We have not seen Ang since she was still living independently several years ago. Her then diagnosis of Alzheimers quickly led to her having to move into assisted living, and she has further been admitted to "hospice" care for several months now. This lovely lady still has a sparkle in her eyes, as seen in this recent picture. We will visit her this morning praying she is having a good day.
(addendum): Angie was having a good day, knew who Bill was, and was able to converse. Even though it was difficult to understand everything she said, most of the meaning came across. Despite it being a heart wrenching day, knowing it was probably the last time we would see Angie in this world, we were VERY glad we went.
Because we always try to make the best of each and every situation we find ourselves in, we were magnetically drawn to pause in Hilton Head for lunch. And look who we found there:
Kevin is Bill's bestie, our old next door neighbor and fellow woodworker, currently at a convention in Hilton Head. Note: our relationship goes way beyond being old neighbors....even though Kevin was AWESOME at that:
Kevin earned the BEST NEIGHBOR award many times over in 20 years...this was no small driveway!
These friends have hearts of gold, and we are grateful for this opportunity to see them, despite the reason that draws us past their door.
|Mark and Molly shown with 2 of their 4 kids (Gretchen and Thad) (Erica and Kent had already retired for the night)|
Returning to Waccamaw: Saturday, April 25th was the culmination of our 2nd to last week. And what a day it was with the Waccamaw Indian Tribe sponsoring an "event" and Chief "Clyde" in full regalia. Out of respect for their culture, I did not take any pictures, but the Chief was resplendent while they carried out their ceremony.
Each month the tribe used our facility for their meeting, and we came to know and love Chief Clyde and his people. A VERY warm and gentle of spirit group, who we were sad to be departing from.
Two months ago (well, we all know how fast the government works:-) Jason (our boss) asked me to make arrangements to "exchange our alligator for a smaller one". I'll save you all the pain of phone calls and e-mails not returned (from Alligator Adventure and South Carolina DNR), information not imparted (Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge) and my instructions not followed (Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge), but the call finally came in Thursday night: Lorraine, my new Ranger on the phone "hey, I'm taking the alligator in tomorrow, you want to go?" Lorraine, being a very thoughtful person (and good at her job) was told to make the exchange and her first thought was for all the time I had invested in this task, and how much she knew I would like to see it through to it's completion. A few examples of how we spent the next day:
|Old Crabby ready to go to his new home.|
We exchange our gators with alligatoradventure.com/.
I had heard they "have a guy who collects alligator eggs". I'm thinking "that
has to be the worst job in the world"! "That guy" turned out to be "Travis" our guide for the day.
Travis had been to Alligator Adventure when he was a kid (about 12 years old) on a field trip. Now, in
his mid 30's, Travis is still living his dream of caring for these interesting
Checking our gator out, and finding him "VERY healthy".
|Yes, this is a two headed turtle|
|This is "Six Pack" can you tell how she got this way? PLEASE cut up those plastic rings that hold cans!|
PS: she is actually very healthy despite her rough start in life.
|"Bob" short for "Bobette" a shining example of the most common birth defect in alligators-no tail.|
In the wild, Bob would not have survived long. She actually has "butt cheeks"- very human like:-)
|Travis feeding the gators (rats)|
|Is someone, other than this chivalrous guy, going to help this poor girl?|
|When you scratch their necks, their entire body raises up like it's a hydraulic lift! Kinda the tortoise equivalent of a cat purring.|
|Tortoise coming over to Travis asking to be "petted"|
|One of two, female Bobcats Travis has raised since they were about 5 days old|
Returning to our human world: As our adventures allow us to visit family and friends scattered about all over this great country of ours,
so it was two weeks ago when we were able to attend a play in Mount Pleasant, SC featuring 3 of my cousin Lynn's beautiful grandchildren.
|Sade, Mya (do not try to tell them apart) and Eva (daughters of Kevin and Cassy Andrus) performed in "Charlottes Web".|
The play was wonderful! Eva is a natural, but all three did great jobs! Even so, these 3 are not my youngest cousins, that honor is held by
(the children of Kelly and Charlie Neely )
|and Mr. Luke|
And if we thought the play was fun??? Wow, the picnic afterward with the entire family was awesome!This is a group we do not see enough of, and we cherish each moment with them:
|Tessa is our official Greeter, come on by:|
|Looking out from the foyer|
The only feature missing from this unit was a desk....but that's not a deal breaker.
I'm married to a woodworker after all:-)
I'm married to a woodworker after all:-)
And did you know I am now an official "Alligator Adventure "princess"??
They gave me a crown and everything!
Sorry, I digress... the whole purpose of going to Alligator Adventure was to change out our alligator...Here's our new baby:
Isn't he cute???
On our final day at Waccamaw, several neat things happened. They all remind me why we are doing this:
I was going to the visitor center with Millie (our replacement volunteer) to do a bit of last minute training, and while there (as I had headed back to the RV's for a moment), Millie spotted one of the Red Fox kits. Now, no, I did not see it, but it was good just to know they had not abandoned the nest. She described it as about the size of a kitten.
#2: I was taking pix of this interesting creature, and caught on film what I believe to be an unusual exhibition. I still have to study up on this...more next month:
And then there's the: God sighting of the month: As Millie and I were both bustling around our respective RV's (me packing to leave, she unpacking to stay) she said, out of the blue "hey, do you want to run over to the VC now and pay for those shirts you wanted to pay for?" I stopped what I was doing and said "yea, sure, why not, now is as good a time as any". So we leashed the dogs and began our walk over. The first thing I noticed was the main gate was open. Being Sunday, it was supposed to be closed. As we continued up the drive I noticed a vehicle I did not recognize. I watched as a man I did not recognize as one of our Rangers approached a Honda Gold Wing trike and climbed aboard.
By now, I knew the gate had probably malfunctioned and this passerby had found it open. We approached as the older man tried unsuccessfully to start his bike. When I inquired as to how we could help him, the man stated his bike wouldn't start. He was visibly upset and stated his wife would be worried. His trike was a Gold Wing (and I knew right then, we were kindred sprits). I told "Dave" I would be right back. I grabbed a set of keys to a work truck and headed to the RV to collect Bill. After hearing about Dave's dilemma, Bill grabbed a few tools and we headed back.
Now you are aware that Bill and I had been trying to get on the road all morning..... give Millie some training and get going? Dave was the last thing we needed to distract us. But, helping people is what we do, even setting aside our own needs. We both saw this as a moment God had delivered into our hands to help someone out.
While I gave Millie a short, fast dose of training, Bill had a nice conversation with Dave and got his machine up and running. He was VERY appreciative!!
So, you see, if Millie hadn't said "let's go" at that moment, poor Dave would have been stuck there at a closed VC, in the middle of nowhere! God in action!!!
We are arriving at Fish Lake Campground in Volo, IL for a visit until May 21st, and I have already been too verbose! Vaya Con Dios friends!
P.S. not to boast, but I am very proud of this next series of pix taken at my cousin Lynn's home in Cornelius, NC....
|He's made his decision...|
|begins his lift...|
|puts some muscle into it...|
|keeps his eye on the prize....|
|is moving in....|
|Busts a move.....|
|He's almost there.....|
and he's off with his prize...
|one more element to an amazing nest underway.|
I hope you have been able to enjoy God's creativity thru my words and pictures!!!
What an incredible gift!!!