Joy Ranch April 6 – May 6, 2018 Post 1

Joy Ranch

A Christian Home for Children

Woodlawn, Virginia

This place is amazing. Rolling hills and pastures lined by woods and forest. It’s so relaxing. This s a children’s home that our friend has been working for for the past few years. It is a Christian home for children. We got there and the hospitality is amazing. It’s like your home. There are several horses and a goat. The neighborhood dog waits for the kids and follows them all over. He is the sweetest. He lives a mile away and comes to the ranch everyday to play with the kids here. It’s cold and wet right now but over the next few days its supposed to warm up. The boys all have colds so I have been keeping them in to help them get better, which is a bummer because this place is a place where they could run around all the time and there is no worry for them. Last night we noticed durning the rain storm that there are leaks around some of our windows and the door that will need to be repaired. Just one more thing to add to the growing to do list, but just like your sticks and bricks house there are always repairs to be made.

So far we have been to Mount Airy. We went to their library and it was small but lots to do for the kids. There was tons of shopping and touristy shops in Mount Airy. It was fun though. They have a natural history museum that was really cool. We didn’t spend a lot of time there but I wish we had. It’s the inspiration for the Andy Griffith Show and they have so many shops and touristy things about the show here. Super neat.

The kids and I tried to find a hiking trail but got lost on some crazy road that turned out to be a horse trail and trail for ATV’s. I’m thankful we didn’t get stuck up that crazy place. The ruts from all the other people who had gotten stuck were huge, needless to say as soon as I could turn around and get off there I did. That was hilarious, lesson learned just because GPS says you can drive on it doesn’t mean you should.

We went to another neighborhood park called Felts Park and it was so much fun. It had a pretty good sized playground but the best was the stream that ran through it. The kids played for such a long time in it. Memories were made today as I watched them play in the bubbly stream with their sticks and little yellow bathtub boat. Halim trying to catch the small fish. Alima and I lounging on the grassy bank. This reminds me of why I love small town. The slow pace of life. The unhurried time spent just listening and watching the world around you with out a care.

Friendly people and hearing kids laughter ringing through the park was the sound that was so pleasing to my ears. The cool breeze blowing just light enough to blow the heat from the bright sun but still inviting you to stay a bit longer. the suns shining rays and the babbling of the small stream also beckons me to stay just a bit longer than I should. Watching the boys play in the water reminds me of the city life they had and how if we had not taken the leap and started on this journey they would have missed out on this special moment in time. The innocence that they have this moment will not be forgotten I pray. And at this moment Calvin says, “Can we stay here forever” and I think,”Sweet boy, I wish we could.” These moments my heart sings God is so good. God is so good to me.

So today was kinda scary for this Az. city girl. It was raining all day with pretty big gusts of wind but the worst was when I went and talked to our friends and they said there was a tornado watch! There was a tornado sighted in Greensboro and that is just south of us. I think the major part of the storm has passed but we shall see. Thankfully we have a place to go if it gets bad. It’s supposed t rain tomorrow so we will probably be inside again. I’m praying all the other people in the path of the storm is safe.

We made it safe truth the storm. It’s been raining over the last week, a lot.

We met Kendra and Mosie in Mount Airy. Friends who we had met when we were in Florida. It’s so good to reconnect with people who we have met and made a connection with. The kids have a had a few bouts with being homesick. I think that’s one thing that is hard for everyone at one point or another. We just reassure them that we will meet up with our friends again. This is the hard part abut what we do.

We are going back to Old Nick Williams today to shoot more video and to get product pictures. We brought all the kids with us it was a fun filled day. We took a walk while Hal was filming with Zeb. We got lost a little but had a fun time finding our way back. We found a creek and then walked the road and I got some great shots. I don’t think we have met anyone here yet who isn’t hospitable and just kind. Zeb and his family were such a great example of Southern hospitality. We really had such a great time with them.

Hal went with Zeb to the family graveyard and they both, despite their effort for being aware of where snakes were, got surprised by 2 Black Racers. They left there in quite a hurry. He also took us over to the Glass Fields where during the prohibition all of their alcohol that they had produced was dumped out and the bottles broken. It made me so sad to see the waste. I think about all the time effort and hard work that goes into anything someone creates and this is no different. I makes me sad to see all that wasted and destroyed. Zeb told us that you could do down many feet and still find glass. That should tell you that a ton was destroyed and wasted

We love the country and this place is defiantly out in the middle of nowhere. We took a drive around Galax the other day because we needed to get out of the house after being rained in for days and days. We drove to Galax and we were looking for somewhere to eat and after driving all over we just didn’t find something what we were wanting to eat. We ended up deciding on Taco Bell but instead of going to the one we were near, we went to the one in Hillsville which was way out of our way. A cool thing was that I was wearing my Sand Diego shirt and the server noticed and asked if we were from Cali and we said no. But then Hal, being who he is, started talking about how we were traveling and it turns out she and her husband are in ministry and knew a lot of the same kinds of people Hal did. We had dinner with them another night and it was s great to find out we had so much in common. This was a chain of events that we were not expecting but was a God moment. It was such a great connection. It funny how God puts you in situations that you would never be in unless you listen to what He is saying to you.

Where we went

Joy Ranch
Millers Bakery & Deli this is an amazing family owned deli and store
Carroll County Recreation Department this is another favorite park we visited while we were here.
Felts Park
Mount Airy
Old Nick Williams Co. Farm & Distillery
Mount Airy Museum of Regional History