We are on the road bound for Ohio. Naturally we always hope for a Gulf Coast assignment this time of year, but considering our personal economy, we are very grateful to be deployed, period. God has heard our cry and answered. I'm not surprised, for He is faithful to care for us. But still, I have a sense of overwhelming gratitude because I know every blessing He gives and every prayer He answers is more goodness and mercy than I deserve. Thanks to all who have been praying with and for us. Don't stop! Every "storm" has it's challenges and trials, and it is going to take us a while to get back on our fiscal feet.
Working up north during the winter always stretches us southerners to new limits and offers us new experiences. It has not been easy to find a year-round campground in the area where we will be working. Research before we even left home showed us that we were going to have to scrap the campground idea and go for the RV Resort option. (Adding the word resort usually adds at least $200 to the monthly rate.)
Yesterday while hubby was driving, I searched online for a place and made phone calls. I had some interesting conversations with some seaming friendly folks. When they found out we were coming from The South, a popular question was, "Are you familiar with winter camping?" If you mean frozen water lines, holding tanks, and drain hoses, the answer is YES. (Unfortunately)
Other bits of conversation included, "Do you have a 4-wheel drive? Because if the snow starts to melt, you may need one to get your trailer backed into the space." Ummm, okay, scratch that one off the list.
Another one--"We've got Wi-Fi but your cell phones won't work here." Never mind, thank you very much.
"No laundry but there is a laundry about three miles away." That's a possibility but not the best for our circumstances.
"If we can't get you into the 50 amp spot, I've got a long extension cord." I'll keep that in mind.
The most helpful advice I received came from a very friendly and talkative guy who didn't seem bothered one bit that his facility would not work for us. "Well tell your husband to be very careful while he is up here working. A guy was killed the other day when an icicle fell and hit him in the head. He had on a hardhat but it broke his neck." Oh my goodness! Yes I'll pass that along to hubby. Thanks.
Suddenly the image of those HUGE pine cones we collected while in California popped into my head as I tried to envision what an Ohio icicle must look like. Not like our Texas variety I'm guessing.
I can't remember how many resorts and campgrounds I phoned, but there was one statement that every person on the other end of the line said to me before I hung up. "If you decide to stay with us, be sure to call and let us know what time to expect you so we can get the snow removed from your spot." That, my friend, you can count on.
That got me to thinking. (I have little else to do when we spend 10 to 12 hours a day driving down the road.) Isn't that human nature? Don't we usually put off doing what needs to be done until we are in the have to, last minute, stage of the game?
Don't think I'm not an understanding camper here because I know snow removal is expensive, and I have a feeling that if they remove the snow today, it might have to be done again tomorrow after a new blanket falls. But still, the parable of the ten virgins came to mind.
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. 3 When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra266 olive oil with them. 4 But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed a long time,267 they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. 11 Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ 12 But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ 13 Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13). 268We've got to be ready. When Jesus comes back, He's not going to give us a call and let us know what time He'll be arriving. He's simply going to show up, and either we will be ready or we won't!
So I ask myself, what is it that I need to do to make sure I'm not asleep or out of oil when the Christ returns? Is my heart passionate and burning, fueled by prayer and the Word of God? Or is it cold, buried under a bunch of ice and snow, earthly distractions, and confusions?
Hummm. Something to think about for the next 400 miles.
Care to join me on my dashing and bold adventure? Oh please do...we can start by scooping away some snow, and watch out for those icicles!