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  • Writer's pictureMiranda

Thankful for...

During the month of November, our home church did an online challenge to name 15 things you are thankful for in 10 seconds. We built off this idea, each night sharing five things that we were thankful for before our bedtime family prayer. Our lists had common themes of family, old and new friends, experiences, warmth, repairmen, good food, and health.

We left Waterlily, NC, around noon as the rains started and wind began to pick-up. Travels along narrow farm roads brought us to a farm for a two-night stay on our way to Myrtle Beach for Thanksgiving.

Our first night of two at Nooherooka Natural, Harvest Host farm in NC, whose motto is "Our Animals Don't Do Drugs" had us thankful for gracious hosts, electricity and safe travels. Mrs. Mary Betty and Ozzie helped us settle in and provided a heavy duty extension cord from their out building as our generator wouldn't run and the forecast was lows in the 30's both nights. We met their herd of beef cows and pigs before a visit to the store to fill our freezer with steak cubes, chicken and breakfast sausage.

The next morning we were toasty warm with our electric space heater running all night, but my sister Lesa sent a text showing a temperature of 59 degrees in our house back in MN. The furnace had quit working overnight. The twins headed to Grandma and Grandpa's for the day. Thankfully, by noon, a local repairman was able to stop by and replace the part that broke.

About that same time, we were starting our biscuit making class with Miss Lillie - a cooking star on PBS with 75 years of experience. Mrs. Mary Betty had the fireplace crackling in the kitchen of their historic home where she welcomed us in and provided us with aprons. Miss Lillie loved "Baby Girl" Kate from the moment we stepped foot in the kitchen. On the other hand, she had her eye on "Old Man" Chuck.

The recipe was simple, three ingredients for southern biscuits:

  • about a half bag of self rising flour, sifted into a bowl

  • a small fist full of lard/shortening

  • buttermilk, room temperature, well shaken, until it and the lard made a slurry

We each were provided individual instruction and coaching through the hands-on process of making the biscuits. Forming a large well in the flour. Squishing the lard and buttermilk together. Combining the flour and slurry. Shaping the biscuits into a tucked, flattened ball.

The aroma of the fresh baked biscuits filled the home.

Three large pans were shaped, baked and shared at a finely set table with local homemade jams, fresh butter, honey, and molasses. We had plenty and even filled our freezer. On recommendation from Mary Betty, we completed our meal with ice cream from a local jersey cow creamery.

The next morning, Thanksgiving eve, we headed for the coast to Myrtle Beach. Crossing over the boarder into South Carolina was a noticeable change in landscape which included palm trees. The marquee at Lakewood RV Resort greeted us with the verse "Give thanks with a grateful heart." 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Thanksgiving would be the first major holiday we weren't spending with family. So I booked us a week of relaxing, rather than site-seeing, to make it special. Lakewood came recommended from friends and as I researched learned that it has a Christian ministry center located on their campus and even hosts a community potluck Thanksgiving meal for the campers.

We were in one of the 2,400 campsites and vacation homes on this 200 acre campus with a half mile of ocean beach. There were planned activities each day, an indoor pool, multiple lakes for fishing, but most importantly a basketball court.

Within minutes of parking the RV the kids were on their bikes headed to the court. There was some serious competition here and the gatekeeper of the courts was Tim. He wasn't the biggest guy but had the skills and clearly was a regular. He had nicknames for everyone. It didn't take long and Ben "Hat" and Mallory "Maverick" earned cred as a sibling pair who could play ball. The play was pretty intense. After taking a ball to the face Kate spent time at the playground, activities and the beach instead.

Chuck and I were entertained with stories at the campfire each night as Ben and Mal recapped the day of playing 2-on-2, 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 with "Passive Aggressive", "Tall Guy", "Bad Haircut", "Little Man", "Blondie", "Big Red", "Mitty", "Try Hard", "Try Hard’s Dad", "Sassy", "All Star", "Emo", "Frog", "Broken Foot", "Lane", "Man Bun". "Little Ben", "Jake from State Farm", "Braves" and of course Tim who decided the match-ups and rotation. Also important to note, was that Mallory's nickname changed as the week went along to "Lashes" and then "Melvin" as Tim developed a crush on her.

Thanksgiving Day started similar to previous years with me making a corn bake in the crock-pot to share during our meal. Then, Chuck and I went for a long walk along the beach and saw dolphins. The kids headed to the basketball court and playground.

The campground Thanksgiving Meal was planned for 1pm. About 350 campers shared in the community meal that had taken place each year since Lakewood opened 62 years ago. Lakewood Ministry provided the turkey, corn bread stuffing, rice and gravy, green beans and bread. The rest was potluck style. The afternoon included phone calls to each of our parents, watching the sunset on the beach, basketball, and a family game of cards back at Harvey the RV.

The next few days Kate and I took part in many planned activities: painting a Santa door hanger, ice cream with Santa, mini golf tournament, coloring contest, and sand art, We also had a good time as she learned how to do laundry. It is actually fun when there are carts involved and you can get four loads done all at the same time in about an hour. Chuck joined us for a peddle boat ride, walk on the beach, and fish fry dinner from a food truck.

Fisherman Chuck was intrigued watching anglers from the beach shore fishing. After talking with multiple guys he knew what he needed. Despite the fact that he had brought multiple (9) fishing rods, none would work to pitch the rigging out past the break nor did he have a big enough reel to hold the 300 yards of line needed. After remedying the situation, he dedicated himself to his favorite past time - fishing. But the bite was slow, very slow. Finally, on our last day, while the kids and I were walking the beach he reeled in 14" mullet.

Sunday morning we got up early and had biscuits and gravy breakfast before walking to church a few rows down from our site. The uptempo hymns and message brought Chuck and I back to our childhoods: Chuck at Fridley Covenant where his grandfather had been the pastor and me to a small Country Church in northern Minnesota.

By the afternoon the campground had emptied out. Most of the people remaining were seasonal or lived in the vacation homes full time. The friends the kids had met all went home. The camp store closed for the season. We had the pool, beach, basketball court, and mini-golf course to ourselves for the next two days. In fact, we were the only ones to show up for a Ping Pong tournament. Chuck brought home the first place ribbon.

Chuck even got our projector and speaker system set-up so we could watch the Vikings game streaming from his phone onto the side of the camper while we sat by the campfire. Skol Chuck!

He was also able to trouble shoot the water pump that had not worked since we left.

But, we did need to call a mobile repair team when our air conditioner compressor would run no matter what setting our thermostat was on. Again, it didn't take long for them to identify the problem and use a part with them to fix it.

The week at Lakewood was good practice for me in being still. With everyone having hobbies and activities I had quite a bit of me time. I found I am not very good at this. But this practice and realization was good for me too.

I'll leave you with a quote from the website of where we stayed that summarizes well the past three months...

"There is no better way to feel alive through travel, than to be on the open road. To feel the pavement racing beneath you. To not just go somewhere, but journey somewhere. To experience all of what we like to call, “the middle” that exist between where you left, and where you are going."


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1 Comment

Jan 17, 2022

Hmmmmm BASS fishing or BAS testing. What would I rather do???

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