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.
Yesterday we set the alarm for 4:30 to check the weather. There were differences in the predicted time of arrival of the heavy rains. We reviewed the radar and decided we had to either hurry and get on the road immediately or we would need to wait until 11 am or noon to depart. Heavy rain was on the way. We decided to leave and jumped out of bed and started doing the last minute packing. Joe, Charley, Gary and Abby were real troopers and got up to give us hugs. We pulled out of Francis Asbury campground at 5:34. It was lightly raining at that time. We were very blessed with only light to occasional moderate rain and no storms for the long travel day. We headed out on I-12 and then turned north on I-55 after about 30 minutes. We remained on I-55 crossing into Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and finally into Missouri. After Jackson, MS, we left most of the rain behind and picked up the love bugs. We prefer the rain. We stopped about every two hours for walks in the rest areas and driver change. The interstate was the worst in the Memphis area.
Shortly after crossing into Missouri, we stopped at the Welcome Center in Hayti. This rest area has a short walking trail and lots of sidewalks to walk. When we went inside the Welcome Center they were celebrating tourist information week by giving visitors free hot dogs and cookies. Nice. Also nice, Missouri allows overnight parking in rest areas so we parked, walked, ate and called it a day. We had been listening to a hilarious audio book, Murder Makes Waves by Anne George for he whole trip and only had about an hour left on it when we arrived. So after our walk we finished listening instead of writing a blog entry. The book is part of a Southern Sisters series that is set in and around Birmingham, Alabama. This particular book was mostly about the Destin area. We laughed a lot on our drive yesterday.
We slept well and were on the road again about 7:00 this morning. We continued north on I-55 through St Louis. We noticed yesterday and again today the severe flooding of the MS river. We also learned that Zachary, a community a little north of Baton Rouge was evacuating some people from their homes due to the rain of yesterday. We passed the beautiful arch in St Louis and it was on to Pawnee, IL and Midwest Mission Distribution Center. We will be helping to complete an addition to the warehouse. It was pouring rain when we arrived so we haven’t toured the job site yet, but we did spend the afternoon visiting with our dear friends Richard and Dianne. Thankful for safe travel.