Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Saying goodbye to an old tree

June 30, 2020

Yes, that is right! A tree!

Kent’s parents moved to their farm in Washington state in 1959. There was a good sized maple tree was on the property then. Kent remembers that there was a chain around it ho,ding some the branches together back then.

We have parked under it for over 13 summers/ falls now. But the family have had many picnics under it, taken many family pictures under it in the past 61 years. It was a landmark in the community too.

I had warned Kent’s father about some insects we saw crawling around the ground and going up the tree several years ago, we had also seen some rot on one of the huge branches. So we knew that someday it would have to come down. While we were gone on our trip to see our son, a HUGE branch fell down. Narrowly missing our RV. In fact if we had parked 10 feet closer as we had in other years, we would have been hit and could have been killed in our bedroom. The electricity was ripped from the pole at the road and some damage to the barn in several places. We are SO grateful NO one was hurt as no one was on the property at this time. Praising GOD for that!

Well, first thing we moved off the property as much work had to be done! Kent, his oldest brother who arrived with his wife, and his sister and husband all worked tirelessly on restoring electricity to the property. It took two weeks and much work! Things had to be put in new as the old farm needed updating to certain codes now.

Also we have a good friend with a chain saw that also rented a boom truck to cut down the tree. I and my sister in law got rides in it too! We think the tree probably was planted in 1880 or around that. It was close to 150 years old. That is pretty old for a Maple. It was 25 feet in circumference at the base and the width on the top was about 100 feet across. As we cut it down, we found a ton of rot… so again grateful no person was hurt as it broke!

So I tried to get pictures of the process. It sure looks different on the yard now but… it needed to be done to be safe.

All three couples worked hard on this project and also our friend with his equipment too! We are now back on the farm and working in other projects and trying to keep it neat and clean. Mom got to come for a family lunch in her kitchen.

We found the chain, and the hook. The inspector came quickly and right behind him the electric company hooked up the power!

Grateful to God for his protection!

Many memories over the years of this tree!

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Helping our son

June 29, 2020

We flew in masks to help our son on a total remodel of his basement. We had a real surprise when Kent’s cousin was our pilot! That was fun too.

Josh and family had been busy getting stuff done on the remodel but we thought we could help move it forward a bit and we like to help with projects!

This trip also included a special birthday celebration for our son, Josh. it is hard believe that he hit this milestone! Since there could not be any kind of party because of the coronavirus restrictions still in place. We took a day off and as Josh requested we all went to see the Naval academy at Annapolis. Again because of Covid, we could not do a tour but the grounds are beautiful and so is the city. We did get to eat out…literally outside but it was a beautiful though warm day. We all enjoyed being away from the project too for a day of rest!

I was trying to help Teresa out with ideas on her flowers, bushes etc.. and then I saw a wooden Adirondack chair that needed some work. I thought maybe I could paint it. But when Josh looked at it he realized that it needed more. Sooo with Kent and Josh’s help we took it apart and remade it into a firewood holder. Fun project!

So fun to be with Josh and family for a week!

What are you doing these last few months?

May 23, 2020

Well, most of us have “stayed at home” as requested by our president and governors. We did too, although with a twist!

I wrote earlier here that we bought a 1983 mobile home in a mobile home park. It was in GOOD shape but could use some updates. It is only 2 miles from our RV home so, we sheltered there as well as our RV every day. We went daily to our mobile and worked there for 8-10 hours. The former owners left almost everything needed. All the furniture, linens, dishes pots pans etc. They also left some paint, don’t most people. so we used that up and when needed went to Home Depot a mile from us for supplies. Also open and doing a HUGE business in paint at this time!

First off, Kent installed good Thermopane windows and trimmed them out beautifully inside and out. Then the trim was painted as well. We also repainted all the kitchen cabinets and installed a unconventional backsplash. We painted the entire great room walls.

I stripped the wallpaper AND THE GLUE from the master bathroom walls. It was a Arduous and messy job, BUT it is now done! It revealed some really ugly wallboard behind.

Kent did many smaller jobs as well as putting in shelving in our master bedroom HUGE closet. He made the entire closet into a great storage area!

We were able to sell the king sized bed and bulky dresser that took up too much room in the master bedroom. The. Kent took off the paneling chair rail and then repaired the walls where the builders had cut huge round holes in the Walls to install outlets and fixtures. The removal of paneling was easy, but the repairs took a lot more work. After several layers of plaster, sanding and then finally painting, we are done for now! But I do like the way it looks now!

We never had trouble sleeping during this time! We were too exhausted at the end of each day for that. We were able to attend our church service, in fact we went to two most Sundays. As we went to our church service in Washington and here in the valley of the sun!

We also were able to internet attend a dear friend’s memorial service on Friday. He was 91 and died of a stroke! He was a special friend and very open about his relationship with Jesus. We miss him but know he is in a much better place with the savior he loved and served.

So we are done for now! We are leaving on Monday to go to greener places! We got a lot accomplished and have a little more to do when we return. But it was so good to have a project to work on.

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

A video of some of our work. The first pictures are of Kent visiting the former owners and how they had decorated their house. It looks quite a lot different now.

We bought a place in Phoenix

April 7, 2020

Yes, we did! We have been looking at places for several weeks and drove around several mobile home communities in the Phoenix area!

We were looking for something to live in for the winter months. We love having the sunshine and warmth in Phoenix these past 13 years in our RV. We love our church family here as well!

So we started looking for a place that could use a little work but not a lot! we were driving around a mobile home park and we had looked at about 20 from the outside and was going to come back to see them inside. We then saw a sign that was posted on a mobile home. It listed a phone number and so Kent called the number.. the guy realized that we were just outside so he was willing to show it to us! I liked it right away. 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and the main area had a vaulted ceiling so it seemed a lot bigger!

Well, we looked at several more, even in the same mobile home park but we kept coming back to this one! One day Kent asked me if I really liked this one… I said yes! He went and offered the guy a bit less than he was asking. He accepted! So we are now proud owners of a 1983 mobile home in the Phoenix area.

Porch on left side and a covered carport on the right side,

Here are some inside pictures. It does need updating but we are grateful everything works for now! Kent has been putting in new windows. That is why I included a picture of a white window! And we are getting ready to paint inside too. Yes, we are plenty busy even while at home. Kent now has a office desk too!

We do still plan to leave in our RV for the Northwest soon. It depends on the coronavirus and some other things. All our plans for traveling to see family along the way have been postponed until fall. We also had cancelled a foreign trip that we were planning. But we are grateful to be alive, healthy and for our new “to us” house!

Finding the blessings! May God give you grace to find blessings along the way!

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Continuing to celebrate Christmas

December 30, 2019

We next flew to our son’s family that moved to Baltimore, Maryland in August. They bought their first house and we were very excited to celebrate their first Christmas in it with them! This shows several houses and theirs is the one with the evergreen trees on both sides of their walkway! Teresa was glad to get some beautiful trees on their property!

Also Josh had started a house project and we extended our stay to help with that as well. It was sooo great to see their new neighborhood and even meet a few neighbors. They also had a new family member, a dog named Gibby. He is an American Staffordshire Terrier and a sweet, gentle spirit. He also seemed very patient. In order to welcome him, I even Gibby his own Christmas stocking and had treats in it too! Of course!

We started out on Saturday by getting some tools the men would need. Also a Christmas tree! On Sunday we went to a farmers market under US 83. It was the last week until spring. We all were fascinated with the men that grew and sold micro greens. He gave all us samples and we enjoyed them so much Teresa bought a container for us all to enjoy at home. We also went to the Inner Harbor area and walked around a bit, saw a Christmas market and had lunch at a local renowned restaurant called” Miss Shirley’s “. That was definitely fun!

Then we tackled the demolition of the basement area. Josh and Silas had done some, but Josh and Kent now tackled it with fervor.

Silas and I worked on carrying all the stuff outside and piling for disposal. Wow, it was quite a chore! And all of us were tired at the end of that day! Teresa kept us going with delicious food! Here is the pile when were finished!

After this day, we cleaned up and went to a church close by that had a Christmas Eve service and we got a family picture.

Christmas Day we enjoyed sleeping in and after a delicious breakfast, we opened our stockings and presents, including Gibby!

Grandpa and Silas built a graham cracker gingerbread house. Looked really nice but it was fun to hear them planning and putting it together. The day after Christmas we also had a treat of all of us seeing the National Aquarium in Baltimore for the first time. For me, it was very first aquarium as well. We enjoyed that and after stopping for something to eat we went to see a street where almost all the houses are decorated. The street was closed to cars and people were walking around admiring the scenes and lights. Fun!

We did make 5 trips to the local dump to get rid of all the trash we removed from the basement. That cleaned up Josh’s backyard of that trash! It was a “real ” experience going to a city dump. I don’t believe I have ever seen so many seagulls in one place before and this picture only shows a very few of them!

Teresa, Silas and Gibby all left the next day and drove home to see Teresa’s family. We and Josh continued working on the basement. We took off to go to church on Sunday morning but tried to get as much done as possible. We leave tomorrow morning and Josh goes back to work for a few days. But much was accomplished in a short time, as well as fun family times too! We know Josh will still have much to do, but we were so glad to help during this time!

Again a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2020.

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Here is a short video of our time together!

Helping our daughter and family

January 22, 2018

Our daughter Kara, husband Nick and 3 year old Ivan had recently moved out of their condo where they lived for 11 years. They lived temporarily for 6 weeks and then moved into their new to them house. They first moved into the basement so the painter could do his job for two weeks. Then they had started to actually settle into their house. We came to help that process. Also Kara and Nick had a bunch of projects for Kent to do.

We started by helping to get their beds into their bedrooms. And for our Christmas we all went to the National Western Stock Show and the Mexican Rodeo. It was fun seeing all the animals with them and especially with Ivan and watching the rodeo. Ivan was mesmerized with all the different acts. It was such fun doing this together!

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Then we got busy doing stuff around the house.. Kent and Kara tackled a new vanity and mirror for their master bath, fixing a laminate floor, putting in under sink water filters, fixing all kinds of little problem areas too! I don’t even know all the jobs that Kent and Kara did. I tried to entertain Ivan and work in food and once in a while I got to work on washing windows! It was a busy and fun week and lots got done!

Ivan and I even went to a story time at a local Chick-fila. That was such fun too.

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Our last full day we first helped get the stuff from their community garden area. Kara had done a garden there for years so now she will be able to have one at their house.

Then they treated us to a very special meal at a wonderful restaurant called “The Melting Pot”. It is a fondue restaurant and Kara and Nick treated us to a four course meal. It was fun and delicious. Ivan did great even as it went about 3 hours, as we went for a mid day meal. We enjoyed the leisurely meal and afterwards walked around Littleton a bit as it was still before sunset. What a nice way to end the work week.

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We had a hard time leaving though as Ivan kept telling us to Stay! How very sweet! We will see them again soon!

Love,

jan for the Roaming Reimers

 

More travels and battery fixes

November 23, 2016

So after we left the retreat we drove a few hundred miles to Santa Clarita and were kindly allowed to park in the back parking lot of a Baptist church. This was taken in their parking lot. We went to church there and enjoyed this stay very much!

Then we drove to Palm Springs, no, not for the reason you might think…we were having some battery issues and so we had an appointment at the factory that made them. We have the Lithium Ion batteries and the computer control that makes them work.

The owner Bill and his wife Andi and staff all welcomed us. We even gave any that wanted a tour of our RV Home. It was a a bit smaller building than I’d expected but everyone was so helpful that I was very grateful for them all. We were given a tour of the business and found Bill to be very varied in the types of things he does. And quite brilliant to understand all of the different things that the company was doing. Wow, I was blown away.

We had to take a bunch of stuff out of the basement to get to the batteries. So Kent did that and showed Bill what was going on. He assured Kent it could be fixed in a short order. So they got busy on it, when it was a few hours and it wasn’t fixed and things put back for us to get out of their back parking lot…well it was a bit more complex than Bill thought. They did think they had it fixed but then it was about 7 pm and too late for us to move. So they gave us permission to stay the night. I ran to our truck and pulled out some freshly made applesauce and shared with Bill and Andi. Overnight things seemed good but something did happen and again we had th same problem. Back to the drawing board so to speak…and after testing and talking and looking at things, Bill and Kent figured out the problem. We had to wait until a new battery monitor control computer was made. So once that was in and more testing was done..Kent put things back together and then I could help put our stuff back in and get ready to go down the road a bit.

Some pictures:

We were so grateful for these guys and their help. We would be very glad to buy batteries from them again and would recommend their batteries to anyone. Please check them out if you are interested in this type of batteries or anything that they might be able to help you with.

http://electricvehicleenterprises.com/

We only went about an hour that day just to get out of the city and to a safe place to stay the night. Then the next day we drove on to Yuma, AZ. We were pretty tired by the time we got here and so kind of crashed. I took a long nap in the afternoon. We were parking on our friends lot and they were coming a few days later.

Love,

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

 

Kent’s parents and helping at their farm

October 4, 2015

We got some news a few weeks ago that Kent’s dad had a fall and broke his hip. He had emergency surgery to repair the hip and a few days later went to rehab and after only two 1/2  weeks was able to come home and is improving each day.

Here dad is at the rehab

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We already were planning on coming to Kent’s parents for about a month and were a bit delayed, but when Dad fell hired a RV towing company to tow us to their front yard. We have been here for a few weeks now.

Kent’s sister LeAnn was here with Kent’s parents and had to leave to go and finish a move of her own from one town to another about 200 miles. So she has been coming and going in between this moving. We are here to help with the folks as well. Taking mom to see dad and helping out in other ways too.

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived, was the trees that had partially come down in the back of the barn. There were three trees there that dad had asked us earlier this summer if we could help take down. Well, a wind storm hit the northwest about a week before we got to the folks house and took down the tops of several of those trees. One large branch fell onto the barn and Kent’s brother and sister helped by a man from mom and dad’s church with a large chainsaw got that off the roof. BUT it still looked like a war zone when we arrived.

There was a huge willow tree about 30″ across and perhaps 200 feet tall. You can see it was huge and I was so glad when it was on the ground as it had places that branches had come off before the storm too. Once on the ground then Bob, our friend from church went to work taking off limbs and cutting up the big stuff. the debris I piled on piles for the work day. In all it was at least two week of work. Bob would come for several hours a day and I worked almost all day. I sure did sleep well these two weeks.

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So Bob and I (jan) were getting ready for a big work day of people from mom and dad’s church. Bob, who knows about lumbering, fell all the trees. That ended up being 4 trees and some little ones too around the property.  I moved a lot of logs out of the way so the trucks etc could get to the places to work. There was a tree already half cut down and that was stacked behind this front pile of wood. Kent’s brother Ron and sister Leann had helped with that before we even got there. But you can see there was plenty to do for all of us.

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On the work day we rented a debris chipper for the day and Kent had put an ad online for anyone to come for chips. We chipped a lot of debris this day. Some of this also was from a trimming that Dad Reimer had done on their huge Maple tree in the front yard. That is Josh in the red shirt working a smaller log splitter with our friend Hans.

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Kent and a friend feeding the chipper. I even got to use that machine too. I liked that thing as it dealt with a lot of debris in quick order. Kent’s sister, LeAnn also got into the work too.

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All the workers that day, who wanted chips or wood got some. We also took three huge loads of wood to their church for anyone that needed some fire wood for winter. Who knows where all the stuff went but at the end of the day there was a small load of wood yet but otherwise all those trees were down and people will be kept warm from all that wood. What a long hard day of work but a good one. It was incredible to see all the help come out too. Thanks to all!

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Our son, Josh flew out from Michigan to see us and his grandparents and to help with this work day. I was soo encouraged by that. Kent has been having shoulder pain and was thinking it might be a rotator cuff tear. So he did some work but was a lot limited in what he could do.  So having Josh work alongside us was wonderful!!!

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And Josh did get to see some other special friends while here, Ed and Goldie Karber have been almost life long friends. Goldie is in a facility now but we still stopped in to see her  too.  What a wonderful son to fly all across the country to help with this big work day was awesome. THANKS Josh!

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There were about 14 people, lots of extra trucks, cars,chain saws, log splitters, and excavator and rakes etc…It was again like war zone until an area got cleaned up. BUT what a good day of work and what a blessing to us and mom and dad. It is still nice to look at what was such a mess and see how neat it looks now.

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Dad was still in rehab but he was getting stronger every day. He has been home now about a week and each day is improving more. He went for a half a  mile walk yesterday. We are so grateful for how he is improving and God is healing him. Mom Reimer has be doing so much to make it safer for dad and for him to be able to get around easier in the house.

Well, we are here for a few more days. We ask you to pray for mom and dad and the family.  We all need lots of wisdom in helping the folks to stay where they want to. THANKS!

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

I am so proud of my husband!!! Look what he and his friend did!!!

July 29, 2015

Yes, I am  very proud of Kent and our friend Phil as they tackled something that I could only be sooo awestruck about. What am I talking about? I will tell you!

Our RV is a big fifth wheel towed by a BIG truck. In fact our truck is a old Walmart Semi truck. When we bought it we had some modifications made on it to make it easier for us. Now Kent had been thinking for several years about doing a serious modification on our truck! He wanted to do this with our friend that we have known since we lived in Alaska, Phil. So Kent has been researching for years to learn much about this. He wanted to lengthen our truck’s frame and move the axel back to make room for a small car on the truck…and only one small car would fit and that was the Smart car.

So for you to realize how big of a project this was..let me show you what our truck used to look like.

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Now you can see the truck and small platform and the boxes and bikes etc as it was before any alteration. This was the way it has looked the past 8 years.

We have some dear friends that live in Oregon. Phil has been a welder and has a shop for this kind of project. He also has engineering abilities and ideas to help as well as connections in his town with like minded people that could help.  Jeannie was kind enough to feed Kent lunch throughout this process even while she had 2 family deaths and surgery herself. THANKS Jeannie!!

The first thing for us to do was to trade in our little Suzuki for a Smart car, because only the SmartforTwo is short enough to do this kind of a carry on our truck.  We did that in December..and here is the Smart. Also here is the little car “talking” to the BIG truck.

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So in moving to Oregon I drove our SmartCar all the way up from Phoenix. Not a problem, it drives great.

Now for the mechanics that see this…I am NOT a mechanic and so this explanation will be from my perspective not that of a mechanic. IF after you see this blog and you have Questions…you would have to contact Kent.

First the guys took everything off the truck frame, Kent’s aluminum boxes for his tools, air compressor and miscellaneous things he needed. Also our bikes were on the truck  and the trucks fenders.  All of these things are here waiting to be put back on.   Here is all the stuff sitting next to the truck … and also the truck frame empty and ready for the work. Note our friend Phil’s wonderful large shop area where the truck could be worked on in the shade or out of the rain.

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So after stripping the truck of all the stuff, they could get to the project. They had to add 3 feet to the truck’s frame, which also meant adding 4 feet of drive line because of moving the axel back 4 feet as well.  This was when it was all apart and for me, looking a bit scary… BUT I did trust Kent and Phil to put it back together…

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Here you can see the new driveline laying on top,  getting ready to be installed.  And Phil and Kent conferring on the next steps to do.

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Then they made a platform for the car to rest on as we travel down the road. Here Phil is measuring for the car platform  with the ramps laying alongside.

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Here Phil’s backhoe holds the platform as they are getting ready to check to see if is was ready for the painting.

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This they also painted and then placed it on the truck and bolted and welded it on. Here Phil is painting the car’s platform and (Kent is behind the camera here), and then the platform is ready for attaching to the truck.

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Here is the truck with the additional frame attached. They also have the platform on the truck at this point.

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On the passenger’s side of the platform,  they made tire chalks to keep the tires from moving when riding on the back of the truck.  They made “holders for the tires as well.

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They had to put on a reciever to put the winch motor in. The winch is that part that is sticking up ,but the winch motor would be stowed in one of the boxes when going down the road. They had to make a hitch for the winch to pull the car up. Yes it is a little bump on an additional rod that is attached to the car’s bumper. Notice you can see where the winch motor is attached to the car’s bumper.

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The ramps for the car we had purchased to hold a bit more than what our car weighs, 1800 lbs. So the ramps can hold 2,000 lbs each. So plenty of strength there.  They also had to re-bolt/re-attach all the parts that they had taken off. They had to remake some of the boxes to fit in new places. They also changed where some of the bigger boxes were so some of that needed some adjustments. You can see some of the boxes back in place here.

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Next they had to figure out where to put the ramps when going down the road… and to keep them from moving around so as not to scratch anything. Here they are stowing the ramps under the car. Kent then uses bungie cords to hold them in place.

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Here is the car on the truck for the first time. Now they had to figure out if there were any problems to be worked out. If any it wasn’t many. Great job guys!!

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And every time something didn’t work they way they thought..they would go back and look at it and try to figure out a new way. Both of these guys have an engineering mind and it was amazing to watch them work out these things.

Finally they tried the whole thing out.  Watch this video to see how the first test went. I must say it was EXCITING and Scary all at the same time!!! You have to go to Vimeo to see the video.

Here is the link:  https://vimeo.com/134805717

Here is what we look like all hooked up with truck and Rv and car.

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I just stood there amazed at how it all had come together… But I am very proud of Kent and Phil too for this is quite an engineering feat!

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Easter with Family, a conference and travel

April 24, 2015

I love Easter. It reminds me of our Lord and all He did for us..and then the resurrection day to celebrate the victory over death and SIN. It reminds me that Christ gives us victory. I love the spring flowers and all the spring colors. Also I love the newness of starting over…because nature has started to bloom again. I loved seeing these Iris in bloom too.

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We are so grateful that this year again we could be with some of Kent’s family for Easter. His Uncle Mel and wife Chris live in Las Vegas as well as a first cousin and her family. They had also invited Chris’ son’s family. We all have been together before and it was so nice. Again this Easter we had a grand time. Chris’ granddaughters were such fun to be with.

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Uncle Mel had taken a fall the week before but was in rare form despite his Parkinson’s. He almost runs with his walker though and it made me just a bit nervous. But I did get them to stay put long enough to get a picture.

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We had several times that we go to see them including Easter Service at their church where a clear presentation of the gospel was given. So great to hear that and on the day that every Christian should proclaim that message.

Easter dinner was at first cousin Karen and Tim Dolan’s house. It was a delicious Ham dinner. We all brought something to help but Karen did most of the heavy cooking. Thanks Karen and Tim too.

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After Easter weekend we had a conference. It was with other owners of the samp type of Rv that we have. These are to get together and learn things from each other and also from speakers about various things about living or maintaining our RVs. Kent did a seminar on solar for RVs and also on full time living. We had many opportunities to speak of God’s love as well. It was a fun and busy week.See all the rigs parked near each other to visit better.

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We did make some new friends too, but didn’t get pictures of them. Opps!

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Then we headed on down the road…we went about 200 miles a day. First night was at a very peaceful roadside pull off. WE had three other Rvs with us that night but it was sure peaceful.

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It took us 4 days to reach our next destination which is where we are currently parked near Roseburg, Oregon. That is southern Oregon but along the 1-5 corridor.

We are here for about two months. Kent has already been able to meet with several people including the pastor of a local church. They were encouraged to hear how they might be more involved in Missions opportunities.

We are also here visiting our good friends Phil and Jeannie Teel. We met in Juneau, Alaska in 1980 and have kept in contact. Phil is a welder, now retired, but keeps an active shop to do things in. So Kent had a big project and they are both tackling it.

The project it to take the back of our truck and re-configure it to accommodate our new car.. It is a Smart Car and only 8 foot 4″ long. So it can work it out. So this is a BIG project. More about that next blog as it is still in the works. Come back to see it. OK?

Here is our BIG TRUCK and little car.

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That is about all we have been doing these past several weeks. I (Jan) also got 2 boils on her ear canal and so that is why this blog is so late…I am starting to feel better finally. Yeah! I can hear again!!!!

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers