Still Safe in Rural Alabama

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Our location for the duration
Our location for the duration

Not much to report. We are still safely driveway camped at our aunt’s house in rural Alabama. We are spending this time working on some things around here and our house that we have been putting off while we traveled.

We are praying for you all – that you stay safe and healthy.  In these difficult days, always remember Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.”


COVID 19 Changes Everything

Friday, March 20, 2020

The past three days we have been busy working on things we put off when we were busy finishing up in the Keys and getting ready for board meeting. There has been lots of mail to handle, laundry, visiting with friends (while walking the track with adequate separation), gathering the information for tax returns for the ladies, and even our first ever tele-medicine visit with our doctor. One of the reasons we needed to turn the project over to Rodney and Tammy was our scheduled doctor visits. We had postponed our annual checkups because we left for the Keys about 3 weeks before they were due. We go to the office where Anne practiced. Anne decided she did not want to go to the office with the flu very prevalent in our area and COVID 19 on top of that, so she canceled our appointments and instead we did the tele-medicine thing. It’s very new to our internal medicine office but it went well and now we are good until after annual meeting when we will have to go in to the office for lab work etc. Surely, the COVID 19 and flu viruses will be settled down by then.

Since we last posted, the NOMADS board of directors decided to cancel all NOMADS work for the next 6 weeks. That meant closing down the Florida Keys project as well. Rodney and Tammy did a great job leading the project for what turned out to be the last week, and along with Barb and Bill accomplished a lot. We are all sad that Dennis’s house was not quite complete but no one could have expected what has been happening. We have the pictures from the final day at this house. They also did the Bible presentation before they left. Thanks for all the hard work!

Now we have six weeks we were planning to be on projects. Seems a little strange, but we will find lots to do.  For now we are following the recommendations as much as possible and keeping our distance.


Back in Alabama

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Snowbird migration
Snowbird migration

We left Midway Campground Monday morning after a much needed restful Sunday.  As we were leaving we thought, with the recommendations that people work from home as much as possible and limit travel and social interactions because of COVID-19, traffic might be lighter. What we forgot to consider was the annual northward snowbird migration. There were many RVs with tags from northern states northbound on I-75. And every rest area was crowded with them. Things improved when we changed to I-10 west.

For the most part the drive was uneventful. We hunted a couple of rest area geocaches and enjoyed the scenery. At the I-10 rest area just west of I-75 we saw the largest solar farm we have ever seen. It is the Florida Power & Light Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center. It has around 330,000 panels on 953 acres. Read more about it here.

We drove longer Monday than we usually do. But we wanted a shorter day today. We spent the night in the parking lot of the Marianna, Florida WalMart with a few other RVs and 18-wheelers.

We arrived back on Pine Mountain shortly after noon and are now set up here for a few days before our next NOMADS project. It surprised us a little to see how far behind spring is here compared to even south Alabama.  It was really a joy to see Donna and Barry again and walk the track a couple of times this evening.

We’re Not in the Keys Anymore

Sunday, March 15, 2020

On Friday we said our “see-you-down-the-road” to Anita and Reid as they pulled out before sunrise to head back north. Later we met with Rodney and Tammy to transfer leadership and paperwork of the project and then Anne was in an online NOMADS Board meeting from 11:00 am till 4:30 pm. Max took that time to reorganize and repack for travel. That didn’t take nearly as long. We ended the day with another pizza at No-Name Pub.  The pizza was again very good.  However, this time we almost shared it with the owner’s dog.  He had a Great Dane that was huge.  He walked up and put his head on our table and we barely blocked him in time to save our pizza.  Cute dog.

Saturday we waited for the parking lot to clear and left about 10:30 am to travel to Midway Campground where we stayed a couple of nights on the way to the Keys back in December. It was an uneventful trip except for about a half hour delay for a traffic standstill (never did find out what caused it) around Islamorada.

Today we are comfortably social distanced in the campground watching Lester Memorial’s live streamed worship service. And relaxing.

Editorial from Max: As many of you know, my last career was in emergency management. I can remember developing plans for several “new” infectious diseases during those 20+ years. During many of those events I was amazed by the unreasonable and irrational responses by the American populace. With that in mind you would think nothing would ever surprise me. Until this week I thought that, too. Apparently, as evidenced by the empty shelves and reported fights in stores, there is no limit to the ability of the media and social media to create panic. I’m not minimizing the severity of the disease and agree with most of the measures being taken to extend the spread of the infection over a longer period of time to keep the number of those needing treatment within our capability to care for them. There is just a difference between reasonable response and panic.

I remember some studies the National Weather Service conducted to try to understand why so many people ignored tornado warnings. One theory was that there were so many tornado warnings that did not directly impact the individual that they assumed the next one would not either. Apparently, that does not apply to these type situations.

The emergency plan for media and social media: “When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”