As we have traveled, we have learned to expect the unexpected.

After being on the road for just a couple of months, our oldest daughter told us that she would be having a third son (which will be our fourth grandson). Hmmm. Nine months later,  it is December and we get the greatest Christmas present anyone could ever receive. Well almost Christmas, but who’s counting.

Anyway, we find ourselves in Arizona heading to Texas for our winter jobs wondering if it would be considered cheating our experiment in work-camping to get settled in, in south Texas and hop a plane back to North Carolina for the birth.

We guess these are unexpected variables which none of us can avoid (and wouldn’t even if we could), so it all plays into seeing if it is possible to exist off of paying for your travelling with no other income than what you can earn on the road.

So far, so good, so leaving out of Tombstone, AZ, we travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico and spend a night in the nicest rest area, overlDSCN8349ooking town, which was stunning.

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It’s time to make preparations for our flight so as we travel across New Mexico and into Texas near El Paso, we confirm our reservations via internet.13171315

Now all there is to do is make the long trip to the southern tip of the state and meet our newDSCN8400 employers: Mark and Tracy.  Weird, huh. Mark and Tracy working for Mark and Tracy – even weirder, we don’t exactly work for them – we are being trained by them at a ministry that pays our expenses.

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The training consists of learning to sew, assemble, and install solar and wind screens as well as making complete custom screen rooms that are enclosures under RV awnings (which we also repair, replace, and install).

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After almost a month of “training”, it is time for the c-section birth of the new addition to the1416 family, so it’s off to the airport in McAllen for our connecting flight in Dallas, where we bump into an old and dear friend who Mark used to work with in his “former life”. It’s really nice to bump into a familiar face from back “home” and as we reminisce and talk about life in general, children growing up and moving out, and the rapid decline of the business Mark used to work at, we decide that we were correct in taking some time for ourselves and trying this new lifestyle.

Arriving in Charlotte, our youngest daughter(Kristi), her husband(Ash), and their son (Xander), pick us up at the airport and it hits us that it has been nearly a year since we have seen them (except on Skype) and we are elated.

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The next night, it’s off to see the other grandkids (Jason and Camron, sure wish Lexi was there), and be there for the new parents(Matt and Daffney) so they can rise early and head to the hospital for the 7:30am birth of Matthew Edward Soles, Jr.

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Wow, the only way this can get any better is for Mark’s parents to arrive for a great three-day visit.

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Then we run around here and there, do some Christmas shopping, get our haircut (thanks Christine @ http://www.salononspring.com/), take care of some business, go to church and reunite with our church family, visit more with Ash, Kristi, and Xander, and see a few old friends, Marks brothers, sister, and sister-in-laws. Whew!!! Two weeks fly by and the next thing we know,1645 we are back in the air and headed back to the Rio Grand Valley, where it is 30 degrees warmer and back into our work camping bliss.

We had a down right great time seeing our friends and family and would like to thank everyone for the hospitality and welcome home that we received. Even though it was a short visit, it was just the re-charge we needed.

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We miss you all…

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