This week has been a busy week of working around the house, working on some NOMADS business and for Max mowing and running the bush hog over all the pasture. The good news is that the pastures should be done for the year now. The yard will still have to be cut a few more times but the rest is done assuming of course that we get a frost pretty soon. It always takes at least a week to get all that done when we get back home. Today we headed to Tuscaloosa to work in Anne’s dad’s office and warehouse again and do some repairs to a rental property. Anne needs to clean out file cabinets and there is still some work to completely empty the warehouse and be ready to list the office and warehouse for sale. When making plans for all that, we found that the Moundville Archaeological Park just about ten miles south of the office just reopened their campground today so we get to be their first campers since March. Check out the website to learn more about the park. The park director drove over to the campground to welcome us today. Anne and her family came here years ago so Anne was excited to return. Such a pretty park. They have totally redone the museum and we hope to take some time to see all the exhibits and enjoy the park while we are here. We did a quick walk through today and will give you a report when we have seen it all. Today was driving, getting set up, walking around the park and making a quick assessment of the office. Anne’s brother Jim has also joined us in his motor home and is camping right across from us. We should get some visiting in as well as some work and spend our afternoons and evening in a very quiet peaceful setting. Tonight we are the only two RVs in the park. Really cool.
For those who have been following us for more that a few months, you will remember our summer construction project working on a church here in Blount County, AL. Yesterday morning prior to packing to leave Sumatanga, we went to Cullman for our annual physicals. (They say we are good for another year.) On the way back to camp we stopped by the Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Rosa to see what had been done since we were last there. Our good fortune was that our friend Bill happened to be there so we could get inside to take pictures. It’s looking good. Constructors friends, we hope you enjoy the picture update. Everyone remember to pray for our pastors and our worship services tomorrow.
After the grueling day Monday of weeding and cleaning out the debris in the labyrinth at Camp Sumatanga, the work continued Tuesday morning. It was more of the same – weeding and cleanup and digging up rocks marking the trail that had, over time, become buried in the dirt. It was amazing the improvement by the end of the day. We finally had the entire labyrinth revealed. A couple of us actually walked the entire path and found it is ½ mile walk to the center and back out. There was also more grass cutting and bush hogging. Three of the ladies also began creating a sign for the labyrinth. Wednesday after working on the labyrinth until mid-afternoon, we celebrated the completion of the labyrinth and the installation of the sign. It was very much a team effort with the entire team contributing to the effort. We are very pleased with the outcome. We are praying that people who visit the labyrinth will find a place to pray and meditate and leave with a closer relationship with our Lord. There was also more general landscaping, mowing, and other work done each day.
Thursday the pastor at Gary and Sharon’s church in Snead, AL came for our morning devotion and served the team communion. It was a sweet time. Thursday we also cleaned out the kitchen in the lodge of out-of-date food and did some cleaning. Then in the afternoon we returned all the tools, mowers and the tractor to the maintenance shed. Sumatanga provided a wonderful barbeque lunch for us at the pavilion.
Some of the team members left Thursday after lunch and the rest left today. As we were preparing to leave today the incoming camp director came by to thank us for our work at the camp. Please pray for him and his family as they bring the camp back out of COVID hibernation.
Friday morning we were up early to drive to Cullman. As most of you know this is where Anne worked before we retired. We had to have fasting lab work so we wanted to get an early start so we could have some breakfast. After getting blood drawn we went to one of Anne’s favorite places – Duchess Bakery. A few months ago there was a news story on one of the TV stations on the closure of Duchess. We were really happy to find when we returned home that someone had purchased the shop along with all the recipes. This was our first chance to visit under the new ownership. The new owners are doing GREAT! They changed the chocolate iced bavarian long johns to milk chocolate and it was so good. The doughnut holes are better than under the previous ownership. We think there are better than Krispy Kreme and that is really saying something in our book. So, while on a sugar high, we ran errands and brought groceries on the way back home.
Saturday was a cooking and laundry rainy day. Hurricane Delta was coming through and we had lots of rain. Fortunately be the time it reached north Alabama we had very little wind. We did a little work and watched a good movie. A relaxing day. Sunday we again went into Oneonta to worship at Lester Memorial and then returned to camp. Gary cooked us up some really good barbeque ribs Sunday afternoon with the rest of the team furnishing various sides. Every thing was so good! It’s still seems strange to socially distance at team meals but we make it work.
Today it was back to work. Gary, Gene, Stel and Jodi spent the morning taking down a fence. Max and Phil completed the repairs to the children’s playground while the rest of the team began the work of reclaiming the prayer labyrinth that is just off the lake trail. The labyrinth was extremely overgrown to the point we really couldn’t locate some of the rocks marking the path. We made good progress today but still have a long way to go. It was a tiring day, but good.