Praises – Tonneau motor cover fixed with 2 screws; multiple family visits and no further hospitalizations; lots of music engagements; stained glass equipment/supplies; sewing machine
Prayers – Learning and doing recording in the trailer; church services this month; discernment for playing piano at facilities as we travel; weather and good route to Virginia after Labor Day
All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:2 (NIV)
Old Hymn “Count Your Blessings”
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
Hello to our friends, followers, and family:
What a blessing we have with our “new to us” truck and trailer. Aside from some troubles getting hooked up, our travel was smooth and relaxed for our 2.5-hour trip. We proceeded to get backed into our trailer park mobile home site and unhook to get to the office for registration before they closed for the July 4th holiday weekend. On our return, guess what? We were about 2 feet short on our electric (with the extension) so we had to hookup again (fairly smooth this time) and back up, re-level, then connect the water and electric. That was it for our travel day, time to rest and relax after that ordeal, and remember in the future to check out all our connections before moving the truck.
The first few days in Macomb we were able to be with our youngest son’s family, including meals in our trailer, at their air bed ‘n breakfast, and a whole family breakfast gathering before they headed home. Another great blessing was having space to gather in our trailer, which we used several times this month. We had two homemade turkey noodle dinners with John’s sister and one spaghetti dinner with some new friends we met at the Goodwill store. Connie was able to find a sewing machine priced a little more than she wanted to pay since it was missing bobbins. The clerk was very helpful and dropped a hint that it would be half-price 2 days later, so she left it and they left it behind the counter. Bobbins were available, we met a wonderful couple when stopping to purchase it, and we became friends after our brief conversation in Goodwill. We visited their home and they visited ours, encouraging each other in our Christian faith.
After stopping at the coffee house on the downtown square, John asked about playing some music there and the owner was open to the idea. Our last two weeks we did different 2-hour afternoon sets of folk music (very surprised we had that many songs). Of course we needed lots of practice – these were songs we hadn’t played for many years and lots of them needed to be retyped in larger print for our aging eyes! It was great fun, very little pressure, and good to be drowned out by the expresso machine from time to time. A blessing for us as people listened (and returned the second week) and commented on songs they hadn’t heard for a long time.
Our church services for the month were with family, split between the Catholic and Christian Church in Bushnell about 15 minutes away, usually followed by a meal together. John was able to go to a men’s fellowship meeting and a Saturday morning fellowship with the guys. Two Sunday mornings we were able to share some special music with a church and Connie played piano for one service as well. After striking-out twice we finally succeeded and played a few songs for John’s aunt/cousin on her porch on our last Sunday afternoon. What a blessing to bless others, John’s sister and brother were there as well.
Connie was able to finish up her big stained glass project, started in Arizona, along with two smaller crosses with doves (one for a birthday gift). The first day was spent organizing the new supplies and making space to work. After a few stops for the finishing touches (jewelry for chain, suction cup hangers, and glass polish), the large project was finished the final Sunday morning. She enjoyed herself and now has all she needs to make some more small items.
As you can tell already, it was a very busy month. In looking back we can see why we feel a bit burned out and ready for a rest. Connie had 11 full days at home; John had 9. The rest of the month we had something going on, all day or part of the day. We made two full-day trips, driving our old car (what a treat), taking his sister to the heart doctor and then to get her defibrillator replaced. We had another full day trip to visit our good friend on his birthday, eating lunch with him then playing some piano music for the remainder of the lunch time, and finishing the day with an eye appointment, visit to Hobby Lobby for stained glass supplies, and gathering information for new mobile phone service.
John was able to do some volunteer work for his aunt/cousin modifying her porch gate, stabilizing the railing, and securing a spoiler on her car. Although it was one of the very hot days it was great to visit and solve several problems; one of those projects that every time one thing was fixed another problem appeared. He kept busy making phone calls, organizing our trips and reservations, and lots of music practice.
We tried being more consistent and intentional with our exercise to lose some weight. There were many walks and bicycle rides. Most of the time we would ride our bicycles to Aldi’s and Walmart for supplies and groceries. One Aldi’s bicycle stop we had forgotten to bring our quarter for the cart. We were given a cart and even received a free watermelon for our family meal that evening. We questioned the check-out clerk (the total was less than what the watermelon cost) and she said the receipt was correct! Blessings come in the form of kind and considerate people all around us.
There were some days that our walks were quite hot and sweaty; one morning it was 74 but feels like 86, that was a very hot walk. Many days the bicycle rides through downtown and around town were very enjoyable with several beautifully landscaped homes that we enjoyed going by. We worked our way up to longer rides, across town around the college campus (where John graduated) as well as a very hilly meandering ride to the park. We did finally see the park entrance, but turned around and headed back, through the farmers market downtown where Connie sat and rested up while John walked around the vendors. On his return Connie had spotted a vendor with funnel cakes, John’s favorite once-every-five-years treat that he hadn’t noticed. Needless to say, he/we got our funnel cake fix that morning in the park! John had a few rides alone after that so he could go farther and faster.
We continued to receive blessings. The last week we found a great Chinese lunch special take-out restaurant that we could walk to, enjoying their food only once before leaving Macomb. We ordered our truck signs from a worker from the previous company that had all our graphic work from before. And, as we worked on future music engagements, we found a RV parking place at half the price of where we had planned to stay in Virginia, and only a few minutes longer commute to see our kids. God is so good, all the time, we just have to stop and pause a bit to see all that He does for us! From the big majestic sun rise and sun set to the small details in guiding our paths just so we can be blessed and continue to be a blessing to those we encounter.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:36 (ESV)
Until next month – thanks for traveling with us and being part of our family ~
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry
Mail: John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry,
3916 N. Potsdam Ave. #3962, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone – John 909-336-8910 or Connie 909-336-8912
Email – SaltyStrings@hotmail.com
Facebook – Salty Strings Music Ministry
Web site – SaltyStrings.com
ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site
TRAVEL PLANS AND UPCOMING LOCATIONS
- August 1-9 – Little Galilee, Lane Christian Church, Clinton, IL – truck graphics
- August 9-September 7 – Elroy, West-central Wisconsin; recording and music engagements
- September 7-10 – Travel to Marshall, VA
- September 10-October 1 – Marshall, VA; friends and family, music engagements
- October 1-27 – Travel/Volunteer SOWER Project – Fairmont, North Carolina
- Oct 27-Nov 27 – Travel/Volunteer SOWER Project – Hudson, Florida
- Nov 27-Jan 2 – Time off, Leesburg, Florida, music engagements
- Jan 2-February – Thonotosassa, Florida – Time off with friends from Indiana, music engagements