Personal Update

Dear IPWG people –

The following is a personal update – totally out of the series.
Recent camping convention – and Sally Jo’s unconventional birthday present for my 70th

Sally Jo and I have just returned from the Christian Camping and Conference Association annual Convention in Colorado Springs, Co. We went to my nieces wedding in Wheaton – then went on from there. I was given $ by Deerfoot Lodge and then was able to get a special convention rate …to decided Sally Jo should come along – a special treat.

I took my partially completed IPWG with me, thinking I would send along the trip. Joke! We were going just about 24/7 from the time we left Greenville until we returned home this morning.

At the convention were 6 DL former staff – I think all had been with us at DL for 10 or more years. 4 are now camp directors – NY, ME, TX, PA. One is retreat manager in PA, and the other is head of wilderness camping and maintenance at a camp in MT. Two wives (+ Sally Jo) were also present…. Incredible experience for Sally Jo and me, as you can imagine. Another Deerfooter, unable to come, is the business manager of a year around camp/conference ministry in MN. And Scott Barnett is in Kenya…did not come. There are other Deerfooters who are also in camping – but there before I came.

I also participated in a seminar with another retired camp director – he of a year around ministry with $7,000,000 budget! Our topic: what would we have done differently? And time was spent with others in camping/conference ministry – have known some of them for 34 years.

One fun contact – a man from Indiana University (Weselyan) interested in developing a camping/conference major.

For my 70th birthday Sally Jo gave me a membership to a glider pilot club which is located 10minutes from our home. The idea: that I will become a glider pilot. Should be lots of fun…

Our 4 acre property is pretty well put to bed – which takes time….lots of time. Last summer we picked and froze 35 packages of blue berries – also lots of rasberries, rhubarb, beans, swiss chard, etc – and picked about 20 acorn and 16 butternut squash. All told we have 1 1/2 freezers full of food.

I dug up, split, and replanted at least 500 daffodil bulbs – This past spring I cut over 1000 flowers, mostly to give away. Yes, sounds crazy. We started buying bulbs after the planting season for half price soon after we moved in 29 years ago. This year I did not buy any more – only tulips!

And…the flower garden was again expanded… While Sally Jo was on her 9 day bike trip in the Czech republic, I worked with friends to put in a 16X20 blue stone patio on the South side of the house. One long term friend is a profession nursery man. He gave very clear instructions of how to prepare….and incredible amount of work. We dug out (help from friends) 11 cubic yards of soil – down 14″-17″ to create good drainage and a solid base. We replaced with course gravel topped with 4″ of stone dust. Another friend who sand blasts signs into rock went to the quarry and picked 7 ton of blue stone – up to 3′ X 5′ – the nursery man saw them and simply said “wow” Helps to have friends who know what they are doing – We have started to plant large grasses so as to create the feeling of a room. I have put away the table and two chairs for the winder, but today December 3, I ate an apple there, standing comfortably in a shirt – no jacket.

Anyway…the garden club has asked if our home can be on their tour in 2010. Sally Jo was pleased, though surprised, as most of the garden is no visible from the road…somebody told! So…next spring…I would rather not think about it!

Tis time now to turn my attention to making Christmas presents on the lathe – at least 9. If all goes well, we have an additional tentative list of another 15…will see.

Yes, busy – and “living thankful”

chuck

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