My Cousin Donna

She's in heaven.
We found out this weekend.

We won't be able to return to the U.S. for a memorial service. I was
having a conversation today with a friend and told him this news and he
asked 'Was she a believer?' Boy was she. We then discussed how asking
that question might upset some people.

He once surprised a pastor at his father's funeral by saying at the end
'Thanks for sharing, I look forward to meeting your dad.'

If you are kingdom minded, a Eulogy is little more than an introduction.

Often we get mired down in our earthly woes, but Christ reminds us to
keep looking upward and thinking about what happens AFTER our time on
earth is done. It affects how we live here, the decisions we make, etc.

So, with that in mind, and if you are assured of your salvation, let me
introduce my cousin Donna to you.

She's a very kind person. Her heart was always thinking about other
people, how they are doing, what she can do to make them comfortable.
She lit up every room she entered. She recruited me more than once to
play Santa for the youngest members of our family at the time. She
embodied the Christmas spirit, 365 days a year. She loved on my kids,
and they loved her back. Even when she wasn't able to get around much
near the end, she made a point to hand pick gifts for my kids and send
them over here in PNG. Such that, when we broke the news to the kids
yesterday, we had a gift from Donna and Jack to give to them.

She has a rare gift for uplifting people around her.

We'll miss her of course, but only for a short while. The time we'll be
without her will seem like nothing once we've entered eternity.


Water Mystery

We have been in a drought for 4 months or more, really since we returned in July, there wasn't rain.

But, we had water storage and were happy that, by using extreme water conservation techniques (like saving your laundry water and reusing it for toilet flushing, or wearing clothing more often then usual) we never ran out of clean tank drinking water.

Two weeks ago, it started to rain again.  After a few checks on my home made water gauge (I made it myself, designed it myself)... I figured the tanks were full and we were happy.  Two nights ago I went outside to find our tanks empty.  It was a shock.

After digging up the underground plumbing, I couldn't find a break or a leak.  So, I thought perhaps our water tank had rusted out from the bottom.
Sure enough it had.  See this pic with the light coming through? Those are whole at the bottom.  It didn't take me long to figure that out.

So thankful for 2 things,  #1 We had a backup tank that was purchased for us some time ago that held 1000 gallons, and THAT didn't drain empty.
and #2, that we're getting some rain now, so we should be able to keep that tank full.  Our capacity is down by 1000 gallons which may hurt if the drought comes back.

Here's Calvin helping me haul the old rusty tank out to the dump.

Yes he can drive, no I didn't let him drive that tank down the steep hill. and No he doesn't drive without a helmet. This was a pose only. (-;

Oddly enough, as I was wondering what to do with this tank, as local PNGians can cut them and turn them into roofs for their outdoor kitchens, I came across some men with a truck full of scrap metal and another tank. WHAT ARE THE ODDS? 
I offered the tank to them, they gladly accepted, so we didn't have to take the entire trip to the dump.  Awesome.

I've always been proud of our water situation.  Doing what we do, I am not the financial 'provider', but I have tried to make sure that the house is functional with things like water and power. 

Not getting rain water was tough on the community.  But I was pleased that we had water capacity as a result of moving to a new house and keeping our old tank.

I knew this tank would fail within the year, and I was thankful it didn't fail before the drought was over. 

It would be nice to pick up a new Water Warrior tank that won't rust, but we have to save up the funds for that still.
But we're not complaining, because it could have been much worse.  I could have not caught it in time, and we'd be without drinking water until the next rain.

It seems there is always something to fix around here on Saturdays, and I'm also very thankful for two teenage kids who can help me as I age.

(we also went and shoveled some dirt to cover any exposed pipe and protected any plumbing that might get 'stepped' on as well as built a small fence to protect the plumbed area.  I was certain someone had broken the plumbing, because it was the most obvious weak point.  But, now, it isn't as weak as before.  A full day's work to be sure, but work is always more enjoyable when your son is helping at your side.  This is our Saturday tradition and I hope it teaches him that he needs to work hard and care for his family as well as giving him the skills to do that.