May 1st 2018

Good day everyone! We have been at the Slabs again for a few days, and were anxiously waiting for Monday to roll around. I am pretty proud of Doug and I for being able to keep a secret.

When we rolled in on Friday, you could tell Connie was a little disheartened when she didn’t see a trailer being towed in behind the rig. Of course she would never say anything. She has known for months now that we have been looking, and each time we return we have to tell her we have been unable to find anything suitable for a rat to live in. (At least within the price range we had). So for a couple of days, we kept our mouths shut and enjoyed what we knew would be our last stay at the Slabs until we could return next year.

I kept her busy and treated her to Slab Beauty Salon, with what little skill and supplies I had. We set up the back shower head, and she got a great shampoo, conditioner and colour. Then we went around and sat in the sun, where I used crappy scissors to try and give her a much needed hair cut. I actually think it turned out pretty good, and she was thrilled. She loved the hot water, and having her head messaged. It’s such a blessing when doing something so simple for someone else. It can make you feel like you handed them a winning lottery ticket.

Monday, Doug left with Chicago, and we told Connie he was taking her to the vet to get her eye checked again. So Connie and I hung out for the day with Rhonda. She lives down the way from Connie. Doug was meeting Rigo outside of Indio somewhere and he was going to follow him back so he knew where to come. The anticipation was killing me. So was the heat by the way. DANG it’s hot!

Early in the afternoon, I heard Doug hit the horn on the jeep as he rolled in. I stood up and went on and on with Connie that I hoped Chicago’s eye was ok.

When Doug swung into the road towards our unit, Rigo was right behind him with a massive beautiful 5th wheel. Connie looked confused as Doug pulled by her unit with this other dude on his tail.

She actually got upset. She figured this was a guy camping and he had the nerve to be stopping in front of her home. “No, no, no….that guy can’t park there….tell him to go away… he has to go away!”

When Doug popped out of the jeep, and waved Rigo into the spot we had picked for Connie’s new home to be set up… she still didn’t get what was happening. The poor woman looked so confused! Why would Doug have a stranger set up camp right in front of her home. (Rhonda of course had put two and two together, so I had to hush her from blurting it out). Finally, I couldn’t stand to see Connie so upset….so I said… “Well hon… what do you think of your new home!”

LIGHTBULB!!!!!!!! She had no words…. just tears and disbelief!

Rigo and Doug set the unit up and leveled it, and Connie watched is awe as the two massive slides opened. She honestly could not believe what she was seeing. “It’s so big!….. Is this really for me? Is this my home? Is it really my home?” The look on her face was better than watching a kid open any gift on Christmas morning. By then a small crowd had gathered, and there was a lot of smiles, and joy for Connie.

Being the brat that I am, when the unit was set up, we got some photos of Rigo and Connie, then after he drove away, I told Connie she had to wait outside for a few minutes and couldn’t go inside. Doug and I dashed in to make sure everything was working. We were super pleased to see that Rigo and his wife had made sure the unit was clean, and his wife had left bedding, pillows, blankets and a gorgeous quit on the couch for her.

Then we opened to door and told Connie to step inside and see her home. We had to ask everyone else to stay outside and just let Connie go in by herself. They all wanted to see what it looked like.

When Connie, opened the door, the first thing she said was that she had a door! Imagine having a door huh? Then she stepped inside, and I swear her eyes almost fell out of her head. The look on her face was something I will never shake. In my entire life, no matter who we are blessed to be able to help, this one moment is one that will stay etched in my mind til I take my last breath.

Inside she saw new carpet, a huge kitchen, an oak table with four chairs and a new couch. I had opened up all of the blinds before she entered so it was bright and beautiful.

First stop was the kitchen. She had massive windows, but better yet, she had a stove, a sink, a fridge with a freezer that was working! She had a pantry, a beautiful kitchen set, a soft clean couch, a ledge for a TV, a radio and tape deck that worked! And cupboards….. everywhere was storage!

She sat on the couch and just trying to take everything in. Then she went and opened the drawers in the kitchen, I showed her how to work the blinds, and then she stood in front of the fridge and stove and asked, against all hope…. does this stuff work? Yes, I told her. Doug showed her that the stove worked and then showed her that he had all ready turned on the propane and her new fridge and freezer had all ready started to cool. (Makes my cry as I write this…..).

We showed her the pantry, and then discovered that Rigo’s wife had left all the pots, pans and kitchen utensils for her. EXTRA BONUS!

Doug showed her the radio and how to turn it on, and then after a bit of prodding, I got her to come up the step with me to the upper part of the unit. On the left was a bathroom. A real bathroom, with a sink, toilet, tub and shower. Again, she asked if it worked, and again the answer was yes. We explained that she would have to keep her propane and water filled, but she could not have a hot shower, and the biggest of all, was that she no longer had to run and find an outhouse. She had storage for towels and toiletries. I think it was a bit much for her to take in.

I gently took her hand and led her up to the bedroom. She now had a real bed! She had a full length closet, a dresser, mirrors, windows that opened and closed…. did I mention the bed? When she saw it she layed down and stared at the ceiling. “I can’t believe it….I have a bed!”

The final highlight was when I leaned over and showed her the light switch. All kidding aside, she must have turned that on and off twenty times. In almost 25 years she has had no lights. She even walked throughout the unit trying all of the lights, and grinned every time one would turn on 😉

After she had spent her own time in the unit checking out every nook and cranny, She opened the door and let a few people come in and take a look at it. Pastor even came by, and Connie gave him the grand tour. He returned a few minutes later and gave her a house warming gift. What a guy! That blessed her socks off.

Several people had come buy then, but the one I will never forget is a man they call Ben Nutty. He is a Christian, and has been with Pastor Dave for years and years. He knew Connie when she first moved to Slabs with her husband. When he walked in, he wept. He laughed with joy, and wept some more!

Connie, after all her years of giving to everyone, and asking nothing in return, had a beautiful home. She would feel safe, and she could now finally sleep. Others that followed after Ben seemed to be quite happy for her as well. There were a few that came by that really had never spoken or spent time with her, and I think they just wanted to snoop around and see what she had.

A couple of my family members after hearing we had found a 45 foot unit, were concerned we had perhaps put a target on her back. I actually feel sorry for anyone who would try to mess with her, because she is first of all on Church grounds…. and secondly, but most importantly, very much loved. People will have her back. Of that I am sure. Better yet…. God’s got her back. Amen? Amen!

After all of the commotion, Connie came over for a coffee, but she sat where she could stare at her new rig. Her tiny home next to it would have fit in her bedroom. 😉 Pretty sweet. That night, we made plans to go shopping the next day to buy things she would need, and get her groceries for the month. I was going to help her set up a monthly budget, and show her some different meals she could now learn to cook on her stove or oven.

Doug showed her how to use the washroom, and more importantly how to lock everything up everytime she left the rig.

Eventually, she made her way off to to bed, and Doug and I spent the next hour laughing as we looked over at her new home, and saw lights going on and off for over an hour.

These next couple of weeks or so were going to be super busy. Our rig is booked in for solar, and we are thinking we should add a new panel to Connie’s unit so she does not run her batteries low.

Well folks…. Janet and George got a new home, Andrew was bless with and RV to sleep and cook in, and Connie’s Comfort was finally a reality!

Months of searching was well worth it. When we felt like giving up, Doug would think….. “Would Jesus Quit…?” Nope.

It just took us a while to find the rig God wanted Connie to have!

God is good……….. ALL THE TIME! May he continue to use us to bless more wonderful souls!

 

Sherry, Doug, Chicago and Journey

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