The Salt Shaker – June 2022

“In all the work you are given, do the best you can.  Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master.  Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people.  Yes, you are serving Christ.  He is your real Master.”  Colossians 3:23-24 Easy-to-Read Version

Praises – Arm healing-no bandage, showers and sleeping great (finally); precious time with family; safe travels; our church work helpers and gifts of cookies and food!

Prayers – Continued recording; time and wisdom for web page songs; on-site diagnosis/troubleshooting for RV repairs convertor/invertor/battery and heat pump/fan; September location/plans

Hello to our friends, followers, and family:

Our extra week of rest at our previous volunteer project went very quickly!  We treated ourselves to lunch out in Lewisburg as we topped off our gas and supplies, passing by the dragon mailbox and dinosaur sculpture along the way (never did stop and get pictures).  It was a very hot and humid packing up day, Connie never left the trailer, and we were on our way north on June 2nd.  Our first day was overcast with lots of construction delays and we went a few hours further than planned to find a Walmart that allowed overnight parking.  We purchased our usual supper snacks and settled in bed only to have a noisy refer semi park next to us.  We didn’t get much sleep between temperature and noise. 

Travel day 2 brought the good news-we could walk to McDonald’s for a nice breakfast before leaving.  The bad news-their lobby was closed, so we headed out, stopping about an hour later for gas and breakfast eaten in the truck.  We arrived in Macomb, IL about 12:30 pm and were unhitched a bit before 2 pm, after numerous attempts to keep all trailer wheels on the narrow mobile home wheel tracks on this lot.  We found that our invertor had not worked during our travels and our refrigerated items were bad.  The freezer had not yet thawed thankfully.  We proceeded to order Chinese carry-out, get some groceries, eat dinner, enjoy a wonderful shower (always refreshing after 2 travel days) and crashed for the night.

Our setup was the essentials only since this was a short, 1 week stay to visit with family and friends in the area.  John was able to see his brother a couple of times, had a great afternoon visit with an aunt, and time with his sister and niece.  We took a few bike rides, a bit tough since it’s been a while, and ate out quite a bit.  On one of our many lunches with family John’s parking was just a bit over zealous, we try to keep our long truck backend in as far as possible. 

We packed up (in a slight misty rain) and were back on the road on June 10 traveling to our home church camp outside Clinton, IL.  The travels went well, we were parked before the rain started up and headed into town for an early supper.  Again, our invertor didn’t work.  The “light” was on but not the refrigerator.  This was a short trip and nothing spoiled.  We have checked all the manuals and racked our brains (more than once), determining it is time to find an expert to check each component and find the problem(s).

We will be here for 3 more weeks, about as permanent as it gets lately, so our trailer décor is up again making things feel more like home.  Within an hour after hanging our hummingbird feeder our humming friends found it.  We have seen deer, rabbits, and a golden hawk soaring above, typical of our stays here.  The weather has been extremely hot and humid and, as usual it is windy, but so nice to be back in our home area.

John started right in with 25 volunteer hours by the end of the month for the camp.  He painted some gutters and an exterior door, adjusted the door closer, and cleaned dried-on tile grout from 4 showers.  Lots of scrubbing!  Along with this, he measured and provided a material list for our home church’s sound booth expansion and volunteered another 40 hours with Connie by the end of the month.  The old end wall was removed, new 2×6 side walls, stringers, floor joists, and plywood with trap doors added.  Connie found mineral spirits and lots of scraping worked best to get most of the sticky glue from the floor –it was still a bit sticky but you could walk across the floor and your shoes stayed on your feet! 

Salty Strings had one program in June in Lincoln, IL.  We realized we haven’t used our new sound system much at all and really had to reach way back trying to remember how we hooked it all up!  Everything must have been correct once we boosted the volume because we had many positive comments about our instruments and song choices, as well as a great meal.  This program allowed us to visit a friend in town before we headed back home, she is such a blessing to us and we were able to reminisce about her family as well.  We have two events coming up in July and one concert for sure in August.  We are busy and blessed to be able to share our music ministry with so many in the coming months.

We decided to order two folding bicycles after trying one at a local bicycle shop (too expensive for us there).  They arrived very quickly and John assembled his the next day.  He had a problem with a broken valve stem and couldn’t even ride it for a few days.  Connie’s old bicycle hasn’t worked well for quite some time and the new assembly went smoothly followed by a short ride around the camp.  It is a bit different, much shorter pedaling radius, and her knees were a bit sore (remedied by some seat/handlebar adjustments later).  John fixed the valve stem, we had another longer ride around camp, and then he “folded” them up and found they are quite easy to fit into the back seat for travel (what we were hoping to accomplish).  When he took them out of the truck and “un-folded” them, his handlebar tightening thingy stripped out, and after much thought and prayer we decided to return his and order a different brand.

With all the heat and humidity Connie has stayed in the trailer quite a bit, but has not been idle.  She started with several days of hemming pants for John, 4 pair total.  Then she worked on the living room curtains, undoing several fabric tape edges and shortening them.  It has been a slow process but only two windows are not done at the end of the month.  She used what she had, hand washing the panels in the sink and turning our counter top into an ironing board for her lightweight travel-size iron.  There were a few pins, however, that were left on the floor, inadvertently (oops). 

Connie completed a better plarn floppy hat and has started a knit shawl from yarn scraps.  The shawl is very random colors and patterns and is fun to work on at night when nothing much is functioning (brain or body).  She enjoys watching her new heart wind ornament (hanging inside where the air vent blows) as well as the hummingbirds while she is crafting and sewing. 

We had a hot but wonderful day of travel back to the Macomb area (without the trailer which is nice) and even topped 20 miles-per-gallon!  With diesel prices so high we don’t make many trips but wanted to see family again while we are fairly close.  We were able to help our niece and husband look at a travel trailer for them to live in until permanent housing is found, took John’s sister her early birthday present, and have supper with his brother and wife before heading back home.  We had early fireworks with double and triple lightning strikes with heavy rain on the way there, good weather after arriving, and more lightning and rain on the way back, getting only slightly wet from the truck to the trailer.  This rain was much needed and the corn grew over a foot higher in just a few days.  We now have to watch all corners for oncoming traffic, even in our tall truck!

“Before mountains were born, before You fashioned the earth and filled it with life, from ages past to distant futures, You are truly God. . . . Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom. . . . Let Your work of love be on display for all Your servants; let Your children see Your majesty.  And then let the beauty and grace of the Lord, our God, rest upon us and bring success to all we do; yes, bring success to all we do!
Psalm 90:2, 12, 16-17 The Voice

Tune in again next month for our volunteer and ministry update!

John and Connie Nicholas
Salty Strings Music Ministry

Contact Information:
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 –
Facebook – Salty Strings Music Ministry
Web site –

ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site

June 10-July 21 – Little Galilee Christian Camp, Clinton, IL volunteer and church help
July 21-28 – Pearl Lake, South Beloit, IL with family and friends
July 28-August 26 – SOWER Project, Carlinville, IL
August 26 – September 28 – Month off, undetermined at this time
September 28-December – SOWER Project, French Camp, Mississippi

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