Week Two In Laurel

Friday, April 8, 2022

We said goodbye to Suzanne Saturday morning and took over as leaders for the Laurel team.  We greeted team members Saturday and Sunday with our team meeting Sunday afternoon.   Monday we began another week of work on homes damaged by the December 2019 and April 2020 tornadoes that hit Laurel, MS. We had a team of 12 NOMADS who were hard workers and so much fun.  We had one couple, Deb and Dave who were on their first project. We hope they enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed getting to know them.   The rest of the team, Jim and Dee, Sandy and Steve, Stel and Jodi, and Anne and Dale are all experienced NOMADS.  The hardest work for us as leaders was to keep work and supplies lined up for them all and then just stand back and watch them get the work done.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had Sandy, Steve, Anne and Dale at the Todd house working to replace/repair oak flooring that was water damaged.  They also had to replace subflooring.  What a huge job that was completed Thursday, and it looks great!  While there they also removed a lot of brick from the exterior that will be replaced with siding next week.

The rest of the team continued the work at the Henry house that lost its roof to the tornado, so of course there was also lots of water damage.  There, the team worked on trim, doors, replacing broken windows, caulking and painting Monday thru Wednesday.

Thursday Gumby visited and all the team but Steve and Sandy, who completed the work at the Todd house, were tasked with inspecting and making punch list last minute repairs/touch ups on six homes that have been completed and were having their open house today. Max and Anne mainly ran between the houses and the supply houses picking up necessary supplies so we didn’t get to take many pictures.

A lot of the various teams and individuals who have worked on the houses attended the celebrations today including some of the Mennonite Disaster Team members from Indiana.  What a special time it is when the homeowners take possession of their new homes.  We are so blessed to have been a tiny part of all the people and agencies working in Laurel.

The evenings this week were not dull either. On Monday, Jennifer from Laurel First UMC fed us again. This week it was a delicious shrimp boil with some crawfish added for those who had never eaten them before.

And on Tuesday morning we had our weekly tornado warning.

We had to say goodbye today to Sandy and Steve and Deb and Dave.  Safe travels and we will see you down the road.  Hope everyone gets some rest this weekend.

Good To Be Back At Work

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Last Saturday we returned to Laurel, MS to assist with the Restore Jones County efforts to complete the rebuilding of homes from the December 2019 and April 2020 (Easter) tornadoes.  As you may remember we have worked here twice before, Spring 2021 and Fall 2021.  We joined the NOMADS team already in place, for our transition week.  One other couple joined for this week as well – brand new NOMADS on their first project, Tami and Craig.  It was great getting to know them and we look forward to working with them again soon!  We also had Suzanne as leader, and Charley and Joe and Les on our team.  We all worked on the house that we ended with last fall.  On our last day last fall we did some demo on this house.  Since then, there has a lot of work done by plumbers, electricians, and drywall people.  Most of the flooring has also been installed.  The team spent most of the week installing doors, trimming around the doors, installing baseboards, completing the installation of the vinyl plank flooring and caulking.  The doors were the major challenge as there are no two doors the same and there are no standard door sizes in the house.  Everything has been a custom build and very tedious.

Max and Anne were pulled from that location for Wednesday and Thursday, to work on one of the houses the Mennonite’s built.  Unfortunately, the person installing the stove scratched the flooring when moving the stove across the room.  We had to remove damaged planks that spanned about two thirds of the room.  The removal went fairly easily, but, reinstalling was considerably more difficult.  By the end of the day Thursday, we were celebrating the completion of the flooring as well as the re-installing the base and caulking.  All that remains is to touchup the paint on the lower walls just above the baseboard and the baseboard itself.  It was a successful week with much accomplished.

We had our traditional Thursday evening dinner with the team and then said our goodbyes because everyone was leaving Friday.   Friday we made a quick trip back to Alabama to have Max’s sutures removed and check on Aunt Helen’s house and then back to Laurel.  We left at 4:15am and were back in Laurel by 3:30pm.

Saturday we welcomed Anne and Dale, Sandy and Steve, and Stel and Jodi to Laurel.  Sunday the rest of our team, Jim and Dee, and Dave and Deb arrived.  We are looking forward to another great week with this fun group of hard working NOMADS.

Back in the Field

Back in LaurelSaturday, March 26, 2022

Just letting you know that after about three weeks in Alabama working on estate stuff we are back in the field getting ready to start back to work with other NOMADS with Restore Jones County in Mississippi.  It feels good to be back here.

Week Three at FUMCH

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Our last week at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home was another busy one for our NOMADS team.  The two of us began the week working at one of the independent living cottages.  There had been a roof leak which had been repaired but the interior water damage also needed to be repaired.  We tackled that project and repaired the ceilings and walls in the two bathrooms involved.  After the drywall repairs dried we also painted.  While we were doing that, others were repairing fences, pressure washing sidewalks, painting in another cottage and running plumbing and wiring for the greenhouse.  Wednesday and Thursday, we went back to the outdoor chapel with Phil and Mary and ran the wiring in the ditch and installed the conduit for the outdoor worship center.

The high point of the week was Thursday morning.  We had our closing devotion and communion at the new outdoor chapel.  It was the first service and Diane, one of our team members who is a retired pastor, did a great job with the service.  Thanks, Diane!

Thursday at lunch the maintenance crew provided us some wonderful fried chicken and fixin’s as we closed out our time in Enterprise.  It was a great three weeks with another fun and hard working team!  May all the work that was done be a blessing to the children and young people that will pass through the Children’s Home.