Well as we keep saying…. “as with all things Doug and Sherry…” nothing ever seems to go the way we planned. If it isn’t one thing it seems to be another. I have to remind myself that when you are doing what is good and right…. there is a nasty beggar out there trying to discourage you and keep you from your appointed destination! I don’t know why I assume our journey will ever go without issues or trials. This year, trying to make our way to the Slabs came with many side roads and pit falls.
On December 12th, our great friends Janet and George called from the Slabs and took the phone around so we could talk to a few people. First of all was Connie, and of course she was pinging with great joy and waiting anxiously for us to arrive. She was so excited about a Christmas gift she had for us. What a cutie.
Then we talked with Pastor Dave, whom by this time had been bed ridden for a few weeks. The diagnosis we learned was Cancer! I was just sick. I knew we had to wait to cross into the States, and every moment we had to sit there in Aldergrove waiting for the 18th was torture! Doug and I sent out prayer requests and couldn’t help but fret for our dear friend.
On the evening of December 14th, we got a call from Kelowna that Doug’s brother had been in the hospital for about a week, so he jumped in the jeep and headed back across the pass to make sure he was ok. As it turned out Bruce was released a day after Doug arrived and seemed to be doing better, so Doug came back to Aldergrove. The following morning, I went to a clinic when I discovered a rash that was quite painful, only to learn that I had come down with shingles. I am like…. are ya kidding me???!
The day before we headed over the boarder Doug disappeared for a while, and came back with a Christmas tree and lights for the inside of the rig. I was so thrilled! It looked beautiful and was the first tree we had had since we sold the house. That night we prepared for our departure at 6:00 am, and enjoyed the tree and Christmas Music.
On December 18th, with a sigh of relief, we made it across the boarder and headed out. 60 miles out of Everett, Washington we had an issue with the unit. Thankfully, there was a Cummings Dealer not far away and they were gracious enough to make some minor repairs and we were once again on our way! Or so we thought…. lol 😉
About 100 miles from Sacramento, we had pulled over at a rest stop to let the girls out. Rest areas are always a bit of an adventure because you never know what you will find 😉 In our case… it appeared like a small tree had dropped potatoes like leaves at the base of the trunk. It made for a good laugh and a silly photo.
Our laughter subsided when we started the rig up again, and discovered we had water in the fuel lines. Not cool at all. So we left the I-5 and made our way to Fresno for repairs again. They had to replace the water separator filter. Being of good Christmas cheer, they only charged us for the parts and sent us on our way. YEAH!
Now we had left the main route we usually take, so we went onto google maps and choose to take a more scenic route of back roads. It was a pretty interesting drive, until for some reason, Google decided to take us for a side trip into the Joshua National Tree Forest on a skinny dirt road. Now, the one thing you don’t want to happen with a big rig is to get stuck somewhere you can’t get out of. We had to get out in the dark with Flashlights and walk our way around to figure out how were were going to get out of there. Of course I saw those beautiful Joshua trees and thought the ends of the branches looked like soft lush crab grass. So I reached up to touch it, and wouldn’t ya know it, the darn thing was sharper then razor blades and poked a good hole in my finger. Note to self… if you don’t know what it is… DON’T TOUCH! 😉 hehehehe.
When we finally made it out of there, we found ourselves in Yucca Valley. Knowing we had to get fuel, propane and water, we found a side road to park on the the remainder of the evening and headed out at daybreak.
Dec 22 was our arrival day! Oh my gosh it felt so good to pull up that familiar road, and to stand anxiously watching out the front dash window for a glimpse of Connie and everyone else. Sure shoot-en, when we got to the top of the hill, she was there grinning from ear to ear with a beautiful snowman Christmas ornament in her arms for us! I think I jumped out before Doug had even pulled to a stop. Hugs………. oh they felt so good!
It was in short time that many others arrived and it was so great to see all of them! Shannon rode up on his bike and pulled us to the side to warn us about some terrible rumors floating around the slabs about us that he thought we might want to put to rest as soon as possible. I had written Connie earlier in the year that because we share the same birthday, maybe she would like to go with us to Yuma for a couple of nights and we could cross into Mexico and have a birthday Margaritta to celebrate. Well, you will never guess what fires we had to put out!!!!
The rumor was, that Doug and I were sex traffickers, and we had plans to take Connie to Mexico and sell her off to the sex trade.
Anyhow… these are silly things we will have to straighten out!
The saddest part to our arrival, was when we finally made it over to the bus where Pastor Dave was living. I knocked on the bus, and he told me to come in. My strapping, strong desert mountain man, was so week and thin. He confirmed the cancer, and he was really suffering. Our hearts were shattered when we realized just how bad it was. We told him we would do what ever we could to help, and after a brief visit, we left so he could sleep again. I feel so utterly helpless. I am scared. All we can do is lift him up and trust Jesus for HIS perfect plan.
That night although we were so happy to be back, we sat outside around our fire with hot coffee and with a lot of our friends in great sadness for Pastor Dave. Prayers are greatly appreciated! I am just sick, and I know there are many that are exceptionally worried about him. We have been in touch with his family and we know they are trying to get him back home to see his family, daughter and parents. I have no idea how he will manage to take a plane half way across the country. So I sign off now wishing every one a wonderful evening with family and friends for the Christmas holidays, and ask for you to add Pastor Dave to every prayer chain you can find. Prayers for pain relief, and complete Healing… if it be His will… but I think the more people knocking on God’s door for Pastor Dave the better !