It rained some more during the night last night and was very cloudy and a little drizzle when we got up this morning. 50 degrees. We are using the fireplace to knock the chill off.
Today’s devotion was led by Tom and Jenny with wonderful music and a devotion about the TEAs in our lives. All these things we need to drink in order to live our Christian lives to the fullest. These will all add up to our Spirituali-TEA. How we live reflects Who we serve and when we begin sipping on those “teas” in our lives and concentrating on those areas, we begin reflecting Christ more. These “teas” will help put us in the right frame of mind just like our morning cup of tea or coffee. Reflecting on these areas of our lives will give us a boost in our spirituality. We all got tea bags too, with the TEAs and scriptures attached. Great job, Tom and Jenny. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
Also today I would like to ask all of you to start praying for our dear friend Carol and her husband Dave. We received a call from Carol last week and she told us that she has stage 3 colorectal cancer. Since she has now told all our NOMADS family, we feel free to ask you to join us in surrounding Carol and Dave in prayer. We also think about yesterday’s sermon and know that God can handle this giant too.
We all headed back to work picking up where we left off on Thursday. Today Tom, Reid and Mike made great progress on the plumbing and the shower is now installed. Reid and Tom had to spend some quality time in the crawl space today. As you can tell from the photos, that space is not very large. Max and Bruce spent quality time on the scaffolding today. They completed the house wrap in the front of the cottage and began the siding installation. Hillary and Jackie continued to work on installing insulation and the front bedroom is now ready for drywall which should start in the morning. Jenny and Anne continued to work on straightening walls, installing shims as needed to prepare the living room area for drywall. They hope to have that area completed by lunch tomorrow, hopefully before. And, Suzanne, as she does so well, assisted us all by answering questions, offering encouragement and kept us all supplied. By lunchtime, the sun was out and we had a beautiful afternoon.
We played ping pong again after work today. We haven’t played in ages but have been enjoying afternoon games since arriving at Bay Shore. Thank you God for another good and safe day.
This morning the team went back to Trinity UMC. They combined their early and 11:00 service with breakfast at 9:00 and worship at 10:00 for today’s special service featuring Goliath’s spear. They invited the team to breakfast and of course we gladly accepted. They served various breakfast casseroles as well as pan pancakes, all sorts of wonderful fruit and sweet rolls. The pan pancakes were new to us, but very tasty. We will probably try to prepare them ourselves soon. Good item to feed teams. Wonderful meal and we appreciate their hospitality so much.
Trinity traditionally does something special for their fifth Sunday’s. Today they invited Sheldon Rhodes to speak and bring Goliath’s Spear for display. The spear is a Biblically accurate replica of Goliath’s spear. The spear is 12’7” long and weighs 33 lbs 12oz. Along with the visual aid of the spear, Mr Sheldon brought a message of encouragement to us to seek God’s guidance to defeat the giants in our lives. Everyone faces giants such as relationship problems, employment problems, addictions, health problems and the list goes on. Just as God was big enough to help David defeat Goliath, He is big enough to help us defeat the giants in our lives. Giants are no match for our God. Good service.
This afternoon after a late lunch, Suzanne joined us for a road trip northeast of Sebewaing. We headed over to Grindstone, MI, about 35 miles northeast of our campground. We drove Michigan highway 25 that travels along the shore of Lake Huron in tip of the upper thumb. We passed through several tiny villages along the shore that bustle Memorial Day through Labor Day. A lot of things close after Labor Day. Our purpose for going to Grindstone was to visit the Grindstone General Store. (Click here for a PBS video about the store). It is known for the largest ice cream cones in the thumb and we were told it would be worth our trip. We really expected there to be an old general store with an ice cream shop inside. Reality is that the old general store is an ice cream shop now and there would be no reason for anyone to make the drive expect for the legendary huge ice cream cones and some really nice scenery. We had the homemade sassy peach cheesecake ice cream and Suzanne had the homemade crunchy cappuccino. We both got the ice cream in a cup rather than the waffle cone (which makes for a better picture) and both were very, very good. Amazingly the huge amount of ice cream is $3.00 for what they call one scoop. We stopped at a couple of the beaches for brief walks and pics on the way back. Just love to listen to the waves. It was another really good day.
As mentioned above we are in what is known as the “thumb” of Michigan. We saw several businesses that use that term in their name – like Thumb Bank and Trust and Thumb Educational Services. This was the funniest:
Today was a sleep in day. We did not have to be anywhere at any particular time. It was great. After a slow start to our day, we continued our slow morning and watched a movie, did some laundry and just relaxed.
By mid afternoon we were ready for a little activity and headed back to Bay City to check out their Riverwalk. We did not realize that this weekend is the River of Time festival. The festival draws a huge crowd celebrating various times in the history of the US from the pioneer days to the Spanish-American War to Civil War, both World Wars, etc. There were re-enactments, guns firing, music, people in all types of period costumes with many spending the night in tents in the park. There were food vendors, crafts, and camp fires. Here are a few pictures:
We made our way down to the trail by the river and got some nice exercise walking about four miles. By this time the sun was bright with the temperature in the mid 60’s and it was a great day to be walking by the river enjoying the boats going by and watching all the water birds. We saw some really nice boats as we walked around the marina.
By late afternoon it was time to head back to Sebewaing where we stopped to pick up some local BBQ and returned to FRED to eat and watch a little football and another movie. It was a good day.
Today was a cloudy and cool day but we did not get the forecasted rain – at least yet. Just got off the phone with a prospective NOMADS member in Mississippi. They want us to bring our 66 degree highs home with us in two weeks or better yet, send it on south this week. The high at their house in MS was 95 today. We really hope it cools off at home before we return.
This morning rather than sleeping in we were up at our regular time and were on the road to Bay City, MI at 8:00. We, along with Suzanne, Tom, and Jenny scheduled a tour of the sugar factory at 9:00. This area of Michigan is the largest producer of sugar beets east of the Mississippi river. We can hear the huge trucks dumping the beets at the sugar factory here in Sebewaing from our motor homes. Unfortunately Michigan Sugar Company only gives tours at the Bay City factory where their corporate headquarters are located. The tour was very informative and fun. We all looked so cute in our hair and beard nets, hard hats and safety glasses. The sugar making process is really pretty simple, but when you do it on the huge scale of these factories it’s really impressive. They process 4-5 million tons of sugar beets annually. It takes 7 average size (ugly) sugar beets to make a 5 pound bag of sugar. So the beets come to the factory from the local fields. They are piled up for later processing or dumped into the “washing river” and make their way into the factory. After a good bath they go through a slicer that cuts them to about french fry size. Then they are cooked in water to extract the sugar. The sugar water then is cooked down to a brown sludge. The sludge goes into a centrifuge and then it comes out white sugar. The sugar is dried and then stored in huge storage tanks/silos. As needed it is then bagged and shipped, or they fill train cars with sugar for businesses like Kellogg cereals. We saw some sugar being bagged in Aldi bags and Walmart bags today.
After the tour we did some grocery shopping and then made our way back to Sebewaing. Then it was time for lunch and naps. Later in the afternoon we walked back to old downtown Sebewaing to Cornerstone Ventures and had some really good ice cream. It was a fun day in Michigan.
It was long sleeve weather today, 60 when we got up and the high was 66 with wind. It was a sunny day so as long as you were in the sun it was nice but shade made it really cool.
Eight hundred people are scheduled to be at the camp this weekend. It’s a Mennonite educational conference for their teachers. All eight hundred can’t stay here but they are staying in the area and having their sessions here.
Devotion today was by Jackie and Bruce with Jackie reading a story based on a farmer’s horse running away. Friends told him how sorry they were for his bad luck. Farmer said “Good luck, back luck – who’s to say?” Horse returned with 5 additional wild horses, and friends said what good luck you have that you can train and sell the horses for good money. Farmer said “Good luck, bad luck – who’s to say?” The store continues with the point that we never know what is in our future. Sometimes what looks like our worst day turns out to be our best. God sees the big picture – the complete picture. We must learn to trust God.
After devotional time this morning, we all headed back to our work from yesterday. Jackie and Hilary, heading up our house wrap team, wrapped our cottage up today, except for the high eaves. The scaffold wasn’t delivered until late this afternoon so the eaves will be done next week. Max and Bruce completed the installation of the old front door as the back door. Anne and Jenny worked to ready the bedroom for insulation and drywall. Nailers had to be installed for the ceiling drywall as well as the removal of some of the foam insulation so the drywall can be installed flush to the rafters. Shims had to be applied had to a number of the studs because of the difference in thickness of some of the 100 year old roughsawn 2×4’s. Tom and Mike worked on the shower installation, bath vent installation and PTAC housing (packaged terminal air conditioner) installation. Suzanne worked to keep us in all the supplies we needed and was always available to help with problems. It was the end of a very productive week. We still have a long way to go on the Tibbits cottage but we have made a good start. We are all tried and glad it is NOMADS Friday. We hope to get a little rest and have some fun this weekend.
Tonight we walked to the downtown marina and checked out some of the boats. This is a big fishing area and it looked like all the boats were for fishing on Lake Huron. After the marina, we walked to the “historic” downtown area which they are trying to revitalize. It still has a lot of vacant store fronts but things are looking better. Next Thursday there will be a festival there which we plan to attend.
Today was suppose to be sunny and it was for a while this morning. Then the rain came and the power went out. We have a lot of battery powered tools so it really didn’t stop us from working. We just all moved inside and found something else to do for a while. It gets a little crowded in the little cottage with all ten of us inside. Fortunately for us, the chef for Bay Shore had lunch almost ready before the power went out. The camp staff has lunch together every day and they have invited us to eat with them. It’s been really good food as well as good fellowship. Today was a chicken and stuffing casserole and a great salad and soup. We aren’t cooking in FRED or eating out very much.
The power was back on after lunch and we were back to work. The big news of the day is that the French doors on the front of the cottage are installed. The new front bedroom window is also installed. The house wrap is on two sides. The sheathing is all up too. It was great to complete some of the projects we began on Monday. There was also progress made in the bathroom and on the loft drywall. It was a really productive day.
After hours are fun too. The camp is a good place to walk and we have been playing ping pong most afternoons. One more work day this week.
Today was a beautiful early fall day in Sebewaing. We had just a light breeze today with nice blue skies. The leaves are just starting to turn here. Not nearly as far along as International Falls. The maples are a deep red and there are some yellows but certainly not the leaves we were expecting. Maybe by the time we leave.
After we shared at devotion time with Tom again sharing his music skills, we all headed back to work on the Tibbits cottage. We all started back working on the re-framing of walls and doors we started on yesterday. Two of the new windows were installed today. The French doors were delivered and we are ready to install them. Lots of progress was made. Suzanne is pleased with what we accomplished. It was a good day.
After lunch today we were able to take a quick view of the little museum of the camp. There are some very interesting photos and lots of scrap books that would take a while to look through but would be interesting.