On The Road / Series I / Article 3

for the Pickens Progress in Jasper, Georgia

by Barbara Taylor & Homer S. Sewell III

Since our last visit we have had a lot of things happening. As of yesterday we are driving the AbeMobile with a new engine installed. We picked it up yesterday in Watertown, Wisconsin an have driven over 1,100 miles in the last three days. We found out that the overheating problems had caused major engine problems so decided to go ahead and spend the money to have a new engine put in. Homer had to pay over $5,200 yesterday to pay for the new engine and new carburetor, radiator repairs, etc. So hopefully we will not have any more problems. We may look around and find something newer to trade in the current AbeMobile for a newer model.

Back on Monday, November 16, Homer took off in a rental car to make the rounds for a week all over Wisconsin. He visited Pittsville, Prairie Farm, Rice Lake, Eau Claire, and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Edina Minnesota while I stayed with the AbeMobile in the parking lot of a repair shop again.

Then Homer came back and picked me up and we lived out of the rental car and motels for two weeks. We missed the roominess in the AbeMobile. We headed out on Sunday for Dubuque, Iowa Falls, Waterloo and Lake Mills, Iowa. We also took a trip across the line into Adams, Minnesota to speak to a church school there. The night before Thanksgiving he spoke at a church pastored by some friends of ours in Albion, Iowa.

We were invited to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with a nice family Homer had met while in Iowa last year. Don is a Methodist pastor in Albion and Beaman. He preaches at both churches (which are about 18 miles apart) each Sunday morning. They have two daughters, Faith, 7, and Hope, 11 they adopted several years ago. Two very smart little girls who were constantly reading to us and Faith was drawing us lots of very nice pictures. We took time on T hanksgiving day before we ate to go for a three-mile walk. More and more towns across America are converting their old railroad tracks and right-of-way into bike and walking paths and there was a nice one near Don and Trish's home in Beaman. We enjoyed our little walk and saw a couple of deer in the woods.

You may already be aware of the fact that Abe Lincoln (the other one) signed into law our National Holiday of Thanksgiving. Homer points this little-known fact out to his students in his travels and reminds them to give thanks to God for all the blessings He bestowed on them each year....including, but not limited to, a wonderful country to live in, a school with a Principal and teachers who love them and want nothing more than to see them grow up to be something special and successful and to thank ABE for the holiday. It was the best Thanksgiving I've had in a long time.

We left Sunday after Thanksgiving to head south to visit three schools in Boone, Iowa on Monday and then on to Adair, Chariton and Burlington, Iowa. We also made stops in Alexandria, Palmyra and Salem, Missouri before being able to head back to Wisconsin Friday evening to pick up the AbeMobile. We then headed south to Highland, Illinois for Monday's school.

We miss ya'll back there in Jasper and are anxious to get home in a two more weeks. We will be home for two weeks and then are off for five months all the way out to California and Washington before schools get out in May. Hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday and are getting ready for the Christmas season.

What's the weather doing back there? We have had unseasonably warm weather these last couple of weeks and hope the snow and cold hold off until we can get back to beautiful north Georgia.

Until next time.....Barbara with ABE signing off for now......