Still Safe and Sound

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. This is our second Mother’s Day without our Moms so it’s been a little hard but we are thankful for a beautiful day and great memories!

Guess we aren’t doing very well with the blog during the COVID crisis. Can we blame it on that? Sure, why not? How have we been spending our time while staying at home? We have been working on the house and getting it ready to hopefully sell. Some days it’s almost like working a project. Repairs, painting, caulking, etc. Some days it’s fun, others not so much. We have done a little work in the community, of course keeping our social distance. We have adjusted to wearing masks and gloves when we go to the grocery store, wiping things down, etc. We were already pretty diligent with hand washing and hand sanitizer.

We unfortunately also had the experience of purchasing a new truck during this time of social distancing. Buying a truck with online shopping works pretty well and since we bought another Colorado it was pretty easy. We only drove the one we bought and since it only had 2 miles on it when we drove it we knew it hadn’t been driven by anyone else. On our trip to Cullman for a follow up doctor’s appointment for Max we were hit in the passenger side in the area of the rear tire and the truck was rolled onto the driver’s side. It was scary but no one in either vehicle was injured and for that we are very thankful. Of course, USAA were a pleasure to deal with and we will enjoy having a new truck after we get it all set up for towing. We are waiting on the new baseplate and wiring harness to arrive and shipping seems so much slower these days. Otherwise, we have been very faithful with getting our walking and for the most part we have had great weather as encouragement.

Hope you all are staying safe and healthy. We miss seeing you and are looking forward to more normal times.

Catching Up

Sunday, April 19, 2020

So it’s been eleven days since our last post. What have we done that might be interesting to you? We have been enjoying spring in Alabama. Spring and fall are great times to be home in Alabama. We have beautiful springs with the dogwoods, red buds, and all the flowers blooming. Maybe due to the wet winter, the trees have been such beautiful shades of green and the iris colors have been so vibrant. The blueberry bushes have already bloomed and now have lots of little blueberries. Of course this blooming all comes at a cost of yellow vehicles and daily antihistamines. But the beauty makes it all worthwhile. Unfortunately spring in Alabama also brings storms and tornadoes.

We always love Easter sunrise service but this year was very different. We set the clock to get up in time to stream Hinton Rural Life Center’s service (eastern time zone). Hinton is one of our NOMADS agencies that we love to support. Our church (central time zone) then streamed our sunrise service and we watched sunrise here on our mountain sitting in our truck next to our best friends in their Jeep. It was good but we sure missed the great fellowship and breakfast at church afterwards.

Easter Sunday also brought tornadoes. We had a total of 24 tornadoes in our state, most in north Alabama where we are sheltering in place. We had four tornadoes in our county. We lost power for 24 hours which is very unusual for us. We put Fred into the barn to protect from the predicted golf ball size hail (fortunately did not happen) but could still run Fred’s generator and power Aunt Helen’s refrigerator and freezer. We moved everything in our house refrigerator to Helen’s and we had the boxes and bags ready and were about to begin moving everything out of our freezer to Helen’s when the power was restored. It was a hard three days because we began on Saturday preparing for the predicted long track tornadoes, then watching the weather and going to the basement during the two that come near us, and then debris cleanup on Monday. Fortunately, we had no damage to any of the houses, the barn or Fred, so although very tired by Monday night, we also were counting our blessings.

This past week was more staying home and working on various projects around the house and Fred. We know that a lot of people are really struggling with the stay at home orders but we are blessed to be able to get out and walk and enjoy spring most days and we are slowly marking some things off our to do lists. Today is another storm day. Today it’s only rain and flash flooding in north Alabama for which we are very thankful. There have been severe storms to our south in the central part of the state and our hearts go our to those impacted. So far, no injuries reports.

Hope you are are surviving and thriving, with God’s help, while you shelter in place. We are praying for your health and safety. May God Bless and Keep you!

Letting the sun shine on the mail and packages
Not sure if it helps any but we’ve been letting the sun shine on our mail and packages for a while before we handle it.

God Is Great! All The Time!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

We know it has been a while since we posted but we really haven’t been doing anything exciting. We are okay. Really we are much better than okay. We are GREAT! As some of you know, Max has had a mass on the right side of his neck since January. Really it began about a year ago but went away, returned and he had a cat scan that showed nothing, it went way again and then returned in January and stayed. We scheduled an appointment with the specialist here while still in Florida and he was seen as soon as we returned home. After several trips to the doctor and different things being done, he had a needle aspiration and biopsy last Thursday. Finally today, he got a call from the doctor and ….

No malignancy identified
God is Great!

If you look back at our last post, we referred to Joshua 1:9. Yes, that was for us as well as our readers. We thank God for his love and care through this stressful time. Otherwise, we are still safely sheltering in place according to the state of Alabama’s stay at home order, and watching Spring spring.

Still Safe in Rural Alabama

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Our location for the duration
Our location for the duration

Not much to report. We are still safely driveway camped at our aunt’s house in rural Alabama. We are spending this time working on some things around here and our house that we have been putting off while we traveled.

We are praying for you all – that you stay safe and healthy.  In these difficult days, always remember Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.”


COVID 19 Changes Everything

Friday, March 20, 2020

The past three days we have been busy working on things we put off when we were busy finishing up in the Keys and getting ready for board meeting. There has been lots of mail to handle, laundry, visiting with friends (while walking the track with adequate separation), gathering the information for tax returns for the ladies, and even our first ever tele-medicine visit with our doctor. One of the reasons we needed to turn the project over to Rodney and Tammy was our scheduled doctor visits. We had postponed our annual checkups because we left for the Keys about 3 weeks before they were due. We go to the office where Anne practiced. Anne decided she did not want to go to the office with the flu very prevalent in our area and COVID 19 on top of that, so she canceled our appointments and instead we did the tele-medicine thing. It’s very new to our internal medicine office but it went well and now we are good until after annual meeting when we will have to go in to the office for lab work etc. Surely, the COVID 19 and flu viruses will be settled down by then.

Since we last posted, the NOMADS board of directors decided to cancel all NOMADS work for the next 6 weeks. That meant closing down the Florida Keys project as well. Rodney and Tammy did a great job leading the project for what turned out to be the last week, and along with Barb and Bill accomplished a lot. We are all sad that Dennis’s house was not quite complete but no one could have expected what has been happening. We have the pictures from the final day at this house. They also did the Bible presentation before they left. Thanks for all the hard work!

Now we have six weeks we were planning to be on projects. Seems a little strange, but we will find lots to do.  For now we are following the recommendations as much as possible and keeping our distance.


Back in Alabama

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Snowbird migration
Snowbird migration

We left Midway Campground Monday morning after a much needed restful Sunday.  As we were leaving we thought, with the recommendations that people work from home as much as possible and limit travel and social interactions because of COVID-19, traffic might be lighter. What we forgot to consider was the annual northward snowbird migration. There were many RVs with tags from northern states northbound on I-75. And every rest area was crowded with them. Things improved when we changed to I-10 west.

For the most part the drive was uneventful. We hunted a couple of rest area geocaches and enjoyed the scenery. At the I-10 rest area just west of I-75 we saw the largest solar farm we have ever seen. It is the Florida Power & Light Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center. It has around 330,000 panels on 953 acres. Read more about it here.

We drove longer Monday than we usually do. But we wanted a shorter day today. We spent the night in the parking lot of the Marianna, Florida WalMart with a few other RVs and 18-wheelers.

We arrived back on Pine Mountain shortly after noon and are now set up here for a few days before our next NOMADS project. It surprised us a little to see how far behind spring is here compared to even south Alabama.  It was really a joy to see Donna and Barry again and walk the track a couple of times this evening.

We’re Not in the Keys Anymore

Sunday, March 15, 2020

On Friday we said our “see-you-down-the-road” to Anita and Reid as they pulled out before sunrise to head back north. Later we met with Rodney and Tammy to transfer leadership and paperwork of the project and then Anne was in an online NOMADS Board meeting from 11:00 am till 4:30 pm. Max took that time to reorganize and repack for travel. That didn’t take nearly as long. We ended the day with another pizza at No-Name Pub.  The pizza was again very good.  However, this time we almost shared it with the owner’s dog.  He had a Great Dane that was huge.  He walked up and put his head on our table and we barely blocked him in time to save our pizza.  Cute dog.

Saturday we waited for the parking lot to clear and left about 10:30 am to travel to Midway Campground where we stayed a couple of nights on the way to the Keys back in December. It was an uneventful trip except for about a half hour delay for a traffic standstill (never did find out what caused it) around Islamorada.

Today we are comfortably social distanced in the campground watching Lester Memorial’s live streamed worship service. And relaxing.

Editorial from Max: As many of you know, my last career was in emergency management. I can remember developing plans for several “new” infectious diseases during those 20+ years. During many of those events I was amazed by the unreasonable and irrational responses by the American populace. With that in mind you would think nothing would ever surprise me. Until this week I thought that, too. Apparently, as evidenced by the empty shelves and reported fights in stores, there is no limit to the ability of the media and social media to create panic. I’m not minimizing the severity of the disease and agree with most of the measures being taken to extend the spread of the infection over a longer period of time to keep the number of those needing treatment within our capability to care for them. There is just a difference between reasonable response and panic.

I remember some studies the National Weather Service conducted to try to understand why so many people ignored tornado warnings. One theory was that there were so many tornado warnings that did not directly impact the individual that they assumed the next one would not either. Apparently, that does not apply to these type situations.

The emergency plan for media and social media: “When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”