** The Salt Shaker **
Monday - October 19, 2015
Finally on our first project!
After getting permission to arrive late along with lots of
encouragement from our Group Leader, we left Weldon at 1:51 pm on
Thursday October 15 saying "Goodbye" to our home.
The last 3 weeks were filled with emptying the house, repairs
(with the help of a wonderful contractor), and cleaning.
It is truly amazing how much two people can accumulate in a few
years along with all the dirt/dust that gathers in the corners!!
The house was officially listed on October 13 however the rooms
were not completely empty or cleaned for photos until the 14th, so we
were still behind on our time projections.
It was weeks of going through lots of memories and decisions -
what to take, what to leave, and how would we dispose of our things.
We took many van loads to local organizations and are so
thankful to have places like Encore, Lighthouse, and Habitat for
Humanity that willingly take donations.
We were also blessed to have a local gentleman remind us he had
asked to go through our miscellaneous wood from the shop when we
finished packing. He and a
friend arrived and cleaned out just about everything - we are sure
they were sent by God so we would be free from having to load it all
up and find a place to take it.
After the first load, he returned several more times, even
taking our final trash bag before we left.
We had been sleeping in our trailer
for a week (since our bed sold) and finally started the actual loading
and packing on Wednesday.
Connie carefully weighed each bundle and tried to keep track of the
weight in each area of the trailer - a daunting task with mixed
results. Thankfully there
were only a few miscellaneous boxes at the very end (some of which we
still have to sort through).
Once hooked up and ready to roll we were thankful to be "level"
so our weighing and planning paid off.
It was truly amazing to finally drive off - amidst a few tears
knowing all we possessed was in the van and trailer - but very
uplifting at the same time.
Our new ministry has begun.
We travelled 656 miles in two days.
Two days of many "firsts" - some which went well, some were
definitely learning experiences.
Gas pumps - John was driving and we now know where to go for
easiest service. Going
through Nashville had Connie (the busy
city driver) a little worried - a first for her and for John as he
drove through Nashville!
Our first "off grid" overnight at Walmart - we parked about
7:30 pm with one semi and two other campers very spread out.
Noise continued until at least 2 am and started again about
5:30 am (or Connie finally slept soundly enough to not hear vehicles
coming and going). We
awoke to several semi's and campers.
Day two of driving started at 6:15 am and we arrived about 5 pm
Saturday was spent reading through several
manuals to figure out what we were doing wrong.
Our refrigerator didn't keep running on gas while we were
traveling - had Connie put on her glasses and realized the second
light read "Check" not electric we may have consulted the manual a day
sooner!. The problem
solved itself (likely air in the line) once we started the furnace
(another first). Connie
made John a wonderful fried ham, egg, and toast breakfast Saturday
morning - another first - we used the stove (and it's been a long time
since Connie actually made/served breakfast to John).
Our electric heater keeps up with the night temperatures fairly
well, although it is quite chilly in the trailer in the mornings.
We still have some things to sort through but have been,
amazingly, able to find most everything.
Another first - John plucked a bit on his guitar this afternoon
gaining some sore fingers after a month of not playing anything.
We attended a Southern Baptist church
this morning with a wonderful Sunday School time (Genesis 12 - Abram
being called by God to leave his "comfort" and follow to unknown
places) and message from Acts 13:1-3 about serving, being called by
the Spirit, and being sent out by the church.
Our thanks to Lane Christian Church for supporting us in
prayer, kindnesses, and encouragement and for sending us out as
described in Acts 13:3.
The church is closed next Sunday as there will be "policemen with
guns" not allowing traffic to get to the church due to the Talladega races.
(The raceway holds 150,000 - we were warned to stay off the
roads and get groceries/supplies before Thursday.)
Praises - safe travel, gas under $2/gallon, beautiful surroundings and
weather, offer received already for our house, Pastors and their
renovation of two lodges to be complete by Friday when guests arrive,
choosing a church for next Sunday, working with our host on projects
next week (SOWERs ends on Thursday but we want to work an additional
week since we were so late arriving).
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Our first week of working has ended
and we have said goodbyes to our other SOWERs.
John's week included repairing carpet at bathroom doorways,
installing cement board, trim work, setting toilets in 16 bathrooms,
and installing smoke alarms in numerous hotel rooms at the conference
center. Connie's week
included folding laundry (sheets, blankets, towels) and washing chairs
and tables in the Adventure Camp dining hall (where we ate our lunches
along with youth from a Christian school on a retreat.
We were blessed to have received several free lunches and are
enjoying the beautiful woodlands and hills here in the Appalachian
Praises - the guys (5 total) made their deadline on lodge renovations!
We have been working on our "mailing"
lists and social media skills for future updates.
Finally, ready for the first "mailing" and trusting all will go
well. We are mailing 6
letters along with numerous emails.
Please let us know if you don't want to receive future updates,
you have a different address you would like us to use, or you know of
others that would like to be included.
Until next time, thanks for being a
part of our travels! May
you be blessed these coming weeks.
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry
We have tried to include some photos.
We will find a way to post more photos somewhere - our computer
IT person (Connie) has been able to get the computers talking with
each other somewhat and both printers communicating with the
computers, but it is a slow process.
Suggestions are welcome!
Phone - John 909-336-8910 - Connie 909-336-8912
Email - SaltyStrings@hotmail.com
Web - SaltyStrings.com
John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry
1658 Milwaukee Ave #100-9861
Chicago, IL 60647
(This is a mail service - we will receive our mail monthly so
there may be delays)