Category Archives: Tennessee

Is It Time to Change Rooms?

That is a question that has no easy answer. Every 6 months, or so, we ask our selves, “Where are we going next?” We’ve met some great people along the way and some not so great. We’ve had fun places to park our RV and some not so fun places.

While in West Virginia last winter, Carol received a call from a that was interested in us coming to Austin, TX and working in two of their RV parks. Discussions centered around the usual topics such as work involved, compensation, and when do we need to be there. After a few phone calls, they offered to fly us to Austin to look at the properties so we would get an idea of what we would be doing. We did that in early April this year.

Based on this contact, we made the decision it was time for us to move back to Texas – the land of great smoked brisket, great sausage, fantastic Gulf seafood and family. I’ve been somewhat reluctant to pick Texas as a destination because Texas is hot in the summer. Spending summers in areas further north, where highs in the 90’s are unusual, has been enjoyable. By moving back to Texas in the late fall, we would be able to acclimate to warmer temperatures gently.

We also considered getting a gate guarding  job in Texas. With the Eagle-Ford Shale drilling operation growing and getting larger, there is a huge need for gate guards on ranches where the drilling takes place. Gate guards can make a lot of money and the work is not hard. It generally requires a 24/7 commitment meaning someone has to be awake at all times. We would have to split our sleep and work schedule. I would not be working as Handyman. We would be registering vehicles in and out of our gate assignment. The length of time on a gate can vary from a few weeks to a few months. We began talking to a couple of gate guarding companies about this work. This looked promising.

So here we are just a few months away for our time at Manchester KOA to come to a close and we do not have a firm commitment from Austin. And we’re not 100% sold on the idea of gate guarding. So, what do we do? We pray, asking God to reveal to us what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go. And He spoke.

I really love what I do as Handyman. I’ve always enjoyed that work. People tell me I am good at it. Next week, we are going on a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Our kids have come together to give us this trip of a lifetime. I jokingly post on Facebook a comment about asking the cruise director if I could apply for a job as Handyman on the ship. That would be way cool, but highly unlikely. Realizing the options of being a Handyman on a cruise ship would be a stretch, I asked a couple of my real estate friends about working with them as Handyman. Just about all realtors use them.

One  realtor said,  her husband does that work for her. The other basically said, “I can keep you as busy as you want.” We asked and God spoke. He said, “This is what I want you to do!” No not literally with words. He spoke to our hearts. Carol and I were in agreement that this is what we would do. She would handle the business side of our new work, while I would do the project stuff.

After spending 20+ years in Corpus Christi, we know lots of people there. This is where our realtor friend, Brenda Marshal, is. But there is a problem. Corpus Christi area is a winter Texan destination spot. We know from previous experience, that it is difficult to get a long-term monthly RV site anywhere in the Corpus area especially in October. We called a few places we were interested in parking only to be told they had no spots available. Only one said they had a waiting list.

On Monday 7/31, Carol called them and found out that Sea Breeze RV in Portland has a temporary space for us through December. After December, we may have to move to a different site, but they will have a long-term space for us after January. Carol worked out the details and called me from my work to let me know we need to give a deposit for our site. This means making a firm commitment to do this. After a few question, I agreed and said, “I don’t know how this is going to work out but I am trusting God to work out the details.”

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “ Jer 29:11 (NIV)


Later than night (7/31) I was checking my email and found one from Rachel Dekker. I never get an email from Rachel Dekker. She is the oldest daughter of Ted Dekker, who is one of my favorite Christian authors. They have my email address from an on-line Bible study I recently completed, The Forgotten Way. Her email describes a scenario where she needs to step out of her comfort zone (room) to complete a task at hand.  I am hoping she will give me permission to share her message in a future blog post. Trust me when I say, her email was a huge affirmation of our decision.

Then this morning (8/4) my daily inspirational message said:

I declare Faith over fear.
Isa 41:10-13
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

One Sure Thing

When God speaks, He is clear. Affirmations surround us and help us stay focused on completing the task set before us. Initially, Carol was not convinced Corpus Christi would be the destination. Once God settled that in her heart, we knew this was our next calling.

We certainly do not know all the details yet, but we know who holds all the details. God’s timing is perfect as are His plans. We place our trust in Him and not our own understanding (Prov 3:5-6).

For us, it is time to changes rooms. I appreciate the support and encouragement that comes from family and friends. Please continue praying for us as we prepare to make this change.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.







Tales From the WagginMaster has been silent since April 2016. I guess you could say I’ve been in a funk. Not necessarily in a state of depression, but just plain old ho hum funk.

The other day, my youngest daughter ask me why I had not posted in a while. I used the lame excuse, “no topic”.  She replied, “Well, just write about what God is teaching you. That got the gears in motion. After giving her comment some serious thought, I’ve decided it is time to go public with what God has been teaching me. Some may see that as a means of becoming vulnerable. I see this as a means of sharing good news. But first, I must digress and fill in the gap between April 2016 and now.

In my previous post, I reported that I hit the ground running. I can say that I did not stop until mid October when I began to wind down my projects and prepare for our journey to West Virginia for the winter. More on that in a bit. In Manchester, TN I worked as the park’s Handyman. That suited me well since I love to work on projects, large and small. I had full control of my time meaning that I did not have set hours. I did my best to get my weekly activities completed in 4 days so I could enjoy a three-day weekend with Carol.

Carol had an accident in May where Cody (our beloved Golden Retrieve) unintentionally pulled her off the landing at our RV. She fell about 3 feet onto our concrete patio and fractured her right wrist and was bruised pretty badly. (I’ll spare you the photos.) She was out of work for about a week but bounced back just fine.

I worked after-hours on a few projects so I would not disrupt customer activities in the registration office or store. Largest project was a complete renovation of a one bedroom apartment above registration. I had great helpers along the way who made my work go quickly.

About mid summer, we began searching for a winter position. We found several spots and talked to many park managers only to find nothing felt right. In God’s time, He led is to a conversation with Fox Fire KOA in Milton, WV. Carol and I agreed this was the place for us so we began making preparations for relocation. We had to leave Manchester a week earlier than planned but that also worked out well. We did make a commitment to return to Manchester, TN for our summer 2017 spot and are looking forward to returning.

img_0294-2Before we left Manchester, TN. Cody (our Golden Retriever of 12 years) developed congestive heart failure. On Wednesday,October 5th we took Cody to the vet for the last time. He was met at the rainbow bridge by many of our former fur babies. His final resting spot is on the property of Manchester KOA where the owner and his son dug Cody’s grave while we were at the vet.

img_0303A couple of weeks later, Carol and I visited PAWS of Murfreesboro and fell in love with Chessa. She is German Shorthaired Pointer mix and a puppy. Yes, a puppy. She is now about 7 months and is supper smart. She is house broken, loves her crate, and loves daily walks and play time with me. It has taken about 6 weeks for MeiLing (our Chinese Crested) and Chessa to figure out each other.

We still miss Cody dearly but know he is no longer suffering as he had been. There will always be room in our hearts and home for fur babies.

After a short 400 mile drive, we arrived at Fox Fire KOA in Milton, WV the week before Halloween weekend. We stayed in this park in the spring when we traveled from Shenandoah Valley KOA in Virginia to Manchester KOA. It did not take us long to get settled and into a work groove. Carol and I work Thursday-Saturday from 9-6 and every other Sunday from 1-6. We leave here at the end of March and plan to visit the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, KY on our way back to Manchester.

Ever since our work time in Amarillo, TX (winter 2014/2015), God has led us a great worship spots. In Amarillo, it was St. Stephen Church. In Virginia, it was Grace Covenant Church. In Manchester, it was Christian Life Church. And here in West Virginia, it is New Life Church. Plus Carol and I have enjoyed participating Bible Study Fellowship’s study of Revelation and The Gospel of John. I am also working through some online Bible study courses from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Now, what has God been teaching me? For that you will need to check back for the next post. If you want a clue, take some time to meditate on this passage of scripture.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

Think about why God sent His Son, Jesus, to the world.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.







Faithfulness and Trust

Many are familiar with the 23rd Psalm. I can remember memorizing this as a child many years ago.

  1. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
  2. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
  3. he refreshes my soul.
    He guides me along the right paths
        for his name’s sake.
  4. Even though I walk
        through the darkest valley,
    I will fear no evil,
        for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
        they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me
        in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my head with oil;
        my cup overflows.
  6. Surely your goodness and love will follow me
        all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

This passage is certainly a pretty cool description of God’s faithfulness as Israel’s King David  experienced it. Have you experienced God’s faithfulness? I know we have, especially as we enjoy our retirement trusting in God’s faithfulness as He provides places for us to work as we travel about.

Each time we relocate, we find our fur babies are a bit confused. While we travel, their home becomes a traveling hotel. Cody and Mei Ling can sense things are not as they were. They tend to sleep while we are moving and get active after we get the motor home opened up. When we take them for a walk in a new park, they search for a favorite spot only to find their spot is not to be found. The next day, we close up the RV and watch them looking at us with confused eyes.

Regardless of this state of flux, they continue looking to us for stability. This past week, I was paying close attention to Cody, our Golden Retriever. I noticed that his devotion to me is interesting. He stays by my side (or feet) almost constantly. When I get up in the morning, he is by the side of our bed and greets me with enthusiasm. As I slowly get dressed in the morning, he is at my feet watching every move I make.

When I put my shoes on, he and Mei Ling get real excited as they know what that means. I head for the door, grab their leashes and they sit in anticipation of going out for a stroll. Generally, they wait for me to decide which direction we will go when I get outside. After finishing their business, we head back to the RV. They know to wait at the bottom of the steps, waiting for me to call them back into the RV. Once back in, they again turn towards me and sit as I remove their leashes.

After our morning stroll, I fix their breakfast meal. They both sit and watch my every move, anxiously waiting for me to give them their morning treats, meds, and meal. Since Cody is the alpha, Mei Ling sits and waits for Cody to finish his meal before eating hers.

After they’ve eaten and I’ve picked up their food bowls, they settle for the morning. I pull my computer over to the dining room table for my morning routine. Cody proceeds to watch me. Once I’ve settled at the table, he lays at my feet. Mei Ling goes back in the bedroom and takes a nap on Cody’s bed. If I get up for any reason, Cody and Mei Ling are both up watching me for my next move. Once I settle back down at the table, Cody lays by my feet again and Mei Ling goes back to Cody’s bed.

In Psalm 23, King David called God his Shepherd. By their actions, this is what Cody and Mei Ling are doing. They are acting as if I were their shepherd. Then the thought hit me. It was as if God was saying to me, “Jerry, do you give Me the same level of devotion Cody and Mei Ling give to you?”

OUCH! That hurt. Humbly I replied, “No, God, I do not. Please forgive me.”

Well, it is time for my morning routine to change a bit. It is time for me to focus my morning time on God and not me. I have learned many great lessons from God. He has always been faithful in providing all our needs and has always been faithful in keep us safe. Sadly, my actions have not demonstrated an equal level of trust and devotion.

How about you? How are you doing with that?

One thing I learned to do is to personalize the scriptures. This is one way a person can communicate with God. There are so many great passages in the Bible that can be personalized. Psalm 23 is an easy passage to use because the structure is easy to follow. There are six verses in Psalm 23. Each verse expresses who God is and how he cares for you at the moment.

Verse 1 Who God is in relationship to me, (2 phrases).
Verse 2 Where He puts me (2 phrases).
Verse 3 Describe the walk I have with Him (2 phrases).
Verse 4 Describe potential dangers and His protection (2 phrases).
Verse 5 Describe God’s provisions (3 phrases)
Verse 6 Describe my future in this special relationship with God (2 phrases)

Following is one of my resent personalized versions of Psalm 23.

  1. The Lord is my Teacher, I grow at the Master’s feet.
  2. You make difficult tasks easy as You show me the way.
  3. You build my confidence.
 You guide my mind through difficult processes for You know the way.
  4. Even though I am perplexed by challenges, I take comfort in knowing You will lead the way. Your Holy Spirit guides me as my spirit is tested and not destroyed.
  5. You fill me with Your knowledge that builds my trust in you; my hunger to learn is forever satisfied.
  6. As I continue to follow my Teacher, I desire to leave a legacy of knowledge that is rooted in Your glory and give You honor forever and ever.

As you go through this week, I encourage you read Psalm 23 and think about the structure. And, if you would like to share that with me, that would be cool. If you prefer to share your personal Psalm 23 privately, you can do that by using the Contact Us tab above or click here.

God remains faithful to us and is showing us how we are to spend our time while in Tennessee and in the right time, He will show us where we are to go next.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Home At Last

We left Amarillo, Texas on Tuesday March 31, heading East on I-40. 6 days and 1530 miles (2,400 KM) later, we pulled into Harrisonburg/Shenandoah Valley KOA in Broadway, VA.

The last leg of the trip from Salem to Broadway, Virginia was a short one (130 miles/210 KM). We decided to grab breakfast rather than fix something. The Omelet Shoppe sounded pretty good so that is where we headed. The restaurant looks like a converted Waffle House. Food was OK but nothing to write home about.

IMG_2573If we were just taking the car, parking would not be a problem. Parking a 38 foot motor home is a bit more challenging especially when pulling a small trailer. We found a spot in the Exxon gas station next door. (That is Cody, our Golden Retriever, up on the dash board. That’s his guard spot.)

IMG_2574I-81 traffic was pretty heavy this morning. It was moving but sometimes at a slow pace.

IMG_2596For our last segment of the trip, we, turned off I-81 and are now on Route 608 (Mauzy-Athlone Rd). After about 4 miles (6.4 KM) of a winding two lane road, passing a few dairy farms and a turkey farm, we arrived at the entrance to our new home.

IMG_2607After exchanging greetings and filling our motor home’s propane tank, we backed into our site and started getting our site set up.

IMG_2634We made good time on our 1530 miles (2,400KM) trip. Yes, we endured a couple of big storms along the way and one obstacle on the highway in Memphis, but overall, we had a good trip. It is not unusual to see an RVer broken down on the highway or worse, an RVer involved in an accident. On this trip, we saw neither. We enjoyed the company of good friends in Bluff City, Tennessee and had great food in several places especially Blues City Cafe in Memphis.

It was sad leaving our friends behind in Amarillo, Texas but it is good to have a chance to meet new friends in our new location. We have a fantastic site and look forward to many campfires. Tomorrow I will post more photos of our campground.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come see us now.


Hello Virginia

We got a late start heading out of Bluff City, Tennessee on Sunday after church and lunch. We had almost 300 miles to travel to get to our destination of Harrisonburg/Shenandoah Valley KOA. Because of our late departure, we decided we would drive half the distance Sunday afternoon, April 5th and the rest on Monday. Driving North on US-11, which runs parallel to I-81 took us directly into Bristol, Tennessee.


Bristol Motor Speedway

I pulled this photo from when we were in Bluff City in 2012. (It is hard to take a picture our of the side window of the RV while driving it.) NASCAR racing enthusiast should recognize this place. Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most popular NASCAR tracks in the NASCAR circuit. While it may be a short track, its steep banks enables racers to reach higher speeds than other short tracks. Bristol Motor Speedway is also known as the loudest speedway. We’ve been told that on race day, the sound emitting from the track can be heard several miles away.


I-81 @ Marion, VA

Just out of Bristol, we connected with I-81 and crossed into Virginia. We were told that traffic can be congested in I-81 but so far things look pretty clear. I-81 runs up to 2600 feet at Wytheville and down to 1100 feet at Salem and crosses US-11 in several spots. We had beautiful weather for the trip.


Our site @ Dixie Caverns Campground

Our spot for the night was at Dixie Caverns Camping in Salem, VA. The campground is small and nestled in the valley next to Dixie Caverns. We opted to not take the tour of the caverns. We were travel weary and were ready for a bit of rest. Tomorrow we will concluded our trip. To be continued…

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.