Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wildlife at the Williams' Home

Today we got a good view of some of God's beautiful creations right in our own yard.

Photo of fawn resting in Pat and Keith's yard.
A fawn came wandering through the back yard and helped him/herself to a green apple. Then, strolled over to the hedge at the edge of our lawn and laid down for a rest. This was the first fawn we've seen this year, although we have seen an adult pass through on several occasions, eying the apple tree each time.

Photo of cone flowers and a butterfly in Pat's flower garden.
Pat has a modestly extensive flower garden. Or two or three. Right now, the cone flowers are blooming abundantly. The butterfly must have thought they were attractive, too, so stopped by.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Al Johnson Improving

Al Johnson is expecting to return to the park next week--that's his expectation, we hope it materializes. He got the okay, yesterday, to put weight on his left leg.

He's in Gulf Point Plaza, 1008 Enterprise Blvd, Rockport 78382.

Thank you, Allison, for the above report.

Lucille Update #6

Lucille is much closer to "home" now. Here's information from Allison:

Lucille Carlson moved to Rockport Coastal Care; 1004 S. Young Street; Rockport 78382
Room 305.

This is indeed good news! We're thankful that she can be closer to Dick and 35 RV and that she has healed well enough to permit this move.

We hope that healing continues at a speedy rate!

Hurricane Dolly Report

Here's a report from Allison regarding the effect of Dolly:

Hurricane Dolly did NOT come here! She went well south of us.

We got cloudy skies, beginning about noon on Wednesday. Some mild to moderate rain--which we needed and moderate wind.

A few small branches and leaves were shaken from the trees. No problem with awnings, chairs, etc.

The weather stations do like to sensationalize and we are very grateful to those who were concerned enough to call or email to say you and others are praying for us.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lucille Update #5: Move to Rockport Planned

Photo of Lucille Carlson sitting on edge of bed.There's good news from the Carlson Camp this week:
  • Lucille is feeling and eating much, much, better and has apparently recovered from her bout of severe dehydration.

  • X-rays this week showed that one leg could support about 60% of her weight, the other leg no weight. To be safe, then, she is still to put no weight on either of them.

  • Plans are for her to move to a facility in Rockport Monday, July 21.
The picture above shows Lucille showing off her sporty new boots (actually casts) which keep the bones in place during healing. No pins were inserted to hold them together.

Below, Lucille has a nice smile because the fruit salad and Coke for lunch looks very inviting!

Photo of Lucille Carlson and her lunch.
These pictures, taken July 17, were provided by Dick—and we thank him for them. Now if he could just send up one of his good back rubs attached to an email, we'd all feel better!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Miss Molly Baptised

Photo of Keith Williams and Miss Molly Nicole Woodrich, Owatonna, MNThere's a reason for everything. Here's the reason for our weekend trip to Owatonna, MN: Molly was baptised and we wanted, of course, to be part of it. Besides, we hadn't seen her since she was four days old. My, what a change!

Here she is, with her great-grandpa Keith. All 14 pounds of her. She now smiles and "talks" and has all the makin's of a real person!

And she's cute.

Iowans Meet For Lunch

Photo of Gene and Donna Lackore and Pat WilliamsLast Friday (July 11), Keith & Pat Williams were on their way to Owatonna, MN. The route is only 20 miles from Garner, Iowa—home of Gene & Donna Lackore.

It looked like a great opportunity for a mini-Rockport 35 RV reunion. Gene agreed to drive over to Clear Lake so we could have lunch together.

The Lackores are fine and looked as energetic as ever! They recently moved from the Senior Citizens Housing back to their previous home, as it had not sold. Gene reported tht there were 85 houses for sale in their little town!

It was great to get together with friends from Rockport 35 RV! We had a good and long lunch!

Anyone ever go through Cedar Rapids? Give us a call; there are lots of good places for lunch here, too!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cedar Rapids Flood Update

The river has been back where it belongs for a couple of weeks or more now. It retreated quickly—but it came up quickly, too!

I live about six miles from downtown Cedar Rapids, where the damage was the greatest. And Pat and I escaped unaffected, for which we are very, very, thankful. Because of this, it would be very easy for us to simply go on with our lives as if nothing had happened. And it would probably be even easier for you to go on as if nothing had happened.

But that's not the case for everyone.

The Chamber of Commerce pointed out that about 800 businesses had been affected, which usually means that their place of business had been flooded by from an inch to ten feet of dirty river water. Many of these are already operating from temporary locations where ever they could find a space. And along with this, there are 9,000 people who lost their jobs, some of them permanently.

There are about a thousand homes which are uninhabitable currently and may eventually be demolished. And each of these homes housed one or more families, all of whom's possessions are lost to the flood waters.

A drive through the hardest hit residential areas is depressing, to say the least. Refuse is piled on either side of the street, like giant snowbanks left by the snowplow. These winrows contain teddy bears, refrigerators, exercise machines, dining room sets, dishes, plaster and lath, tires, electric fans, dehumidifiers, toys, pitchers and pictures, bedding, and clothes.

How did all this stuff get to the curb? Residents, owners, their friends, their relatives, and volunteers came into their former home and place of refuge, waded through the muck, and carried out the once-precious belongings.

For two days, I've helped with this, working on emptying three basements. On such a job, I wear fairly high rubbers (I have always hated wet shoes), a thin white Tyvek coverall to keep some of the dirt of my clothes, and a 3M mask designed to keep mold spores and other bad things out of my lungs.

In the first house, the water and muck was about three inches deep when we started. As work progressed, we removed sandbags from drains and directed water to them, so the general condition was much better when we left.

The downtown business area looks like a war zone. The streets are lined, on both sides, with generators and huge fans, dumpsters, trucks, and an occasional motorhome. All of this, plus the accompanying workers, in an attempt to get the businesses back in business as soon as possible.

About 25 churches were damaged by the flood, with Salem United Methodist and St. Patrick's Catholic churches probably being the most notable casualties. They are across the street from each other and only about two blocks from the river. We have two "refugee" congregations worshiping in our church building now.

The Cedar Rapids Library was damaged and all the adult materials were considered a loss. They feel the children's collection will be OK because it was on the second floor.

It's easy to say this should have been done and that should have been done to reduce the loss of property. However, it should be remembered that the water became ten feet higher than it had ever been before, and nearly that many feet higher than the "experts" predicted.

Iowa City, Coralville, and the University of Iowa are also suffering. Ten buildings at "the U" suffered flood damage, including Hancher Auditorium. The cost to recover use of these public buildings and public properties, including roads and bridges, throughout the state, will be staggering.

In case you haven't heard of it, there was at least one case of looting. A thirty-something lady apparently didn't want the liquor in a flooded bar to go to waste, so she was "rescuing" it bottle-by-bottle. She was caught and prosecuted.

One couple defrauded the authorities and received monetary aid to which they were not entitled. They, too, were caught.

And several people have reported theft of property from their flooded-out garages or houses. What kind of human slim must it be who wades through the river slim to take that which belongs to others?

I've written this to try to give you an idea what it is like here in the flood area. Hopefully, it will encourage you to be even more thankful for the life you are living.

If you feel moved to make a contribution, I've heard that the Red Cross and Salvation Army are doing wonderful jobs. Also, there are numerous worthy and well-run funds set up in the area to receive and administer funds. Many churches also have Iowa Flood funds set up.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tidbits From 35 RV

Here is some news provided by Allison on June 29:
  • Al Johnson (S-25), who fell about a month ago and broke his left leg and left arm, is convalescing at Gulf Point Plaza. Saw him today and he is in good spirits—eager to get home.

  • Tony & I just returned from my sister's memorial service. I was able to spend the last few weeks with her. She is safe with Jesus.

  • Dorothy Preisel (S-151) has sold her rig to Mackie (S-108)—the transition should take place in September.

  • Al & Audrey left, today, for 5 weeks vacation in Michigan.
Thanks for the news, Allison! Keep it coming!

Allison's Sister Passes Away

Allison's sister passed away recently. She had been in failing health for the last few years that I am aware of.

Allison spent five weeks with her this spring and was with her when she went to be with the Lord.

Here are the words to the song Allison sang at her service:
Our prayers have all been answered, I finally arrived!
The healing that had been delayed has now been realized.
No one's in a hurry here, no schedules to keep...
We're all enjoying Jesus, sitting at His feet.

If you could see me now, I'm walking streets of gold!
If you could see me now, I'm standing tall and whole!
If you could see me now, you'd know I've seen His face!
If you could see me now, you'd see the pain's erased!
You wouldn't want me to ever leave this place
If you could only see me now!

My light and temporary trials have worked out for my good,
To know it brought Him glory when I misunderstood
Yes, we had our sorrows, but nothing can compare!
What Jesus has in store for us no language can share!

(Refrain repeated)

You wouldn't want me to ever leave this perfect place
If you could only see me now!
If you could see me now.

July 4th at Rockport 35 RV Park

We had an excellent 4th—rig and people-wise.

We had some much needed rain--but campers stayed in good spirits. Tony said it was the best thing that had happened for Rockport in a while: He drove downtown and every restaurant and store lot was jam-packed! Fishermen were buying items at Ace Hardware and congregating in the parking lot to install whatever on their boats & just chat. The weather cleared up and it was beautiful for the fireworks.

Those who stay here on the park got together for food and fellowship at the clubhouse—it was really nice. After we do this, we always say, "We need to do this more often!"

Note: This update on park activities was provided by Allison.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

This article will be short and sweet as the main message is right there in the heading.

These days, the Fourth has become the day to take in a parade during the day, watch local fireworks at night, possibly watch one of the good musicals on Public TV or one of the networks, BBQ a good steak or hamburger, possibly do a little yard work, or maybe just kick back and relax, with absolutely nothing on the agenda.

But while we do one or more of the above, we should remember that we have the FREEDOM to pick and choose which activities we will do and where we will do them. If we want to stage a protest against our leaders or a newly enacted tax or the government in general we can do that.

Not so in many places in the world.

Many of our friends and neighbors wherever we live, including several Rockport 35RV Park residents, served their country to make sure you and I can still enjoy those freedoms.

To-Do list for July Fourth:
  • Thank a veteran.

  • Explain to a youngster exactly why today is so special to Americans.

  • Be thankful that we live in such a wonderful country.

  • Enjoy!

Photo of Keith, checking the corn on July Fourth.

PS: And if you live in Iowa, be sure to measure the corn! (Here, tradition has it that corn should be knee high by July 4.)