Has it really been over six months since we arrived in Muskogee?
It’s spring here, and that means cleaning and changes. We gave the kids a week off for spring break, but the tradeoff was that we had to deep-clean the rig. That theoretically gets done weekly, but there’s cleaning, and then there’s cleaning. Pull stuff out, realize we haven’t used it since we’ve been on the road. “Does anyone want this? No? Put it in the giveaway pile.”
Another part of “Out with the old” involved our van. We’ve had the Big Blue Bus since summer 2001, when we bought it new from a Columbus dealer. 151,000 miles later, it was time for us to replace it. We weren’t really happy with Chevy, so we decided on a Ford van. Then it was just a matter of finding one with what we wanted. We quickly realized that the 6.8L engine we thought we wanted (for towing capacity) was pretty rare. Same with getting a non-white van. We don’t have anything against white per se, but we wanted something different from the thousands of white Ford vans out there. We finally found one in Illinois. A friend here in Muskogee is a dealer, and got us a decent price break as well as picked it up for us. I mentioned to Diana that we might do something to make it a little more distinctive, and she rolled her eyes at me. We’ll see.
It was interesting to see God at work here. I got laid off in Columbus in January 2009, and spent the next two years looking for work. Couldn’t even get hired at a retail warehouse for seasonal work, even though I had three years of warehouse experience. But then we arrived in Muskogee and less than two weeks later, I had a full-time 8-5 weekday job. It paid just over minimum wage, but that was enough for us at the time (one of the advantages of the RV lifestyle). It certainly felt like confirmation that we were supposed to be in Muskogee. The work wasn’t bad at all: pick/pack/ship, all lightweight stuff. The conditions in the warehouse were pretty good. Two of my three co-workers were a little more than I really felt I could handle after four months though, so I’m back home.
But I’ve had the time to finish a rewrite of Don’t Stop Believin, and a 2d draft of Sad Girl. I’m looking for an editor for those books (and have one in mind), and I’m trying to decide which of three or four projects to start next.
The boys are well-established in Pack and Troop 699. The girls are wrapping up cookie sales for Troop 282. Diana had a credentials review with the Northeast Oklahoma District and should be ordained next year. She also now the Administrative Assistant at the church, as well as the Children’s Director.
Life is good.