Goodbye for Now

Friday, June 11, 2021

So what happened this week?  As is our custom on Sundays, we watched the 8:30 worship service from our home church Lester Memorial and again as is our custom, we served each other communion in Fred with the rest of our congregation in Oneonta.  It is always meaningful to us to serve each other holy communion.  After that service we headed to Laurel First UMC for their worship service.  We have enjoyed our time of worship with the Laurel congregation and look forward to seeing the friends we have made when we return in the fall.  After church, the storms hit Laurel and we were drenched before we could get back into Fred.  It was a good excuse to rest and stay home the rest of the day.  There was actually flooding in downtown Laurel Sunday afternoon and with more rain overnight and everyday this week, there has been flooding in several areas.

Monday, with only four days remaining, we discussed the final priorities with Robby and then got to work.  We began with texturing the walls and ceilings that we previously repaired and finished.  Robby also delivered the flooring so we got our exercise for the day unloading the laminate flooring.  After the texturing, the next priority was installing as much flooring as possible, so that is how we spent the remainder of the week – on our knees.  We completed two bedrooms with the laminate and then the laundry area with vinyl plank flooring.   Yesterday Mr. Jim joined us along with Chris from the Mississippi Conference, and Laura and Robby from Restore Jones County (RJC) for a Bible presentation.  It was a sweet time.  It’s been a blessing to watch Mr. Jim go from being quiet and withdrawn to smiling and laughing with us.  He is so excited to be moving into his new home soon.  RJC is hoping the old house will be burned next week, then the debris will be buried and the trailer moved to Mr. Jim’s home site shortly thereafter.  Making progress.  Sad we didn’t get to see it all happen but blessed to have been a small part of the process.

There is still much work to be done here in Laurel and we hope we get to be a part of the continuing efforts. It has been fabulous to work alongside all the community volunteers, everyone with Restore Jones County, and The Glory House.  We thank them for inviting us to join their work of restoration and hope.  When we returned to Fred yesterday afternoon, we pulled up the NOMADS signs and stored them in the church until our fall teams return.  Have a great summer Laurel friends and we hope to see you all again soon.

Finally Houseless

Saturday, June 5, 2021

What a week!  Beginning Tuesday morning we had YWAM young people with us at the trailer.  If you are not familiar, YWAM is an acronym for Youth With A Mission and you can learn more about this group by clicking the links.  There are 12-15 young people in Laurel working with the The Glory House and Restore Jones County.  We had four or five hard working young people at the trailer Tuesday through Thursday.  Their first day and part of the second was spent pulling the staples from the floors.  The manufacturer of the double wide thought more was better when it came to stapling anything and everything to the floor.  Our knees were very appreciative of the help!  YWAMers also cleaned walls, removed tacks, nails, tape and screws from the walls and then began painting.  By Thursday afternoon there were two coats of paint on the two back bedrooms.  That means we may begin flooring next week.  Max and Anne spent most of the week working on the drywall, priming walls and also sealing the flooring areas that were wet from the roof leaks.  The master bed room and bath are looking much better.  Thursday Robby took some of the young people to Mr. Jim’s home site to work on getting it ready for the double wide.  They were able to get everything moved out and the fire department is scheduling the burning of what’s left of the old house.  As soon as that is done, they can have the trailer moved to Mr. Jim’s land.  He came to see the trailer Thursday afternoon and was so pleased.  It was wonderful to see the big smile on his face!

Pretty sunrise on the way to Alabama
Pretty sunrise on the way to Alabama

Friday morning we were once again up at four and on the road by 4:40 back to Alabama.  We had an actual closing scheduled for 10:00 am but were very doubtful that it would actually happen.  They sent us documents to review Friday afternoon and we found several errors, some of which would make it a no-go to close.  However, we were working and emailing as we made the drive – glad the company was a time zone ahead of us – and one by one they made the necessary corrections.  By about 10:30, they had corrected everything and thankfully we had taken our printer back to Alabama.  We printed out the corrections, and we were finally able to close out the sale of our house.  We are now officially houseless, full-time RVers.  After all the stress of this last week trying to make the closing happen, we are pretty exhausted.  We have rested today, worked on chores and paperwork, filed address changes, and watched it rain.  Maybe with one more good night of sleep we will begin to have our energy back.  Thanks for everyone’s assistance, prayers and support though this process.

Restful Weekend and Start of Another Week

Monday, May 31, 2021

After the long driving day on Friday, we rested most of Saturday and Sunday and also caught up on some paperwork, chores and did some cooking for the week.  We are getting tired of sandwiches so we will plan to come back to Fred and have leftovers at least some of the days this week.  We went back to Laurel First UMC for church yesterday.  The congregation, and actually everyone we have met in Laurel, is very welcoming.  Sunday’s service was held in a park next door to the church.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and a little cooler than last week.

The agency staff was off today for Memorial Day.  We decided that we would go back out to the trailer for a while and finish getting the first coat of mud on the drywall so it would all be dry in the morning and when we discuss with Robby what his priorities are for this week.  It will be interesting to see what the week brings.  Will we be fulltimers or still own our house?  Maybe, or maybe there will be one more “last thing” to do.  We will let you know.

Good Week, But Another Sad “See You Down the Road”

Saturday, May 28, 2021

The week continued to be very hot and Tuesday was pretty brutal.  Ken and Robby were back up on the hot roof, installing the felt and making additional repairs.  The bedroom temporary wall was removed and trusses were reinforced.  Caulking was removed in the kitchen and cabinets were sanitized again.  The living room wall was also insulated. In the afternoon we all worked together removing the siding from the end of the trailer.  Recall we removed the other end two weeks ago.  It was way hotter today, but we completed the job and covered the end with tarps to protect the wood from the weather.  At this point the double wide is structurally secure and can be separated and moved as soon as the new site is ready.  The agency will have a contractor who moves double wides regularly handle all of that work.

Wednesday morning (while still somewhat cooler,) we cut down a large cedar tree that would have prevented the trailer from being moved.  There is additional landscaping that will have to be removed but it was great to remove the large cedar while Ken was still with us.  He has a lot of experience downing trees as a fire fighter who worked a lot of CA wildland fires. The roof was also re-tarped since the singles will not be replaced until after it is moved.  The rest of the day was spent insulating the walls, ceilings and helping Robby hang the drywall on the ceilings – another tiring day.  Wednesday night we visited the Glory House, one of the sponsoring agencies of this rebuild, for dinner and got to know Hope and Grant.  What a sweet couple who have such a heart for the people of Laurel.  Thanks for a great evening!

Thursday we completed hanging drywall on the walls and began the taping and mudding.  What a difference in the house this week!  It’s really starting to look like a home again – one that is safe.

Thanks so much to Heidi and Ken for their dedication to the Laurel community and for their ten weeks of hard work here.  We were very sad to say goodbye to them but they certainly deserve some time off.

Friday, we drove back to Alabama to have one additional document notarized and recorded.  No, we did not close. We drove back to Laurel Friday afternoon.  It turned into about a 13 hour day. The documents are now in the hands of Quicken and we have again been told this is the last thing they require and we should get closing scheduled next week.  This is the fourth “last thing” needed so we are not holding our breath.  But – it will close when it closes.

Stay safe and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend, while also remembering all who gave so much for our freedom.