Church of Christ
Mission USA
Trip to Red Bay, AL And On To Texas
(Trip to Texas; Trouble on the Road)
       Monday morning we got up at 3:30 a.m. to get started on our Texas trip in order to take care of necessary business for the mission work. One of the jacks would not raise so I eventually had to raise it manually. The hardest part was getting under the MH for the jack was on the low side and very low it was! Finally, after working in the cold and dark, we pulled out of the driveway at 6:30 a.m. So much for getting the earlier start we had planned. Sandy’s brother-in-law had passed away and his viewing was on the day we left. One reason for wanting the earlier start, Sandy had planned to spend some time with her sister. Plans changed again when we couldn’t get the jack control box to stop beeping. The computer thought the jack was still down and every time I put on the brakes it tried to raise all the jacks. Who said computers are smart? We drove for a few miles and had to pull over. We called the company that made the jacks and they gave us some wrong information that caused the air bags to deflate. It rides very rough with deflated air bags! We didn’t get out of the parking lot. We then called Tiffin at Red Bay and talked to someone who finally helped me get things straightened out. By 11:30 a.m. we were finally back on our way to Galax. We got there just in time to pick up some flowers and get to the viewing. We were also able to visit with my mother for a while.      
      Tuesday morning we got up again at 3:30 to get an early start. Sandy had not yet driven the MH so at 4:00 a.m. I gave her her first driving lesson in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I wondered what the workers thought – seeing the MH passing by every few minutes. I half way expected to see the police show up. We left Galax around 5:00 a.m. and had gotten on the interstate when the engine started over heating. I pulled over to the side of the road to let the engine cool. With these new machines if the engine overheats for any length of time, the engine shut-down light will come on and you only have a short time to find a place to pull over because the engine will automatically shut down. Anyway to make a long story short, the engine over heated several times and we had to sit on the side of the interstate every few miles. Again, it was too early to call anyone. By 7:30 Sandy was able to call Freightliner and they sent a tow truck to come and get us (thankfully, under warranty). He got there at 9:00 and by 10:30 had us hooked up. It made us feel a little peculiar to see our house and most all of our worldly possessions being towed down I-81. To look on the bright side, we did get good diesel milage that day, we were towed for 70 + miles. We stayed at Freightliner [in our own home] that night and by the middle of the next day [Wednesday], they had us fixed.
      We visited with a nice congregation in Sweetwater, TN for Bible study and they were kind enough to let us stay in their parking lot over night. On Thursday we drove in heavy rain all day (about 10 hours) and since the jack wasn’t working, we decided to go by Red Bay, Al before we headed on to Texas. We got to Red Bay around 6:30 p.m. We had to fill up with water in the cold soaking rain. About 30 minutes after we got set up, it started snowing big beautiful flakes. About 3 inches fell. On Friday I had to get something out of the basement compartment and found that the floor was wet. Tiffin Motor Homes worked us in to their busy schedule, but could not get us repaired to go onto Texas. On Saturday, Sandy and I spent the drizzly, cold day removing things from underneath and trying to get the basement dried out as best we could. The sun did come out before evening just long enough to let us know it was still there. On Sunday we visited 2 congregations that are close to Red Bay. Monday around 2:00 p.m. the jacks were fixed, the basement sealed and we headed out to Texas. We stayed overnight at a nice Wal-Mart and got into Livingston, TX around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.
      Wednesday morning early we got our address set up with the Escapees and then started doing everything in order that we needed to do to get our Texas residence set up. Everything fell into place perfectly. We were able to take our driver’s written test on Wednesday afternoon, and since we both passed, schedule our driving test for Thursday. On the way to take our driving test, I had Sandy drive through town (narrow streets and all). She had only driven a little on the interstate and this was the first time she had driven in a town. I guessed we would have to drive in town for the driving test and I was right. We both passed our test and received our Texas license. Now that I’m a transplanted Virginian to Texan, I need a real cowboy hat! I asked the lady at the DMV if that made me a real Texan. She said no, that you had to be born here. Well, I didn’t get my spurs.

      Not wanting to waste any time we hit the road again. We left Livingston around 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon heading back to Red Bay. We stayed 2 nights at a nice campground (Goshen Springs) and visited two congregations in that area. We got back to Red Bay, Monday evening after dark. Tiffin was closed down tight and only a few motor homes were there. It was as if it had been evacuated, but it was nice having it to ourselves for awhile. On Tuesday we went to Tammy’s (about 2 ½ hours away) for the Christmas holiday. Amy and Peter Ray also came down and we had a very nice time being with our family (we do not get to see them very often). The workers at Tiffin were off all week for the holidays but the following week a small crew was working a couple of days so we were able to get some work done on the MH. After that, we went back to Tammy’s for the New Year. It has been wonderful having some time with them. It was hard to leave them, especially the granddaughters.

      Back at Red Bay on Monday things were back to normal with an estimate of around 100 motors homes there for service. We were able to get in early because we were on the list from the week before. We are now back at Shenandoah trying to get everything caught up. The weather is bitterly cold and we are busy trying to keep things from freezing up and trying to stay warm ourselves.

      We hope the coming year will hold many blessings for all of you. Please continue to pray for us and this work and that we will sell our house soon so that we can get into this work full time.  ♥