Lake Life

& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405. There is a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting, also.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email,  or (800) 422-2260 or visit
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Henderson County Retired School Personnel meets at 2 p.m. the second Wednesday each month at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 451-3585 for info.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email  for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Suicide Survivors Group for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 675-7270.

German couple visit lake area on US tour
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–You know how local city leaders are always trying to think of ways of attracting visitors to the area?
GermanTravelers.jpg (227263 bytes)Well, here’s the story of two visitors who found their way here all the way from Germany, via Canada and the North Pacific Highway.

Monitor Photo/ Barbara Gartman
Anne and Stephen von Mering stop at Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City for a few days’ rest before continuing their planned trip to Florida while touring America.

They are Anne and Stephen von Mering, just a couple of typical RVers making their way east after completing a tour of the Pacific coast.
Typical, except they came all the way from Europe, traveling through much of Canada and the northwestern United States.
This is their second trip touring North America, and to prove it, a large map is displayed on the outside of their RV.
The states are all a different color, with only one blank spot remaining.
“We haven’t yet been to Kentucky,” Anne explained.
Their current trip included a tour along the famed Highway 1, down California’s Pacific coastline to San Diego.
“We were on our way to Purtis Creek State Park the evening of Feb. 8, when we were caught in a heavy rainstorm,” she said.
The couple carried a travel guide containing all the roads, highways, places and possible stops a traveler might enjoy.
While seeking a place to pull in out of the rain, a listing for Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City caught their attention, so they decided to stop for a few days.
At Lakeridge, they met owner Barbara Caudell and became friends.
Both Anne and Stephen began telling how much they have enjoyed traveling.
No matter what country one is from, the dream to travel is often elusive. The couple took to the roads soon after Stephen retired from being a judge.
“I have tried both civil and criminal cases, which included family court,” he said. “After retiring, we sold our home and bought our RV.”
Working through a travel agency, the couple arranged for their RV to be shipped to the U.S.
Three weeks later, the couple boarded an airliner and flew to Baltimore, where they picked up their waiting vehicle.
“We were worried. We had heard so many stories about vehicles being vandalized on the trips over, but nothing happened,” Anne said, “so we were able to begin our trip right away.”
They left Baltimore May 10, 2009, and have been traveling for almost a year.
America’s wide-open spaces and the amount of unspoiled wilderness to be seen was an exciting experience for the travelers.
The von Merings live in Oldenburg, Germany.
“The country of Germany is about the size of the state of Montana,” he explained. “But, there are 80 million (people) living there.”
By comparison, Montana has an estimated population of 974,989. No wonder it is the state with the third lowest population density and is called “the Big Sky Country.”
“We covered more than 40,000 kilometers, about 30,000 miles,” Stephen said, including 1,500 miles of unpaved road that took in the famed Dempster Highway in Canada.
The Dempster Highway (also known as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8) is 457 miles of gravel road through the Arctic wilderness from Dawson City, Yukon, to Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories.
The road is two lanes wide, and in some places, the gravel pad ranges from four to eight feet deep, to prevent the road from sinking when the permafrost melts.
The merry travelers reentered the U.S. from Canada, and continued visiting the west.
“We celebrated my 66th birthday in New Port, Oregon,” Anne (who looked very trim and nowhere near 66) reported.
“One of the most moving events for me was our trip to Yellowstone (National Park). It showed me just how insignificant I am,” Anne said.
Stephen, 68, was most impressed by Bryce Canyon in Utah.
“It was beautiful to see the unusual (rock) forms. Looking up, it was like being in a temple,” Stephen said. “It was very beautiful and so quiet. I couldn’t get over the loneliness and the solitude.”
The couple are slowly moving towards Florida, with plans to arrive in time for the 90th birthday of Anne’s “American mother.”
“In 1960, I was an exchange student in Michigan, and lived for a year with my host family. We stayed in touch,” Anne said.
One of six exchange students, Anne said they were the first in that area.
“I graduated from Perry High School,” she said. “In Germany, I taught deaf children.”
The wanderers plan on returning to Germany May 5, completing their second North America odyssey.
And though Gun Barrel City doesn’t compare to nearly 500 miles of gravel highway or the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, the solitude of sacred Bryce Canyon, or the majesty of Yellowstone Park, their visit to Cedar Creek Lake will stand out in their memory for a different reason – the warmth of the friendship they found while here.

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