Tomorrow we leave North Carolina. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here two months already. We’ve experienced so much since we’ve been here. It’s not often that we get to spend time with our North Carolina son and his family and since we’ve been here we’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

We came to North Carolina for two SOWER projects https://sowerministry.org/. The first one was at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. The second one was about 50 miles away in Union Mills, North Carolina at the Center for Intercultural Training https://cit-online.org/ . Both were unique experiences in their own way. You can read more about them by following these two links https://here-n-there.net/2022/04/26/center-for-intercultural-learning/ and https://here-n-there.net/2022/04/03/sower-project-at-the-cove-billy-graham-evangelistic-association/ .

Both of these locations were within a reasonable driving distance to where our son lives in North Carolina. We were able to go to church with them on Sundays, see our granddaughters sing in the youth choir and eat dinner together afterwards. We went out to dinner one time at a great Mexican restaurant in Asheville. If you’re in that area, check out Cantina Louie https://cantinalouie.com/. We did a Walking Food Tour in Asheville, too. The tour was our Christmas gift from our North Carolina family. It was very enjoyable. We got to see more of Asheville up close and try out some delicious new tastes.

Our Christmas gift to them was a trip to Savannah, Georgia to see a Savannah Bananas ballgame. It’s about a 5-6 hour drive to Savannah from where we are in North Carolina. We stayed in a condo on Tybee Island which was somewhere around a half hour drive from the ballpark. If you’ve never heard of the Savannah Bananas or seen a game, check out this website. They are so much fun. They’re sometimes described as a combination of a circus and a ballgame. https://thesavannahbananas.com/ I also wrote a blog about our experience there https://here-n-there.net/2022/03/18/savannah-bananas/

Since we won’t be in North Carolina for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, we celebrated that too while we were here. Sometimes we just throw all the holidays together :>). Dave, I, our son, daughter in law all went to Asheville to try our sleuth capabilities at an Escape Room. If we would have had one more minute, we would have made it out!

We enjoyed playing games a little with them at their house and even enjoyed helping to build the garden shed they’re putting up beside their house. Unfortunately, we won’t see the finished product until we go back the next time.

Another cool thing – My daughter in law has a wonderful mother and has planned a couple “Grandmother’s Day” for us. Just her and I do something fun with our granddaughters. This time we went to Abbingdon, Virginia to see a Romeo and Juliette play. We also were able to visit a couple art museums, eat a wonderful pizza and, of course, followed it by a stop at an ice cream shop. . She was even gracious enough to invite me to stay at her home for two nights.

I said its hard to believe its been two months in North Carolina, but looking back I think the same thing about all that has happened in the last six months. In August, we sold our house and traded our previous motorhome in on our current one. Anything that didn’t sell in our numerous garage sales went in storage and we became full-time RVers.

We stayed at a local campground for about a month before we left for our first SOWER project at Camp Westminster in Conyers, GA. While in Georgia, we were able to meet up with a wonderful couple we became friends with while workcamping in Savannah. We toured the Conyers area a little and even climbed Stone Mountain.

From there we went to Camp Anderson in Vero Beach, did a lot of work and had fun with three other SOWER couples. One morning we got up really early and went to the beach to watch an east coast sunrise. That was something we hadn’t done before and it was beautiful. While there, we made a quick trip up to Lake Wales, Florida and had a nice lunch with a couple we worked with in Milton.

After we finished our Vero Beach project, we headed north and in Crescent City, Florida twe met up with a couple that we became friends with while we were house parents at the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch. This stop was on the way to St. Augustine to meet up with our Florida son, daughter in law and grandson. That was our Christmas with them. We got to tour Old Towne St. Augustine, ride the trolley, see the St. Augustine lights https://www.visitstaugustine.com/event/nights-lights, visit the fort and enjoy the campground. Our first experience with Cantina Louie was in St. Augustine.

From St. Augustine, we headed back to Milton for a little while before leaving for our next project at Whispering Pines Camp in Citronelle, Alabama. Our SOWER project there was with two other couples so we could help improve a camp that had been neglected for a few years. Since Citronelle was within a reasonable drive back to Milton, we got to spend a little more time with family and friends there.

Our next SOWER project gave us the opportunity to meet up with some former co-workers and youth at the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch in Live Oak, Florida. https://www.youthranches.org/index.php/our-story/locations/boys-ranch-live-oak-florida. The month we were there is the month they do their Open House and Rodeo. This was their 50th year. It was wonderful to see the boys that were there when we were house parents.

From there we moved north to North Carolina and are now planning to leave for Michigan. My sister and brother in law live close to where we will be working so we’ll be able to spend time with them. We don’t get to see them near enough. And, an added bonus, one of the couples we worked with in Vero Beach live near the camp we where we will be working.

Looking back on this six months, it’s awe-inspiring to me that we’ve been able to visit so many places and meet so many new friends. It’s also bittersweet leaving them and not knowing if we will ever see them again. We’ve been able to tour areas we may have never thought of visiting or even would have been in most of these locations without a purpose.

What little we do on these SOWER projects helps to prepare others to receive the message of Jesus Christ and the path to salvation.

And, the best part of this travel and these experiences is that I get to do all this with my best friend. This September will mark our 50th wedding anniversary. Time flies! Where we’ll end up when we’re done traveling is a question we’re often asked. It’s a question we don’t have an answer for yet. We don’t know when or where that will be. We still have things in storage in Milton, (There’s just some things you can’t get rid of.) but does that mean we’ll settle back in Milton? We don’t know.

Now, on to Michigan…

P.S. If you haven’t read the previous posts about these travels, they’re all available on our website https://here-n-there.net/