Christmas at the Slabs has been pretty great! It was a shame that no one showed for the Christmas Dinner we had prepared. However, it was also good to have a ton of food left over to pass out to people over the last few days. I think the holiday season here was sure a whole lot brighter than it would have been if Hosanna City Church had not come out to Bless the Children with such beautiful gifts. I have seen a few of them trucking around the past couple of days with huge smiles on their faces, and I know people have had a good quantity of food in their camps thanks to the generosity of Pastor Joshua and his Church.
Sadly, Pastor Dave is really not doing well at all. I have been preparing him meals, but he is not eating much, and is seldom able to leave his bed in the bus. I’m heart broken. So many people are praying for him, but it’s difficult to see him in so much pain. I keep in touch with his family as they have been making arrangements for him to fly home shortly so he can visit with his sisters, parents and his beautiful daughter. We are all praying he will be up to the five or six hour flight, and that his time with everyone will be very blessed! It’s been a long time since he has seen many of them. For those of you who have been praying, I ask that you would continue to do so… God is a lot bigger than cancer, and Pastor Dave’s faith and confidence in God’s perfect timing and will, makes me feel so small.
Doug and I decided to pop out for a night before New Years, and head down to a campground on the Salton Sea about a half an hour from here. George and Janet are camped there and we would like to spend a day with them. Normally if they roll into the Slabs its just for a day or so. They prefer the sea. It will also give us the chance to load up on more water because we have nearly emptied our tanks filling up bottles for everyone, and then we can grab some more propane. Our plan is to be here until Pastor Dave returns from visiting his family. So topping up the tanks would have to be done at some point.
We had a great visit with George and Janet…. and the little camp site is really quite an Oasis compared to the Slabs. For being in the middle of no where, you would not expect to see so many Palm Trees, or an RV park that is well maintained and actually very pretty.
They have a lagoon there that was once a part of the Salton, but now looks more like a pond separated from the Sea as it continues to recede. Whats interesting is the amount of birds that spend time in these waters to either nest, or prepare for a further migration North. Early in the morning, George came over to tell me to grab my camera because the huge pelicans were down by the old docks. I am sure glad I did. I have seen them at a distance, but never this close. I got some great shots! I even nailed a few great ones of a tattered blue crane that was sitting on top of one of the old piers.
The rest of the day we enjoyed just visiting with them, and laughing at the antics of their cockatiel who constantly whistles the theme song from the Andy Griffin Show. He is quite a character 😉 Doug and George or course had the best time ever. The two of them have been fast friends since we first met. You would think to see them that they have been the best of friends their whole life. It’s pretty cool to see such a friendship!
New Years Ever, we headed back to the Slabs and set our camp up again. People were really getting ready for a big party that was going to take Place at the Range that night. Bands had come in to play, and the desert community was ready to say GOODBYE to 2018. I don’t blame them either…. it was very tough for a lot of people. Several residents in the Slabs had died over the summer, and it had been a hard year for a lot of our friends.
Doug and I talked Connie into heading over to the Range for a bit, but she wasn’t comfortable staying. We rang in the New Years well before midnight with Connie around our campfire. About 8:30, she headed off for bed. Doug and I sat outside, listened to the bands in the distance, the odd gun shots, and saw some neat fireworks that I think they set off from the East Jesus area. A lot of our friends stopped to visit as they went back and forth from the festivities at the Range and various other camps that had their own parties going on. I couldn’t help but wonder how Pastor Dave could get any rest with all of the noise going on. We made a few calls to our family members, and then called it a night. Doug fell asleep with Chicago on one couch that night, and I slept on the other with Journey. Peaceful 😉
2018 had come and gone. It will be interesting to see what the next year will bring for us. We have learned pretty quickly since our journey began that although you can attempt to make plans… always be prepared for an unexpected pit-stop, or a side road that will take you to places you never dreamed of!