Oklahoma
Where does the time go? I write here one day ... and then, the next day - it has been a MONTH!!!
We went out to Joshua and Dessie's -- spent a couple of weeks out there ... laughed ... hugs ... Grannee kisses ... played games - LOVE playing games with them :-) ... ate some good food ...
And i rested from having to bring wood in and build and keep the fires going -- that was Nice!!! After 4 months of almost non-stop wood handling, it was Nice to just sit down and rest. And then on those mornings that it was cold, stand by a propane heater and just get Warm!!! NICE!!!
A couple of days after Valentine's Day, Rick called the Social Security Board, asked them if they would be able to tell him the status of his application for disability.
He was approved!!! No denial ... no appeals ... just APPROVED!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!
He will get his first check towards the end of March. Praise the Lord!!!
Also - they back-payed him. For ALL of 2013!!! Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!!!
When he got off the phone and told me the news -- I crumpled. This has been such a hard 2 years. Just the juggling and struggling of trying to make it from one insurance check to the next. Yes, God has been good and faithful to us - but it still has been so hard. And then to hear how God has opened the windows of heaven and poured us out a blessing! Wow!!! It was more than I could take at that moment!!! We wept, we cried, we danced, we rejoiced. And we prayed for wisdom to be the best stewards of the money that we could be. We asked for God to guide us in every penny that we spent.
We have been so behind on bills ... but God allowed us to get everything caught up. Well, everything except the medical stuff - and that is all in negotiation because of the injury.
Rick was able to pay his motorcycle out of the shop. Not sure he will be able to ride it again, because of the shoulder injury. But at least we don't owe anything to Pat now! The bike sits at Pat's shop - for sale. Rick said that if God will allow it sell, then he will let it go. We talked about a Trike - Rick and Pat discussed it and they seem to think that it would be easier for Rick to control than a traditional motorcycle. Come spring-time, Rick will test drive one. Pat has offered to finance one for him ...
Rick was also able to pay the Suburban out of the shop as well. If you are in the Graham, TX area and you need auto work done - we highly recommend the Affordable Auto Shop!!! Those guys are not only good at what they do, but they are very affordable in prices. They have had our Suburban in the shop there for several months. We have been paying on the work as we could afford it. And not once have they called and demanded payment. --They also didn't have it impounded and crushed!!! Which is more than i can say for Sprouse Automotive in McKinney, TX!!!
All thru these long months of winter (and this winter of our life has lasted for the last 2 years) - we have prayed and repeatedly asked the Lord what He would have us do for the rest of our time upon this earth.
Over and over we have heard the words "Service Ministry" ... but we had no idea how or where or when.
The Lord gave Rick the Scripture of Matthew 25:34-40 as the foundation of what we are supposed to do with the rest of our lives.
We were still praying "how" - but knowing that once God puts a vision and a passion in the heart and soul, He has a Way and a How.
Once we got the back-pay from disability, we prayed over it. And prayed over it. Knowing the peace that passes all understanding, we began to look for a 5th wheel RV. We have lived many years in an RV so we understand the lifestyle (and we LOVE it).
There was an ad ... a 1993 Avion 5th wheel for sale, in West, TX. Not so far from Joshua and Dessie's - so Rick called. Talked to them. Made a time for us to go down there and look at the RV.
Before we left the house, we sat down and discussed the "perfect" RV ... made a list of everything that we either needed or wanted ... prayed over it. And took to the road.
We found the couple who had the RV. They graciously opened the barn so that we could see the RV. Wow!!! Just Wow!!!
We have had a couple of nice RV's ... but NOTHING like this one!!!
Didn't take much conversation to realize that this was the ONE. So, we took the step of faith towards the ministry and we wrote them a check :-)!!!
Another blessing -- we have been looking for a better vehicle.
Not that Rick's truck is not good -- but let's face it, it is hard to get into and out of when you are hurting and injured. I have a hard time driving it - so that just leaves Rick to be the primary driver, and there are times that he just doesn't feel like driving ... so we don't go.
And now that we have a 5th wheel - we need the truck to pull the RV.
So, we talked and we looked and we prayed (not necessarily in that order) -- and we decided to look for a Honda Element. Honda quit making them in 2010 - so we knew it would be a used vehicle, and one with miles on it. But they are quality vehicles with excellent ratings. Search on Craig's List ... search the other classifieds ... talk with a couple of car dealers. And we pray ... we wait. Not in a hurry - cause we don't HAVE to have one at this point.
We stopped in at Orr Honda in Paris, TX in January when we were over there for Rick's dialysis appointment. They told us that we were approved for a car loan - but not to get excited unless we were willing to take something other than an Element. Because used Elements are virtually non-existent. They are few and far between. Rick told them that if and when God wanted us to have one, then He would make one be available.
2 weeks ago, Rick called the Honda shop in Paris. "Amazingly" there was a Honda Element that they could get, it was at another one of their dealerships. :-) ... after much talk and the typical haggling ... we are now driving a 2008 Honda Element with only 23,200 actual miles on it. :-) ... Rick has spoken with the original owner. The original owner loved this vehicle, but he needed a pickup - told Rick how much he wished he had not traded it in. It is loaded from the factory - it is an EX edition - but it is also loaded with things that the owner had done to it while he had it. :-) ... He traded it in on Christmas Eve 2013 -- and it has not sold until now. Unheard of - especially considering that there were 3 more customers in line waiting for a Honda Element at the Paris Honda shop!!! Yes, God had this one for us - and had it hid until just the right time!!!
Praising the Lord also because we are leaving tomorrow morning - making a Road Trip!!! We left Idaho 7 years ago, leaving a 10x20 storage building full of our stuff. Every intention of returning before winter that year of 2007. But 7 years later, still struggling and managing to make that storage payment every month.
It is Enough! Time to get "me things about me" once again :-).
Course it has been so long that we don't remember all "me things"! LOL ... i told the kids that it will be like Christmas when we get it all back here and start to go thru it!
Looking forward to seeing friends in Oregon and Idaho. Planning to meet up with a nephew in Utah. Hoping to meet a favorite author while we are in Washington.
ROAD TRIP here we come!!! :-)
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here