New Year’s Eve on the Job

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Glenita providing accompaniment for our morning singing
Glenita providing accompaniment for our morning singing

It’s New Year’s Eve and yet again another beautiful day. Not quite as warm – 80 degrees – as the past few days, but great day for working. Glenita and Steve lead us in our devotional time today and we had an added treat of Glenita playing her ukulele for our songs. She then talked to us about hands and the hands depicted in the stained glass windows of the sanctuary. We thought about Mary holding the hands of Baby Jesus and Joseph holding his hands as he learned to walk. Then there were the nails in the hands of Jesus and Thomas not believing until he touched the nail scared hands. There is that sacred moment when we hold someone’s hand as they die. God holds us in his hands, and as we go about living our lives, we are to be the hands of Jesus as we serve one another. That’s what NOMADS do. Steve closed the devotion time with Isaiah 6, “Here I am, send me”. Thanks, Steve and Glenita.

Some of the stained glass windows in the church

We decided to keep the team together today and we all headed out to Dennis’s house. Today was the day for texturing the walls. Dennis decided he wanted a light texture with knockdown. After covering the doors, windows, air conditioner, light switches, plugs, etc, we mixed the drywall compound to a thin consistency and were ready to go. It took all of us to keep everything going. Someone with the hopper spraying, two holding the shield to protect the ceiling, someone moving our lights around so we could see what we were doing and also keeping people from tripping over the air hose, two people for the knock down, and someone to just keep us all coordinated. Everything worked great and Dennis was very pleased with the results. We have been making progress on the house each day but today was one of those days when you could really see the results. It was a good day for the team. This afternoon we were back working on the drywall finishing in the bedroom and hall.

It’s New Year’s Eve so the team elected to gather in the fellowship hall tonight for appetizers and game time. Tonight was Mexican train. It’s always interesting when you get people from all over the country together for games. Rules are not necessarily the same in Nebraska, or Minnesota and Florida. We had a fun evening and now, we will celebrate the arrival of new year in some other time zone because we will be sound asleep for welcoming the new year in Florida. Happy New Year’s everyone. Hope you have a great new year.

140 Boxes of Laminate Flooring

Monday, December 30, 2019

Everyone is probably tired of hearing it but today was another gorgeous day in the Keys. The high was the same as yesterday, 83 degrees, with beautiful blue skies. Love it and getting very spoiled!

We had devotion today. We talked in yesterday’s blog about how God nudged us outside at just the right time. We know he was trying to make us more aware of those moments when we were trying to decide what to use for devotion today. The agency gave us a little devotion book for Christmas and when we looked at the one for December 30, it just went along with what happened yesterday and with what so often occurs on NOMADS projects. God Winks!

Before heading back to our job sites today, we first needed to help Jim, our construction coordinator, with 5 pallets of vinyl laminate flooring. We knew it was to be delivered today but Jim was not expecting a 6 am call this morning advising him it was on the way from Marathon Key, 30 minutes away. Forty-three boxes, which NOMADS will install at some point, went in the church in the David Hill room. At lunch we got Dennis to meet us at the church to move eighty boxes (two pickup loads) to his house, and the remaining 17 boxes went to Jim’s office for use at various other sites. With everyone working together it really didn’t take very long to get it all to the proper locations but there may be some sore muscles tomorrow.

Max, Glenita and Steve went back to Sugarloaf Key and by lunch time had completed the last punch list item at Peggy and Danny’s house and touched up drywall and painting, sealed the vent pipes, and removed the drywall patch they installed last week at Bob’s. Now the area can dry out and be permanently repaired.  After lunch they worked at the church finishing the trim in the sound booth, caulking and resizing a return air intake in one of the rooms.

The rest of the team went back to Dennis’ and completed preparing the kitchen and living room walls for texture. The remainder of their day was more work on the drywall in the hall and back bedroom. We are tentatively planning to do the knockdown texture first thing in the morning. We are looking forward to completing that milestone. It was another blessed day – we were allowed to be in service to others and everyone remained safe. Hope you had a good day too.

Picture Day

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The church has decided to include the NOMADS in their photo directory
Getting our pictures made for the directory

(Sorry, we thought this published yesterday but just discovered it did not.  Another is on the way shortly.)  Today was another gorgeous day in the Keys. It was a bit warmer with a high of 83 and just plain hot in the sun getting our exercise walking. The team attended church together this morning and the congregation is so welcoming they decided that the NOMADS need to be in their church pictorial directory. They took all our pictures after worship today. After our photography session we joined the congregation for their weekly brunch and enjoyed the conversations and food. They were all very appreciative of the work we did on their church this past week.  This afternoon we worked on NOMADS paperwork and got a nice walk. Seems God just nudged us outside for our walk at just the moment one of the folks came by looking for the AA meeting. We actually thought it was a little too early because the temperature was still 82 but God knew better. We had a good conversation with the young man. He shared his hurricane Irma story and we found that he is actually on the home repair list here at the church. He never gave us his name but just remember him in your prayers please. God knows his name. Hope everyone has had a good weekend and please stay safe over the rest of this holiday season.

Excitement in the Keys!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

“Excitement in the Keys!” In broadcast and Internet news, that is referred to as a “teaser.” Its purpose is to grab your attention and get you to watch/read the story frequently.  As in broadcast/Internet news this teaser has very little relationship to the actual story.  Today was actually very peaceful and quiet for us. We walked to the flea market with Kathy and Larry. We didn’t stay long because of the heat. Then this afternoon we went to the Big Pine Rooster because we wanted to try their Saturday prime rib special.  We were met there by Glenita and Steve after they completed their afternoon canoeing trip.  The company was much better than the prime rib.

Now if we had titled this “Quiet Day in the Keys”, you probably wouldn’t have read it, right?

“Christmas” Dinner

Friday, December 27, 2019

Today was another beautiful day on Big Pine Key. We had some rain again overnight but it was clear by the time we were up. Larry, Kathy and Elaine left early this morning to head to Key West in hopes of getting their “Southern Most Point” picture before the line was too long. Last time they were there they gave up without the photo because there were just too many people. They were fifth in line when they arrived today and got the desired photos. The had a good time roaming around town and returned around lunch time. While they were gone Max and Anne went shopping. We picked up some snow crab clusters from Winn Dixie and some stone crab claws from the new little seafood/produce market down the street. Since we had the pot luck on Christmas Day we decided to do our traditional crab dinner today. We really enjoyed! Having never eaten stone crab we weren’t sure if we would really enjoy. We did and we will probably have some more before we leave the area.

Bike ride todayAfter enjoying our “Christmas” lunch Kathy, Larry and Elaine joined us for a bike ride. We rode back down to Blue Hole which we visited earlier. Only one of the gators was making an appearance today, the smaller of the two we saw previously. It was a nice ride. We remember getting spoiled to flat-land riding the last year we spent several weeks in Florida. Hopefully now that we are a little better organized we will have more time for riding. It was a really nice day.

A few years ago we would have bought one of these for Aunt Jean since she kept a pet turtle, Newdul, for over 40 years.
A few years ago we would have bought one of these for Aunt Jean since she kept a pet turtle, Newdul, for over 40 years. We saw these in the gift shop at the seafood/produce stand where we bought the stone crab claws..

Back To Work

Thursday, December 26, 2019

After enjoying our Christmas off, we were back to work today. We again worked at Big Pine UMC to complete or nearly complete some of the items we began on Tuesday. The final row of vinyl plank flooring was installed by Anne, Kathy and Max. We were so close to complete on Tuesday but just ran out of time. The quarter round trim is partially installed. We have a couple of difficult to install pieces remaining to be done. Steve and Larry completed installing the door to cover the HVAC unit after Glenita painted it. Steve and Larry completed the duct enclosure and Kathy cleaned it all and she and Elaine put on a coat of paint. Max had to make one more trip to Home Depot on Marathon Key for the trim. Elaine and Glenita also did more repainting of the exterior doors of the church. The dark green paint takes a real beating in the hot Florida sun. There was also a good deal of caulking in various spots around the church. We hope the church members enjoy the sprucing up and completion of things begun by others. We enjoyed having the team all together for two days. Next week we plan to get back to working on various homes.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas! Hope every one had a great day. It was a very nice day in the Florida Keys. We were able to sleep in this morning which was nice. And for those family members that sometimes doubt Max’s Christmas spirit – he did help decorate FRED this year.

Christmas Dinner with the Team and Dennis

The team planned a pot luck for 1:00 so we all spent our morning preparing food. It was a fun gathering. We invited Dennis, one of our homeowners who had no plans for today, and he really seemed to have fun and joined in the laughter. We had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings along with pecan and key lime pie. It seemed a good time was had by all and we definitely did not go back to our RVs hungry.

We needed and enjoyed a long walk after lunch and then drove around exploring the island. We stopped at a little nature trail at Blue Hole. It was a very short walk to the overlook and the “pond” really wasn’t very impressive until we looked straight down and saw two alligators directly under where were were standing on the overlook. One of those gators was really big. We did not look at them for long with only one of the reasons being the mosquitoes.

We also drove to a joining key uniquely named “No Name Key.” After driving to the end of the road we think there may be a reason it doesn’t have a name.

It was a good day. We celebrate Jesus’ birth and thank God for sending Him to save us.