We finished our service visit to the Tiffin Service Center yesterday afternoon a little too late to drive to Tuscaloosa. After a visit to check-out (where we were surprised to find out that, once again, we owed nothing for the work) we got Fred mostly ready to roll and then walked around the campground talking to the people we had met during this visit. It’s always fun to meet new people and talk about NOMADS, RVing and Alabama.
This morning, after a before-the-heat walk, we made the short trip to Tuscaloosa where we will be for the next few days working on estate and real estate business with Anne’s brothers. And, yes, we have already been to Cook Out for a shake.
Things are moving faster than we expected here at the Tiffin Service Center. We got a call just after lunch to go to an express bay as soon as we could. We were in the bay less than an hour with a new air conditioner installed and tested. We have to go to a chassis bay tomorrow to try to track down a loose wire in the dash.
It has been a very busy week. Also a very hot week. Close to record highs each day. We are 10 or more degrees above normal for this time of year every day.
We hit the ground running after the long day of driving last Friday. On Saturday Max worked on the drive way that had washed a little due to all the recent rains. After that he was on the bush hog until about 7:30 Saturday evening with a little break for lunch and lots of breaks for water. Anne worked on laundry and started the process of emptying closets in preparation for selling the house. Sunday we met dear friends Barry and Donna for breakfast before church and then went to church and Sunday School. We heard a great message from Pastor Harvey. During the Sunday School hour the Director of Kids International Mission, the children’s home and school in the Philippines our church supports, spoke to everyone about the work being done and needing to be done in the Philippians. It was a wonderful time. After church we headed to the nursing home to visit with Aunt Jean and Aunt Helen. They seemed very happy to see us and we had a good visit. Randy and Debra, Max’s brother and his wife, arrived Sunday afternoon. They came with materials and tools for working on Max’s grandparent’s house.
Monday morning we started bright and early working on what we all call “Granny’s house”. It’s a farm house that is now over 100 years old. Therefore, it always needs work. This time we worked to cover the fascia boards with metal, replace some of the masonite siding with cement board and replace the ceiling and lighting in the kitchen. We worked twelve hour days more like Constructors for Christ projects than our NOMADS schedule. We were able to complete all our tasks late Thursday. It was a hard week but we got it done plus some additional items that came up like getting our air conditioner repaired, repairing a toilet at our house and two at Helen’s. Debra and Anne also began work on cleaning out some of the items we quickly moved to Helen’s when Jean had to go to the nursing home. They also put together some birthing kits for our mission team to take to the Philippines next week. We then took Friday for all four of us to visit with the Aunts, friends, and run a few errands.
That brings us to today. Randy and Debra left around 9:00 heading back to South Carolina and we left shortly after that heading to Red Bay, AL. This evening we are again parked in the Tiffin Service Center campground in Red Bay. Our rear air conditioner is not working properly (remember how hot it is?) Fortunately, the problem developed now because our two year warranty expires June 7. Hopefully we can get it replaced early next week. Maybe we can get a little rest while we are here.
The past two days were beautiful although a little too hot. Yesterday we didn’t really do that much. We decided to go to the Chatham Cafe for breakfast. The country skillet was just as good as we remembered it. Glad we also remembered to split it because it was even larger than we remembered. We went to the Interurban Trail that runs from Chatham to Springfield get our exercise. We didn’t get the bikes out but did some good walking. Otherwise we cleaned out the truck, put tools away and readied things for travel today. Richard and Dianne came for a visit and we said our “see you down the road” with hugs. We have really enjoyed spending these last few days with them. All four of us have been through a lot of stuff since we were last together in 2016 but as it is with good friends, we just picked up like it was yesterday. We will really try to not let three years go by before we get together again.
Today we were up early, completed our packing and were on the road before 7:00. We originally planned to make it a two day trip home but just kept driving until we got home at about 6:30 this evening. Long day, but we shared the driving and stopped and walked around every few hours. With no bad weather it wasn’t too hard. Now it’s like we gained a day because we can get some work done here tomorrow. There is always so much to do when we get back to Alabama – lots of grass to cut. We are so thankful for another day of safe travel. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
We had rain and storms with thunder and wind during the night last night. More rain is the last thing needed in this area. The farmers still do not have the crops planted. Corn should have been planted a month ago and it’s still too wet to get the equipment in the fields. The talk here is that corn prices are going up because there will be a small crop this year. That means gas will also be up. There are a lot of fields that are still under water from the flooding. Sad.
Today was a finish up, clean up day. All the scaffolding that we built was taken down. The front exterior was completed, over the loading dock. The metal arrived and took quite a while to get unloaded. Large heavy sheets of metal. It was decided that we would not start installing the metal roofing system since there would not be time for us to complete it this week. We completed the framing and will leave the rest for someone else.
Tonight we went to dinner at Sugar Creek UMC, next door to where we are working. They always invite the volunteers working at MMDC to their Wednesday night dinner. It was good pulled pork sandwiches with the trimmings and nice time visiting. It was a good day.
Today was another beautiful day. It was a little warmer and then we had a very light, short rain this afternoon. We were very busy working. The hole in the roof is now closed with the decking and the holes on the side are closed with the sheathing and the holes are all cut for the windows and fans. Decking and sheathing are now finished. All the wall braces are down and about half the soffit on the front is complete. It was a very productive day.
After work we headed to Scoop Du Jour for ice cream. It was our favorite place to go after work when we were working here in July in 2015 and 2016. It’s never too cold for ice cream so back we went today. It’s still just as good as we remembered.
Another great thing also occurred today. Last week in Baton Rouge at the dinner the church gave us, a lady asked if it would be okay for her to call the local TV station and get them to do a story on NOMADS. They have a local section called 2 Make A Difference and the church member wanted to tell them about NOMADS making a difference at Francis Asbury and the community. Of course we said sure, never thinking they would actually do the story. Late Tuesday afternoon just before we left for the Bible presentation on Norwich they came to “get the story.” Gary tried to throw us under the bus and get us to do the interview but we threw him under the bus since he was the leader. He did a great job with the interview and we were so disappointed that we never saw the interview air. Then this morning it showed up on the Channel 2 web site. So proud of Gary! Be sure to take a look before it falls off their website. (Click here)
Sunday was dreary, rainy, and cold all day. The temperature never got above 42. Time to pull out all the layers to stay warm.
We went to Chatham UMC with Dianne and Richard for worship. Sara, who was the pastor at Chatham UMC when we were here last, is no longer here. She became such a precious friend through Mary Alice’s illness so we really missed her. However, the new pastor, Miriam, was very good. After church we went out to lunch at Steak and Shake. Those shakes are so good. Then is was home to wrap up in a blanket on the sofa for a nap. That was about all we did yesterday.
Today we met Richard, Dianne and Rich at 8:00 to start working on the warehouse extension. The sun was shining brightly!! Still cool but no rain. Later two other volunteers also joined us. Last week they got all the walls up and started on the roof decking. Today we continued working on the decking. At the end of the day there were only eight more pieces of decking to install. Really good progress made. We also got to visit with Pat the former director of MMDC. It was great to see her. She retired a few months ago but is still doing some work for them. We also got to meet the new director, Chantel. Such a joy. She brings so much new energy to the agency while continuing the mission. Things seem to be going great at MMDC. It should be a good week.