Another Day, Another House

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sleet accumulation on our steps this morning
Sleet accumulation on our steps this morning

The sleet that started last night lasted quite a while. However, we stayed above freezing and it was just about all gone by this morning. However, we drove about 12 miles north to work on a different house this morning and there was a lot of ice there. Their back deck was extremely slick. We really enjoyed seeing the sun this afternoon.

Philip brought us devotion today. He began by asking us what we were afraid of in life. What to we worry about or what are we anxious about? Of course we all have internal and external sources of anxiety. A number of years ago Billy Graham said that we were living in the Age of Anxiety. Anxiety can be a crippling disease. God wants so much more for us. Read Philippians 4:8-9. Philip closed by reminding us we need to focus on God’s word. Thanks, Philip.

Gary pulling out stuck truckThen we received our work assignments. Max, Anne, Nancy, Gary and Bruce went to a new assignment at Terry’s house. First thing on the agenda when we arrived as to help Terry get his son’s truck out of the mud he was stuck in.  Everything is a muddy mess around here.  Gary hooked a chain to the truck and pulled it right out.  Anne, Nancy and Max began installing vinyl plank flooring in a bedroom. Max was also working with Bruce and Gary on the railing for the deck. Another group repaired the decking and also repaired the flooring in the bedroom and installed ¾ inch plywood which we then installed the vinyl plank over. The guys needed more materials and got a materials list to Gene so he could make another trip to Lowe’s.


Gene also picked up the metal roofing for Elsie and Bruce’s house. The guys went over there right after lunch and installed the metal. They got all roof panels installed and installed new flashing. They plan to go back tomorrow to install the ridge cap – have to do that before the rain returns on Thursday/Friday. Anne and Nancy continued on the vinyl installation. They have two rows left to install and then clean up to do. Don’t know if we are going to install the base board or if someone else will do that.


Mary Ann and Cindy went back to Carolyn’s house that they started yesterday and completed sanding the drywall, priming and painting the bathroom. That house is now complete!

Dave, Gene and Phillip were working at Jackie’s again but not sure what happened there today. We haven’t talked to anyone. Mary Ann said this afternoon we were going to try to finish everything up tomorrow because Thursday we have five Bible presentations to make. That will be the most we have done in one day. We also have dinner scheduled for Thursday night. Ann and Jeff are cooking for us. Busy time trying to get every home completed before we all pull out Friday morning.

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The rain continued all night and was still coming down this morning. Water is everywhere. The river is moving swiftly and is out of its banks in the downtown area. Crossing the Lumber River on I-95 the river is way outside it’s banks and getting fairly close to I 95 again. Right now they say the river will continue to rise until tomorrow evening and then begin to fall. There are no roads that we need to travel affected by the water but there are some roads that are impassable.

Mary Ann shared devotion with us today using “Meeting God In The Ruins”, a devotional book for disaster volunteers. She offered the team encouragement to continue their good works/efforts assuring us that what we do does matter. It does make a difference in peoples lives in many small and large ways. Thanks, Mary Ann. We are down to crunch time now and we keep telling ourselves that we just need to get out of the way and let God accomplish what needs to be accomplished in the next three days.

Today we added a new house that Jeff wanted us to finish up before we leave if at all possible. Max, Cindy and Gary went there to paint the living room ceiling, repairing drywall in the bathroom, caulking the tub and then painting the bathroom. Today they completed the living room and repaired the drywall in the bathroom. It should be ready for sanding tomorrow, then primer to cover the water damage and then paint.

Mary Ann and Bruce went out to Mary and Jim’s house. There they completed the caulking and painting. Tomorrow the transition strip will need to be installed and one area of water damage to be painted. The debris we have been piling in the backyard also must be removed.

That left Anne, Dave and Nancy to start at Jackie’s with Carol and Phillip starting by painting the wood trim on the pump house roof for Mary and Jim’s house. They then joined us at Jackie’s before first break. At Jackie’s we worked on general cleaning, installing transition strips, installing mirrors and bathroom accessories, caulking, and painting some newly installed trim. We are also having to work very hard to remove masking tape that was placed on the floor by someone when covering the floor with heavy paper for protection. It has been down quite some time now and does not want to come off the floor. Painters tape would have been a better choice. Much easier to remove. We will have several more hours of work to do removing tape.

Gene joined Max’s group for lunch and then took Gary to help him deliver and install the pump house roof at Mary and Jim’s. Mary Ann said they were so pleased. They were going to wait for it to quit raining and dry up a little before they walked out to check it out up close.

The rain had finally stopped by late this afternoon. It is cold and we decided to stay in for a quiet night at home. Another good day.  It’s now 8:00pm, 34 degrees, and it is sleeting.  Time to head south!

Last Sunday In Lumberton

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our view all day
Our view all day

Today was another horribly rainy day. It rained all day. At time the wind was really blowing and we had heavy rain. The river is still rising.

Despite the rain we went to worship for our last time this year at Chestnut Street UMC. It was another great time of worship and lots of hugs since it was our last Sunday here. We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday and then back home to watch it rain all afternoon.

This evening, we had a Christmas gathering at our usual Sunday meeting time. We made grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the veggie soup that Mary Ann made and chili from Nancy. We also had pies from Cindy. Carol brought all the paper goods and some really good snack mix. The food and desserts were great but the we enjoyed the good time of fellowship even more. Jeff and Ann joined us for a time. We played the dirty Santa game with some gifts and we all signed Christmas ornaments with the NOMADS logo and 2018 on them. We will each have an ornament as a keepsake of this team. Good times.

Jeff and Ann - God's Servants and Our Friends
Jeff and Ann – God’s Servants and Our Friends

Touring Homes

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Betty Carol's DinerToday was a rainy day. Cold rain. And yes, the Lumber River is rising again. The team all went out to breakfast this morning. We went to a little local cafe, Betty Carol’s Diner, that was packed with people. The food was good and we got to meet Betty. Love these little local places. It was cash only and Miss Betty was working the cash register and out doing refills on coffee part of the time. Fun time visiting with our friends.

After getting back to FRED, we made a batch of cookies for the cookie exchange. We are getting better at baking in FRED, but still miss the Kitchen Aid mixer so we think we will just make a place for it and travel with it from now on. At least we will try it for a while.

After lunch Mary Ann, Cindy, Nancy and Anne toured the homes on the Lumberton Tour Of Homes. The proceeds from the ticket sales benefit the Robeson County History Museum which also was on the tour. The first home we visited was one of the county commissioner’s home and it was probably Anne’s favorite home on the tour. After all, he had a garage for his 45 foot Prevost motor coach and numerous antique cars. The garage also had a soda shop in one end. Upstairs in the garage was another area with numerous other antiques, not auto related. The home was also a beautiful open plan with Christmas trees in almost every room. The commissioner showed us through the garage while his wife and daughter showed us through the house.

There were other homes on the tour with even more elaborate and interesting Christmas decorations. One home had an upside down Christmas tree and the same home had a tree with owls. So pretty. There was one room with a tree decorated with the Native American pow wow regalia of the owners’ son. Gorgeous trees, table settings, stair case decorations, yards beautifully done. We also saw a couple of good signs is one house.

Pump organ in the museum
Pump organ in the museum

We ended the day at the History Museum. The museum has just recently reopened and is still on modified hours, due to ongoing repairs from hurricane Florence.  They sustained significant roof damage resulting in some water damaged ceilings and collapse of some ceilings.  Some rooms are still not reopened.  For an area of this size, economically depressed, and operating totally with volunteers and donated funds, the museum is remarkably good. The most recent display is on “When Tobacco Was King” and tells the story of when most of the farming in the area was tobacco. We have noticed a number old, no longer used, tobacco drying barns on our daily drive to Elsie and Bruce’s house. It was an interesting and fun afternoon.

Tonight it continues to rain with the rate increasing. The flood warning has now been increased from mild to moderate flooding. Some home may be flooded again. Please be in prayer for the sweet people of Robeson County and ask your friends, neighbors, and church members to do the same. Thanks.

Fun Day

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mike and Lee preparing to leave again
Mike and Lee preparing to leave again

It was another cold morning with another heavy frost. We stayed in for a while, until it stared warming up. Mike arrived last night and he and Lee headed back home this morning. We enjoyed having Lee for another week. Hopefully we will work with her and Mike down the road.

This morning we worked on laundry, grocery list, and business. Still a lot to get done before the end of the year. We made some cookies and went to the grocery store this afternoon. Also, Nancy and Gary returned today. So great to have them back!! Jeff called us today and the roofing material is in for Elsie and Bruce’s house. They had said it wouldn’t be here before we leave but now Jeff would like for us to try to get that finished. He moved the roofing to the top of our priority list. Flexibility. We do need to get the other two houses finished this week too. The stuff closing down a project is made of. We want to get it all done but we only have four days remaining.

This evening Cindy, and Bruce went with us to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Lumberton city hall. We were actually planning to head to the church but Cindy saw the announcement about the lighting on the evening news so we headed there first. There is a really large and nice Christmas tree in front of the Lumberton town hall. They had horse drawn carriage rides and music on the lawn in front. There is another beautiful Christmas tree inside city hall. Santa also paid a visit to the festivities. The mayor walked over and introduced himself to us. We told him were were with the NOMADS and started to explain what we were doing and he told us he knew exactly what we were doing and started thanking us profusely. After talking a few minutes he walk off and began talking to others and we noticed he was pointing at us. Turns out he told the others we were NOMADS and then the entire city council came over and introduced themselves and thanked us. The mayor then had us sit in the VIP section and during his opening remarks introduced us to all the people attending and they gave us a round of applause. So nice. Shortly there was the count down and the beautiful tree was lit. Fun.


After the lighting ceremony we headed over to Chestnut Street UMC to view the collection of nativities on display. Then we went by their Sweet Shop. The ladies of the church bake cookies and they are sold by the ½ pound and one pound boxes. You just pick up your box and browse through and fill your box with what ever cookies you want. They have a little of everything.  Since we really weren’t hungry and the team is having a cookie exchange this week, we just bought two cake pops and made a donation. The funds are being donated to the disaster relief fund. We drove around town to look at the Christmas lights and then headed back home. It was a fun day.


Another Work Week In The Books

Thursday, December 6, 2018

It was 28 degrees with a heavy frost this morning. It was cold! So glad we weren’t working outside today. It’s cold again tonight. About time for us to head south. We really didn’t think it would be this cold while we were in Lumberton.

Lee shared with us for our devotion today. She used a reading from the Upper Room. Isaiah 40:27-32. She reminded us that God gives strength to the weary. Several of us felt that was an appropriate reminder for a NOMADS Friday (known to some as “Thursday”). Some of us are weary by this time of the week. The reading Lee shared was a story of a burned out caregiver. God is always there to see us through. Lee reminded us that the people we are helping usually have multiple problems, such as health problems and flooding, or financial problems and flooding or something else and flooding. We must share with them who gives the strength to make it through.

Since we completed Elsie and Bruce’s house yesterday, job assignments changed today. Anne and Gene went to Jim and Mary’s, Max and Cindy stayed at the warehouse to build a pump house cover for Jim and Mary, while Mary Ann, Dave, Bruce and Lee went to Jackie’s. Philip was under the weather and not working and Carol had to go back and see the therapist and orthopedic doctor.

At Jackie’s they were working on general cleanup, installing towel rods, shower rods, toilet paper holders, installing transition strips and mirrors. At Jim and Mary’s, Anne set nails in trim, cleaned and caulked. Gene installed the lavatory, the faucet, but when we turned on the water it leaked. After spending much time he found the faucet to be defective. Oh well, we will try another Monday. We also finished installing the base board. Max and Cindy built the new roof for the pump house including installing the shingles. It will get painted or stained Monday. It looks really good.

Tonight we all went out to dinner together since Lee leaves us tomorrow. This time we went to Village Inn. It is located down by the fairgrounds where our rigs were parked last year. We remembered going there last year after we got inside. They serve barbecue and seafood. The barbecue is not like Alabama’s, but it was okay. It was just too finely chopped for us. Most of the others got seafood and reported it was very good.

We accomplished a lot this week. We will all enjoy our weekend. Hope you do to.

Ceiling Is Finished!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Another very cool, cloudy day, with sun part of this afternoon. They are now talking about some possible mixed precipitation later this weekend, but it probably (hopefully) will stay north of us.

A sign we see every day at the church
A sign we see every day at the church

Dave and Carol led devotion time today. So glad Carol was able to be back with us today. She even worked today. Her hand is slowly improving and we are thanking God for every improvement. Carol talked about Emmanuel. God with us. God IS with us, in us. What if Joseph and Mary were all blinged out and Bethlehem had been blinged out like Hollywood? How would the world have reacted? But that’s not how God chose to enter this world. He entered through people more like us and is now with us. Dave shared a reading from Max Lucado’s book When God Whispers Your Name. So good! It was about making your way through DFW airport and ended by reminding us even though life can be hard, we can’t give up because we each have a flight home we don’t want to miss. And always remember, Emmanuel, God With Us.

We discussed where each project stands. Hoping to finish Mary and Jim’s house tomorrow. Gene and Cindy were going back out there today to install trim and do some additional painting. The vanity has to be reinstalled as well. Dave, Mary Ann and Bruce (who we were also glad felt better and returned to work today) and Carol went to Jackie’s to continue work on the final items. Carol started the cleanup phase today. They were working to get left over supplies back to the warehouse. There was also caulking to be done in the bathrooms and shower heads to install. Lots of little things.

Lee, Anne and Max left devotion and went back to the campground to check out a power problem for Lee. We wanted to be sure everything was okay because it is suppose to go down to 28 tonight. She just needed a breaker reset and now she has heat again. We told her that if she has trouble tonight we will just put her on our sofa so she doesn’t get too cold, but hopefully her problem is solved. It all worked great because when we arrive at Elsie and Bruce’s they were just eating breakfast. They had both slept late. We were very pleased with the appearance of the ceiling we textured yesterday. It was dry and ready for paint. After moving the furniture again and covering the carpet really well, Anne and Lee painted the ceiling with Max’s help keeping us in paint and light. He moved ladders and lights so we could just keep on painting. We were through in time for lunch and by the time lunch was over, the paint was dry enough to reinstall all the trim. That too was a three person job but it went smoothly. The rest of the day was spent in cleaning, vacuuming, wiping down baseboards, etc. and then moving all the furniture back into the room. There were pictures to re-hang, and all the small decorative items to be put back in place. That was more work than we anticipated. However, when we were done, Elsie and Bruce were so happy. Elsie started crying when we were getting ready to leave. She was glad to have her house back but she didn’t want us to leave. We assured her we would see her again next week. We plan to do the Bible presentation and take them some cookies next week. It has been such a treat to work at this home of two precious elderly people who just need a little help. So glad God could use us to make life a little better for them. And so glad Elsie no longer has to worry about the ceiling falling on her head while she is resting on the couch. Today was a great day!