Westward Ho Folks
This blog chronicled (via a diary and photos) a trip that Terry and his wife Stefi took across the U.S. singing in nursing homes. The trip has since concluded and we are now living full-time for the Lord in a mission, serving the needy and homeless.
Silver City, New Mexico
Sorry for not posting for such a long time, but many events have transpired since our arrival. The greatest thing is that we had to live in "Honey" for only two weeks before moving into a wonderful three bedroom home right in the middle of Silver City, and it is all God's doing.We have always been inclined to volunteering. One day I read in the paper where this volunteer agency was asking for volunteers. The next day I called, and it was suggested that I call the Silver City Gospel Misson. I did, and we met the director the following day. That evening he invited us to church...and we went. As it usually goes in most churches, there is a time when you place money in the offering plate. The thing was, we were down to our literal last seven dollars. When the plate came by, the Lord prompted us to "Put it all in the plate!" "Excuse me Lord, this is all we have." Again He said "Put it all in the plate!" Who am I to argue with the Lord, so we plopped all we had in the plate. The next day the ministry director called us into his office to share with us the vision of the ministry. A few minutes later he made a startling offer. "In addition to the mission (where food and clothing is given to the homeless) we have a homeless shelter next door, and I am in need of a House Manager...would you be interested in moving into it tomorrow?" The move in took place a week ago, and we have lent our backs and hands to a massive clean-up effort, but today (Sunday) the "Sierra House" has new life and is clean. Furthermore, we have one young man living with us that is court ordered for the next six months...giving us an opportunity for ministry and nurturing. All glory and praise to the Lord for opening this wonderful door of opportunity, and we trust we'll be here for a long time to come.Stay tuned !
Silver City, New Mexico
Praise The Lord !! God has saw fit to permit our safe arrival in this beautiful city and state. I told Stefi that I believe this is God's country. For those of you who have not been here...make it here as soon as possible. Especially if you are an artist.Rose Valley RV Park is a 44 acre park, that was a family dairy farm in the late 1800's. It comes complete with a laundry room, showers, and even a work out room. Not to mention I am sitting here in my camper enjoying the benefits of WIFI...wireless internet. We made it here with one dollar in our pocket, and three tires need to be replaced. The thing is though, both Stefi and I are resourceful, and we will make it...with the Lord's help. He did not bring us this far to turn his back on us now.We can already see that living in Honey will be temporary, (for at least 90 days) and then we will be looking for an apartment. The cool thing is, we are within walking distance of main street and downtown. The cloud formations here are the most awesome I have ever seen in my life. I told Stefi the other day I saw a beaver sitting on his hind legs huggin me...it was so cool. We also have seen many humming birds right by our campsite. The literature says that there is over 300 bird species here...fantastic. It will take us some time to take all this in because we have no vehicle other than Honey, and she is going nowhere for now. We may have to go the "renta' wreck" route. Who knows?The main thing is...we are here and excited about our new careers, and whatever direction our personal lives take us.If ANYONE wants to come visit us, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can get acquainted and then have ya come visit us.
Clovis, New Mexico
We finally left Kansas on August 1st, headed for New Mexico. Granted, our stay in Kansas was an extended one, but many personal family matters were cleared, and I got to beat some of my ol' buddies at pool.After twelve hours, we pulled into an RV park outside Clovis late at night. I told Stefi I didn't think I could drive even one more mile. All of our "gigs" have concluded, and we are anticipating this new chapter of our new life in Silver City. We have heard nothing but positive about it, and we hope to be in the artist main stream in short order. We pulled out of Clovis, with our next (and last) stop being in Silver City.Whoaaaaa !!! "What was that?" I asked Stefi after hearing an explosion. A blowout for sure...our second. Luckily it was an inside dualie and we found a tire store close by, and the guy put our spare on.Off and running again...WHAMMMMMM !!! Another explosion and another flat. This happened to yet another dualie, and we were just outside Deming. The only problem was, we had no spare.I pulled into a tire store, and the remaining tire was bald as a baby's bottom. What to do now?Here we had traveled over 4,000, and only 5o miles from our destination. So I made the decision to inflate the tire to 90 pounds, and take a chance on driving it in. Plugging along at only 30 mph, we pulled into the Rose Valley RV Ranch in Silver City, two hours later. YEAHHHHHH !!! We are here and have been blessed with traveling mercies.
The last time I was here(2000), this town was literally devastated by a Category 2 tornado. So I had no idea what would/would not be left standing. To my amazement, it has been completely built back, and looks great...all things considered. Haysville is capital to the Peach Capitol Rodeo; an event that has been going on for over 100 years. While living close to this town, I often went to the rodeo, and was it ever fun. I think I even dated a "cowgirl" for a while that rode barrel racing. That goes back a ways. Well folks, today's show concludes our singing tour for now...and was it was it a great one. We san lots of the Beatles, Elvis, and etc. We even took request from the residents. We found our afterwards that one of the residents actually sang country western for over twenty years. Had we known that, we would have handed her the mic. From here we are heading to Lake Afton, where the water is clear, and the fishin is good. While in Kansas we did nine shows, so now it is time to have some real fun. We are doing this because the temperatures in this area are still in the 100's. The plan is for us to leave out of here this Thursday (August 3rd) for New Mexico, and be there by the weekend. So the next time I blog, we should be at our destination.Thanks so much for all who have shared in this journey with us, and I will keep blogging once we arrive.God bless !
The last time I was here(2000), this town was literally devastated by a Category 2 tornado. So I had no idea what would/would not be left standing. To my amazement, it has been completely built back, and looks great...all things considered. Haysville is capital to the Peach Capitol Rodeo; an event that has been going on for over 100 years. While living close to this town, I often went to the rodeo, and was it ever fun. I think I even dated a "cowgirl" for a while that rode barrel racing. That goes back a ways. Well folks, today's show concludes our singing tour for now...and was it was it a great one. We san lots of the Beatles, Elvis, and etc. We even took request from the residents. We found our afterwards that one of the residents actually sang country western for over twenty years. Had we known that, we would have handed her the mic. From here we are head to Lake Afton, where the water is clear, and the fishin is good. While in Kansas we did nine shows, so now it is time to have some real fun. We are doing this because the temperatures in this area are still in the 100's. The plan is for us to leave out of here this Thursday (August 3rd) for New Mexico, and be there by the weekend. So the next time I blog, we should be at our destination.Thanks so much for all who have shared in this journey with us, and I will keep blogging once we arrive.God bless !
I lived and worked in this town between 1995 and 2000, and has it ever changed/grown. That is everything except the trailer that I lived in...it was actually empty. I saw where Laurie's cafe was still open, which is where I ate biscuits and gravy many a time before hitting the road. Mulvane is famous for its Old Settlers Day event, which has been going on now for more than 100 years. Complete with street dancing, yodeling contest, hog catchin', and just plain eatin' some great food. They also have an antique car parade, and man do they ever bring 'em out of the garages for this event. Many come out only once a year, and I took lotsa' pictures.Todays show was at The Villa...just one block down from the library on main street. While setting up, I looked out to see a few old friends I had not seen in over twenty years. They were not residents; rather they heard we were doing a show, so they came by for support. Halfway into the show, one of the residents got real excited and began to sing right along with us...which is always good to see.We have a weekend break, then our final Kansas show will be in Haysville next Monday. This show will be a 60's sockhop...how many of our readers remember those things?Stay tuned!
This small rural Kansas town has some of the greatest Quail hunting around. Some years back I raised German Shorthair Pointers, and would always take them to Clearwater with some of my buddies. On one particular outing we four of us bagged about 30 Quail, and one of my pointers retrieved every one of them.
Todays show was exceptional because we got to sing through our new system...hurrayyyy.
This is actually the first of two shows today...the next one is in Mulvane, Kansas.
Our camera is working again, but we are using the internet in a library in a small town. Once we get settled, I will go back and post some pics.
Rose Hill, Kansas
Yes, that really is a name of the town we performed at today. Rose Hill is about twenty miles south east of Wichita, Kansas. For those of you who are reading our blog and following our trip (from out of state), that may not mean anything to you. For those of you who are reading our blog from other countries, Kansas is located in the midwest of the United States. It is also the state where the famous Wizard of Oz movie was made. No, Dorothy and Toto do not still live here, but the yellow brick road is close by.From the last time I was here (1997) Rose Hill seems to have grown, and there are two things significant about this town. 1) My mom passed away (in 1997) at the very nursing home we performed at today, and 2) The Rose Hill Christian church is where I got "saved" (in 1983) after a marriage failure and a failed suicide attempt. I honestly thought I would get a little emotional singing at the Carriage House today, but I kept it together just fine. Believe it or not, there were some residents (and staff) there that remembered my mom...amazing.The facility was absolutely gorgeous and the acoustics were outstanding...which made for a great show. I am singing My Way just great Stefi tells me. We also sing a fantastic Crazy by Patsi Cline...a real crowd pleaser.Oh, I just about forgot to tell you that I had a dance partner again today...Sheryl. She was wheel chair bound, but that did not keep us from twirling around the dining hall. All the while she was grinning from ear-to-ear. How good was that?Tomorrow we again have two performances...one in Clearwater, Kansas, and the second is in Mulvane, Kansas...another town I lived in for many years. Afterward we have been invited to my brother's for a BBQ.Stay tuned!
As of yesterday we were undecided if we should pursue our goal and continue on to New Mexico, or remain in Kansas.
Today, after quite a talk with my dad, the decision has been made to go on to New Mexico in pursuit of our dreams and goals. Stefi and I are artist and musicians, and we have longed to live in an artist community. In addition to singing, Stefi is a professional psychic, and wants to set up a store front to do palm readings. As for me, I am a gifted leather crafter, and hope to be in the same store with her.
As for our shows, we performed at Sunflower Meadows today...our first house party. It was very small, and only a handful of residents, but a little over halfway through the program, two of them suddenly got up and started dancing. Cleo (a man) grabbed Stefi by the hand and they both kicked up their heels, all the while she was singing. I then grabbed Bessy's hands, and we started twirling around. How fun was that?
Tomorrow (for the first time) we have two shows in the same day...one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
On another note, after searching high and low at numerous Goodwill's, I finally found a new 8-track tape player. You see, Stefi and I grew up in that era, and I kept all my tapes. So flying down the road we go in Honey now with our old John Denver (Rocky Mountain High) tapes blaring out the windows. Ohhhhh...I just about forgot a very important announcement...I got my camera back today.....YEAHHHHHHH !!!
It seems that our best laid plans may be taking a new direction. This whole tour idea was a means to begin a new chapter in our lives. We have retired, bought the motor home, and wanted to pursue the American dream of traveling from coast to coast in it. After two weeks, we find ourselves stalled in Kansas...beeseeching the Lord what to do next. I (Terry) am from here, and have mentioned that I have family and friends here. My dad is 81 now, and his health is failing, so a decision needs to be made...do we stay, or do we go on? Stefi has said she will be compliant to whatever decision I make, but I want what is best for her too. This particular part of the country is miserably hot, and the winters are bitterly cold. Unlike where would be living in New Mexico. On the other hand, we can do what we do, wherever we are...spreading joy, love, peace and happiness. Yesterday we performed at the Masonic Home, which is where my friend Birdie Martin has "existed" for over ten years. Walking in, we passed by many folks sitting in wheel chairs, and I had no idea what she would look like. The director (Linda) came over and pointed Birdie out to me. Making my way over to her, I held her hand, looked directly into her eyes and re-introduced myself. Due to her having a stroke she could not verbally reply, but I could tell in her eyes she knew me. We dedicated the entire program to her, and she nodded in and out while we sang. At the conclusion of the program, I went up and told her that I was going to her house to pet "Blackie," her favorite cat. At that, she began to cry, and said (somewhat) I love you...the connection had been made.Tomorrow we are off to Sunflower Meadows for a show at a very beautiful facility.Stay tuned!
Another day we find ourselves in the town of my alma mater, and having a great time getting re-acquainted with both family and old friends. As an example...I drove by Kountry Korner Kars, which is owned and operated by my old buddy Larry. While still living in Kansas, I bought several good (used) vehicles from Larry. He is an original midwesterner; complete with a cowboy hat and boots. His raspy voice also lends itself to this part of the country. One thing I always liked about Larry was his calendars and a great looking ball point pen with his business name on them. Sure enough, I barely sat down and Larry handed me one of each, along with a cold bottle of pop he keeps in a cooler. He was glad to see me again, and very proud of the tour we are on. For certain, Larry is one of dem' good ol' boys you find in these parts...thanks Larry...happy trails.Today's show was at the Vintage Place Assisted Living Center; and what a show it was. One nice thing is my dad is now going to all our shows while we are here, and he is loving all of them.We started this show with Sentimental Journey, and ended it with Stevie Wonder's I Just Called To Say I Love You.Did this place ever rock too, and most everyone sang every song right along with us...which always makes it an upbeat moment for Stefi and I.Tomorrow we are going to Wichita, Kansas, and the Masonic Home. I am really excited about this show, because my old friend "Birdie" Martin has been a resident there for five years, and I know she will be glad to see/hear us.Stay tuned!
Eight days later, we finally arrived in Derby, Kansas...my alma mater.It has been many years since I have been "back home." I plan on looking up some old buddies and maybe playin' some pool, and kickin' it at a Karaoke bar. I don't know if any of you look at the weather map, but if not, it is 110 degrees in Kansas today. Geeesssshhhhh! That is like unbearable, and it makes Stefi very miserable.This afternoon we did a show at the Alterra Sterling House, right next to the High School I graduated from. How cool was that?Not only were the residents there, but some family members and a small group of friends. It was so nice to have so much support, and the show itself was a smash. Due to the extreme heat, and some mechanical issues with Honey, we have decided to alter our tour some. In that we are staying in this area for a few weeks.As of this morning, I have booked seven local shows, so we will be kept busy, and not just hittin' dad's refrigerator. This trip has been very difficult for Queenie, our "Dogter." She is 70 now (in dog years) and she has diabetes. So we have to give her insulin twice a day. Every few days she gets lathargic, and we have to give her some Karo syrup, which seems to pick her right back up.Tomorrow we have another program in Derby, at the Vintage Plaza assisted living center. In a few days we are doing a 50's - 60's sockhop. Anybody remember those days?Stay tuned!
Kansas City, Missouri
We have found that spontaneity works best. Case in point! Before our trip began, we were given a gift card from Panera's Sandwich Shop. Driving through Kansas City, we saw a Panera's sign, so we said "Let's do it!" The direction sign was a little confusing, and after driving for eight hours straight (in the heat) my brain was beginning to fry a lil'. In any event, I turned at the sign, only to realize two blocks later I turned the wrong way. Turning down the next street, in the middle of the block was a Manor Care Facility. Stefi and I looked at each other and said, "Look's like a set up in the making." Pulling into the parking lot, Stefi went in to talk to the Activity Director. Need I tell you the outcome. The Activity Director told Stefi that her entertainment for the day (3 Banjo players) had canceled. Woo hoooooo. In about fifteen minutes we were set up and giving them the show of their lives. Honestly, the pay was not that great, but when you are doing things as unto the Lord, He meets all our needs...every time!Next stop is Derby, Kansas, my home town. All of my family is there, and anxious to share some good times.Stay tuned!