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.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Hand of God

We are still in upstate New York for a few more weeks before we begin heading west. Nevertheless, we are having a great time, and keep ourselves open to new adventures.
That might just describe what took place in Walmart yesterday (Saturday).
Stefi and I went shopping at Walmart, and as we walked in, we heard a man singing rather loudly...but off key. As we passed by, he stopped singing, reached out for Stefi's arm and said "Can you sing?"
To give you the abbreviated version, we volunteered to offer our singing services for about an hour right there in the entrance of Walmart, and it was for a good cause. There was a money jar on the table for a Army vet who had been injured in Iraq, and people were dropping money in the jar for him. Phil was the man's name, and he could not have been happier that we sang.
As we were leaving, Stefi said, that was just like the hand of God reaching out and touching my arm. For us, it was just like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow...were we ever blessed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We Suffered A Minor Setback

We have suffered a minor setback in the form of our digital camera breaking. Luckily it is under warranty and has been sent to the factory. I called them and they said a 2-4 week turn around. However, in the meantime I will continue to post, only without pictures until our camera is back. Our next show is not until July 3rd, so hopefully (with prayer) it will be back by then.On a side note from our tour, we have an addition to our family. One day while taking a walk, Queenie (our "dogter") began to smell with vigor in the grass. Stefi investigated and found an abandoned nest of wild bunnies. It recently had poured down rain and the temperature was hovering in the low 50's, so the bunnies we extremely cold and displaced from their next. We did the only humane thing, and that was to bring (all five of) them in. Some were smaller than the others, and less developed. We began an every two hour vigil of giving them milk with an eye dropper. Unfortunately, over the course of a few days, all but one has passed on. We had picked out a favorite and named him Runty...because he was the obvious runt of the litter. Runty really took to Terry, so he immediately became his surrogate father. The one that survived we have named Lucky, and "he" seems to be the heartiest of all. He now lives in a wonderful habitat full of his natural elements. We may just keep him for a while to get him over the hump, then release him. Or, we may take him on the road as our newest pet....stay tuned. Footnote: Seems nature took its course, and all the bunnies have since passed on

Warwick, New York

Located firty-five miles north of New York City sits the distinctly rural town of Warwick...complete with rolling hills and dotted red barns.
Our timing was perfect because their 16th annual Applefest was in full swing with its Victorian charm.
The show itself was wonderful, and our singing was mostly on pitch and tempo. The residents really got into it; singing right along with us on many songs. One resident named Joe, had a notable bad disposition to many of the past singers, and we were told by the staff afterward that, “Joe sometimes gets violent with our performers.” During the program, not knowing this, Terry offered one of his maracas to Joe, and Joe got right into the music. In fact, on many of the songs, Joe was overheard blurting out “Oh yeahhhhh.” We videotape all our performances, and make them available to each facility.
Stay tuned for our next show at Valley View in Goshen, NY, on July 4th.

Tuxedo, New York

For those of you who are following our Westward Ho Tour, our first stop was at Tuxedo Place, in Tuxedo, New York. Christine Murphy is the Activity Coordinator there, and she greeted us at the door. The program itself went well considering there were very few attendees. Terry is still working on the tempo of Mack the Knife, and My Way (by Frank Sinatra) went over extremely well. Stefi was strong as usual, and she is enjoying Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” a little too much. That is because she always points at me during the part “these boots are gonna’ walk all over you.” From the show we drove to Black Bear campgrounds in upstate New York, and camped in Honey, where it poured for three days. It was cozy though, and we seem quite comfortable living in such close quarters...compared to the two-story home we just moved out of. Queenie (our Dogter) is under foot as usual.Our next performance is on June 6th at Schervier Place in Warwick, New York; I will be posting some pics and a little write-up.STAY TUNED !

Finally On The Road

For those who are following our road tour, we got loaded Sunday morning around 10:30. Some ten hours later we arrived (safely) in upstate New York at Stefi's Grandmother's. We will remain here until July 10th, and have four shows to do here. Then we begin our actual tour on July 11th in East Stroudsburg, Pa. Stefi and I are very blessed to be able to realize our dreams and goals of hitting the road like this. Not too many couples are on the same page and are willing to give up their material "stuff" to do what we are doing. In what time we performed in Pittsburgh, we experienced literal miracles as we watched folks get right up out of wheel chairs and dance. The staff stood by amazed at what they were seeing. We know it is God doing all this and we acknowledge Him in our midst.While here, we will be taking "Honey" (our motorhome) to some lakes and I'll be throwin' in a fishin' line or two. Got to mix in a little play with our work ya' know. Queenie is enjoying her self as wellBe Blessed


For those who will be following our tour, these are the dates/locations/Activity CoordinatorJune 1 Tuxedo Place Tuxedo, NY June 5 Schervier Pavillion Warwick, NY July 4 Valley View Goshen, NY July 6 Campbell Hall Rehab Middletown, NY July 8 Juniper Woods, Catskill, NYJuly 11 Pocono Valley East Stroudsburg, PA July 12 Manor Care Cleveland, OH July 13 Alterra Sterling House Columbus, OH July 17 Home of the Innocents Louisville, KY July 19 Alterra Sterling House Derby, KSJuly 20 Alterra Sterling House Oklahoma City, OK July 20 Alterra Sterling House Oklahoma City, OK July 21 Alterra Sterling House Oklahoma City, OKJuly 22 Oaklake Trails Depew, OKJuly 24 The Cottages Amarillo, TX July 24 Potter House Amarillo, TX July 25 Heritage Amarillo, TX July 26 Bivens Amarillo, TX July 28 Five Star Quality Albuquerque, NM How is that for a tour? I will endeavor to post something after each program. Please come back and follow us aas we head out on Route 66.

Sweet Spinner Number 2

Hi Y’all – this is Stefi aka # 2 of the “Sweet Spinners”. I am a professional vocalist and this is my first “BIG CROSS COUNTRY TOUR” – yeah I know – we aren’t being sponsored by Pepsi or Michelob – so why such a big deal? Because we are sponsored by a power much greater than ourselves.I have performed in night clubs, recording studios, and theaters for many years. I must say that the most gratifying experiences are those that truly touch our audiences in a healing and compassionate way. Music really is the “healing voice of the world” and in each facility we perform in I feel HIS presence with ever greater strength (it’s Sunday so let me expound!)Singing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities keeps me mindful and grateful for what I have, a great husband, a travel worthy home, a cool dog and a voice to sing with. Who knows- we might stop for karaoke one night and get “discovered”! For now I am happy to be of service in this capacity!Blessings on your journey and may HIS Presence guide you – Stefi

Sweet Spinner Number 1

This is me (Terry) and I am one half of the Sweet Spinners...the other half is my wife Stefi. I grew up in a singing family. My mom instilled in me the love for music, and bought me my first trumpet when I went into the 4th grade. I played various brass instruments all through school, and when I joined the Navy, I played in the Admiral's band. On September 5th, 2004, Stefi and I married, and have begun a wonderful life together. I lost my mom in '97 to cancer, and she passed in a nursing home. Stefi's 90 year old grandmother has Alzheimer's, so we have the struggles of that condition. These two facts birthed within us a love for nursing home residents. Coupled with both us being blessed with musical talents and abilities, we decided to put a smile on their faces by providing them with an entertainment program. We chose to sing music from the 40's, 50's and 60's. It has been absolutely wonderful to see their smiles and to hear the comments after each show. Because of the cold in Pa., we have decided to move to New Mexico. So I came up with the idea of what we call the Westward Ho Tour. The "tour" will begin in New York, and end in New Mexico. It took me fifty plus years to finally be doing what I love doing the most...singing and bringing smiles to the forgotten.

Our "Dogter"

We would like to introduce to you the love of our lives...Queenie -- our Dogter. We rescued her a few years back and she has became a truly wonderful companion. She will be joining us on our up and coming Westward Ho Tour. In fact, she actually has many personal invites as the petting dog. She is quite photo genic so picking just one photo is difficult...there will be more as this blog develops. This is a pic after one of the shows...poor thing!

Hitting The Road

My wife, Stefi, and I, aka "Sweet Spinners" are about to embark on the time of our lives. Both of us have been blessed with musical talents and abilities. We have chosen to maximize these talents by putting them to good use via providing musical programs for nursing homes and assisted living centers. About a month ago we lucked into a vintage (1978 Chevy Motor Home) we lovingly call "Honey." She was a one owner with only 59,000 original miles on her...how often do you come across such gems? Stefi has put the ladies touch inside, and I have lent a hand to some minor mechanical issues...overall she is ready to roll. That is exactly what we plan on doing beginning July 1st. Stefi, myself, and our "Daugter" Queenie are starting a Westard Ho Tour...beginning in New York, and ending in New Mexico. It is my (Terry's) intent to chronicle our tour. Touring has been a life-long dream of Stefi's...maybe not in nursing homes though. Me, I'm just going along to fill Honey up with gas ever once in a while. Our first stop is at the Tuxedo Place in Tuxedo, New York. The Activity Coordinator there is Christine Murphy, and this will actually be our second time there. Last time (for the first time) a few of the residents actually got up and danced while we sang. We always consider it a miracle to see residents dancing around the room with canes This is just a preliminary announcement of our up and coming tour. As the tour progresses, I will make additional posts...along with pics. For now, here is a pic of our Honey.