We are currently residing in Bushnell, Florida and thanking God that we are not in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Holy Cow! That is one seriously dangerous storm and we are praying that it somehow fizzles before it hits land and spares the coast the worst of the potential damage. We were just in the areas that are going to be significantly impacted by this storm and can only imagine how they will cope with the surge of water that is headed their way. We got a call from the Red Cross asking us to be in New Jersey to serve on a Disaster Relief team, but given our pending trip to Haiti we had to turn them down. I am sorry about that because I know how much work the Red Cross has in store for them, but we could not make the 3-week commitment and still get to Haiti. Please pray for the people who have been and will be impacted by this storm. Based on the latest projections, that could include people as far west as Ohio and Kentucky.
So, here's a rundown of what we did this week - - a whole lotta nuttin'. We relaxed a bit the first part of the week and then checked out the Del Webb in Ocala. We really liked this community too. It's much newer (started in 2006) so there aren't as many homes as there are in others like Charlotte and Hilton Head. The amenities center was beautiful and so is the golf course. Apparently, Ocala has a different sort of weather pattern for summer. Because they are at a slightly higher elevation, they don't get as hot as the rest of northern Florida, plus they get a nice breeze all summer long. Could be a possibility for us as we like the tax structure for the state of Florida too.
The big thing we did this week was attend the 8th Annual Florida Finders Fest. This is a geocaching event held in Ocala National Forest and let me tell you, it was an absolute blast. There are a number of events that go on over the course of the weekend that were geared toward people of all ages. Every event was geocaching related, however, but some were more challenging than others. For example, there was a team gauntlet run that was several miles long and involved not only finding caches, but solving trivia questions along the route. Everyone we talked to thoroughly enjoyed that event, although it was a bit more grueling than they had anticipated. The event developer (Dave, whose geocaching name is "IceCreamMan") said it was a 5-mile course. What he failed to mention was that the course was 5 miles point-to-point, but the caches were placed in such a way that you criss-crossed the course in order to find everything and it ended up being 10.5 miles in total. OOPS!!!! Oh well. All kinds of teams participated - - there was a 3-generation family, a team of high school kids (boys and girls) who all wore fake mustaches (their team name was "Team Mustache"), a team of 10 people who were all in their 50's and 60's, etc. In addition to geocaching, they had a pinata full of candy for the younger kids, a creepy graveyard (including fog machine) that the pre-teen and teenagers had to cross to go trick or treating, t-shirt contests, a chili cook-off, tin foil hat contest and star gazing at night. Most of the participants camped right on site so they were able to enjoy all the festivities. We, however, were an hour away so we came to geocache and eat. We were lucky enough to win one of the door prizes though. YAHOO!!!!!
That's it for the update this week. I am anxious to go to Bible Study at the church we attend when in Bushnell as one of my fellow Moody students is a deacon there. I have never met this man in person but have had several on-line classes with him. Should be interesting to finally meet him. Aside from that, Steve and I plan to re-visit The Villages community one last time to completely rule that out as a future home site. We are going into Orlando to visit with one of the former pastors from Westgate Chapel who moved down here about 2 years ago, and a stop over in Disney. The remainder of our time will be spent preparing for our trip to Haiti and shopping for gifts for our dear Wilguens. I am excited to meet him but anxious about being in Haiti. I got sick when I went to India so I am a little leery of traveling again to a place where the water is unsafe to drink. I am sure it will be fine though and God will show us amazing things while we are there.
Love you all and for those of you on the east coast, please be safe. Until next week . . . . .