Gumby Strikes Again

Wednesday, March 13, 2018

Today was another really nice day in Baton Rouge. It was a little windy this afternoon but no rain again today. Three days in a row during the work week that we could work outside – that may be a record for this trip. Nice.

Lisa led us in devotion this morning referencing “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. She reminded us that everyone always tried to separate Linus from his blue security blanket. Linus drops his blanket when he uttered the works “Fear Not.” The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears. The birth of Jesus allows us to drop our false security blankets. Linus picked his blanked back up. Why? Don’t we all do that too? The show ends with the kids worshiping in song. Linus then leaves the blanket at the base of the tree for good. Jesus wants us to cling to him, not the false securities we sometime cling to. We need to leave our worries, insecurities, anxiety, at the foot of the cross. We had good discussion and several of us plan to watch the movie again sometime soon. Thanks, Lisa and Mark!

Today Gumby was in the mix again. This morning Mary, Randy and Gary went Finished stepsback to Harry’s house to complete the hand rails on the steps. They completed the job by lunch time and joined Anne, Harry, Janet and Nancy at Norwich to continue the drywall finishing. Stel and Jodi went with Max to Baker first thing this morning. They needed to be familiar with that job site since they will take over lead this weekend. Butch, Cheri, Lisa and Mark also started the day at Baker. Butch and Mark were working on the water heater in Pam’s travel trailer while Cheri and Lisa were still working on drywall. After lunch we had them join us at Norwich too. We brought all hands on deck and try to get that house finished before we leave. Gumby struck again. While we were all eating lunch together – a first for this project – we learned our scope of work has changed. We are now going to install the very large roll in handicap shower in the master bath. We are also now going to finish the ceilings to be ready for heavy texture. They need us to move on to other houses, but the needs are growing at Norwich. So, the two bedrooms and hall that we had marked as “Done” are now not done and we will be sanding and mudding the ceilings in those places again. There is much work to be done to install the shower, such as frame in a wall and bust out a portion of the concrete slap and move the drain.  It’s God’s work. We are just the hands and feet. Sorry, Stel and Jodi. We aren’t going to get this one finished for you. This afternoon we had to remove the back door to get the shower in the house. We also began removing a portion of the master bedroom wall to allow the shower to be moved to the master bath. All in a days work.

Mark cutting even more drywall
Mark cutting even more drywall

This afternoon Stel and Max rode with Darryl to another house that needs work. After they got there it became evident that NOMADS will not be working on this house anytime soon. It needs the roof repaired before any inside work can be started. However, while there that did see an interesting bathroom fixture and a snake they had not seen before.


Mary's Birthday DinnerToday was Mary’s birthday so we all went out to dinner to a new-to-us restaurant, Montalbano’s Seafood. The food was very good, the company great and then we topped it off with a birthday cake. Happy Birthday Mary! It was another good day.

We don't see that many axe throwing stores around home.
We don’t see that many axe throwing stores around home. Saw this one on the way home this afternoon.

Back to Three-way Split

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cheri provided us a wonderful devotion this morning made even better by her beautiful singing voice. She reminded us to worship God in all we do every day and in everything we do.

We were split three ways again today. Mary, Randy and Gary went to Mr. Harry’s house to install the new steps on his front porch. They seemed to enjoy being outside and away from drywall dust. And they got to meet the homeowner who was also working on his house today. He is still living in a FEMA trailer in his front yard and really anxious to get back in his own home. The team finished the steps and will work on the railing tomorrow.

Lisa, Mark, Cheri and Butch went back to Ms. Pam’s house to build a new half wall in the kitchen, work on plumbing and, of course, continue finishing drywall. Butch installed a toilet for the crew so they don’t have to drive to the convenience store at every break. That made that job site so much better. He also, pulled the water heater from Ms. Pam’s travel trailer to see if he can get it working. It’s always great to have a plumber on the team.

More drywall finishing at Norwich Dr
More drywall finishing at Norwich Dr

Stel, Jodi, Anne and Nancy went back to Norwich Dr. to work on drywall. Harry took Janet to the urgent care this morning (Louisiana Crud) and then worked at Norwich Dr. Max got the other two job sites started then also worked on drywall at Norwich.

We are all tired this evening.

Kicking Off Week 4

Monday, March 11, 2019

We led devotion this morning using Philippians 4:6-7 encouraging everyone (including ourselves) to hand our worries to God – and leave them with Him.  The last part is the hardest.

Then it was back to work. Butch, Cheri, Harry, Janet, Mark and Lisa went back to Ms. Pam’s house on Baker Drive to continue work on the drywall and electrical. They got a lot more drywall done and tracked down and repaired the rest of the electrical problems. More importantly, Butch got the water heater installed and the water turned back on to the house. That is a big milestone for Ms. Pam. She has been without hot water in her travel trailer for weeks.

Lisa presenting card and gift from Michigan college students Ms PamOne special moment occurred when we presented Ms. Pam with a card and gift left for her by the Grand Valley State University Campus Ministries students. She was truly overwhelmed. If you read last Thursday’s post, you will remember that some of the students worked at her house for a while that day. Before they left they got to meet Ms. Pam and hear her story. They were very touched by it and decided to give their leftover hard-earned trip money to her along with a card in which several of them had written words of blessing and encouragement.

Anne, Gary, Nancy, Randy, Mary, Stel and Jodi went to Norwich Drive to work on drywall and finish installation of the tub surround.  Lots of progress was made on the drywall and the tub surround was completed.

Max bounced around between the houses and Lowe’s. Right after lunch Darryl took Max and Stel to look at two more houses he wants us to work on. On needs new steps and a little interior work.

The other needs all the kitchen cabinets installed. The homeowner went to the store and asked for a “complete set of kitchen cabinets” without measuring anything.  It will be up to us to figure out how to piece them all together and install them. It’s good that we like puzzles and challenges.

New Week, New Team

Sunday, March 10, 2019

We started this morning by attending worship with our wonderful host church. Pastor David asked Mark to be the acolyte today and Harry to lead the congregation in prayer. It is nice to be made to feel such a part of the family here.

Lunch at Sammy's GrillAfter church we all went to lunch at Sammy’s Grill and had a great time. Some of our team members had never eaten crawfish so the waitress brought a few out for them to try. Good food and good fun.

We ended the day with our usual team meeting where we had a few refreshments and spent some time getting to know each other. Looks like it is going to be another great week.

Baton Rouge DR 2019 Week 4 Team
Baton Rouge DR 2019 Week 4 Team

Goodbyes and Hellos

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Movie nightLast night for the first time this trip, we had a great night for sitting outside with our team. We all sat outside and watched “Forrest Gump” on our outside TV. Some had never seen the movie and for others it had been quite a while. We even had an intermission because the college students came back in from New Orleans to pick up their luggage. They were going to the airport to turn in their vans and meet their bus to start their 20 hour drive back to Michigan. We were able to get some more hugs and pictures and after our prayer circle, said our goodbyes. They were such great young people. Makes you feel hopeful for the future when you work with groups like these. After they left we finished our movie. By the time it was over we had to have some blankets but is was still a nice evening to be outside.

Saying goodbye to the wonderful GVSU Team
Saying goodbye to the wonderful GVSU Team

This morning it was cloudy but by afternoon we we had beautiful sunshine. It was warm with some gusty breezes. Our high today was 79. Nice. Team members were out and about playing tourist today with some visiting the old state capital and the waterfront in Baton Rouge and others making their way to New Orleans to the WWII museum along with some great food. Our new team members all arrived within a little over an hour shortly after lunch. Everybody is safely parked and the new folks have been on a tour of the agency. All the chicks are safely in the coop. It was a good day.All In

“See-You-Down-The-Road” day.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Today was a nice day in Baton Rouge. It was a little cloudy and a little breezy but a nice warm, not too hot day.

Today was a “see-you-down-the-road” day. First we said goodbyes to Dave and Rita. They are headed home to family and grandchildren. We have heard from them and know they safely arrived and hopefully we can get together for dinner when we get back to Alabama in a few weeks. Next we said goodbyes to Jean and Larry. This was our first time to work with them and we quickly grew to love them. Very talented and hard workers. They have the longest drive today, hoping to make it to Tennessee. Wisconsin Maple SyrupWe have not heard from them yet. Lastly we said goodbye to Bob and Anne. They had the shortest drive over to Fontainebleau State Park. They will get a little R&R before heading on their way. We had never worked with Bob and Anne either but also quickly grew to love them – easy folks to love. Last night they gave each of the couples here some Wisconsin Maple Syrup that Bob and his brother make every year. We haven’t opened it yet but are looking forward to some pancakes and syrup soon. Thanks so much, Bob and Anne. Thankfully they are both beginning to feel better from the Louisiana crud. We know they are safely parked for a few days too. Sad to say goodbyes but sweet knowing we may see some of them at annual meeting in September and you never know when you will work together again.

We took today to rest and work around the rig. Tomorrow we have three more couples arriving. There are a lot of NOMADS traveling this weekend so please keep them all in your prayers.

Ash Thursday

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Today began as a rather cloudy day but we have had no rain, so far.

Rita and Dave brought our devotion today. They shared a Lenten devotion by Rev Penny Ford of Trinity UMC in Tuscaloosa. From Mathew 3, Jesus fasted 40 days – 40 days of Lent. We have ashes placed on our foreheads in the form of a cross for Ash Wednesday/Thursday, with the ashes representing our mortality and the cross forgiveness. During the time of Lent, we are encouraged to give up something to focus on God, or take on something to serve God. Thanks, Rita and Dave.

After devotion we all headed back out to our regular jobs, except for the two that had to go to the urgent care. It seems we are keeping the urgent cares in business. One of the ladies at church said “Welcome to Louisiana. It’s the Louisiana crud. We have all had it for over a month now.” Not very encouraging to us because none of us have gotten over it yet. We are all tired of being sick.

Max, Larry and Harry went back to Mr Jessie’s house to complete the front porch. They got it all completed. Mr Jessie was so happy. We presented him with the Bible from all the NOMADS. When the guys were getting ready to leave he was sitting on the front steps. He said he just wanted to sit outside and watch the cars go by. So glad we could be a small part of getting him back in a home. Now, after the VA installs the ramp, he will be able to get in and out on his scooter and up and down front steps with hand rails.


Out at Norwich, we continued to do what we have done all week. Anne, Rita, Dave and Jean sanded and applied more mud. You can really tell the improvements that are being made, but it’s still not complete. At lunch the twenty college kids arrived to load our construction debris into a trailer and help clean up our worksite. They picked up all the drywall scraps and even loaded the two cast iron tubs into the trailer. They made short work of it all. Those are some strong young women and men.


At Baker Drive, Janet, Lisa, and Anne O continued to work on drywall. Bob and Mark continued to work on electrical problems and they had to take out drywall to find some of the electrical boxes again. The ladies are never going to finish if they guys keep cutting more holes. Bob and Mark did make big progress today. They got the lights on at Baker. Good work! After leaving Norwich the college group went to Baker and cleaned up debris there, also. Before leaving there they came inside and had a prayer circle with the NOMADS for the home owner and the work. The entire team has really enjoyed getting to know these students. They have been very energizing and inspiring.


Tonight the team went back to Freddy’s for hamburgers and ice cream. So good!! We are saying goodbyes to Dave and Rita, Anne and Bob, and Jean and Larry. They have been such a joy to have as part of this wonderful team. They will be leaving tomorrow and we pray for safe travels for them all. After Freddy’s, we returned to the church for Ash Thursday services. Yes, we had Ash Wednesday services yesterday but today we had Ash Thursday service. Our college friends from Michigan were given tickets to the LSU baseball game last night so Pastor David agreed to have services for them tonight. Wonderful time with the young people tonight. They too will be leaving tomorrow so we also pray for safe travels for them. Another really good day. Now if we could just all get well.