Sunday, April 16, 2006

What's up for May "The planned trips"

Hi everyone,
I'm on the go again to De Ridder Louisiana. I'm going with a Rapid Response Team to help with building a house for the Pastor there. It's the same area as the last time I went. Last time we worked on building a house for a widow in the church of the Pastor on who's house we will be working on this time. My juices really got going when I heard about the team being formed. I really do feel a full time calling to respond to these trips. I believe I'm on a journey in life to be doing this full time in a couple years. What a wonderful season of life this is for me.

We will be leaving on May 13th and returning around May 20th. Our team will be considerable bigger than the three that went the last time. I believe it should be at least 7 or more this time. We really hit it off with the locals there the last time and I'm certainly ready to return to help with the construction.

About a week after I return from this trip, I will be leaving for another week. I heard about a disaster in Canada that needs a lot of attention. I heard that the water there has too many big fish. I will be on a response team to remove as many big fish as we can. So if you feel like you need to send support to can write the checks made out to me.

I hope you realize that I'm just kidding. I am going on a fishing trip to Canada. I love to fish, but I have never had a chance to actually go to Canada before. I've sent a lot of time in Minnesota very close to Canada, but never made it across the border. That should be a good time for sure. I'm not sure how many are going on this trip, but I'm guessing at least 4 or 5.

This is a picture of the place we are staying. It is located on the shore of Crooked Pine Lake known for walleye, northern pike, and slab black crappie. There might even be a catfish or carp as well. What am I thinking. Forget that thought.

Here's a sample of what can be pulled out of the lake there. I think I need to have more than 6 pound test line on my Zebco. Oh my, I'll have to get something bigger than a jig to fish with. The possibilities just boggle the mind.

Anyway that's what's going on in May for me.

Tell me about what's up in your life for May.

Always going Dave

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Las Vegas Move Part 1 "The Bus Ride"

I have been out at the farm horsing around. Seth has another horse in training with the intention to be sold. The trainer was in Texas and required a 4 day trip to get the horse there. I watched the farm while Seth was gone.

The teenage Phillies were a little better in behavor this time. I used some wisdom and let Molly bring the girls back into the barn the first two days. From a distance away, I studied every detail about what she did and discovered that I was in error about my methods. I would enter the pen and catch the young horses when what I should have done was stand on the outside of the corral and let them frisk around for awhile. When they were ready to be caught, they would come up to the gate and stand waiting for the lead rope to be attached to the halter. The second thing was the order of bringing in the colts. One would go absolutely bananas if she was left alone in the corral so she had to be taken in always second. Never first or last.

This week and last I've been helping a good friend with house preparation to be sold. He is installing a bathroom in the basement and has in mind to replace the kitchen cabinets and the vinyl flooring.

I've been working on the den some. The room is cleared and ready to have the floor covered for protection when I paint the ceiling. The room will get a total make over. Wallpaper on two of the walls with brick paneling on the other two. Some new skin covering for the doors and of course a new light fixture. I would like to vinyl title the floor, but I don't know about that yet.

Anyway finally to the Bus Ride. I rose up with inspiration and full of energy on the day to start the journey to Beaufort South Carolina. The internet bus site said to be at the bus station two hours early. Since my bus left at 6:00 AM, I figured that 4:30 AM would be soon enough and ordered up a cab to arrive to take me to the station at 4:00 AM. Upon arriving at the bus station at the desired time of 4:30 AM, I find that the station doesn't open until 5:00 AM. It was a good thing that the weather was not typical Nebraska weather and was quite pleasent for 4:30 AM in the moring.

There was a little confusion about which bus I was to board and I almost missed the departure, but made the bus and settled down for the day and a half ride to sunny Beaufort. This leg of the bus ride was not extremely crowded and most of the riders settled down for another snooze. At about 9:00am the TV screens lowered down from the overhead luggage racks and Ghost Busters followed by The Natural were the in ride movies.

Somewhere in the middle of Iowa we stopped for about an hour and a half break for lunch. Unbeknownst (my made up word- it means I didn't know) to me I was to transfer onto another bus here. Once again at the last minute I became aware of the transfer and made the connection.

This next driver was Brandy a real story teller and kept me facinated all the way to St. Louis. Not only did we hear stories about when she lived in Alaska, and shot an Elk in Montana, but we got the local history as well. She pointed out such places like the cliff that Hiawatha jumped to her death over a man with her eyes rolling. She pointed out the town park where President Lincoln and Douglas had their debate during the election. She showed us the oldest prison in Iowa. She told us about her Harley that she rode in off hours. It was awesome.

The next leg of the trip left St. Louis about 6:00pm and headed out across Illinois. I was certainly glad I didn't have to drive through the contruction zone again. We whizzed through the night darkness toward the next transfer point in Nashville. I listened to a CD given to me about how the internet works. It was a facinating program about bits and bytes flying through the internet galatic cyber bit stream. It was all about packets and overhead and ...... well lets just say that it was really cool for me. It kept me rivited all the way to Nashville. Arrival time was about 1:00am.

So there I was in Nashville in the middle of the night with about two or three hundred other tired people. This was the only place that had a security check if you would call it that. Everyone leaving on a bus must have a tag on their luggage that indicated you had been checked. When my turn came, I lifted my backpack up on the table and rolled the suitcase up to the guard. The guard unzipped both looked inside then zipped them up and said, "You got any knives, guns, bomb making material, that sort of thing?"

I said, "No."

He said, "OK you're good" and proceeded to attached the checked tag. Then to my surprise both me and the luggage went back in the packed waiting room with full access to outside the terminal. Hummmmm, just a little different than Airport security.

Time to board the bus. Being the good midwest mannered boy that I am I let others go first and get on the bus before me. About three in front of me the bus driver says, "Bus is full take the next one" and closed the gate doors to the bus. Now, I'm thinking what does that mean like take the next bus that arrives the next day or what? Well, it turns out the next bus was 2 hours away. Ugh another 2 hours the the crammed bus station at now 2:00am. We won't go into what the bathroom looked like with that many people in the station. I was certainly getting my bus savy on the next bus headed for Atlanta. I elbowed my way in line and defended my place in line with vigor. I made it on the packed to the max bus headed out of town around 3:30am with the slim hope of making the transfer in Atlanta to Savannah.

Upon arriving at the bus terminal in Atlanta, I drug my luggage up the bus terminal ramp and prepared to find the next bus to Atlanta when over the speaker came the call, "Last call for Savannah, gate 6." Scurrying over to the gate I managed to get through the door just before the door was shut and locked. Down the ramp and on the bus I trotted just in time to head out of town. My stay in Atlanta was supposed to be about 3 hours, but turned out to be only about 30 seconds. I was just glad to be back on schedule and headed for the final destination of Savannah.

The driver of this bus was alergic to everything and kept purging the bus with cold air at the hint of any type of smell good or bad. This leg of the ride was pretty uneventful or maybe I, just being tired, slept most of the way. I arrived at the Savannah station Lydia picked me up and we headed out for Beaufort South Carolina and the next part of the moving adventure.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Las Vegas Move Part 2 "The Trip"

Waking up the next day brought many adventurous expectations one of which was picking up the truck. The truck Lydia had rented was a little 10 foot truck. We arrived at the pickup point at the designated time. The lady behind the desk asked, "Do you have a washer and a dryer, cause this truck doesn't have a ramp you know?" I said, "Yah, we got a washer and a dryer, but we'll get it in the truck somehow." She proceeded to poke around in the computer and shuffle through the papers on the desk. Finally, she laid out the papers and the normal routine of sign here, initial here began. On completion of the proper paper work, we jumped into a golf cart and boogied around back to pick up a dolly for the move. We sped out in the yard where the trucks were and pulled up in front of a truck. I glanced at the truck and turned to the rental lady and said with a puzzled look on my face, "This isn't a 10 foot truck is it?" She looked at me and said, "Oh honey, you really need a ramp if you're going to be moving a washer and dryer so I upgraded you to a 16 foot truck for no extra charge." This turned out to be a huge blessing. This was a brand new truck with only 3,000 miles on it with an engine that toted us up the hills and down the hills at 70 MPH. What a joy it was to drive such a truck. We got the truck back to the house and the packing began. By noon I suspected that we were in trouble with the 9AM check out time the following day. As we moved on into the evening and night I knew for sure that we would not be having any sleep this night. About 7PM Lydia informs me that we needed to unhook the satellite TV. OK no problem just pull off a few cables in the back of the receiver and unscrew the cables from the wall receptacle and we're good to go. Lydia said, "No we have to remove the cables out of the house and leave it just it was when Eddie and I moved in. OK not a problem a few staples here and there and it's a done deal. Lydia says, "No, I mean everything has to be removed even the dish as well as the pole in the ground out back." Now those of you that have read the story about moving my Mother-in-law's flagpole with the concreted in bottom can certainly understand the thoughts dancing through my head at sound of that comment. The silver lining in this project was I got to go to Walmart to buy a spade to dig out the concreted in dish pole. Upon digging around the pole in preparation to pull it up out of the ground I ran into ....... you guessed it ROOTS. Man, why did it have to be roots. I found a saw in the stuff to be moved and sawed out the roots . Finally, after a few minutes of blood, sweat, tears, a grimace, and grunt out popped the pole. Only one little dab of concrete probably not more than 50 pounds on the end of the pole was all that held the pole in the stable position. My goodness sakes alive when I put my Mother-in-law's flagpole in the ground I put close to 200 pounds of concrete down the hole to keep flag jitter from happening. This was a piece of cake compared to moving the flagpole. I was right the next morning found us still cleaning up the floors and making sure everything was out of the house. At 9:45, the task was done. Total evacuation was complete. With the house check completed we headed out to Lydia's friend to leave some furniture that she didn't want to take and some of Eddie's clothes with her. Eddie would be picking up his clothes to take to the barracks when he came back from the short sea duty. By noon we were getting hungry so lunch was in order. After being up all night and eating lunch at noon, I knew we would probably make it out of town and be too tired to drive much farther. I was surprised when we actually made it 100 miles before Lydia came on the walkie talkie and informed me she couldn't go any farther. We bedded down for the evening and night. And thus ended the first two days of moving, but hey we were on the way with only 2300 more miles to go. The next day we headed out through Georgia, Mississippi, and into Arkansaw. We made about 900 miles that day and 700 the next day. We ended the third day by getting through Amarillo Texas. What a ride it was through that town. By this time I was feeling quite comfortable driving the truck. We hit the town of Amarillo just after dark. We are whizzing through the town following the signs to stay on I-40 and some how I ended up in the outside lane going through what looked like some kind of construction zone. There were big concrete dividers placed on the lane line on my left side. To stay in the middle of the lane put the left side of the truck only a foot or so from the concrete dividers. All these big towns drive at an incredibly fast speed. I have no idea what the speed limit was but I was cruising along at about 70 just to keep up with traffic flow. Much to my surprise a huge flatbed 18 wheeler with some kind of machinery strapped down on the bed came inching up beside me and decided to snuggle up real close to his lane line on my right side. There we are flying down the highway in the middle of town with one side inches away from a cement wall and the other side inches away from the big boy's mirror. I looked straight ahead and did my best to just keep brand new Penske (Truck Rental's name) in the center of the lane. With white knuckles and beads of sweat popping out, I praying, "Lord just get through this town. I promise never to sin again." It's truly amazing what I will promise to do when I'm praying for the Lord to bale me out of whatever situation I've gotten myself into. I made it through the town of Amarillo and heaved a big sigh of relief. I was truly glad to end that day, but little did I know that the next day would be scariest yet to come.

The morning of the 4th day we headed out across the plains of New Mexico right into the teeth of a storm. The wind was no less than 40 MPH angled at 45 degrees across the highway. We headed into the hills so the wind would be blasting in gusts. Then it began to rain and not too far down the road driving snow began to fall. By noon we were driving along thick ice covered roads with still a cross wind. Sometime right after noontime we ground to a halt and could see nothing but stopped cars and trucks all the way over the horizon. After about an hour or so, the line began inching along until we passed the crash site. A big 18 wheeler had mashed the back bumper of a little white job clear up to back of the front seat. Once past that we spun up the speed to about 55 or 60 and headed once more toward the ever decreasing space between us and our destination.

When we stopped for gas, I asked Lydia if she wanted to stop for the day and hope the next day would be better. Her reply was just as I thought it would be, "Dad we're from Nebraska. We know how to drive in this stuff."

We stopped in Gallup New Mexico to gas up and eat up. We stopped to gulp down some Mc Donald's finest quizine. Only in New Mexico could you find on the menu at Mc Donald's a Green Chili Hamburger. Yum Yum good. Chase it down with a shake and you got yourself a real deal of a meal. Leaving the town of Gallup posed some what of problem as the entrance to the interstate required starting from a dead stop at the bottom of a hill of maybe a quarter mile and bearing off to the right to enter onto the highway. The problem was the snow had been packed down to the point of ice up the hill and of course everyone was spinning and sliding trying to get up the hill. I wasn't going to get stuck on the hill by driving up behind a spinning car and then have to stop and be stuck like the rest of the town's citizens. I got some irritated looks as I patiently waited for the hill to clear. When the road was clear I mashed the accelerator to the floor and flew up the hill without ever so much as a spin. I guess Lydia was right. We're from Nebraska. We know how to drive in this stuff. We barely made 200 miles that day. The next day we made the Arizona ride to Flagstaff with much better weather and a lot easier driving. With out final destination in sight for the day, we left Flagstaff and headed toward Las Vegas only a short 5 hour ride. At Kingman, Lydia headed toward Las Vegas the shortest way to get to the apartment at the 2:00PM hour for signing rental papers. Because of 911 trucks are not allowed to go over Hoover dam, so I pealed off and took the hour longer route across the bridge to get to Las Vegas. So with the 2400 mile trip at an end the fun will begin unloading.

Las Vegas Move Part 3 "Las Vegas"

The new home waits to be filled with stuff. The first floor apartment made me feel good. I can’t remember the last time I helped move out and into a place for someone with no stairs on both ends. With the lease signed and all the instructions of the complex given, unloading began. Many neighbors around the apartment volunteered to help with the unloading and I took one up on his offer. As it turned out he had been employed as a mover a few months prior. What a blessing he was.

Marty across the street had the greatest gift of gab and we, of course, hit it off right away. He also had a truck and was on the way to help someone move something. Sound familiar?

We got everything unloaded except the washer and dryer which was going to my oldest daughter.

Oh my I can’t believe we got all in there. We carried a little less load than this as the back few tubs were dropped off at one of Lydia’s friends for Eddie to pick up later. They had mostly clothes. My grand daughters came over to help Grand dad unload the truck. We had the greatest of time carrying things into the apartment. Darkness shut down the operation because none of the utilities were turned on. We hit the Panda Express, a Chinese fast food place, for dinner and each of us went to the proper place to sleep. I staid with my sister, Lydia and Bradley went to the apartment and slept in their new home.

The next day the electric was turned on, the cable TV was on and the modem for the computer arrived in the afternoon.

Lydia wanted to purchase a computer desk and a TV stand. So we went to Walmart. Oh yeah, did I ever tell you that I really like Walmart? Anyway eventually the two items were bought and brought home. Flatbox furniture. I love flatbox furniture. With a little grunting and sweating, the computer desk was assembled. The TV stand was another story. It came with no instructions of assembly and Lydia ended up piecing it together after I left for home.

My dad’s 82nd birthday was on the 14th of March and we had a gathering of just the immediate family to give my dad sort of a “this is your life” thing. I learned about how my Dad noticed and fell in love with Mom and about their early years of growing up and early years of marriage.

The next day was the final day in Las Vegas and ended with a special buffet dinner for all family members at the Railroad Pass Casino. When my family gets together there always seems to be lots of laughter and story telling and you know how I love to hear a good story.

The next day I few out of Las Vegas headed for home. I arrived in Denver and needed to switch planes. With only 30 minutes to get to the next gate I hot footed down the corridors and arrived at the gate only to find people everywhere sleeping. They were sleeping in chairs, on the floors, up against the walls everywhere I looked I saw snoring people. Finding one awake, I asked, “What’s the deal here?”

He replied, “How long you been here?”

“I just got here. Why?”

“Well, I have been here all night trying to get a flight out of here. It’s the end of Spring break and everyone’s been trying to go home. I’m heading to Dallas Texas, but I just want to get out of Denver, so I just took the next flight out to anywhere and Omaha was it. I’m hoping to get better connections from there.”

Oh great, I thought, I’m going to spend the rest of this day trying to get back home from Denver. The announcement came that the plane had been delayed for one hour due to mechanical problems. We were closing down on the end of the hour and still no plane at the end of the catwalk. Then the announcement came for all those waiting to go to Omaha at gate 6 the gate had been changed to gate 35. All the sleepy-eyed people began the journey to gate 35. Upon arriving the electronic sign gave information to a fight to Amarillo Texas. Amarillo, I certainly didn't want to go back there. The announcement came across the speaker for those going to Amarillo go to gate 6, the gate we just came from. Smiling inside, I thought, we just high jacked the plane going to Amarillo to get to Omaha. So what had been a many hour delay for most of the people was about an hour and a half inconvenience for me.

I arrived into Omaha about 5:30pm and scooped up my luggage and ambled out to catch a taxi. By 6:45pm I was home and this adventure came to a close as turned on my favorite Thursday CSI show and promptly fell asleep. Waking a couple hours later, I crawled up the stairs and fell back asleep with thoughts of the last couple weeks roaming through my mind.