Monday, March 30, 2015

An amazing afternoon/evening involving a "warm shower"!

I was sitting at the Visitor Center minding my own when the door bell tings, heralding the arrival of a visitor!  Oh joy!!!!   Someone to talk to (only happens once or twice a day).  This day, particularly lonely, with Bill over at "the compound" across the street, building bird feeders.

As I stand to greet our visitor I see a long distance cyclist (as a cyclist myself, I recognize them right away:  the helmet, fingerless gloves, funny looking shorts, fatigued look, road grime) enter, wearing the previously mentioned items, along with a semi-panicked facial expression.  This turns out to be Ashley, touring the country the last 4 months with her husband Steve.  Ashley had suffered the loss of 4 (count them FOUR) rear spokes, quite a distance back.  She is at the end of her rope, end of her budget for the month, and, though she does not yet know it, 36 miles from the nearest cycle shop.  God has led her to our door.

Keeping the entire situation to ourselves (just didn't see any need for the Rangers to know), we invited Ashley and Steve to stay overnight with us and allow Bill to drive them to Myrtle Beach  in the morning (the Rangers didn't even know he was gone, as he was back at building bird feeders in an hour and a half:-)  These young adventurers accepted our invite, set camp up in our compound, enjoyed some of Bill's cooking and grabbed a hot (though short) shower before settling in by the campfire.

After a night of (I apologize here and now for the non-stop barking dog) rest,  I slipped off to the Visitor Center and Bill delivered Ashley and Steve, along with 2 Cannondales, to the bike shop in Myrtle Beach.  The couple are due back in Pennsylvania in 2 weeks, we wish them Godspeed!

The really neat thing that we came away from the campfire time with:

In providing Ashley and Steve a place to "bunk", a warm meal and a hot shower, we were, unwittingly,  acting as informal "Warm Shower" hosts.  We are now registered, official 

"warmshower" hosts.  

As it turns out, we have unwittingly provided this service before: 

once in Colorado for a couple from San Fransisco who had flown themselves and their bikes to the East coast, and were riding them back.  

And, once in California, a young Canadian girl who had ridden from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego and was on her back to Los Angeles Airport to catch a plane home.  This young Canadian lived in an apartment with a small balcony, squeezed between hers and another apartment building.  From this small balcony she could see the waters of Burrard Inlet.  This young lady, a history major,  had been studying a Rand McNally and spotted Joshua Tree National Park. While the map triggered further study, this amazing park grabbed her full attention.  During her short stay with us a tremendous wind storm broke over the hills of Blackrock Campground and our young Canadian sought shelter in the ladies bathroom (concrete block), just as her tent was blowing away, sleeping on the counter.  When we found her in the morning, we advised her that that had not been necessary, and she should make her way to our site the next time.

So, without even knowing it, God was preparing us for this new assignment that will dovetail quite nicely with what He already has us doing.

Taking us back to the previous Sunday:  we had had an exhausting day Saturday (you will see what I mean) and Sunday found us needing some "nature time", so at sunrise we were off to the Visitor Center (closed on Sundays) to plant our camera stand and attempt to get pix of our Wood Duck.  After an uneventful 30 minutes we relocated from the pier to the back porch rocking chairs.  

You have seen this view from that location before if you are on Facebook with me:  

No, we were not lucky enough to see the wood duck, but we did observe some of God's other works:

Yellow Shafted Flicker

Purple Finch (Poor quality)

Female Cardinal

Male Cardinal

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker in flight

Red Bellied Woodpecker in flight

Blue Jay in flight

Blue Jay

Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

Pileated Woodpecker (see story)

And speaking of God's creatures.....Bill brought Tessa over to the Visitor Center, and due to the heavy rain that began after he arrived, left her with me for a short time.  She wandered over to the terrariums and spotted the King Snake right off.  Oh, she found him fascinating, and he found Tessa fascinating....they were both quite electric during the standoff.  

Not all of God's creatures are physically beautiful, but interesting just the same.  Sitting by the campfire one sunny day, I observed this guy just chillin it.  Drying his feathers I suppose, as he stood like this for the longest time: 

Turkey Vulture
We have been fortunate, being so close to Charleston, while in South Carolina.  This has afforded me the opportunity/excuse to go into the big city every 2 weeks for training on my Apple computer.  We have thus been enjoying some of what Charleston has to offer:

The Civil War began here.

canon being painted

Charles Pinkney National Historical Site.

Ravenel Bridge one week

                                      Ravenel Bridge the next week

Charleston Waterfront    


                       Downtown King Street-notice anything weird here?

Downtown Charleston on St. Patrick's Day ...

                                                     Some of Bill's fav's, 
some of mine.                                                                                      Can you guess,  which is who's?                                                                 

              Patriot's Point (aboard the Yorktown)   
And though we have loved South Carolina, we have enjoyed making several trips to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit Lynn (Jan's cousin) and Caron (, which is where this writing takes place while we provide a little post surgical assistance.

This is how we feel about a visit to the Andrus household:  

Tessa communicates well for us!

As quiet as our work can be, it has had it's busy moments (days),  Take, for example last Saturday.  A Boy Scout Troop was scheduled to visit and build the 25 Bluebird Houses Bill had cut and prepared for just such an event.

 While loading up the necessary tools the night before, I had a thought ....."maybe there are some girls in the Boy Scout troop?"  So, with anticipation, I packed my pink drill:-)  Not only were there girls

and they LOVED my drill...  
"girls can have tools too!" ...right up until the time it ran out of power :-(

the GIRLS were the biggest fans of the snakes!

 Even the kids that were reluctant, eventually succumbed to the peer pressure.  Still, I kept giving them chances to opt out.

The time to do the actual work arrived, the kids were very attentive.  

The dads didn't expect to be told "you're building a house too",  but once they got the hang of it, they were all in.

After the work, we were all ready for the pizza  and "Moon Pies" (it's a southern thing).

The entire group was pleased with what they had accomplished!

It was a day as rewarding as it was tiring!

We finished off the week by completing a couple of projects.  


                                    Old Butterfly Garden sign...... 
Bill restored Butterfly Garden sign.

If you remember Bill's sign project for Camp Zion last summer....

Over the years he has had several commissions for signs.  He has always enjoyed the process of sign making, and is good at it:-)Taking into consideration our current lifestyle and Bill's love of the sign making process, which go together well, he has decided to start a little "sign making business".  If you have any interest or sign needs, let him know.
I will not leave you hanging on the Pileated Woodpecker story.  I have had an insatiable desire to see a Pileated Woodpecker in the wild.  Thinking I would have to rent a boat and go over to Sandy Island, where they are known to congregate.  So you can imagine my pleasant surprise at finding one right in our backyard:-)
Well, that's what's going on in South Carolina, How are things with y'all!
We will be heading home (Northern Illinois) on May 1st and plan to be there from the 5th thru the 21st.
Vaya Con Dios!!!  Jan and Bill

 You may see a pattern developing!

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