By God’s grace, I hope to create an illustration. I don’t like to repeatedly use the perpendicular pronoun “I.” However, yours truly has experienced almost one year of sickness, stress, and hard work. I recognized it and others recognized it. When I shared with CARE residents that I was planning a brief trailer trip, they encouraged me. “Go get your battery recharged.” You’ve seen all the pictures taken during Little George Havens’ Cowboy Camp Meeting. Frequently, I needed to remove the battery from the Canon camera, insert it into the charger, charge until the green light came on indicating it was ready to go again. For this illustration, I had to rely on a picture of the battery because, obviously, I couldn’t take a picture without the battery. Conclusion: It makes sense to me that a well-used battery (Lorraine) mustered dwindling energy to get to a power source (Camp Meeting). The battery was charged, the vessel is ready for additional service.
Little George Havens’ Cowboy Camp Meeting – (Monday, June 30, 2014) – Departure
5:00 AM; 77 degrees inside; tiny breeze outside. The night was hot: 9:09 PM, 89 degrees; 12:45 AM, 84 degrees; 2:25 AM, 81 degrees. I was “in bed” at 9 o’clock last night, with just a sheet, door and windows open, and two fans—and Citronella candle burning all night. Didn’t sleep well, so many thoughts. Up at 4:30, 78 degrees, and made coffee before heading to the shower. (It took three matches this morning… and one match remains.) Almost everything that bounces around has been moved to the bed for a safe ride home. I’m waiting for sunrise so I can unhook the electric cord and depart. Sad to say, I’m ready to put “primitive” away for a while (until the next camping trip??)!!
5:20 AM, 78 degrees and I’m ready to turn off the computer and pack it safely in the car. I’m waiting for “Mr. Sunrise.”
I got a late start because the gate was locked. I tapped lightly, twice, on Miss Lucy’s door; I didn’t want to disturb her. About seven, she responded—and told me Nell had the combination to the lock. So I walked back to Nell’s trailer and, gratefully, she was up—and unlocked the gate.
The pictures tell the story. That old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
1:00 PM; 91 degrees outside; extremely windy. At 12:37 it was 96 degrees inside the KIA. I do not travel with the air-conditioner on while pulling the trailer. It might be OK but I don’t want to strain the KIA engine.
My GPS failed me this morning; I sensed it was not working correctly. The Garmin took me into Fort Worth—and I hate city traffic and freeways in big cities!! I finally spotted a Mall entrance and searched for a shady area. I worked with the Garmin settings and finally had a small measure of success. I got back on the route toward “home” and Garmin wasn’t moving—it was frozen. By unplugging from the cigarette lighter, then reinserting, it finally began to give me the map and instructions I’m accustomed to.
I learned from my trip west to Little George Havens’ Camp Meeting that gas stations may be few and far between. First (this morning), gas in Brownwood; second, gas at Love’s in Midlothian. Too many cars and trucks at Love’s so I selected the nearby Walmart. I’m really tired from the heat, and driving; I’ve been up since 4:30. The wind, shade, and green grass under my feet all feel so-o-o-o-o good!! ~~ 1:30 PM and 93 degrees in the shade. ~~
It felt like I was “wasting time”—just sitting—so retrieved the laptop computer from the KIA. Nothing more to add so will do “nothing” until I feel like getting back on the highway. 6:30 PM; 96 degrees outside and inside!!
I’ve been in the Walmart parking lot since 12:30 and do not want to get out on the highway and be buffeted by severe wind. I’m no expert but I speculate at least thirty-five miles per hour. The minute I stand up, the lawn chair blows over!! In a manner of speaking, I’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire!! Hot at the Camp Meeting, hot here, but now I’ve added a wind-burn (equal to a sunburn). It never occurred to me—while sitting in the shade of the tree—that I was getting burned. All afternoon I was so grateful there were no insects; I traded one discomfort for another. ~~ The horizon is a cloud of dust; Central and West Texas have suffered a drought. (Cowboys [at Camp Meeting] were thankful for over three inches of rain last Monday.)
Sitting on a little patch of grass, under a nice shade tree, I enjoyed a home-grown bell pepper and a remarkably good-tasting apple. So-o-o-o many meals served at camp, I’m going home with food in the refrigerator (food I brought with me). This morning—for breakfast—I pulled into a picnic-area and enjoyed two hard-boiled eggs and whole wheat sandwich “thin.”
I’m hoping the wind dies down tonight so I can complete the trip tomorrow. I won’t drive at night. I believe the sensible thing—for this old lady—is the security of a well-lite Walmart parking lot.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I’ve been reading an inspirational book titled Thirty-one Days of Praise by Ruth Myers. I recognized myself on page 32.
“I have worshiped the Lord for many years; I know how delightful praise is and how much it stimulates my faith. So why do I ever get so busy, even in my quiet times, that I bypass the delightful opportunity to extol and adore my wonderful Lord? Why do I, time and again, get so busy and absorbed with the pressures of daily life that I forget all about praise? And why do I at times feel reluctant to praise in the midst of everyday trials; when I hear news that makes me anxious about someone I love, or when I face a major disappointment, or when I’m angry or under a lot of pressure?”
Ruth continues: “Could it be that one of Satan’s major strategies is to divert us from praise? ….”
I (Lorraine) am conscience-stricken as I think of the way I’ve acted because I was criticized for hanging the Texas flag upside down. Major victory for Satan!! Could I have handled the situation better—ten months ago—when I was ghastly sick due to moth balls in adjacent yard?? (Could-a, should-a, would-a….)
9:30 AM; 80 degrees inside; strong wind; bright sunshine. However—even with bright sunshine—I’m sad. I listened for the breakfast bell. None. I walked over to the dining area—with my camera. No breakfast; nobody sitting around visiting. Men were busy working: The inflated “castle” (for the children’s enjoyment) was being folded up. A Chuck Wagon was being loaded. The fire-rings and open-fire paraphernalia were gone—only ashes to mark where they had been. Three big cargo trailers (to transport Chuck Wagons) are gone—the area is bare. (At this very minute [9:45], a tractor is being driven into the large storage building. An extremely large fifth-wheel trailer has pulled up to the dump station and may leave the Camp Meeting shortly thereafter.) During the night, the cattle were loaded and are gone. During the week, this campground was a beehive of activity; now there are only a handful of people doing last-minute chores.
Recently, Nell said she wished she could live this life 365 days a year. I understand and agree. Yes, the heat has been uncomfortable; the insects have been a nuisance. But (in my humble opinion) we crave the comfort of fellowship with like-minded Bible-believing folks; we’re “fed” by messages from God’s Holy Word. We’re reluctant to return to the everyday activities in a world that has become increasingly hostile to Biblical principles.
Pastor Sam Stone’s message (last night) was about “Spitting in the eye of God.” Christians sitting on their hands, allowing prayer to be taken out of the schools, killing babies, legalizing marijuana, accepting homosexual marriage…. (I don’t have to list them all; if you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ you know our Nation embraces immorality and corruption.)
In Camp Meeting, we get a taste of what Heaven must be like. We long for praise and fellowship to continue 365 days a year!!
2:00 PM; 95 degrees inside and probably likewise outside. The music was good (albeit too loud for this old lady); the preaching was inspired. “What would you do if a poisonous snake bite you?” was the title of the message. Find the scripture in Acts 28:3 and additional commentary.
I started this day saying I’m sad that Camp Meeting is drawing to a close. Since 9:30, I’m even sadder!! For morning worship, there were only twenty-four individuals sitting in chairs listening to the music (four talented artists) and twenty-three attentive to the cowboy preacher. I imagined the parking lot would be full of cars, trucks, and a bus or two—and the tent would have standing-room only.
8:20 PM; 93 degrees outside; blistering hot inside. The evening worship service is over, everyone is gone; I’m the only one on the property right now. Miss Lucy, Nell, and others have gone out to eat and will return. There were very few attending the evening service; I didn’t have the heart to count.
I have a heavy heart; I am very sad!! Look at the pictures: The recreation vehicles owned by cowboys are gone; the trailer with extra restrooms and showers is gone; the chairs have been folded and stored in the red cargo trailer and it, too, is gone. As Nell said, too bad we can’t have camp meeting all year.
Dear Reader: Are you affiliated with the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches?? Have you been to Little George Havens’ Camp Meeting?? Can you relate to the activities I’ve enjoyed the last eight days?? Will you join me next year (Lord willing) so we occupy every camp site—and fill every seat at evening worship service?? You’ve read about the heat and the insects; this isn’t a “five-star” resort. Put away your electronic gadgets for a week and receive a blessing. ~~ Not a part of the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches?? Hey, this was all new to me; I’ve received a warm welcome.
Every day, there were activities for the children. (I didn’t think to write about that earlier.) Come as a family and let the children play with the goats and ride the ponies. Let them participate in “mutton busting and kid’s ranch rodeo.”
Maybe you are reading this but live in Montana, or South Dakota, or another distant state (or country) and it is physically impossible to attend. You have a tender heart for “the good ole days” when life moved at a slower pace. You grew up watching Western movies and remember names like Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, etc. You followed television series like Bonanza, The Big Valley, Wagon Train, Lonesome Dove, etc. Please make it possible for Miss Lucy’s dream to continue; send a donation to Sam Stone, P.O. Box 896, Putnam, TX 76469. Sam’s email address: BrushyCreekCowboyChurch@Windstream.net.
Now I want to make it indelibly clear: I am not affiliated with the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches. Nobody asked me to take pictures and write about my visit. If you donate…, I will not see a dime of that money. I’m a senior lady (three quarters and counting [age 79] ) extremely blessed by this new experience in my life. I want to “pay it forward”; I want to “pass it on.” ~~ THANKS for reading my blog. Sincerely wishing you God’s richest blessings.
8:45 AM; 79 degrees; overcast and windy. Yesterday I learned biscuits and gravy were served for breakfast. I groaned and said “Wish I’d known; I would have been there.” Just for me, this morning, biscuits and gravy, bacon, and jelly. A very small group… fine fellowship.
My next-door neighbor, Nell, arrived in a special outfit–saying she was so embarrassed—ready to have her picture taken. Short story: Nell supports the Republican party and received the bright-color socks from the senior George Bush. The younger George Bush said—in a letter—that he wanted a picture of Nell wearing those socks. I’m very happy to be the photographer!! Special note: Nell has been a long-time supporter, and worker, at Little George Havens Cowboy Camp.
Recap: The cowboys were ropin’ until after eleven o’clock last night. The wind rocked the trailer most of the night; I didn’t sleep as soundly as previous nights. Eighty-one degrees at 1:46 this morning, Even while I am in bed, insects are biting. First thing today, I was dabbing Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream on welts. Now—so I can face the remainder of the day—I’m heading toward a shower.
10:10; 82 degrees. After my shower and before I was dressed, I took pictures of three areas with bites (waist band, thigh, and under arm). Suddenly, out the window, I saw a Chuck Wagon on a flat-bed trailer behind a pickup truck. I thought it was leaving and wanted to document…. I quickly got dressed!! No, they were just arriving so I was able to capture the scene.
There’s a lot of cowboy activity this morning. Men are rearranging portable fence and “gates” in the arena area (in preparation for tonight’s “Ranch Rodeo”). ~~ Gotta go; almost time for morning Bible Study.
12:30 PM; 87 degrees; overcast; windy; flies are a nuisance!! Like the cowboys taking care of tasks before “breaking camp,” I must do a few things before it gets too hot. I declined going into Coleman for lunch.
1:30 PM, 90 degrees. KIA radiator is full; additional water in T@B fresh water tank. No picture needed to describe my lunch: Organic peanut butter, and preserves, on a whole wheat sandwich “thin,” and Oikos Greek non-fat yogurt with craisins (Ocean Spray dried cranberries). Plenty of protein, IMHO, and won’t upset my stomach and intestinal track.
The trailer was “too hot” so I went to the screened dining area to read. There was a wonderful breeze and very few flies!! Miss Lucy invited me to take a nap in the old house (with a window air conditioner). I couldn’t fall asleep; too many thoughts running through my mind. Back to the screened area after a quick check of the open fire cook area. The men were preparing fajitas—for dinner.
The fajitas were delicious; the cobbler was wonderful. I must confess that I bit into a jalapeno pepper and it was so hot I started crying, and dancing down the aisle to get a large cup of water. It burned…, and it burned…, and it burned!! Everyone got a kick out of my response to that pepper.
Moments ago (8:17) I ran out to get a picture of a Chuck Wagon being loaded for a return trip to its home church. Not like the old days!! It travels in a cargo trailer behind a powerful pickup truck. My grandmother was the cook for ranch hands during harvest, in Oklahoma. I wonder if her chuck wagon was as nice as those being used here this week. (I’ll never know, but “I wonder….”)
10:25 PM; 85 degree inside; windy and “too cool” outside to stay any longer watching the rodeo. A “wind breaker” jacket would feel good. Interesting… but I “lost interest” because same thing over and over. I can still hear the announcer and I have a picture in my mind’s-eye of what is happening.
7:25 AM; 78 degrees; dark and gloomy. As I said in an earlier message, I didn’t want to get out of bed while it is cool and pleasant. I want to stop “time.” All too soon, we’ll have heat and insects.
There are many interesting people here; numerous stories. One woman was born in Santa Anna, Texas, and has lived there her whole life. (Santa Anna about five miles east of the Camp Meeting.) Personally, I have “no roots.” I’ve had more addresses than I can remember; I’ve lived in many states and traveled extensively. Entire families come, annually, to Camp Meeting and fellowship with family and friends. I’m jealous of Grandmothers surrounded by children and grandchildren. (Who knows? Maybe they envy my freedom to travel.)
Wherever I travel, the T@B attracts attention. I’ve had several folks wanting to see the inside (and, of course, I’m always eager to oblige). One lady owned a T@B with orange trim and momentarily (when she drove in) thought it was hers. She regrets selling… and is planning to purchase a Casita. I have the opportunity to share details of my travels. There is no end to the curiosity about what brought me to Texas. (My “accent” gives me away, [ha!].) I’ve “talked up” CARE and the Escapees RV Club and Parks. Speaking of accents: Frequently a person will say “You’re from California.” I question: “How do you know?” Reply: “You have a California accent.” Then I pretend to argue with them: “New Englanders have an accent; New Yorkers have an accent, Southerners have an accent; Californians don’t have an accent.” However, apparently we do. Texans have an accent; I’m hearing it at Camp Meeting. It isn’t as pronounced where I’m living (CARE) because the residents (RVers) are from all over the nation.
Interesting people: Earlier, I mentioned Ike Akers. His father was famous–and the son followed in Dad’s footsteps until the accident. The business card given to me by Ike says “Donations accepted and greatly appreciated.” Yesterday I gave Ike a $20. bill (for the foot and hand massage the day before). Last night I watched him put it in the offering.
8:40 AM and, strangely, 77 degrees—one degree cooler than when I got up. There’s a strong wind buffeting my trailer. ~~ OK, I’m on my way to take a shower and embrace the day.
Interesting story (IMHO): Before the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches started using the site (twelve years ago), Miss Lucy (with others) prepared Camp Meeting meals from this kitchen–in an old building George bought for $300. and moved…. Before that, Miss Lucy prepared meals in the Airstream trailer. (I hope I have my facts straight.)
2:30 PM and, decidedly, nap time!! Extremely windy so 90 degrees doesn’t seem unbearable. It has been a day filled with activities!! The pictures tell the story: First my neighbor, Nell, suggested we get Miss Lucy and have coffee and banana bread; second: Bible Study; third: we (three) checked the cabins to be sure they are ready for those folks coming to Hispanic Camp (next week). Most recent: Miss Lucy, Nell, Ike and yours truly went into Santa Anna for lunch. I was told “the best fish dinner in the whole wide world.” I took pictures… until another guest insisted he take a picture so I am included. As usual, I argued that “I don’t want to break the camera” (by being in the picture [ha] ). But, honestly, I appreciate being documented with an event occasionally. (Last night I asked Sam to take our picture because I thought perhaps my only opportunity to be photographed with Nell and Lucy.)
8:25 PM, 92 degrees inside my little trailer. It was equally as hot, or hotter, under the tent for the evening service. I finally moved a chair out were I could catch a breeze. We’ve had a strong wind all day but, for some strange reason, it doesn’t sweep under the tent. Look at the pictures (taken late afternoon) of the flags standing straight out. ~~ Now (8:45) everyone is preparing for “team roping” in the arena.
The noon meal of fried catfish and french fries upset my stomach. I ate very little for supper but wanted a small portion of the stew (but no beans). Too bad I can’t let you sample Darla Stone’s prize-winning Dutch-oven open-fire cobbler. Yum-yum!!
I skipped Miss Lucy’s evening Bible Study so I could listen to the musicians. I may skip the “team roping” because I’m weary from the heat. This isn’t a complaint, just a comment: The heat is awful, the insects would try the patience of a Saint!! I’m extremely grateful for the cool nights and pleasant early mornings. No, I’m not going to “high tail” it home because I’m receiving such a blessing!!
9:45 PM, 85 degrees inside…. I watched some calf roping but have no energy for this late-night activity.
Up at 7:00 AM but I wanted to stay in bed hoping to delay the inevitable heat and insects. Currently 76 degrees; 81 degrees at 11:30 last night; 78 degrees at 1:30 AM; 75 at 6:20 AM (I’m a “clock watcher”). Furthermore, looking at the clock this morning (“inquiring minds want to know”), I wondered why the alarm awakened me at 5:00 AM the other day. Answer: The clock has two alarm settings!! (Notice 6:30 in the picture.) ~~ Here’s another bit of worthless information: There’s a skunk in the area.
9:30 AM; 74 degrees inside the little trailer; dark and gloomy outside; perhaps another rain storm; the shower (as in “bath”) sure felt good. I may have to reach for a sweater because the strong wind makes it feel cooler than 74. Out the window, I’m watching Ike play ball with one of the boys. The doctors said he would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life–but Ike relies on “the Great Physician.”
11:30; 79 degrees inside the little trailer. Time to fix some lunch but want to document that Sam was singing Stuart Hamblen‘s This Ole House. Later, the young cowboy preacher, Beau Sessums, wove a story about John Wayne (Marion Robert Morrison) into his message, with many scripture references. Beau closed reading the entire fourth chapter of Second Corinthians from New Living Translation. (His message last night was about “discipleship”.)
Two o’clock and I was awakened from a wonderful nap because I was too hot (in my sweater), and flies are numerous—and very annoying!! Look, the temperature jumped nine degrees in about two hours. Sun is shining, beautiful sky!! ~~ Maranatha!!
Three o’clock and 92 degrees; time to abandon my little trailer. Awful observation: The “dump” station is only a short distance from my trailer. In addition to livestock on the property, that is probably one more source for flies.
9:30 PM; 90 degrees inside the trailer. After the evening worship service there was a “sortie.” Hey this old lady doesn’t know a thing about Texas ranch events so folks patiently explained. I haven’t any pictures of the event because too dark. Prior to…, I took pictures of cattle, men and boys on horseback, and pictures of the many horse trailers. Nothing spectacular; just a record of a cowboy and cowgirl activity.
FYI: I spent the afternoon in the screened dining area visiting with the folks who prepared our meal. (A very nice breeze blowing through….) “They” called it by another name but I call the meal “taco salad.” I had a very tiny portion of ground meat and lots of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese. I was near the end of the line and the guacamole was gone. The cherry-pineapple cobbler was delicious!!
Then, woman’s Bible Study with Miss Lucy. She is an awesome person; a great teacher; an unsung hero of the faith. She has a remarkable memory at 90 years of age. She advocates memorizing scripture and is a marvelous example. She recites whole chapters with scripture reference.
After the evening worship service, and before the “ranch sortin,” a girl about ten or twelve years old approached me with a zip-lock bag in her hands. “My mother and I make these crosses. Would you like one?” Truthfully, I said: “I don’t have any money with me.” She assured me they are free and I can take my choice. The first one I picked up has Galatians 2:20 as a scripture reference. I’ve claimed that scripture since I was saved under the ministry of Miss Lucy’s husband sixty-four years ago.
Now, it’s after 10 o’clock and I’m going to bed. The “ranch sortin” continues; I can hear the announcer.