Joseph Herrin (02-06-2014)
Back in Rural Middle Georgia
(Click on any picture to view larger)
Champ and I departed Jekyll Island on February 1st. We pulled out early in the morning before daylight. Traffic was very light since it was a Saturday morning. The route I take avoids Interstates as my bus cannot keep up with the speed of the traffic. The bus cruises well at 55 MPH. It will do 60 MPH if I floor it, but it drinks prodigious amounts of gasoline so I avoid pushing it much past 55.
I filled up the gas tank in Brunswick, Georgia, which is just inland from Jekyll Island. The tank was half full before filling, so I was only able to squeeze an additional $100 worth of fuel in. I filled up again when I reached Perry, Georgia which is about 10-15 miles from my destination. It was about 160 miles between fill-ups and the bus consumed an additional $135 worth of fuel in that distance. If gas were just a bit higher it would be costing me a dollar a mile to travel. (This explains why I travel infrequently and stay for extended periods when I locate somewhere.)
My trip went smoothly… most of the way. There was a light drizzle to a moderate rain just about the entire trip. My bus handled well, though the school bus type windows tend to slide down to the open position when driving. I had removed the springs in the window latches due to the latches being too difficult to press in to open or shut the windows. They are the original 1972 windows, so this is to be expected. It is not so nice driving down the road with wind and rain blowing in the windows on a cool winter day. The bus is not heated when driving. The trip gave me time to reflect on how I can modify the windows to make them stay up when traveling. I have the design firmly in mind. Doing the job will be one of my near term projects.
The photo above shows Champ standing outside The Dreamer in our remote country location. I had to drive the last 3-4 miles down dirt roads. The county had spread dirt on the roads recently. The dirt is actually Georgia red clay. With the rain falling on the roads, they had become very slick. I was within a mile of my destination when I got stuck. My trailer slid to one side of the road while my bus remained in the middle. Due to the angle of the bus and trailer I could not back up. The wet clay was so slick that when I stepped outside to look things over I had to pay attention to keep from falling down. I was sliding around in my rubber boots in the miry clay.
I had the entire road blocked, but it is very lightly traveled and there are ways to detour around it. Only one vehicle came by while I was blocking the road. The bus would not go forward. The tires were spinning. Fortunately they were not digging a hole. It was similar to sitting atop a paved road that is coated in ice. I tried contacting about 4-5 of the neighbors to see if anyone had a tractor to give me a pull. After an hour I was able to recruit one young man who brought his farm tractor and a chain. Surprisingly, he was easily able to pull me up the incline and I then made it the rest of my way.
It doesn’t look like Champ and I will be able to take any bike runs down these roads until they dry off a bit. More rain is in the forecast, so it may be a while. I miss the rides as much as he does.
You can tell by the picture that it will soon be time to start mowing grass here again. The grass under the fallen leaves has turned green already and there is plenty of moisture to cause the grass to grow. You cannot see it in the photo, but Champ has blood on one of his cheeks. A neighbor’s Pit Bull has come over and gotten into fights with Champ twice in the past three days, requiring that I pull them apart. Champ is part Pit Bull and part hound. Neither of the dogs were seriously hurt, but it was a sure enough dog fight this morning.
Champ stays in his yard as I keep him on a runner. I walked the neighbor’s dog back to his house this morning and told him what was happening. He said his dog has killed a couple of wild hogs in the area recently all by himself. I have seen some of these wild hogs and they are bigger than the dogs. Pit Bulls are a tough breed. When they grab hold of another animal they don’t let go. After I walked the neighbor’s dog home, Champ went all around his territory marking it with his scent. It was like he was saying, “This is MY PLACE and I will defend it!” Such is the beast nature.
My shoulders have been aching recently. One of the effects of the hereditary condition I was born with (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) is a greater laxity in the joints. I have dislocated both of my shoulders numerous times over the years. My right shoulder has felt like I have strained it for several days now, producing a throbbing pain that has made it uncomfortable to even sit at the computer and type. This morning when I grabbed the pit bull by his collar to pull him away from Champ I felt a pop in my left shoulder. Now they pretty much both feel the same. I have stereo throbbing shoulders. This too shall pass. I do appreciate your prayers for both myself and Champ.
I am regularly reminded that everything in this sin cursed world tends toward entropy. Everything is decaying and falling apart, including these bodies we inhabit. In recent months I have had to repair a number of things in The Dreamer. My laser printer that I use to print prisoner newsletters has been a real workhorse.
Brother HL 4150
I have printed tens of thousands of pages on the printer, and had replaced the image drum a couple times already. The image quality was degraded, so I figured it was time to replace it. I had previously purchased the wireless version of this printer, but opted to go with the standard wired model as it was several hundred dollars cheaper. I own an Apple AirPort router, so I figured I could operate the printer wirelessly through the AirPort.
I found that the AirPort, though operational, was dropping data. This is not good, as the printer does not tell me when it has omitted a page that the router dropped. I did not want to be sending out newsletters to men that were missing pages. I used to work in computer management, and have certification in computer repair as well as networking. Nevertheless I could not find a solution to the dropped data. Research showed me that many other users were having the same issue. The AirPort router I owned was an early model and I thought perhaps that purchasing the newer, revised model would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it didn’t. But my daughter was happy because she got an additional birthday present when I gave her one of the routers. Now Kristin can run her home stereo from her iPhone, iPad, or Macintosh computer.
In the end I had to connect my laptop to the AirPort with an ethernet cable using a corduct to hide the cable and to keep from tripping on it. That solved the problem and now my printer does not drop anymore data and I can play music from my laptop through iTunes, sending it to my stereo in my bus, which is very nice.
When we had a hard freeze on Jekyll Island about a month ago (it got down to 21 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -6 Celsius for international readers), my instant-on hot water heater was somehow damaged even though I kept water running through it all night.
The water heater mounts to the front of the trailer I pull behind my bus. It needs to be mounted outside as it runs on propane and needs to be vented. I decided to wait for some of the cold weather to pass before replacing it. Yesterday I tackled the job and it is nice to be able to use the shower in my bus again.
Arriving back here on the property I had to order a new burn barrel since the one I had used last year was completely rusted out and falling apart. I don’t have trash collection here.
This morning the power went out in my bus. I noted that the circuit breaker that controls the power outlet I plug into outside was weak. That was my fault as I had installed a 20 amp breaker to power the circuit when it actually needed a 30 amp circuit. My bus has a 30 amp plug, but I had been using an adapter to plug the cord from the bus into a 20 amp outlet. I had weakened the breaker last year by running too much current through it.
Fortunately, I had a spare breaker on hand, but it too was a 20 amp breaker. Consequently I decided to upgrade the electrical connections outside, installing both a 20 and 30 amp breaker and outlet. The 20 amp will be used to power my small freezer in my trailer, as well as the grain mill, and a battery charger. The 30 amp will power my bus.
30 Amp RV Outlet
20 Amp Outdoor Receptacle
I have ordered the parts that I need and will install them as soon as they arrive.
As I have thought on this I have considered how the natural realm mirrors the spiritual. Even as constant attention is needed to keep material things from falling into decay and ruin, so too must the Christian give heed to the maintenance of his/her spiritual life. If we become complacent things tend to fall apart. It is needful to evaluate our spiritual lives from time to time in order to discern if things are slipping. Are we still fervent in prayer? Are we daily studying the word of God? Are we actively seeking opportunities to be a light and a testimony in this world? Are we walking by the Spirit, or have we become independent in our lives, being led by our soul? Are all our decisions submitted to the Father to know His will?
If we do not remain spiritually vigilant, and correct problems as they crop up, soon we will find that we are like a man who let his home fall into ruin. We will wake up one day and find ourselves living in a dilapidated hovel where the roof is leaking, the plumbing is broken, the appliances no longer work, and the electrical system is in a dangerous state of disrepair.
I have sought to correct problems with my bus as soon as they crop up. We should be equally as diligent to stay on top of problems in our spiritual lives. If we do not, that which started small will turn into something larger.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
On another topic (but still related to moving), I want to advise the readers of this blog that Eliana Yoseph, the young woman from England who has followed the Lord in traveling to Mexico to share the gospel and love of Christ with the people there, has a new website. Eliana registered the domain name www.the-good-seed.org and will be discontinuing her blog site.
Pray for Eliana
Eliana has chosen the name La Buena Semilla (The Good Seed) to represent the work she is doing at the leading of the Lord in Mexico. Eliana is a very talented artist. This is shown in the drawings on the walls of her home, and the various projects she is undertaking as a form of outreach to both children and adults in the area of Las Margaritas, Chiapas. I was blessed to see the delighted faces of the children who participated in an art project that Eliana put together.
You can seen more pictures on her new site. On the home page you will also find a link to sign up to receive her ministry newsletter. Please continue to keep Eliana in your prayers, and to support her in whatever way the Spirit of Christ might lead.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063