Moving and Waiting

Thursday February 25, 2021

We enjoyed our time at Eastbank Campground on Lake Seminole and hope to return sometime.  The weather warmed up each day and there were beautiful sunsets most evenings.  The campground reminded us of state parks.  Sites were a little close and in the A loop where we were are gravel instead of asphalt, but very level.  There aren’t many trails but hiking over to the dam could be done through the woods or by road.  On Saturday, our first hike to the dam, we rounded a curve and there was a beautiful eagle with a fish.  It immediately flew, with his fish.  Of course, we did not have the good wildlife camera with us, only our phones and didn’t get a good pic.

On Sunday we were prepared and while there was not an eagle on the ground with a fish, we did get some nice airborne shots. Love eagles!  Our Alltrails app showed a nice sounding trail in Bainbridge so on Tuesday we headed over there. We enjoyed the paved trail but didn’t see much wildlife.

On the way to Bainbridge we drove by a historical marker in the middle of nowhere – actually in a community called Recovery. So we stopped and took a few pictures and got a short history lesson.

Since Florida will not allow Alabama residents over 65 to receive Covid vaccines, even though they were allowing it when we got on the wait list, and Alabama finally decided to start offering the Covid vaccine to those over 65 two weeks ago, we have been trying to schedule an appointment.  This was one reason we headed north.  We wanted to be able to get to Alabama quickly.  Very frustrating situation.  There are no appointments available in our county until late May.  Actually, when we were searching, there was not an appointment available at any north Alabama health department until May.  We searched all over the state and found that there was a drive-through, no appointment required vaccine clinic in Foley today.  They were to be giving first and second doses and we were told that although the clinic opens at 9:00 we should plan to arrive no later than 5am if we hoped to receive a vaccine.  So, we left Eastbank two days earlier than planned and arrived in Gulf Shores, (15 minutes from Foley) yesterday afternoon with plans to get up at 3:30 and be in line by 4:30-5:00 this morning.  Unfortunately, at 5:30 yesterday the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) canceled all first dose vaccines for today’s clinic. So frustrated and angry!  However, after learning this and reaching out to a friend of Max’s we learned that two nearby Walmarts were receiving vaccine today and were beginning to schedule appointments last night.  We were able to schedule appointments for Sunday afternoon!  So…praying all goes as planned and we will have dose one of the Pfizer vaccine Sunday.  Walmart also said they would be scheduling our dose 2 while we are there.  We will gladly return to south Alabama if we can just get fully vaccinated.  We are planning to be leading a disaster rebuild project in South Carolina in May so we really want to have both our injections before leaving Alabama again. Praying.  (Oh, ADPH was on Facebook this afternoon at 2:30 (clinic ended at 3:00) begging people to come – no waiting and still had 300 vaccines to give – but only second dose – aaarrggghh!)

Since we didn’t need to be in line for a shot today, we got to have fun in Gulf Shores.  Walking in the sun and sand, eating shrimp and riding our bikes to the eagle nest makes for a great day!  After a very frustrating day yesterday, we really appreciated today.

And On The Seventh Week We Rested

Friday, February 19, 2021

When we left Dundee last Friday, we didn’t want to strain ourselves so we went about thirty minutes down the road to The Resort at Canopy Oaks.  We worked two projects, six weeks, and we knew after that we would need some rest so we made these reservations months ago.  Canopy Oaks is a new RV park that opened January of 2021.  It currently has about 400 RV sites and some cabins.  They have lots of land for future expansion.  The landscaping is all new so everything will look better with a year or two of growth but it is nice.  Our site was a large concrete slab with picnic table and brick fire pit beside one of the several lakes.  They have lots of amenities; pool, pickle ball, shuffle board, crafts, tiki hut, pizza and sub shop and a hair salon.  Anne is so happy to finally have a hair cut!  The last one was before we left home in November.  We spent the week relaxing, resting, exercising, and just having some fun.

Today we moved to East Bank campground, a Corps of Engineers facility.  It’s on the border of Florida and Georgia on Lake Seminole.  Gorgeous lake!  It was 71degrees first thing this morning at Canopy and it was 50 degrees when we arrived at the campground this afternoon.  We want to turn around and head back south but … that is not to be this year.

Finished the NOMADS Project at Dundee

Saturday, February 13, 2021

We have finished the project in Dundee where we worked for the Dundee UMC about two weeks and Camp Endeavor for about a week, but in reality it was three weeks of ten Christians living out their faith by serving others.  We had a great time getting to know two couples we had never worked with previously and renewed friendships with the other two couples.  Good times!  We all worked hard and accomplished many tasks (see the list of tasks below) that will hopefully further the ministries in Dundee.  Max and Anne finished the project with a total of 48 florescent light fixtures converted to LED.  We spent lots of time up in the air the last week.  Others spent lots of time painting, power washing and cleaning.  We pray that Camp Endeavor will get to have their summer programs for deaf and hearing impaired young people and that Dundee UMC will continue to grow their church beyond to doors of the building.  We said goodbye to Gene and Mary Ann and Randy and Nell Thursday afternoon as they headed to other commitments, and Friday we departed along with Mike and Barb.  Bill and Becky were going to have to dodge the snow and ice as they headed back to Ohio and were still watching the weather forecasts when we left Friday.  We pray for everyone’s safe travel.

Starting Week 3 in Dundee

Monday, February 8, 2021

This morning Mary Ann led us during our devotion time.  Using Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Mary Ann shared from some of Rick Warren’s writings reminding us that we serve God by serving others. If we are not serving others, we are missing our life’s purpose.

As we are beginning our last week in Dundee, the team is busy working to be the hands and feet of our Lord as we serve others in many different ways.  Max and Anne were asked to convert some additional florescent light fixtures to LED, this time in the kitchen and on the stage.  We converted an additional eleven lights today.  Gene and Mike, Randy and Nell continued to work on painting the exterior of the gym.  Nell has also been busy pressure washing, along with Mary Ann and Barb.  The work at Nadine’s house, a church member, was completed by Mary Ann and Barb today.  Becky and Bill completed the trim in the kitchen and installed a new mail box at the church.

Don’t think we have shared much about Camp Endeavor.  Camp Endeavor is the only residential  summer camp for deaf and hearing impaired young people, age 7-17 (we think) in the state of Florida.  It’s sponsored by the Sertoma Club.  They allow NOMADS to park in their campground at no charge to the church in exchange for us doing some work around the camp.  It’s a 32 acre camp with a beautiful lake, surrounded by orange groves and has citrus trees on the property.  We can use their kayaks and other items and we have our devotions in one of their meeting rooms.  Of course, they had no camps last summer.  They hope to resume camp in 2021.