Showing posts with label Stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stuff. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2024

Moving On And Praising God!

I felt like my head was a little mixed up when I realized last night that today is Friday already. Wow! Where did this week go? It seems like it was only yesterday when we woke up in London Kentucky on Monday morning.

In the same vein, we are Already more than halfway through May, the fifth month of 2024. That means it has been more than 4 1/2 months since I had a stroke on December 29. In some ways, that is unbelievable. 

They say that time flies when you are having fun but I reckon time flies whether you are having fun or not. 😂 I have felt like time has been dragging through many long days and many long nights this year only to look up and realize we are zooming through 2024 like crazy. 

I sure would like to have some date for the end of this current difficulty, but maybe the days will continue to fly and we will be on the other side of this before we know it. 👍🏽👍🏽

There is no doubt that God has brought us a very long way since December 29.
I could be dead
I could be paralyzed.
I could be in a care home. 
I could be on a feeding tube still.
My eyes could still be weirded out. 
I could be horribly dizzy like I was. 
I could be unable to walk and unable to use my right arm. 
And the list of “could bes” go on and on and on.

Instead, we are praising God for all the miracles he has given us. The persistent numbness which brings on the balance issues, swallowing problems and vocal weaknesses, do not prevent me from giving God glory for what he has done. Hallelujah!🙌🏽🙌🏽

Thank you Lord for bringing me and my family through the last 4 1/2 months and thank you for what you are gonna do in the next few days and in the next 4 1/2 months.

Praise God, He has been very good to us. You, dear friends, have been good to hold up our needs before God and we appreciate that too. May God bless you for it. 

Thank you for stopping in today.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

A String Around My Finger?

I knew a week ago that I would needed to have something ready for today’s Mile Marker. In fact I knew that six months ago. Most weeks of the year, I am responsible for these mile markers six days a week, including every Thursday.

However, that did not stop me at about 8 o’clock yesterday evening being absolutely surprised that I had to have a Mile Marker ready sometime before Thursday morning. How in the world can I forget about that?

Almost 15 years I have been doing this and this still happens on a regular basis. At least twice a month I think of it between 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning and I roll out of bed, go to the computer and try to think of something to say, some story to tell, some meal to describe or find some pictures to post. 

Lately, when I have a brain freeze, I say well I had a stroke. unfortunately, this pre-dates the stroke by many years so the truth is my brain has been acting suspiciously most of my life.

Does that ever happen to you? I kind a hope that it does. I hate to be the only one in this condition because it is certainly not limited to this little corner of the world that we call Mile Markers. 

Our vehicle tags need to be renewed in mid January every single year. We normally leave sometime between December 26 and January 2 so it needs to be done in  December. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have  had to renew online from several states away in January and have someone in my family mail the stickers to me when they arrive. 

This year I remembered that early. Well, it was kind of early. It was the day before we were supposed to leave home for seven months. I also had to renew my drivers license. But at least I got it all done one day before I had the stroke.

There are other items, that I routinely forget even after  setting reminders on my phone and putting Post-it notes on my computer. Again, how does that happen? Age? Well, if it is age, I have been aged for 40 years.

Maybe I will remember tomorrow’s Mile Marker several hours before tomorrow. I hope so.

Thank you for stopping in. What is that string tied around your finger?


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Life Gets Real For A Seven Year Old Boy 50 Years Ago Yesterday

It is hard to remember when in life I became aware of certain aspects of the world around me. I am not sure what I knew about tornados early in life but I know exactly the day I learned about their destructive force and that it was a force that was to be respected and even feared.

That day was exactly 50 years ago yesterday, Wednesday, April 3, 1974. 

YouTube Video

It was dark in the afternoon at our house in Waynesville, Ohio. It was frightening. However. it was much worse in several states and perhaps worst of all less than 15 miles away from us as a storm cell with an F5 tornado decimated Xenia, Ohio. 

The tornado was part of the largest supercell known at that time and the most destructive single day of tornado outbreaks for several years after that. It was a horrific day.

When the storm was gone from Xenia 32 residents were killed, over 1000 were injured and hundreds of houses were completely destroyed. Schools were hit directly and the downtown area was devastated. The tributes I have read and watched this week about those who died have touched me deeply. May God bless their families.

If I had not realized the power of the weather by age seven, I knew it that day and the days following. 15 miles is close enough to shake people up and I remember the emotional impact. 

Kids at school had family there or they went to church or shopped or ate in Xenia. The teachers talked about the storm and all of that brought the possibility of trouble much closer than it seemed before.

Of course, there was no internet and the pictures and news spread much slower then but the Xenia tornado was the main topic of conversation for days and weeks.

Near the 25th anniversary of the Xenia tornado, we visited a temporary museum display with hundreds of pictures, videos, newspaper articles and archived news broadcasts. It was moving and nearly overwhelming. One of the most moving parts of the museum was the personal accounts of survivors.

I have always been glad that we took the time to visit that display at the 25 year mark. I had never seen or heard much of what we saw and heard that day in 1999. 

I was kind of taken back Tuesday when I realized that Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of the Xenia tornado. Yes, it does seem like a very long time since I was seven but the last 25 years have passed in a moment or two.

Several states, dozens of towns and cities and thousands of people were directly affected by the storms that day, but the knowledge that emerged from the intensive research that followed the tornados has saved many thousands of lives since that day. It really is an amazing story.

Maybe there really is a silver lining in the dark clouds of life.

Thank you for reading today.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Recovery Tour - The Plan Has Begun

Today is April 1, but this is no joking matter. OK, Here we go! We have begun the first leg of our Recovery Tour.😍

KJo and have commenced the next step in our loosely held plans that I wrote about in early March.
-Travel outside the area for single services or maybe weekends, building endurance and confidence. I also need to discover if I am able to travel extensively. 

Travel will also depend on my outpatient therapy schedule. As long as therapy is helpful and as long as they keep me going back, I want to take advantage of it.
Therapy is completed for now and we are ready to test the waters to see how I can handle the traveling. We jumped in the Jeep to travel and preach a few Sundays before coming home to preach in several local churches that have kindly invited us.

We have visited churches this first weekend and plan to visit 3-4 more over the next two weekends, but not preaching at all of them. The rest of the days we are relaxing as much as possible and visiting with friends. I am hoping I can sleep better than I have in the last 13 weeks.

I plan to keep Mile Markers and A Word For Wednesday current as much as possible. As long as we have access to good internet, we should be able to do it.

We sure appreciate you praying for us as we spread our wings and try to discover how wobbly our flying might be.

Coming Wednesday at 6:00 AM Eastern

Friday, March 29, 2024

A Tribute to The Real Stars Of Recovery

This Mile Marker is a heartfelt tribute to a few special individuals that we love. I would appreciate if you take a moment to read it and look at the pictures of these beautiful people. 

KJo and I are still very much in the process of recovery from the stroke I suffered on December 29, 2023. I include Kelly Jo in that sentence because she has worked as hard and probably much harder than I have in this course of recovery.

She has diligently stayed by my side since the first moment and completed absolutely every task that needed to be done and found even more to do. I do not understand how people can recover without dependable and faithful people to help them.

I am praising God for my dear wife standing beside me, walking with me and propping me up for the last 90 days.

Speaking of 90 days, yesterday was the 90th day since the stroke. As one friend said to me yesterday, on the one hand, it is hard to believe it has been that long and on the other hand it seems like an eternity since that dreadful day. 

It is quite a Mile Marker for us and we are so thankful that God has brought us to this point without more difficulty than we have had. The personnel in Neurology and ICU were very concerned about subsequent strokes in the beginning and we are thankful God kept me. 

This road of recovery is not over, but God has placed people in our path all along the way to encourage us, teach us and help us. We are sure He will continue. 

Much of the help that we have received has come in the form of the therapists at Atrium Hospital in Middletown, Ohio. I had a lot of therapy.

I had at least 6 sessions of therapy while in the ICU unit. 

I had 33 one hour long sessions of therapy over 11 days as part of inpatient therapy. 

I had 52 one hour long sessions of therapy between January 19 and March 22 as part of outpatient therapy. Those sessions involved 18 days of therapy. 

In total, we had somewhere around 90 hours of therapy. I am not sure the exact length because the 6 sessions in the ICU unit may not have always been an hour, but all the other 85 sessions were an hour in length. 

I had 28 sessions of occupational therapy. 
I had 31 sessions of physical therapy. 
I had 32 sessions of speech therapy.

The therapist involved in all those hours of therapy, literally changed my life. I was determined to improve as much as possible, but I could not do it without somebody teaching me, encouraging me and even pushing me beyond my limitations.

I wish you could meet all of these people, but at least I can show you some pictures of some of them. I did not even think to take pictures in the first few weeks, there was just too much going on. So for some of the therapists I have no pictures. 

However, I did get a few pictures.

The speech therapist who helped me during the inpatient and ICU time was Katie. She is pictured below on my last day of inpatient therapy. 

I had taken my first swallow of water the day before and we had been crying and rejoicing together right before this picture was taken. And she had just given me my first small bites of food. 

Katie worked so diligently during those first 18 days to help me swallow. I will never forget her commitment and dedication to helping me. She first came into the ICU less than 48 hours after the stroke.

I am still struggling to swallow some things, but I believe I am swallowing today because of her devotion to her job and to me as a patient. Katie Rocks!

Charlotte was my main inpatient physical therapist. 

She worked with me on using the wheelchair, the walker and the basics of balance and walking. I called her a drill sergeant and she lived up to the name. I am very thankful for those early sessions when she pushed me to try again and again. 

Because I went home with a feeding tube, we were assigned a home health nurse. Once I was evaluated our nurse came once or twice a week until the feeding tube was removed.

Her name was Lauren and she was a tremendous help medically and emotionally to us. She answered all of our questions and still would. She was very kind and thoughtful. 

My outpatient physical therapist, for most sessions, was Emma. Each and every outpatient physical therapist helped me tremendously, but Emma seemed to pour so much emotion and dedication into my therapy. 

She pushed me hard and I teased her constantly about it, but I never felt unsafe in her hands, even when I knew she was asking me to go beyond my perceived ability. She was a jewel to us. 

My outpatient speech therapist was Phyllis. 

She also improved my swallowing tremendously, building on everything I had learned from Katie and expanding what I could swallow to where it is today. 

There is no way I would be eating foods that I am eating today and looking forward to eating things that I cannot eat today, without her constant encouragement and the knowledge that she poured into Kelly and I. 

Phyllis also taught me so much about using and building strength in my vocal cords. I cannot sing at the same level that I have in times past, but I am 1000 times beyond where I was when I began. 

In the days after the stroke, when I discovered I could not sing, I was heartbroken.  Singing has been such a huge part of our family, our lives and our ministry. I felt completely crushed when I realized how much voice strength and control I had lost. 

Phyllis was eager and earnest about strengthening the muscles in my throat and teaching me the techniques I would need to regain what I have lost. She was amazing. 

This process was very emotional for me and I appreciate that she gave me room to be emotional and call on God and rejoice with us when he helped us. The three of us shared many tender moments. 

She brought a keyboard in and coached us each session as Kelly would play and as we warmed up my voice. Then we would sing songs that have been important to us through the years. It was wonderful.

The inpatient occupational therapists were instrumental in helping me function in the shape I was in after the stroke. They taught me how to dress, to brush my teeth, wash my face and all the other daily functions. 

They were tremendous, but unfortunately, I did not get a picture of any of them. McKenzie was the main one while an inpatient. 

As an outpatient, my occupational therapists have been Melissa and Allison in the pictures below. 

They have both been very attentive to carefully improve my balance, the use of my hand and also in my cognitive abilities in relation to driving. They have been so patient with me.

Full use of my hand may be out of my control as long as my right side is still asleep. But they have helped me to improve the use of my hand and arm in amazing ways. I believe my right hand might be stronger than it was before the stroke. 

Kelly and I felt very close to Melissa, as we did others and we will never forget all of these people and more who helped us regain as much of our life as we could. 

On March 22 we stood in the hallway of the therapy area and cried tears as we departed from these wonderful people. There were hugs and tears all around and we will always feel they are a part of our lives. 

Honestly, it felt pretty weird not to be there the following Monday and not to be going there this morning on Friday. We will be paying them a visit as soon as we can. 

The truth is, we are able to launch out and see if I am able to travel because of them. They made it possible.

I am able to sing a little and preach a little, I am able to walk, talk and function somewhat normally because of the love and care administered to us with professionalism mixed with compassion and tenderness from these folks that God brought into our lives. 

One of these precious therapists told us that she thinks we were brought into her life for a reason. That is amazing. But it is even more true that she and all these others were brought into our lives for such a time as this.

May God bless them in their lives, families, health, vocation and in every area. Kelly and I can honestly say we love these people and all the others very much and we are so thankful for them. 

Thank you for spending some time with us today.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely - Part Two

Last Friday I wrote about my passion for planning and the potential for problems when my careful plans are psotponed. IF you missed Friday's Mile Marker, you might better understand this one if you read it although I believe today's can stand alone.

I mentioned to you again that the Lord has been amazingly kind to me by planting peace and contentment deep in my soul over the last 10+ weeks. I would be going crazy right now, stark raving mad, if the Lord was not helping me.

That does not mean that I am not antsy to go, I am sitting on go this moment. But I am not descending into despair over my carefully made plans being indefinitely delayed. 

I am still making plans but I am aiming for wise plans that I can hold loosely. These are my new loose plans for the near future. I have categorized them in order, but the items may not happen in this order or at all. I am OK with that.

1. We warm up my vocals and practice singing nearly every day. I am also using my speaking voice recording A Word for Wednesday episodes.  At some point, I intend to incorporate a full online type service into our practice. 

It may be recorded or it may not, it may be published and it may not. The main thing is to see if we can sing and I can preach a service right here in our home. 

2.  If that works, then I intend to preach single services in the local churches that have invited me. It would take me a few weeks to preach services in several churches and that should give me an idea of what I am capable of at this time.

We are well acquainted with these churches and they would certainly understand if I needed to stop halfway through a sermon.

3. Travel outside the area for single services or maybe weekends, building endurance and confidence. I also need to discover if I am able to travel extensively. 

Travel will also depend on my outpatient therapy schedule. As long as therapy is helpful and as long as they keep me going back, I want to take advantage of it.

4.  IF we travel a bit, it will be in the Jeep. I intend to take the bus to Jeff Rowe in Vonore, Tennessee for a few weeks at some point. While it is sitting still, would be a good time to be in his hands to work on a few things.

Traveling without the bus, especially IF I am not able to eat in restaurants yet will present a whole new set of challenges.

5. If the single services and weekends and travel go well, I will probably preach a few partial week revivals closer to home that were previously unscheduled. 

6.  Once I can preach a few revivals in a row and handle the travel well, it will be time to consider climbing on the bus and continuing our scheduled revivals, wherever we are supposed to be at that time. 

Kelly and I executed a plan similar to this after I had been sick with COVID in 2021 and it seemed to work well. I am holding this plan very loosely and I am willing to adjust it as needed and as directed. 

There is one potential obstacle to this loosely held plan. The right side of my body still feels like it is completely asleep. I am not entirely sure, that I can get past steps #1 and #2 in this condition. 

I am sincerely asking you to pray for us. Thankfully, I am walking, talking and swallowing better. There is nothing that doctors can do or therapy can do to eliminate the numb like feeling. 

I am trusting God’s healing process and believing Him for a miracle to fix this. God is able to do a miracle. Thank you for praying.

Thank you for taking this journey with us.


Coming tomorrow:

Friday, March 8, 2024

Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely - Part One

If you know me well at all, you know I am a planner. I live and die by the plan. I like to know when, where, what and sometimes why

The plan is not sacred to me. It is not totally unchangeable. I am willing to adjust the plan, tweak the plan or even pause the plan. However, I must begin with a plan and keep some variation of a plan in motion, if possible.

Scrapping our well made and thought out plan for months at a time is obviously challenging for me. I imagine that some of you understand that well.

We had planned to be in Mississippi this week, then Alabama, then Georgia, then Virginia, then three weeks in West Virginia and then nearly two months in Virginia.

We were looking forward to camp meetings, revivals, Easter sunrise service, Homecoming revivals and generally experiencing great fellowship and wonderful services. 

Obviously, this current health crisis postponed my plan. An interruption like this would normally cause quite a bit of disturbance for me emotionally. 

However, I have mentioned before, that the Lord has enveloped me with beautiful peace and contentment during this time. I am extremely thankful for the Lord’s specific help in this. 

That does not mean that I am not antsy to go, I am sitting on go right now. But I am not descending into despair over my carefully made plans being indefinitely delayed. The Lord gets all the credit for that. I would fall apart on my own, no doubt.

Therefore, since the original plan has taken a detour, the planner in me has been percolating a new plan. It is not a solid plan, in fact, it is a plan I am purposely holding onto very loosely. I am pretty happy with myself for that.😇

First of all, I have no firm idea when I can implement my new plan or when I will return to weekly revivals all over the US. I am determined to take time to heal and the pastors I have spoken to on my schedule are supportive of that.

I am trying to Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely! I will tell you more about the current plan on Tuesday by His grace. Today the plan is to go to therapy. Thank you for being here today.


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Scrambled Eggs And Salad

Thank you, dear friends. I had no idea that a Mile Marker about eating lettuce would stir up as much excitement as it did.😍 I believe that some of you are as genuinely thankful as I am. 

Thank you for that. All the texts and phone calls were very encouraging. I do appreciate your kindness.

In the interest of full disclosure, Kelly Jo drove about 30 minutes to the nearest Ruby Tuesday's on Tuesday and prepared a salad for me at their salad bar. I ate about half of it at home with very little difficulty at all.🙌🏽🙌🏽

I have also been eating scrambled eggs for breakfast every day this week. The first several days I was home in mid-January, I struggled mightily to eat scrambled eggs. That is another great improvement.

With my swallowing improving, that should also translate to my vocal cord operation. The therapist has told me it all works together and as one improves the other improves.

My voice was stronger the last two days during our practice sessions, but it goes very up-and-down at times. I am hoping this is a permanent gain. I will know more in a few days.

Thank you as well, for the warm welcome back to A Word For Wednesday. Many of you went out of your way to comment or send a text with your hearty approval and I appreciate that very much. My Wednesday crowd has never been large in the grand scheme of things but you have been faithful!

A few nice compliments were forwarded to Odie and then to me and I am thankful that the Lord used a few of my words to speak peace or encouragement to someone. There is no way I can work all that out on my own, Thank God for that.

Thank you for being patient with me. I have committed to be as consistent and faithful on Wednesdays as much as I am physically able. I am already excited about next week. I believe the subject will be "Peaches and Frost". 

Thank you for hanging out with us today.


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Lettuce Move Forward

I have eaten a lot of salad in the last 10+ years. It is not exactly a "health food" salad that some people love and a rabbit would enjoy, but it is salad and it must be better than a cheeseburger or pizza. At least, that is what I tell myself.

I eat so much salad in the course of life, that I get really sick of it and have to back off for two or three weeks. After a short time, I almost crave a good salad with dressing and cheese plus maybe a little ham or bacon bits. 

I ate from the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s when we returned from Africa in December and I think that is the last salad that I have had. The swallowing problems from the stroke have caused me to avoid lettuce altogether. 

The therapist has told me that lettuce is often one of the last things that people can consume after having swallowing problems. I have avoided it, knowing it would be a challenge for me.

Each session with the speech therapist Kelly Jo tries to take some kind of food that I have not eaten yet and we try that as part of therapy. Most things have been successful and a few things have been much more difficult. 

The therapist has given me a few foods that I was sure I could not eat from recent experience, but I was able to do it. That gives me more confidence to try new textures and foods that have been difficult to swallow in recent weeks. 

Monday, KJo became extremely adventurous. She drove to the other side of the interstate and picked up a serving of salad from Olive Garden. I love Olive Garden salad, but I thought she was a little touched in the head. 

The therapist thought it would be good to try and so I tried it. Much to our surprise, I was able to eat it without too much problem at all. I needed to be careful, but I am getting used to that. The more dressing, the easier it was to eat and that is OK with me. I love Olive Garden dressing.

That is quite a Mile Marker for me. There are a lot of things I still cannot eat but ultimate on the list is a big Outlaw Ribeye from Longhorn Steakhouse. I think today brings me a little closer.❤️❤️

Thank you for stopping by today. Remember, we will have A Word for Wednesday available tomorrow. The subject will be Trusting Our Lord to Lead, He Maketh  No Mistake.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

More Good News-Stepping Up!

Yesterday I posted an update on my recovery. 

Also, I have posted a video with the information in yesterday's post and more good news from today.

Monday was also a monumental day at therapy. During physical therapy, they worked with me for most of the hour on walking without assistance. I was a little unsteady, or maybe a lot unsteady, but they had me walking pretty fast and quite a bit of distance.

Also, occupational therapy was designated to be the day that they would give me cognitive tests to see if I was ready to begin driving again. They had prepared me for this, but this was the day to take all the tests in one hour. 

It is actually a series of cognitive tests along with a speed test to make sure I can get from the gas pedal to the brake pedal and a test to see if I recognize and comprehend traffic signs. I passed all the tests with flying colors and they have approved me to begin driving.

The neurologist has the final say and they can require me to take a driving test from a professional driving instructor, The therapist does not think they will require it. She said there is no doubt my cognitive skills are at the right level.

I have begun driving some, but I have such a good chauffeur, that I do not have much need to drive. ❤️ I will hold off on driving the bus for a little bit, to make sure I feel comfortable enough to attempt it. There is no sense in doing something stupid.

That is the good news for today. We are making progress, stepping up one day at a time. Thank you so much for stopping by. 


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

35% of Normal, 1000% Better Than My Lowest

I am super glad we made the quick trip to Kentucky on Sunday but I definitely feel the effects of it.

This video has the information from this Mile Marker and Wednesday's too.

I mentioned yesterday that last Friday was an evaluation day in physical therapy and occupational therapy. They need to grade the patients once in a while to justify to the insurance the need to continue therapy or to determine if therapy is no longer needed.

Many of the things that were required, were duplicates or similar to things they tested on the first day of outpatient therapy January 19. They were happy to find that I had improved on every measurable goal. I was pretty happy myself!

Praise God!

Even though I have room for much improvement in my balance, walking, dexterity and speech; all these areas are tremendously better than before. That is a super reason for thankfulness. 🙌🏽🙌🏽

The main areas that need to improve now are the numbness that remains on my entire right side and the strength and quality of my speaking and singing voice.  

Also, even though I am able to swallow and consume enough calories to keep me going. There are many normal foods that I cannot eat yet. I am so thankful to be swallowing but I would love to be completely recovered in that area.

I really appreciate you taking time to pray about those three things especially, in addition to all the other areas. We hear from some of you regularly and we know that you are taking these things seriously in prayer and we appreciate it very much.

I am grateful for the inquiries we receive asking when we might be able to return to our regular schedule on the road. I wish I knew the answer with certainty to that question, but the reality is, there is no way that I can know. There are heaps upon heaps of things I need to do to roll that wagon.

I feel like I am about 35% of what I was when I went to bed on the bus on December 28. Yet I am 1000% better than I was when I transferred into ICU late at night on December 29. 

35% of Normal, 1000% Better Than My Lowest

35% means I am a very long way from being able to do all my duties to keep us traveling, singing and preaching. I have had so much fun the last many years that I have made it look easy, but it does not look easy from where I sit right now.😍🤣

1000% means I am incredibly and amazingly improved from where I was immediately after the stroke. I give the glory to God and the people He used to bring me to this point. Hallelujah! There is no God like our God!🙌🏽🙌🏽

That is an honest assessment of where we are right now. I am here by God’s grace and every forward step I take will be by his grace as well. I know God can pull me through IF I can stand the pulling. 

I have purposed to do my part and I have faith that God will do His part. I am working hard like all the progress depends on me and I am trusting, believing and praying like all the progress depends on God!

I have determined with the wise counsel of mentors and friends, that I am not going to rush this. When I am ready to go there still be work to do.

Thank you for traveling along with us. We need you.


Monday, February 5, 2024

A Little Update

On December 29, the day I had the stroke, we were preparing to leave that evening for our first revival of the year. We were planning to drive to Tennessee that night, drop the bus in Vonore and drive the Jeep back to London for revival.

One of the things on the agenda that afternoon before leaving was emptying the holding tanks on the bus. The black tank was full. Obviously, that got put off a while. But after a couple weeks at home I remembered that it needed to be done.

Last Thursday was about 50° so Kelly’s dad and my dad came over and we accomplished the task. I did not do any work, I just kind of oversaw the work.

However, it was a milestone day because it was the first day that I have been down to the barn since December 29.  Kelly drove me down and I unloaded onto the concrete into the barn with my walker.

Kelly Jo cranked the bus, backed it out and they emptied the holding tanks. Then she backed up the driveway and pulled into the barn and they hooked the up electric.

As we were preparing to leave the barn I wondered if maybe I could climb the steps into the bus. I knew there was no way I could have done it even a week ago but I thought I would like to try it.

Against the advice of some of those or maybe all of those standing around, I tried it. There is a good handhold in the doorway and I easily climbed the four steps up into the bus.

It felt really good to be back home, but then I had to get out some way. That was a little different story. It seems that going down the steps for me is a whole lot harder than going up.

With a little coaching and a little effort, I made it down slowly and safely. I was thrilled that I had been able to climb up into the bus and I am looking forward to climbing those steps regularly in the future.

Friday the physical therapist worked me like a borrowed mule again. She is really trying to help me gain my balance and know what to do with all this numbness.

Between Thursday’s adventure to the bus and barn and Friday’s therapy, my thighs and calves have been hurting all weekend. I reckon that’s a good thing because it means I am working toward the goal.

I want to say thank you again to all of you who are praying for us and holding us up before God. I know he is hearing, paying attention and working.

We are looking for more good things in the future.  Thank you for reading today.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Just The Way We Like It!

Friday was a longish travel day for us. We drove 336 miles from Paducah, Kentucky to Vonore, Tennessee. 

336 miles. For many years, 800 to 1000 miles each day was normal for us and we scheduled accordingly. That is no longer the case.

Two or three years after buying the bus, we started shooting for 550 mile days as our normal "long" day. We kept that pace pretty much until Covid. We have been trying to drive no more than 350 miles a day the last three years unless it is an emergency.

In the last six weeks, we have been able to do much better than that and we love it just like that!💕💕💕

The 336 mile day was our longest mileage day since October 9 when we drove 342 on our way toward Oklahoma. We stopped for the night in Missouri.

Our next travel day was 113 miles.
Then 143 miles.
37 miles.
19 miles.
19 miles.
212 miles.
169 miles.
108 miles.
179 miles.
109 miles.
172 miles.
And finally 68 miles.

That is nearly seven weeks with only one 200 mile day, only three more days over 150 miles and one three week period with less than 80 miles total! That is amazing and we love it just like that. 

Plus, the BoggsMobile went from October 9 to November 13 between fuel stops! Yay!

We will ruin this soon by traveling over 6000 miles in less than 24 hours. Thankfully, the bus is not going.

Thank you for stopping by today.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

High and Lifted Up!

Bethany Revival Center in Wichita has an elevator outside to assist people getting inside. They added it when they moved to their current location and it is a great help to Odie.

This weekend we encountered a first for us, a church with a lift onto the platform! We have been to churches that have ramps to the platform and a ramp is a super great help. 

 Landmark Tabernacle in Sand Springs, OK has a lift! Wow!

I think the church was required by authorities to have either a ramp or lift and for various reasons, they chose the lift.

The lift is in a room next to the platform.

And you exit the lift onto the platform behind the back wall.

Odie put it to good use, for sure! So cool! Anything that makes Odie's life easier and our life easier is Way Cool!


Thursday, November 2, 2023

In Need of Joseph!

In one hour period this week I had two vivid nightmares. Wow!

In the first, Pastor Jimmy Millikin and I were driving around looking for the BoggsMobile. I had parked the bus in front of a church that I had just begun to Pastor. That day was my first service. Some of the time I was driving and some of the time, Bro. Millikin was driving, but we could not find the church.

We would say, "I think it is down this road" or "It must be over here", but we would turn and we were wrong every time. We drove and drove and drove, looking for the bus, but never found it. It was so frustrating!

I knew I had parked the bus right out front. 
How could I misplace the bus?
Why had I accepted the Pastorate of a church?
Why couldn't two grown men find neither the church or the bus?

In the second nightmare, Odie was driving a small car pulling our huge tent trailer and I was riding in the tent trailer. There was a window in the tent trailer and I was talking to Odie on speakerphone and giving her turn-by-turn directions. 

There are so many things wrong with that scenario.

We were going to a preacher's house way out in the country. We barely know this preacher and his wife was riding with Odie. In real life, I am not even sure if I know what this preacher's wife looks like so I have no idea why she was with Odie.

We were coming to the last turn onto a long gravel drive and Odie missed the turn.

Our signal had gone weak and I could hear them talking, but they could no longer hear me. We were on a small country road so I opened the window and then opened the door, flailing my arms trying to get Odie's attention. It took nearly a mile for her to see me and to stop in the middle of the road.

I knew that Odie could not back into a driveway to turn around, but I knew I could. As I was getting into the driver's seat, I woke up.

The first nightmare left me in a cold sweat the second left me a nervous wreck. If anyone receives the interpretation for either, let me know. We need a Joseph to step up.

Thank you. Have a great day.


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Y'all Be Careful Out There, Ya Hear?

This is some kind of wasp that looks similar to a yellow jacket. 

All these wasps were on one nest hanging from a building overhang a few feet from our bus door Monday. We pulled in and idled the engine next to the nest while we were leveling, going in and out of the door several times.

We never even saw the nest at all until about 5:00 PM that afternoon. It looked like they were covering the nest about three or four deep! Ouch!

Thankfully, it was cool and they were not moving much and were not interested in us. It would have been terrible if we had stirred them up with Odie in her chair trying to get in the bus. 

Monday night, Bro. Rich and Bro. Metheny killed them with wasp spray and the picture above was the remains.

Y'all be careful out there, ya hear? Thank you for reading.