Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Spring has Sprung and all is Well


I just got off the phone after an hour-long call from a guy with Thousand Trails, and my brain is fried!  He talked extensively about all the changes that have taken place over the last ten years or so with the management of Thousand Trails.  After about 45 minutes he finally got to the point that we had expected all along.  He was hoping to sell us an Upgrade on our membership.  Most of what he had to offer involved use of parks in parts of the country that we are NOT likely to visit again.  He also tried to interest us in "vacations" from our RV when we would be able to stay at discounted rates in a condo in resort locations around the country.  None of this would interest us since we LIKE staying in our RV home.  Even after we told him that we would not be interested in buying an upgrade, he kept on pitching.  Finally I tried to tell him we were not going to waste anymore of his, or our time, he asked us to stay on the line while he got his supervisor on.  He claimed his supervisor likes to make sure he had answered all of our questions.  I assured him we didn't have any questions, and we got off the phone.  OMG!!!  I'm glad we didn't have to go through yet another pitch from his supervisor.  But we did get a "gift" of a three day/two night stay at one of the Encore parks at no expense.  Yippee!  

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday last week.  We totally enjoyed, and were uplifted by the amazing sermon preached by Pastor Dudley.  The music was also awe-inspiring.  Then we came home for the Easter pot luck dinner at the rec room here in the park.  Janice prepared ham and two turkeys!  She also did mashed potatoes and gravy.  The rest of us brought many side dishes and desserts.  I think we all ate too much, but it was a grand day and everyone had a wonderful time.  After we came back to the RV, the weather was delightful and we enjoyed sitting outside all afternoon.  
The following Wednesday Jim and I prepared dinner for the whole park.  We did BBQ chicken, potato salad, green salad, French bread and butter, and baked two cakes (a spiced cake and a yellow marble cake).  We had a good turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  

On our travels coming out here, we discovered that the oil pressure gauge and the gas gauge were not working.  We gassed up each day we traveled so as to make sure we didn't run out of gas.  We checked the oil each day too.  After getting here we tried to get one guy to come out and check on the problem, but he kept putting us off, so about ten days ago we called Ron at the Garfield Garage.  The first problem he found was that the battery we had installed only 3 months ago in Palm Springs was dead.  On checking it out, it turned out that the guy had sold us an old, outdated battery!  You can be sure we will check the date on any more batteries we have to buy.  Ron got the gas gauge to work..........for a few minutes, and then it quit again.  No luck with the oil pressure gauge, and then the coolant warning gauge came on too.  After connecting up a sensor, he determined that we needed to replace the entire instrument cluster!!!  He had to order one from Albuquerque.  He hopes to have it by tomorrow and will install it when it gets here.  

We have decided that we will be staying here when we come back next February.  We hope to have one of the bigger sites in the back.  It should be quieter being farther from the road.  We hope to buy one of the mini-storage sheds Janice has for sale.  It will be great to be able to store things outside, and hang our out-of-season clothes in the shed.  Jim will also have a work space in the shed, and we plan to get a bigger refrigerator to keep in the shed.  Here's the biggest surprise:  I'm hoping to have myself a small garden too.  There is a garden box already on the site, and I want to grow some tomatoes, green peppers, onions and maybe even a few cucumbers!  It's been many years since I did any gardening, but I'm going to try.  I don't intend to go overboard with it though.  I just want to grow what we can use.  I'm NOT going to grow so much that I have to freeze and/or can stuff.  That's too much like work!!!!!  I am also hoping to get a nice glider swing to sit on outside.  Millie and I sometimes use the glider over by the rec room, so I'm sure that we will enjoy having one of our own.  The one I want has padded seat cushions and a cover over the top. 

Last year, our friend Mary came out here (towing a trailer behind her van).  She had troubles with her van that ended up costing her a small fortune, and delayed her departure by FIVE weeks.  Just before Easter, she drove to the post office (about one mile away).  The van started making terrible noises, and she barely got it back here to the park.  Janice recommended someone she knew to look at it.  The guy came out on Easter Sunday and took her van to his shop nearby.  He found that she had blown a spark plug that did some other damage.  It's going to cost her over $2000 and won't be fixed for another week.  She is beginning to feel like her van is jinxed, or coming here is bad luck for her.  But, if it had to happen, she is definitely glad it happened before she got on the road to go back to California.  

Mary has also decided that next March she will be coming out here to stay, so she is fixing up her site to be more "homey".  She has set up a bird bath and surrounded it with artificial plants that look very nice.  She also has a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder hanging from the roof of her picnic table.  She has her "yard" fenced so her dogs can be outside during the day, and they definitely enjoy that.

I think I have spoken before about the wonderful books by Jan Karon that I have been reading.  Pastor Dudley's lovely wife Karen told me about them.  I was not able to find them locally, so my dear brother Tony ordered me several of the "Father Tim" books about life in the fictional town of Mitford online from Amazon.  One day I found two more in a local thrift store.  Yesterday I got brave, and ordered more of the series of books from Amazon.  I had asked Tony how to order from Amazon.  I hope I did it right, because I ordered TEN books.  These books are not mysteries (another genre I enjoy reading).  They are just stories about the life of an Episcopalian priest in a small town and the people in his town.  The stories are a total delight!  The author makes the people come alive, and I feel as if I almost know them personally.  If any of you are looking for books to read that don't include violence, profanity or degenerate behaviors, I heartily recommend these books to you.  

In one I was reading recently, Father Tim was having trouble coming up  with a topic for the sermon he had to give.  After prayer and reading his Bible, he found a passage in First Thessalonians,Chapter 5 verse 18.  It said "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  This moved me very deeply.  It's certainly easy to thank God when things are going well for us.  Not so easy when we are struggling with pain, or grief or darkness in our lives.  But God loves us and He will provide for us.  If life seems bad, or dark or depressing to us, we should give thanks, and ask God what it is that He is preparing us for.  Someone, but I don't remember who said, "If God brings us to it, He will bring us through it."   That is a great comfort to me.   God never promised life would be easy.  He never said every day would be a walk in the park.  But He DID promise to never leave us.  If you are dealing with a difficult situation, or darkness or sadness, try this message.  Praise God and thank Him for what you are going through, knowing it will prepare you for whatever He has ahead for you.  We may never understand why we had to live through these dark times, but we CAN put our trust in Him, the one who made us, and loves us.  We can accept whatever He asks of us, because He is always with us, and waiting for us to join Him for all eternity in the mansions in Heaven.  Unfortunately, not everyone wants to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, but those who do, know that they will never walk alone.  I will continue for any of you who has not yet found your way to Jesus.

Have a wonderful week ahead, and enjoy this beautiful world God has given us.  Bye for now.  Pictures next time.  😀😃👍

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