Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

Starting today's blog with grandchildren pictures:

Vincent 8 months
Bella & Lily Vincent's precious sisters
Just love this picture of Vincent!!

The last blog left us one week into our three week mission project with the SOWERS - I didn't think things there could get much better as the first week was outstanding - but Sugar Pine just continued to embrace us and we hated to leave.

The welcome sign states Impacting Lives for Christ and they sure do - including ours.  When we work with SOWERS the men work all day with two breaks and lunch.  The women only work until lunch time so I was home one afternoon when I noticed three ladies walking around looking at the campground area we were in (at this point there were only two campers there).  I stuck my head out and asked if they needed anything and turns out they were looking into using Sugar Pine for a women's retreat.  We talked for awhile and I shared that we were SOWERS and one lady whose husband is soon to retire said they wanted to go full-time and were very interested in SOWERS.  I got her a brochure and we all said good-bye.  We are standing in a beautiful setting, tall-tall pine trees, a babbling brook right behind us, the sun just shining through the tall trees, not a sound to be heard - as they walked away one of the ladies stopped and said is there anything we could pray for you for today?  Kind of took me by surprise but we had just learned the night before that our daughter-in-law had left her job and was looking for direction.  So these three women I never met and I stood in this beautiful setting, held hands and prayed for Amy!!  I also prayed for their retreat.  I can't put into words how special it was.  Definitely a reminder that there are good people in this world and how incredibly blessed I am to be living my life right now.
This is a photo of the layout of Sugar Pine.  It is very large with many cabins and wonderful activities for youth and adults.
On the weekend Jerry and I took a ride on this powerful locomotive that once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Mountain where lumberjacks felled these mighty pines.
I am still amazed at the size of the pine cones
Jerry and I on the train

Half way through the trip we stopped to fill with water - these engines work hard going up and down the mountain.

We also attended church on Sunday's where several ladies from the retreat I mentioned in the last blog attend so was great worshipping with them.
My mom with Vincent!!

This is the maintenance crew at Sugar Pine - wonderful Christian men.  They start every morning with devotions and pray for each other's needs.  While at Sugar Pine Jerry worked with this crew.  They repaired heaters in both cabins and staff residence, started a new tiling project for the dining hall, started work on the dining hall expansion and he assisted with various other repairs.
Here we are with Debbie and Ferrin who run the camp.  When I wasn't assisting housekeeping with cabin cleaning during fast "turnaround" days, I washed, dried and folded linens for the cabins and the dining hall and also worked in the office with Debbie inputting info into the computer system and filing.  Also gave the office a good cleaning.
We enjoyed the cute decorations in the dining hall.

We left last Friday and traveled down and through mountains.   We were at roughly 4,700' and now at 279'
It rained the night before we left - the first time in the three weeks we were there - as we headed, up, down and through what they call the Grapevine it was extremely cloudy but about half-way through we switched back to the beautiful blue skies we were used to

We arrived in Santa Paula, CA Friday late afternoon.  We stayed at the park we are in 2015 when we were here visiting Jerry's family.  It is a small park but very nice and we are only a half-hour from Jerry's sister Deena and her husband Tim and Jerry's half-sister Betsy and her husband Dick.  Visiting family this week is the main reason we are here.  It worked out beautifully that Jerry and his sister's school was having a multi-class reunion the day after we arrived.

Jerry Class of '69 and his sister Deena class of '82.  Saturday morning we went on a tour of the high school.  The man who put it on did a wonderful job and it was very interesting.

There was a scrimmage football game going on while we were there and they stopped the game, the two teams lined up on the field and they played the Camarillo High School Song for all the alumni there.  Everyone was touched and stood and clapped when it was over.
After the tour we all went over to the Camarillo House(more about Camarillo House later) for lunch.  Both Jerry and Deena knew people there and they had a great time reminiscing.  Jerry's 50th is in two years and based on his delight yesterday I am guessing we will be back for that celebration.
Teddy was left alone quite awhile while we were in Camarillo so when we got home we took him for a bike ride to a nearby park.  He was a happy puppy.  He gets SO excited when he sees the bikes come out.
Today started with our surprising Jerry's step-sister and brother-in-law at church.  Dick is a pastor at the Camarillo Presbyterian church and Betsy is very involved like most pastor's wives.  It turned out she was greeting and the look on her face when we walked up was priceless.  Dick was up leading the choir.  When he turned around and saw us his face just lit up - I think our surprise worked.  Dick led a bible study after the service so we stayed and enjoyed the special time.  I know we will see more of them during our time here.

Earlier I mentioned the Camarillo House and the town Jerry attended high school in is Camarillo, CA.  So where did the name come from.  We have actually toured the Camarillo House on previous visits and it is beautiful.  It is a Queen Anne-style Victorian.  It was built in 1892 and is 6,000 square feet.  Adolfo Camarillo operated his ranch for 78 years.  He employed 700 workers.  He was greatly respected in the community and bred white stallions.  He was a good employer and his beautiful home was the center of many community functions.  Today, Oct. 22, 2017 would have been his 153rd birthday and every year the foundation puts on festivities to honor him.  So after church we went over.
The Camarillo House today (if you look up in the middle you will see cut outs of Adolfo and his wife) looking down and enjoying the celebration
There were many piƱata for the children 
The beautiful white stallions

Mariachi band that was superb

All of the porches around the entire house were decorated

Fun entertainment

Beautiful dancers
We will be here in town until Friday and then move a short distance, 26 miles, to our next SOWERS project.  So we will be able to remain near Jerry's family for another month!!  And incase you are wondering that is a good thing!

Before closing I want to wish my brother Brian a Happy Birthday tomorrow - Love you - your much older sister - Carol :-)