Today was another beautiful spring day in Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa is in full bloom. Azaleas, star magnolias, dogwoods – all the trees full bloom. We are having the typical weather – cool enough to need a little heat to knock the chill off in the morning and then Fred wants a little air by 2-3:00 and then a light blanket again at night. It’s great!
What have we been doing this week. Working. Max thinks he needs to go back on project to get some rest. He has been doing the spring cleaning on the exterior of Fred. Everything is nice and clean now and the wheels and mirrors are bright and shiny. However, within a couple of hours of Max washing and treating the roof the pollen had collected in a thick layer on the roof. Guess we may have to rinse it off again in a couple of weeks when the pollen count declines. At least we are accustomed to this pollen and we can still breathe.
Anne has been working on accounting. There was all the business books to complete as well as tax returns for both the moms, the two aunts and our personal return. She is making good progress but will be really glad when she has it all completed. We have been getting in some good walks each day and have only been to Cookout for shakes twice. We did take a little break this afternoon and got our passport pictures made. Our passports expire in about 6 months so it’s time to get them renewed. We would love to go to the Canadian Maritimes, maybe back to Alaska, maybe other far away places. We also did a little shopping while we were out. Other than visiting with some of the neighbors, that’s about it for our week. Hope you had a good one.
Yesterday we went to church at First United Methodist in Red Bay. We have gone there a couple of times before and are always made to feel welcome. Scott and Teresa, the other NOMADS couple at the Tiffin Service Center attended the service with us. In the afternoon we went to the Red Bay Museum where a former state representative from the Red Bay area was unveiling a new exhibit of Native American artifacts, some of which were uncovered in archeological digs on his property. While there we looked through the rest of the museum. The town is very proud of the Tammy Wynette room. Tammy was born in Tremont, Mississippi – just a few miles down the road. It is a really well done museum.
We were expecting to sit in Red Bay today and just wait on our cabinets to be ready tomorrow, but we got the call about noon that they were ready to be installed. Installation took about 2.5 hours. Then we headed to Tuscaloosa, carefully watching the weather. Even with the predicted risk of severe weather we had nice weather the whole way. The only time we got rained on was while hooking up the truck before we left.
We are now safely driveway camping again in Tuscaloosa.
Of course, one of the first things we did after getting set up was walk to Cook Out for milkshakes.
Yesterday we were back in Bay 3 before 7:00 am. And by noon all of our outstanding warranty issues were fixed – we hope. The intermittent issue with the front heat pump seems to be corrected, but we will have to try it a few more times to be sure. Assuming the heat pump and radio problems don’t return, this may be our last trip here for a while because they completed the last of our warranty work. From now on we will take care of things ourselves if it is within our abilities.
After we finished there, Bunkhouse RV Conversions called to say we could come on over to get our new end cabinets installed. They looked good, except the cabinet shop made the drawers too small and they will have to be rebuilt next week. So today, since we had to check out of the Tiffin Service Center campground, we moved across the street to Bunkhouse’s campground.
Other than all that exciting news, Anne has been working on books and taxes and Max has been working around the rig. We did go to Hometown Pizza again yesterday afternoon and walked to Cardinal Drive-In this afternoon. Of course we continue to make new friends and hand out more NOMADS brochures.
Yep, still here. But there are worse places to be. Actually, we have been enjoying the slow pace here. We have enjoyed making new NOMADS friends and talking to other RVers about NOMADS.
On Monday morning we walked across the road to Bunkhouse RV Conversions to get a price on replacing our sofa with theater seating. That afternoon we were surprised to get called into an express bay after lunch. The technicians worked on FRED for about an hour that afternoon and had us return on Tuesday morning. They were able to fix several of the items on our list but preferred to let the others wait for a regular service bay.
After leaving the express bay on Tuesday we walked back over to Bunkhouse to see when they could change out the furniture. They had just had a cancellation so we closed up FRED again and drove him right over. By 4:00 pm we were back in our campsite with new furniture. Since the theater seats are not as wide as the couch was, we ordered two custom built end cabinets to fill in the spaces and give us a little extra storage. Tuesday night we took time to enjoy a movie comfortably reclined.
Wednesday, was spent doing bookwork and some FRED cleaning and maintenance. And socializing. We went to dinner with two other NOMADS couples here. One couple we had met so we enjoyed getting to know them better. The other couple we met at dinner and enjoyed discussing their upcoming Alaska trip. After dinner we attended a “Tiffinite” get-together in the customer lounge. With all the food there we should have skipped supper. We spent most of the evening answering questions about NOMADS.
Thursday morning it was back to bookwork and work around the rig. Right after lunch, we got a call to report to a service bay. There we were met by a very customer oriented technician who listened to our list and immediately started to work. He did not finish so we have to be back there at 7:00 am. Hopefully we will be finished with our list and have the rest of our new furniture by the end of the day tomorrow.
Today started way too early. It was dark out. We were up and on the road at 4:25 headed toward Cullman, AL to meet our dear friends Dave and Carol for breakfast. There were leaving Cullman this morning for Ohio to see Dave’s mom who is quite ill and they left their motor home in Cullman with some NOMADS friends. We were on the way from Red Bay to Oneonta for church. We had a great visit and a very good breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Carol as they make this hard trip. They should be back in the area Wednesday night so we may get to see them again Thursday before they start their long trip west.
About 7:30 we were on our way again to Lester Memorial. It was so nice to be back in our home church. Hopefully we will be able to attend for several weeks now. Missing our church is one of the hard things about traveling doing mission work like we do. The worship service was wonderful, the music great and the message was a word from God. Such a blessing. It was also great to be back in our Sunday School class.
After church we went to visit our LOLs at the rehab center. It was really good to see Aunt Helen and Aunt Jean. Helen had definitely gone down since we left for Texas in January. She is talking less. She did know us although we aren’t sure she knew our names. She of course held our hands and told us “You made my day.” Sweet. Jean was ill when we left in January and is feeling much better now. She seemed pretty spry today. Neither of the ladies seem to have any sense of time and don’t seem to know if it’s been a day or a month since our last visit. Sad.
On the way back home from church, we drove through the tornado damage from Thursday’s storm. It is really miraculous that there were no injuries. Large trees down on houses, and trailers cut in half by trees were easily seen from the highway. They are still working to restore utilities to the area.
Donna invited us to have lunch with her and Barry which was great since our refrigerator at the house is obviously pretty bare. It was great to have some time to visit with them. After lunch and a quick trip to check on the house, we all went back to the church for a meeting about a trip to the Holy Land and Germany and Austria for the Passion Play next year. Sounds very interesting. We may try to make another trip to the Holy Land. Anne’s mother highly recommended the Oberammergau Passion Play. Sounds like it will be a great trip and a number of our friends are also considering the trip. We shall see.
After the meeting and some visiting with friends, it was time to return to Red Bay. Now it’s about time to go to bed.
Yesterday was a very busy day. It rained again during the night but fortunately when our team began packing to leave the rain had stopped. First out the drive today was Mark and Lisa. Mark is scheduled to return later in the project but Lisa’s daughter is expecting so plans may change. A little later Nancy and Gary started their long drive back to Georgia. We heard from both couples and Mark and Lisa made it home and Gary and Nancy were safely in the RV park for the night. It’s always hard to see our team members leave but we know we will see them down the road – hopefully soon.
After the good byes, it was time to get ready for the NOMADS board meeting. This was Anne’s first teleconference meeting since joining the board last September so there was lots to do and learn. Things went smoothly and a lot was accomplished and we were all tired at the end of the 3 hours and 45 minutes. Harry came over and did the conference with Anne so they could work together during the meeting. Harry is secretary so he had lots of notes to make.
After a little break we went to Sammy’s Grill with Harry, Janet, Stel Jodi, Mary, and Randy for dinner. We were sorry Cheri and Butch couldn’t join us. When we got back to FRED, it was time to finish packing up and get to bed.
This morning we were up before 5:00 completing the cleaning and packing. We had FRED ready to roll by about 7:15 with Anne taking the first leg back toward Alabama. It was an uneventful drive except for a time when we drove past what we thought might be a flea market in Mississippi. Cars were everywhere including all along the side of the highway. It was a huge crowd. Then Max saw a sign. It was a chicken auction! Who knew? Never heard of a chicken auction. Car auction, cow auction, pigs. Yep. But not chickens. Anyway we made it back to Red Bay, AL (one mile inside Alabama from Mississippi) safe and sound and now will wait until Monday to find out how long it will take to get some warranty work done on FRED. So thankful for the uneventful, safe travel day. Remember to be in prayer for services tomorrow.
Today was a cloudy day threatening rain from about lunch on. We did not get rain until after we got home from work. We know there was at least one tornado in Blount County with damage in multiple areas. We have not heard of injuries yet and are praying there are none. We also have not heard of damage on Pine Mountain but we don’t know for sure.
We were accused of having too big a smile on our faces when we sang “This Is The Day” this morning at the start of devotion. This is the day we turn over leadership to our new leaders, Stel and Jodi. We didn’t think we were smiling that much.
Gary brought us a moving devotion from Mathew 25:31-46. He shared two times he was visited by angels unawares. We had good discussion. Thanks, Gary for a great devotion time.
After devotion we talked about our final work day in Baton Rouge – until next month – when we won’t be leading. This has been a hard working team. Finishing drywall is difficult work. Lots of sanding over our heads. The team was up to the task. We appreciate their work so much, and we know the homeowners do as well. We finished our week with Mark, Lisa, Cheri and Butch back at Baker Drive finishing drywall and, at the homeowner’s request) reducing the height and lengthening a half wall they installed yesterday.
The rest of the team went back to Norwich. One of the first things we did was move the huge roll-in shower down the hall and into the bedroom. Next was reinstalling the portion of the wall we had to take down yesterday in preparation of moving the shower into the bedroom. The installers have to come do some work before it gets put in the master bath. Then we resumed sanding, and mudding the ceilings and walls. Norwich is starting to come together. There is still a lot to do but it’s getting there.
Tonight we gave the keys to the church to Stel and Jodi. We will be doing the final paperwork in the morning and turning that over to them as well. It has been a great four weeks and we are sure the next eight weeks well be great as well.
Tonight we went to dinner with Laraine, the pastor responsible for missions in the LA conference. We were discussing the possibility of the LA Conference transitioning to a community outreach project with NOMADS after they close the disaster relief down the end of May. We hope this works out for them.