The Salt Shaker ~ November 2021

. . . Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!  Amen.  Revelation 7:12 ESV

Praises – Thanksgiving, wonderful weather, music ministry, John’s ear slowly healing.

Prayers –Trailer parts ordered, arrival before end of month; God’s leading for March location; the gift of Christmas – Christ with Us in an even greater way this coming year.

Hello to our family, followers, and friends:

Our November volunteer project, in Hudson, FL, was a great place to work and rest as well.  We were fortunate to have no rain during our work days which was great for Connie, riding her bicycle to devotions and the kitchen.  Being in Florida we had our share of the biting ants (first day and last, with a few in between) and about a 15-minute mosquito frenzy at sunset. 

Connie, as one of her duties in the kitchen, was able to provide our morning break snacks as well as a few special treats (cookie dough and Belgium waffles).  The rest of the morning was various prep work including peeling 50# of potatoes and learning how to use a large hand-crank salad spinner.    

On one of her bike rides to morning devotions she estimated 15 wild turkeys crossing the edge of the soccer field.  They were back the next morning, she slowed down and counted, they were all there.  The sandhill cranes here are typically in pairs and very used to people and traffic (much different in color than Wisconsin sandhill cranes).  As we walked around we enjoyed seeing a bald eagle on top of a high wire tower, a field of cattle, many ibis, and a great-blue heron at the beach.

We were greatly blessed with having paved streets to ride our bicycles, a heated swimming pool and hot tub (great for sore muscles at the end of the day), and beautiful grounds to take walks.  John’s ear trouble continued, gradually getting better, and he was able to swim by the middle of the month.   The live oak trees were very impressive with lots of Spanish moss hanging down and a few of the streets making an eyelet as they split around a tree.  Connie also enjoyed researching and trying recipes with her early Christmas presents – accessories and an air fryer cover for the Instant Pot.   Some worked, some were definitely experiments!

Our first Sunday we attended Idlewilde, a mega-church nearby with a full orchestra (including harp), choir, and worship band.  They were celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their Hispanic service with the worship band doing praise songs in both Spanish and English.  It was unique and gave us a touch of what it must be like for those who don’t speak English.  The following Sundays we went to Blessed Hope Baptist Church, a much smaller congregation.  Our first Sunday there was a potluck dinner and packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.   We were later invited to share a mini-concert for their evening service which was a blessing to us as we shared some good old hymns and some of our new songs.

John worked with others on the cabins, used for students and during the summer by campers.  They were able to complete 6 during our three weeks, each one needing varying degrees of power washing, scraping, patching, priming, and paint.

Other than our volunteer work (116 hours), Connie got out her sewing machine and hemmed 2 pair of jeans for John, made a new zipper pillowcase for his feather pillow, and modified a sheet to make 2 chair “covers” to keep the upholstery clean.  There were a few “slightly off” days as we adjusted to the Daylight Savings time change; it is surprising how we need to adapt to a one-hour difference!  John spent some time recording and comping (selecting the good parts) and Connie continued watching the software tutorials, picking up several good tips and tricks to use. 

We finally had a good weather day off to head to the beach!  We visited Hudson Beach, on the Gulf, very small and not much sand (a bit of a disappointment).  Our photo captured a ray of sunshine that landed on an American flag on the shore.   We did see a pelican away from shore on a post, cormorants drying their wings, clams glistening from the sun as they opened and scooted about in perhaps 3’ deep waters, and fingerling needlefish.  They stayed in small schools in very shallow water, looked to be a bit longer than a pencil, and with some research, found them to be non-native, growing to 20#, and likely to jump over a boat rather than swim around it.  Always something to be learned from God’s creation around us.

Thanksgiving this year was not on the road or at a restaurant or alone!  We joined numerous others at “The Grove” for a potluck dinner for those early winter arrivals away from family.  After Thanksgiving dinner, we kept busy packing up and were on the road Friday morning heading a few hours north; a short trip this time to a private RV park for some recording and resting our tired muscles.  We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a gas station Café on the way and arrived around 1 pm.  Although things looked easy on the park map (that didn’t show the beautiful landscaping), it was very challenging to park.  Thanks to the expert guidance from the host, we made it into a beautiful shady lot with mature trees and hanging moss, of course!

“. . . We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight . . . we make it our aim to please him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV

May each of you and your families have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry

Contact Information:     
Mail:  John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry,
16 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
* Nov 27-Jan 2 – Time off, Haines Creek RV Village, Leesburg, FL; music engagements
* Jan 2-February – Time off, River Palms, Thonotosassa, FL; friends, music engagements
* March, April, May – Project locations to be determined
* June, July – travels – north to Wisconsin

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