The Salt Shaker – September 2022

With every sun’s rising, surprise us with Your love, satisfy us with Your kindness.  Then we will sing with joy and celebrate every day we are alive.  Psalm 90:14 The Voice Bible

Praises – The wonderful friendly people in Corinth; Even with all our struggles this month we remain faithful, God still uses us, and we are truly thankful for the blessings we have

PrayersMore truck repairs needed for related or the same problem; lingering illness symptoms to improve (cough, energy, stamina)

Hello to our family, friends, and followers:

Our first week in Corinth we had a guided tour including the Coca Cola Museum (headquarters are still in Corinth) and the downtown buildings that have been restored/remodeled and repurposed.  It is a beautiful, friendly community with lots of history.  We took a trip with our bicycles to find a place to do some riding and ended up riding on the walking trail (a winding 1 mile path) and around the Sports Complex, probably 3 miles total.  John rode once on the county road but found that was too busy, bumpy, and hilly for safe riding.  Later in the month we made a date to meet our Tennessee friends for dinner in Grand Junction, TN.  Grand Junction was once a nice little crossroads community; now there is one restaurant with some good food and a beautiful small memorial park.  It is always interesting to notice the buildings and signage from days past, figuring out family connections and in this case the history of one notable woman of the community. 

Our “goals” for the month didn’t happen as we hoped.  John was not feeling well on Friday the 2nd and was really sick on Monday the 5th.  Connie joined him on the 6th and we both stayed home at least 2 weeks and still had no energy and lingering sinus-type cold symptoms (fondly referred to as “Mississippi crud” around here).  We had to cancel a luncheon music program on the 6th which made us feel even worse.  During this time our newsletter update was finally completed (hard to do between naps, staying focused, and a few internet problems).  Connie recovered sooner and started updating and cleaning up computer files including transferring some older music files to touch up for our website – quite time consuming but necessary.

Our service technician for the trailer came, replaced our converter, and briefly solved the inverter issue.  We tested it again and still had error codes, even after following the manual “test” procedures.  He didn’t come back for the other repairs we requested – we will eventually try to find someone in this area to finish up our fixes.  We were able to stabilize our pantry shelves however.  Connie got in a shopping mood (once we got out and about again) and bought clips and strips to be installed in place of the broken plastic ones (with a bit of help from John) and the shelves remained level as we travelled! 

Being inside a lot, Connie got creative and tried some new things with baking.  Along with biscuits (baked in the air frier, still working on easy separation for the toaster) she has made a few chocolate cakes (her grandma’s recipe) baked in the microwave.  The recipe makes a very moist cake, unless you overcook it in the microwave – the second time she added some peanut butter and chocolate chips, covered with plastic wrap and less cooking time – yummy!  There was also a failed instant pot yogurt batch; the electricity was off (while we worked on the inverter) and it didn’t recover like she hoped making it more like yogurt cream.

While John was still recovering Connie was invited to a Ladies Day.  She enjoyed the fellowship and getting to know some church ladies better on the trip to and from Memphis as well as the lunch and speaker.  They had a craft fair at the end and she spied some crochet hot pads with a unique “waffle” texture – after some research she found patterns for crochet and knit “waffle stitch” as well as a slight crochet variation.  Back to the yarn scraps to make 5 hot pads.  It felt good to do something during TV time and they were all easy and fun patterns. 

The RV Park was on the southern edge of Corinth, a great location for church and shopping trips.  They have a laundry area with one washer and a coin dryer ($1) that was very handy.  The first use Connie was surprised by a very large salamander possibly (it didn’t look like a lizard) when she opened the door to retrieve our clothes from the dryer.  She didn’t scream, it quickly disappeared under the dryer, and she remained very cautious removing the clothes from the dryer.  The second time held no surprises but the heavier items didn’t dry completely leading to innovative clothes lines in the trailer.  The last time the dryer didn’t even get hot and we had hangers and our “new” $1.99 drying rack everywhere – bedroom, shower, cabinet doors, etc. 

We became quite familiar with the figure 8 gravel road and hill to the county road as we walked almost every day.  The first 3 weeks were very hot so the walks were shorter, earlier in the morning, and again just before sunset on the days when we had a bit of energy.  During our last week John looked out the window, kept watching, and eventually had Connie look as well.  There was what appeared to be a mourning dove very still in the loop drive.  We prepared for our morning walk and it was still there!  It still didn’t move as we headed that way, and we found out why – it was an upright rock with the shape and shadows making it look realistic through our trailer window. 

Our last week had cooler temperatures as well as a bit more energy, making the full circuit twice (almost 2 miles) some days.  We woke up one morning to a very chilly trailer, not realizing the overnight temperature was in the 50’s and we had failed to turn on the heaters before bed.  We had to get out our heat pump instruction manual and refresh our memory to keep the gas furnace from turning on – it smells from not being used much as well making the bedroom too hot for comfortable sleeping.  After a few nights we found the right mix of heater settings.

John made contact with Waldron Street Christian Church prior to our arrival and we were scheduled for an evening concert (with homemade ice cream) on the 4th.  Our practice that afternoon was without singing from tickling-throat coughing fits, but the concert went well and the ice cream was great.  We even had a container to bring some home with us!

We were feeling well enough by the end of the month to attend Sunday School, Worship, and the evening Bible Study on our last Sunday in Corinth, MS.  The evening study was from a video series by Ray Vander Laan that covered the locations and connections with Jewish tradition for what we celebrate as our Palm Sunday and Last Supper.  We tagged along afterwards for the Mexican restaurant supper and fellowship.

The last Wednesday of the month is a church potluck fellowship supper.  We were blessed to attend in August and took 24 pepperoncini deviled eggs this time (only 6 came home for John).  Wonderful fabulous food and fellowship, and a chance for our final good-byes before we leaving this area. 

The end of the month found us packing up to head 128 miles southwest to our volunteer project in French Camp, MS.  We were running a bit behind but wanted to walk the “city tour” before leaving as well as our final fuel fill and Aldi’s grocery stock up.  The check engine light came on Wednesday night after the church potluck so we stopped at the Chevy dealer first, just to be sure it wouldn’t be a problem for travel.  It was a major problem needing two DEF modules; thankfully they were able to squeeze us into their full schedule. 

Connie was ready for lunch so she emptied a bag of peanuts from the vending machine while John drank coffee and our inquiries eventually produced a ride into town so we could do our walking tour.  It started at the visitor center but there was a train on the tracks blocking our way; we waited then walked around a few blocks on the “wrong side of the tracks” before the train left.  By this time hunger was controlling our direction so we did the reverse tour for 6-8 blocks to get to the oldest drug store still in the same family in Mississippi, Borroum’s Drug Store, where we had slug-burgers for the second time and split a wonderful chocolate malt in this historic building.  The dealer called, sending someone for their road test along with picking us up, but the truck was packed with only 2 seats!  Connie stayed behind, enjoying the sunshine and breeze in front of the court house, until John returned to pick her up after 3 pm.  We made our stops and headed home to continue packing.

Friday morning Connie was up early to finish the inside packing, we pulled in the slides and hooked up, then she realized the trailer back-up camera that she got to work earlier in the month was still tucked away in a cabinet under the TV.  She decided to wriggle through the opening at the end of the counter, past the sink island, to the cabinet, and back to the counter realizing when you slither in on your belly you can’t get out on your back or side!  John missed a great video opportunity and Connie’s rib cage was sore for a few days.

As we were ready to leave, we noticed an unusual noise from the engine, nothing we could find, but no engine light, so we headed out.  Our travel went well, cool enough to wear a sweatshirt, and we took the shorter mileage route with our last 80 miles on the Natchez Trace.  A beautiful drive, perhaps a bit too relaxing with a 50-mph speed limit, mostly wooded, with historic turn-offs barely big enough for us to use our trailer facilities.  We arrived and were mostly set up by 1 pm giving us a very leisurely afternoon before meeting our fellow SOWER volunteers (a total of 6 couples this month) after supper.

“For thus says the Lord God:  I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out . . . so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered . . . I will feed them . . . with good pasture . . . they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed . . . I myself will make them lie down . . . I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak . . .”  Ezekiel 34:11-16 paraphrased, English Standard Version

Please keep us in your prayers and THANKS for traveling with us!

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


  • September 30 – December – SOWER Project, French Camp, Mississippi
  • December/January/February – unknown winter stay, possibly Texas

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