Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Introducing "The Lazy OD Ranch"

OK. It is now official and we are ready to make it public here. Boggs Family Ministries is purchasing a piece of land with a barn near our hometown of Waynesville, Ohio. But not just any piece of land. This is the particular piece of land that we have had our eye on for over 6 years.  We plan to use the barn for a home base and ministry headquarters with hopes of eventually building a living quarters for Odie. Our part of the closing is already completed and the sellers part is scheduled for today.

Update Tuesday Afternoon: The closing was completed today without a hitch. Praise God.

The "how" of it all is a long and convoluted path but the destination became clearer as we went. This barn and two lots was our first choice all along. It shares a property line with Dodds church and we have parked our bus within 10 feet of the fence whenever we were home during the last 6 1/2 years.

I took this picture the day before we left on this long tour when we were home for Dryden Rd. fellowship meeting in August.  Kelly Jo is standing on Dodds church property several feet forward of where we park the bus. The barn is in the background.

As I said we were interested in this property even before we really decided we probably needed to look for something. It has only been in the last 4 years or so that we even contemplated buying a place. We never really felt like we needed something but as we stayed on the road longer and realized this was going to be our life for the foreseeable future, that feeling begin to change.

One thing that changed our thinking was bringing the bus into the cold winter ever year. My holiday time at home was spent mostly keeping the bus from freezing. I found myself dreaming about a barn to pull the bus into and turning some heat on and forgetting about frozen water systems, coolant systems and air systems. I know reality may not be that easy but I am the one dreaming here, OK?

A second thing was our evolving desire for Odie to be able to have a place to call home. Odie loves traveling with us. We love having her travel with us. She will probably be a huge part of our traveling ministry until something major changes her future. 

But that does not mean that she will want to go with us every week we are gone for the next 10 years. It would be nice if she had a place of her own in case she wanted to stay home for a month once in a while. We began to wonder about finding her a little place or building her a small house or apartment that was fully accessible to her. A place where she could live independently if she wanted or needed too. Once this property is paid for, building Odie a small living quarters will be a top priority for us.

Then the weight of the few possession we have began to worry us. My parents, Kelly Jo's parents and all of our siblings have stored things for us for 12 years. Musical instruments, tools, winter clothes, summer clothes, CDs, books and more are scattered between multiple family members. 

Bro. Kurt McCrorey has shouldered the load of keeping my library for 12 years. I can never thank him enough for that but I would love to have all my books in a place that I can access when we are home. Plus, we still have a few personal items and papers in a cheap storage unit in Wichita. We wanted to bring all of the "stuff" together and relieve our families of our junk.

Once all of this started formulating in our minds the barn right next to Dodds became our focus. There was a major hurdle in the way. It was not for sale and the last time it had been for sale it was way out of our price range. It was owned by a widow that we know casually and she rented it to a man that used it to work on projects and hobbies he had. It was a good set up for her and we understood that.

It was not for sale and there were no two ways about it. So we looked every where else. We wanted to buy something in the south. We looked on Craigslist and Realtor sites in nearly every area that we preached in. We found some great deals and we were offered some great pieces of property at attractive prices in areas we would love to some day settle in.

But nothing seemed right. We could not shake the fact that as our families grow and our parents age there could be times when we might need to spend weeks at a time helping with family responsibilities in Ohio. A place to park the bus in Alabama, Mississippi, the panhandle of Florida or even Kentucky or Tennessee would not do us much good if we needed to be in Ohio all of January or February for a medical emergency. Real life situations proved those feelings right a few times since then.

So while we continued looking everywhere else we focused on Ohio. We found houses in outlying areas that we thought we could afford but we would have to build a barn or the road was too narrow for the bus or we would end up being 90 minutes from church. Besides, we really did not immediately want or need a house, we needed a bus barn.

We found some suitable land with barns. Most were way too much barn or the roof was too low for the bus or it was way too far from civilization. 

We came to feel like we needed to be close to Waynesville for two reasons. One, we wanted to be close to Dryden Rd. Church and Waynesville is within 30 minutes. Two, if Odie eventually utilized the property as a place to stay home at times, it needed to be close to family that could assist her if needed and close to church. As I said, this place is right next to Dodds Church and we have family members in Waynesville she could ride with to Dryden Rd. A great barn 30 miles farther out would not work.

That put us in a bigger dilemma. The zoning in all of Warren county pretty much eliminates the possibility of buying land and building anything on it before you build a house. So almost every piece of land we found was off limits to us unless we wanted to build a house first. We did not want or need to build a house first.

That led us right back to the two small lots next to Dodds church with a 64x30 pole barn with metal siding and a 14' door and a concrete floor.

There was one catch to that. It still was not even remotely for sale. In the words of Lum and Abner we had went plum around Miss Murphy's house and we were right back where we started.

In a few paragraphs I have taken you on a 4+ year journey of how our thinking evolved and the process played out.

Then we were driving home from Vermont in the Green Machine on August 14th and I had a sudden thought drop in my mind, "The property next to Dodds is about to open up." I did not say it was God speaking then and I do not even say it now. I just knew it was about to open up.

Dad called me in the next 24 hours and told me he heard that the renter of the barn was moving out. That sounded like progress to me so I dared to hope a little.

The bus was parked at Dodds so the next day I moseyed over to the barn to talk to the man that had rented it for 7 years. He told me he was moving out and was in the process of trying to remove everything by September 1st. He showed me inside and it was the first time I had ever walked in it. I measured the door opening and my heart may have skipped a beat when I realized it was plenty tall enough for the BoggsMobile.

He assured me that he did not want to buy the place and that I was very welcome to contact the owner and ask what her intentions were concerning selling or renting. I called her that day and left a message. She called me back within the hour and we had a great conversation. She needed to rent or sell it quick but she was not sure which she would do or what the price would be. She promised to call back.

Six weeks later she called with a price. It was more than I would have liked to pay but considering we had NO other options within the area to buy land with a barn, it was reasonable. After talking to my board, my Dad, my Pastor, my wife and a few close friends, I told her we would take it.

Two days after agreeing to buy it I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. God gave me two things to reassure me on that Sunday. First, we learned our new tent section would be paid for in full by a family with a burden for City Reach. Second, God dropped a piece of money in my hands and I knew instantly I needed to take courage from that. Now, it was not near enough to make a huge dent in the purchase price but it was a huge amount more than I had on Friday!

An individual offered to loan us the money short term so we have financing at a great rate, good payment with a balloon payment in January 2016. That gives us 14 months to secure long term financing or a miracle. We will praise God for either.

Well, that is the story. Now here is the barn. These pictures were taken October 25, 2014 by my dear Mother.

This is a picture of the barn taken from out near the road.

The side view of the barn

The front view

The front view with the door open and my Dad looking around.

Inside the barn looking toward the back.

Inside the barn looking toward the front.

On the east side of the property near the barn looking toward Dodds church.

Here is the Google view from the sky. This screen shot has the Dodds Church on the left and the property with the barn on the right. The barn is toward the lower right hand corner at the end of the gravel drive.

This is a closer shot of the church. As you can see the BoggsMobile and the tent trailer are in the Google shot. This was taken this summer because it was the only time the bus and trailer were parked in this configuration. Usually the bus is pulled all the way up to the edge of the pavement where the trailer is. The second trailer is the church's concession trailer.

This is a close up of the property and barn. You can see the bus in its previous home spot at Dodds and the barn where it will reside in the future less than 200 feet away.

This is the Google street view and it was also taken this summer with the BoggsMobile and the tent trailer parked at Dodds. The barn is at the end of the drive.

This one you can see the BoggsMobile on the right and the barn in the center.

There have been men praying diligently for years that God would guide our steps in this process. I would not have been able to make this huge decision at this time in our life without the peace and guidance their prayers brought me from God. I am not a spur of the moment person when it comes to things like this. In fact, I am more likely to miss some good things because I waited too long to make a swift decision.

Thank you men and brethren. Thank you for investing your time in us. Thank you for pouring your wisdom and insight into us. May God bless you for your kindness and selflessness toward us. 

Well, that is the news we have been wanting to share since September. We waited to tell it on the blog because so many things can derail the process. Now it is supposed to be finished and we are a little excited.

As for the name, The Lazy OD Ranch or The Ranch for short, that is not set in stone. It is just our starting point. Everything has to have a name, right?



  1. This makes me smile!! :-)

  2. Awsome pics, glad for y'all, y'all are the Lords people and deserve his blessing

    Barry Gautreaux |

  3. Welcome neighbors!

    Deborah Pennington


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