Gumby got a rest this week. We didn’t have to be very flexible because we worked on the trailer all week as expected. The master bedroom is coming together. We all worked at doing different things at different times and helping each other wherever we were needed at the time. The rotten subfloor was removed, and all the floor framing was reinforced as needed and the subfloor replaced. The new exterior wall was built with new studs, new top and bottom plates and new sheathing installed, the windows were reinstalled and the vinyl siding was reinstalled. We began removing the roofing and decking and reinstalling the decking and got the area of the largest hole in the roof repaired. There is still a lot of roof work to be done. The kitchen cabinets were scrubbed, sanitized and the interior painted. The other two bedrooms walls were cleaned. The walls in both baths were washed down, and the hall bathtub and surround were scrubbed and sanitized. There were also hundreds of staples and tack strips removed from the flooring.
Wednesday morning we were able to go to the location were the agency will be moving the trailer and see the condition of the home that was destroyed by the storm. We also got to meet our homeowner. He is such a sweet man, in his seventies. His home was in the direct path of the tornado that destroyed so many homes in the Soso community. The home was built by his grandparents and he has wonderful memories there. He is currently removing the last of his belongings which will be placed in storage. The agency plans to have the fire department burn the house (very sad for him) and then after the pad is prepared, the trailer we are repairing will be moved in. The trailer will look very nice in its new setting.
We are working very hard to prepare a nice home for him. We know we will not be able to complete everything or see the trailer moved to its new site but we will do all we can. The team this week was so amazing. Everyone worked so well together. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Nell and Randy Friday morning as they left for Atlanta to check on Nell’s family. It was a very productive and fun week.
Today was a busy, busy day. We met with Robbie our construction coordinator at 7:30 and discussed the next steps at the trailer. We will all probably be working there all week. After devotion we headed back to the trailer. Four extra hands certainly made the work move even faster. Today Heidi and Ken tackled the master bathroom ceiling. They removed ceiling lights, the wet, falling, drywall and insulation – a big job. We were able to assess the roof decking and know a fairly large section will need replacing. Next step is to get on the roof and remove some shingles and see what the decking looks like from above. Max and Randy worked on removing the rotten wall in the master bedroom. What a mess but big progress is being made. Randy built the temporary wall to hold up the roof while the outside wall is being rebuilt. Max worked on removing the vinyl siding. Robbie purchased the studs and other materials we needed – $300.00 for 3 sheets of plywood and some 2x4s and a couple of 2x6s. Lumber is so expensive these days. Anne and Nell worked on tearing out the living room wall where there is another leak in the roof. This one is not nearly as bad and doesn’t involve any roof decking replacement, at least not yet. They also worked on cleaning the kitchen. We were all very tired at the end of the day but wowed at the amount of work that was accomplished. Great team!
Since we didn’t get to go back to Alabama to close on the house, we had time to play. One of the highly recommended attractions in Laurel is the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the walking tour of Laurel that starts from the Museum. Not sure exactly what we expected at the museum, but it far surpassed any expectations. It is a wonderful museum. Of course, they have some great paintings, but they also had other forms of art including baskets from every basket making Native American group. The baskets were incredible. They even had tiny, miniature baskets so small they were resting on a pin and it took a magnifying glass to see the basket. There was also a hanging Chihuly glass sculpture. Love Chihuly! After enjoying the museum, the director, George Bassi, took about 40 of us on a walking tour. We actually just walked about two blocks but he shared a lot of the history of Laurel – very interesting – and information on the homes in Laurel. There is a purple house that is the Wisteria House B&B. It was a great walking tour and we would highly recommend it. The museum and walking tour are both free although they do accept donations. We are really enjoying our time in Laurel. The people are very friendly and appreciative of our work here.
Next we walked around downtown Laurel, visiting a number of interesting shops, having lunch at The 5000 food truck, visiting “Home Town” (HGTV Show) shops and just taking in the sights including Erin and Ben’s Airstream. We also visited two very old beautiful churches with beautiful stain glass.
Saturday morning the church where we are parked had a big food give away. Their food pantry ministry disburses food one Saturday each month to 150-250 families. It opens at 9:00 and there were people already in line when we got up at 6:30. A much needed ministry.
Our new team members, Randy and Nell, arrived about 2:00 pm yesterday. We are looking forward to working with them again. Today we all visited at Laurel First UMC. Another beautiful church. Today was their day to give their third graders a Bible. The pastor talked about the Word and it’s importance in our lives. Good service and after church, as we were leaving, Erin and Ben thanked us for our work in Laurel. We had our team meeting this afternoon and we are all looking forward to anther good week.
It has been a great week in most ways. We have worked at the abandoned and donated mobile home every day. It’s rained most days and the path into the trailer is now very muddy and slick. Very glad we have four wheel drive! With the help of some YWAM young people for one day and one of the case managers, the trailer has been cleaned out! Many bags of garbage to the dump. Also, all the appliances to the dump. When the previous owners left and power was disconnected, there was still food in the chest freezer and the refrigerator. Horrible stench! Five trailer loads to the dump. Everything smells better since we removed all the carpet and carpet pad.
After emptying the house, we began on the master bedroom repairs. We have removed most of the ceiling drywall and insulation as well as the front wall drywall and insulation. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rot. We will be building a temporary wall to support the structure and then replacing the upper and lower plate, studs and wall sheathing. We haven’t begun on the damage in the master bath but there is a hole in the ceiling over the tub, caused by a limb. A tremendous amount was accomplished this week just to get things cleaned out. It was a very good week!
The only down side to our week is that we still own the house and land. We are still dealing with some pretty incompetent people on the closing. They just can’t seem to type a land description with out errors. We sent them exactly what needed to be typed on the deed and title insurance. Yep. Came back with errors – transposition of numbers and one entire line of the property description just omitted. We have sent it back again this morning and another was posted this afternoon – again with errors. We sent it back and have been told “it’s been sent to legal” – for the fourth time! We just wonder how many deeds are out there that are incorrect. What a mess! We are now hoping for closing next week. It will happen. We will be patient and wait on God’s timing. Well, maybe not so patient but… we will try. Hope everyone has a great weekend because we plan to. Without a trip back to Alabama for closing, we have time to play.