Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Part A: Done!

We finally made it to our first destination where we will be leaving our RV so we can travel on to Ogden, Utah to be with my (Becky's) family for Thanksgiving.  We are actually on an Indian Reservation where one of my best friends live.  Lisa was my maid of honor at my wedding and we have been good friends since college days.

Lisa wasn't able to be here when we arrived since she and her family left for Thanksgiving in the San Diego area, but her brother and family were gracious enough to provide a place for our RV.  It's interesting the places we have friends in.  Pretty much all over the USA and in most continents of the world!  Hmm, have I mentioned we like to travel?

There was a gorgeous sunset this evening in AZ and I thought it would be the perfect picture for the end of our first part of our adventures.  Thanks so much to all who have prayed and encouraged us along the way.  I guess this Thanksgiving started early.  ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  II Cor. 4:16-18 NIV

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gone with the Wind and Enchiladas

Yes, you are noticing a food theme.  What can I say?  I am outnumbered 4 to 1 and with a family of guys, food takes priority.  If we had girls the title might be something like Rainbows and Ponies.  But I digress.  Back to the original title, we had a bit of wind on the trip today.

For the length of 600 miles we had winds with gusts up to possibly 50 mph.  For the part going North we had a tailwind, so that was great.  When we started going West we had headwinds and sidewinds.  Not so great.  In fact, downright annoying.  We used up a lot more gas than anticipated.  But, sei la vi, we pressed on and once again, made the most of it.

If you've ever seen the kid's movie, "Home on the Range", the following description will help give you a visual of places we passed through today.  Texas and New Mexico have some amazing dessert and wasteland areas.  You know, where lizards, cactus, tumbling rolling weeds, and tall grasses live. 

Well, for lunch we had a "gourmet" meal of homemade enchiladas made in the skillet (a first for me), complete with rice, beans, lettuce and tomatoes.  I know, olives, guacamole, and sour cream would have completed the ensemble, but hey, the fact that I made most of it while in a moving RV says something.  And by the way, I think I could take on a flight attendent in a standing contest any day.  Bring it on!  (As our pastor would say, "That part was free.")

So, while we ate our gourmet lunch we looked out the windows and watched the Southwestern scenery as it rolled by.  Made me think of being in a train in the lunch car watching scenery.  Of course, the occassional rocking back and forth from the wonderful winds just added to the experience.

If I can ever figure out how to download some of the pics I've taken, you guys will get to see some of the places and situations we've been in.  Of course, there aren't too many since it didn't dawn on me to take pics until we were stranded in TX, but hey, something is better than nothing. 

I hear our next adventures will take us into snow country as we travel to UT on either Wed or Thur (I know, Thanksgiving on the road, but better safe than sorry).  We'll let you know how things go as our days continue.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Praise and Pizza ;-)

So, the saga continued this morning.  Firestone would not work on our RV since it wouldn't fit in their garage, even though one of the technicians said he could fix it.  His boss told him no and that was that.  We then took off to go to church (in the SUV) and get some fellowship time. 

After service we inquired at the information desk if they had any mechanics at the church or someone who could help out.  No such luck, but Bill was able to get info on their missions department so that was a plus. 

After lunch, the decision was made to go ahead and try to fix the RV ourselves.  So Bill and Robert took off to get parts and tools for the job.  About 4 hours later, plus a little help from an Auto Zone guy to put the belt back on, they were able to fix it!!!  They put on a compressor and steering stabilizer and the old belt back on.  Apparently something that would have cost anywhere from $500-$1000. 

From our vantage point of the back of the Auto Zone parking lot, Bill spotted a Papa Johns and said, "Let's splurge and have pizza for dinner."  (We've been trying to save money for the trip by making all our meals.)  Oh yeah, pizza after a hard days work is awesome. 

So, turns out this was a day for praise and pizza.  Thanks to ALL who have been praying.  However, we still have miles to go and hope to drop our RV off at a friend in AZ and still make it up to UT for Thanksgiving.  We would appreciate your constant prayers as we travel.  I REALLY don't want anything else to break down!

Here's our 50 ft + caravan of RV and towed SUV.  I took this after they fixed the RV and were tying down the SUV to the trailer so it was already night time. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Making the most of it.

So..., this has been a very different RV trip.  Yesterday we had a tire problem, today we threw a serpentine belt (or something like that...)  It's the thingy that runs the A/C and water to cool the engine, so I'm told.  Sorry, I am NOT a mechanical person.  Ask me to paint a picture, bake something, or sew and I'm your person.

We were able to meet with a friend near Dallas, TX Bill and I knew from way back, when Bill used to teach Sunday School (in Poway, CA) before we were married.  So that part of the day was great!  Barely an hour into our trip is when the second incident happened.  Oy vei!

At first we all felt frustrated.  But then you realize that there's not much you can do about it and you might as well make the most of it.  So, we plan on making a great meal, maybe watching a family movie or playing a game, and going to a church in the morning while Firestone fixes the RV.  What can we say?  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?!  We just hope to be to my parents by Thanksgiving...  (I can hear it now, "Tune in next time to read all about the latest Rowley Saga.")

Friday, November 19, 2010

On the Road!

My hope of leaving Wednesday before midnight did not come true.  BUT, we finally made it out of our driveway by 8pm on Thursday.  Oh, but wait, it gets better. 

We had newsletters for all our missionaries (including our own) to send out before we left.  Thanks to some friends from church, we were able to have a "folding party" Wednesday night and got them just about ready to go, only lacking a few inserts which we finished the next day. 

The post office has a "rule" that all bulk mailing needs to be to them by 3pm (they keep giving us new rules every time we go in...).  We made it to the post office before 3pm and stood in line for 5 minutes.  When I got up to the counter the lady says, "It's after 3pm.  We can't take them."  No joke. 

Needless to say, after 3 weeks of intense preparation for staging our house to sell, and getting ready for our trip, and homeschooling, and everything else inbetween, I did not answer her too kindly.  Let's just say it was the last straw.  Needless to say, we had to leave the newsletters in the capable hands of our other board member, who hopefully will have better service than I did.  So, look for them in your mail soon!

So, once on the road (which was actually 10:20pm after we finished last minute chores), we drove for about 2 hours and made it to a rest area which allowed overnight parking. 

Refreshed from a good night's sleep, we got back on the road around 7am.  One hour into driving, we hear a strange sound and an unusual pull on the RV.  We decide to pull over to investigate.  Turns out one of our tires on the trailer hauling our SUV started seperating it's tread.  So, it didn't blow out, which could have been worse, but this definitely was not good.

We had to take the SUV off and Bill drove the RV with trailer to the next major city (about 12 miles) while I drove the SUV.  All worked out fine in the end and we were able to put a new tire on and have breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  See, you just have to look for the silver lining in all the clouds.  ;-)

Speaking of silver linings, I have one other amazing event that happened before I sign off for today.  I saved the best for last.  You simply MUST keep reading.

On Wednesday while I was taking things to the RV, Robert walks by and says he and Josh are going to check the mail.    Great, one less thing for me to do.  They both come running back excitedly.  Robert promptly walks up to me and says, "We found some money and 2 DSLites on the side of the road!" 

While I'm digesting the news, he pulls out a huge wad of bills from his pocket.  I gape at it, mouth wide open.  I assumed he had found the usual $1, maybe $5, or even a $20.  Turns out there was over $700.  I am not kidding. 

As best as we can piece it together, it seems the money was thrown out the window in a cup, along with the 2 DSLites from a drug bust because Robert also found drugs close by.  We had already decided to set everything aside and see if anyone came asking about it since we weren't sure what to do originally.  Since it was cash and there were no names on the DS's, there was no way of contacting anyone. 

After time passed and no one came, we came to one conclusion:  this was from God.  Why?  Because both Andrew and Joshua had been wanting a DS for the trip and we needed money to help with the trip for gas and lodging expenses.  Wow, wow, and wow!  How so like God to work in an unexpected way and to "take from the rich [druggies] and give to the poor".  Andrew looked at me and said, "Now I KNOW there's a true and living God."

So, my final thought is:  no matter how tired, how hopeless, how much you want to throw in the towel, keep your faith.  Just like Job, it's OK to feel sorrow, but learn to not give up on God.  We live in a world with the effects of sin.  That won't change.  God doesn't.  He still loves you and gave the ultimate gift of eternal life so when we leave this world, we live with Him.  There's hope.  Keep the faith.

Til next time, Becky

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last minute details

Hey there,

Thought I would give a quick update.  We are almost ready to head out west.  Most of you may know we have been scrambling like crazy to get our house ready and staged to sell.  Let's just say we are exhausted!  BUT, we are in the last "lap" of our final push to get things done. 

We could really use your prayers for physical strength and endurance to complete what needs to be done and not worry about the rest.  We'd like to leave tomorrow (Wed) hopefully before midnight.  :-)  But there is still a lot of details to finish like making a ramp for our SUV so it will be able to drive onto the trailer we will be hauling behind our RV as we travel. 

So, as you go about your day, please sneak in a few prayers on our behalf.  It's amazing how prayer can reach God's ears and bounce back to our hearts. 

Thanks!  Til the next moment of sanity (wink), - Becky

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's that time again...

We will once again embark on an RV journey.  Some of you may have followed along on our Florida trip, so you already know what I am talking about. 

There are SO many things that are happening, and have happened in our lives, that I will write more in my next blog.  For now, I wanted to welcome you to our new blog site.  We hope you will follow along with us as we journey across the USA to the west coast.  As always, I am sure we will have adventures of some kind!