Visiting Old Friends and Our Miracle
One of the great benefits of this RV lifestyle, as I have mentioned in previous blog postings, is the many opportunities to spend time with friends and family we have not seen for a very long time. Such was the case while we were staying near Greenville, South Carolina for three days.
Russ and Lisa Aldrich were friends from church back in the 1980's. In 2001 they moved to Greer, South Carolina and we lost touch. Knowing we were going to be in their area we contacted Lisa's brother Joe Pere from Little Rock, Arkansa who we've kept in touch with to provide us with the Aldrich's contact information. We called Russ and although Lisa was in California, he was available and thrilled we reached out. We invited Russ over for dinner on Monday night, October 9 at our campground and we spent the evening catching up around a wonderful meal prepared by Karen.
One day wasn't enough, so Wednesday, October 11, we got together again with Russ, but this time at their place. Russ and Lisa have a beautiful home they built on a little over an acre of property on Lake Apalache in Greer. Their daughter, Fiona lives on the same property with her two young sons while their adult son, Jason and his family live and work only thirty minutes away. We enjoyed another great meal, this time prepared by Russ. It was so great getting caught up on their life in South Carolina! Honestly, our only disappointment was missing Lisa, but we will definitely keep in touch and will try to get together again in the future.
Joe and Ann Nunley, are relatively new to South Carolina. Before they moved to Greenville in July of 2021, Karen worked with Joe at Total Concepts. We called them and made plans to have dinner at their home on Tuesday, October 10. It's such a blessing to spend time with friends!
Prior to visiting their home, we took time in the afternoon to see downtown Greenville around Falls Park.
Like most cities, it is a busy environment with traffic and parking issues, but overall very picturesque with an incredible variety of food venues, coffee cafes, shops and our cultural experiences. It’s home to the Greenville County Museum of Art, with works by Southern artists spanning several centuries. Exhibits at the Upcountry History Museum tell the story of upstate South Carolina. Falls Park on the Reedy has riverside gardens, a suspension bridge and waterfall views.
Greenville has been lauded as one of the best cities in the U.S. In 2022, Condé Nast Traveler readers gave it a place of honor (6th place, to be exact!) in their Readers’ Choice Awards, particularly hailing its good eats: “The food lover’s town has a farm-to-table scene that continues to rise in the ranks … and its craft beer scene is seeing a similar explosion.” And more recently it ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 list of the best places to live in the U.S., where it scored 31st place out of 150 metro areas.
After walking and snacking around the downtown area for a few hours we drove to the Nunley's for our visit. Unfortunately Ann had a previous commitment for the evening but we had a great visit with Joe. He and Ann love their new home and have established themselves in their new neighborhood. Joe is busy with his contracting business and Ann at her work as well as in their church community. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and played a card game called Five Crowns.
While in the Greenville area, between visiting friends, I was hoping to make some progress on securing the parts I needed to repair the RV. I had been on the phone for over a week trying to arrange the purchase and shipping of all the parts I needed from Alliance in Elkhart, Indiana. The shipping became a problem.. Because of the size of the parts, the freight was going to cost over $300, more than the value of the parts! I was looking at a cost of over $600 for everything.
Okay, so I started praying for wisdom on what to do. What about stopping by an RV dealership in the area and asking them if they might have the parts I needed?
So on Monday, after we arrived and finished setting up at the campsite, I drove to Blue Compass RV's parts and service facility in the town of Duncan 4 miles away. I walked in with the broken piece of black extrusion T-molding from my rig in hand and approached the counter. Mike, the parts guy, looks at me as I asked him, "Do you have any of this laying around?" His response was not encouraging, "No we have to special order that from the factory." Behind Mike was the Parts Manager half listening to the exchange. "Hey Mike, we might have a piece downstairs."
Mike comes back to the counter with an eight foot section of black extrusion T-molding! Identical to what I needed to repair the trailer. He asks the Parts Manager for a price to charge me. "It's got a few scratches, $30 and it yours." So, you guessed it; I walked out with everything I needed to do the repairs and it only cost me 45 bucks!
This was a real miracle and worth sharing how our God cares about the little things that happen to us and how He makes provision for our circumstances. What are the chances that this RV dealership, hundreds of miles from the manufacturer, would have the exact part and length I needed to repair my trailer? I realize many of those who read this blog will chalk it up to pure luck, but I profess to be a man of faith and trust in a God who likes to work a miracle now and then. So, thank you Heavenly Father for your provision and blessing; You are AWESOME!