Start of Our Last Week

Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday morning of our last week
Monday morning of our last week

Today the Ripley’s started our last week in the Keys by leading us in our devotional time. Rodney talked about his memories of his mother making bread with all the right ingredients and how wonderful the bread was. Fresh homemade bread – nothing better. But then he reminded us that what God has for us is so much better. Bread is really great but what God has for us is beyond our wildest dreams. He uses perfect ingredients and perfect timing to shape our future. And sometimes he uses us as those ingredients to shape the future for others. With all the talk of bread and as part of the object lesson Tammy made some wonderful southern pecan muffins. They were buttery and nutty and oh so good. Thanks, Tammy and Rodney!

Delicious devotional example
Delicious devotional example

After devotion we all headed in opposite directions. Max and Rodney headed down to Lower Sugarloaf  Key to meet the countertop people at the Keystone house and re-install the sink after the counter tops were installed. The home owner was so pleased. This was for the lady who has been cooking three meals a day and washing all her dishes in the bathtub for 2 years. We are so happy for her. Bill, Barb and Reid headed back to Art’s house. There they continued to work on the painting and the drywall. They painted all the walls and installed the peninsula cabinets. More items were added to the work order there today so NOMADS will be at Art’s for several more days. At Dennis’s house the window crew that we thought were supposed to arrive today were a no show as was the countertop crew. We think the counter tops will now be delivered Wednesday. No idea on the windows. However, we did have four college students from Pennsylvania arrive and begin painting the exterior of the house. They are doing a very good job! Anita did put a second coat of paint on the window trim that was installed last week as well as the bathroom door. She also worked with Anne and Tammy on cleaning the bathroom floor. After lunch Anita went to Art’s to paint and the other ladies continued to work to removed some of the build up on the tile from the salt water that was in the house for over a week after hurricane Irma. We also did a little flooring repair. Now we will wait on the windows, countertops and doors. It was a great start to our last week in the Keys.

Last Weekend in the Keys

Sunday, March 08, 2020

[Begin (tongue-in-cheek) rant]  Five weekends in a row! Yes, FIVE weekends in a row of either cooler or windier or rainier weather AND small craft advisories. We had hoped to do some snorkeling or kayaking this weekend. Instead we conducted NOMADS business, worked on taxes, did laundry and cleaned house. Whoopie-doo. [End rant]

On Friday we had to say “See you down the road” to Mark and Lisa and Dallas. Hated to see them go, but we really appreciated them staying an extra week to help move the project along. Then on Saturday we welcomed Tammy and Rodney in to Big Pine Key. We will be transitioning leadership of the team to them this week. We are looking forward to a great final week with a great team.

Another Beautiful NOMADS Friday

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Today was a very busy day. We started the day with Lisa and Barb completing the drywall at Atlantis. They then joined Max, Bill, Mark and Reid down at Art’s house on Summerland Key where everyone was painting and Reid was working on a particularly challenging section of drywall. Anne and Anita were back at Dennis’s caulking and painting the trim that was installed yesterday. They also worked on cleanup, and cleanup of the trailer. After lunch Lisa and Mark joined them back at Dennis’s to get the trailer ready for Jim to move Saturday and install the towel bars, towel ring and toilet paper holder in the bathroom. Back at Art’s the team completed the second coat of paint on the ceiling, and installed the cleats in the floor for the installation of the peninsula cabinets. Dennis’s bathroom is complete. We will need to put another coat of paint on the window trim but most things are complete at his house. Great news for Dennis today is that the contractor is supposed to start the installation of his new windows Monday. Once that is done we will need to trim out the new windows. We are still waiting on the counter tops and exterior doors there. We have a hard working team that accomplished a lot this week. Very thankful for them.

Tonight we tried a new to us restaurant on Marathon, Burdine’s. Lisa and Mark went here last week and chose this for their last evening with the team. It was very good and everyone seemed to have a great time. Yes, we had key lime pie again, this time fried in a flour tortilla with cinnamon. Very good!

A God-Thing Today

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

With Jim, the construction coordinator, on vacation this week the task of purchasing and delivering supplies fell on us – the team leaders. We met with Jim before he left and he asked us to go to Home Depot and purchase the cabinets for Art’s house. This is a house we have not worked on before but other volunteer groups have. In fact, a multi-generational group from Minnesota worked on it last week. They put down the vinyl plank flooring and did some painting. Our assignment is to pick up where they left off and finish the house.  We had planned to go get the cabinets earlier in the week but stayed busy at Dennis’s house and the Atlantis house. But we digress. So this morning Bill (and his larger pickup truck) and Max headed out to Key West to get cabinets. We, and Jim, had checked the online inventory and found out one of the cabinets, a 9” base,  was not in stock and had to be special ordered. The kitchen would not go together correctly without that cabinet.

We met with the kitchen design specialist to start gathering all the other cabinets.  She looked at the list and told us the 9” base is not a stock item. Then she went on to tell us that someone else had ordered one and then just a few minutes before had told her they no longer needed it. It was still sitting beside her desk.  God works mysteriously, and sometimes with kitchen cabinets.

We were able to get the cabinets installed today.  Without that one little God-thing cabinet we would have been delayed no telling how long.

Elsewhere – Anne and Anita worked at Dennis’s cleaning the bathroom and painting trim. Lisa and Barb did some drywall touchup at Atlantis then went to Dennis’s to case and trim a window and the bathroom door.  And Reid and Mark redid some of the flooring and installed transitions and baseboard at Art’s.


Deja Vu Day

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Barb presented our devotion this morning using Romans 3:21-26. She then read a story about a woman who ran into a stack of items in a store and knocked them over and broke them.  When she offered to pay for the broken items, the store manager told her to not worry about it, that the store had insurance for that. Barb reminded us that Jesus provided us grace as our “insurance.”

Mirror installedFor the most part today’s work was like yesterday’s. Lisa and Barb spent most of the day finishing drywall at the Atlantis house and the rest of the team worked on plumbing, painting and trim at Dennis’s. His bathroom is almost finished with the painting finished and even the mirror installed over the vanity. This after noon Bill and Max took a ride about 10 minutes south to measure for cabinets and develop a work plan Art’s house on Summerland Key.

New Team, New Week

Monday, March 2, 2020

It was another busy day. We started by leading our devotional time this morning and then reviewing our work plans for the day. We all headed out to Dennis’s and so Barb and Bill and Reid and Anita could meet Dennis and see where we stand there. Then Barb and Lisa went to Atlantis to continue the drywall finishing and caulking of the door. Anita and Anne worked on painting the ceiling and most of the walls of the bathroom. Reid worked on plumbing and shelving for the bathroom linen closet as did Bill. He also installed the bathroom light fixture and wired in the plug for the stove. Mark worked on plumbing all day. Max went between the houses making sure everyone had what they needed and made a few trips to the store for supplies. A number of items were marked off our punch list today. It was the first day with a new team and often it takes some time for the team to start to mesh. This team, with a good deal of experience, went right to work and accomplished a lot today.

Another Weekend Still in the Keys

Sunday, March 1, 2020

On Friday we went to Key West again with Mark and Lisa to do some biking around town. It was great weather for biking – a little cooler than the rest of the week. We had a great time wandering around and looking at the sights. We ended the day by meeting Sue for dinner and watching the sunset from Mallory Square. And, of course we went to Kermit’s for chocolate covered frozen key lime pie. Then we rode in the dark the several blocks back to where we left the truck. Thankfully, most of the drivers in Key West are cyclist aware and very courteous. It was still a little nerve-wracking for all four of us.

We spent Saturday welcoming new team members and doing maintenance, cleaning and laundry. We welcomed Reid and Anita and Bill and Barb to Big Pine Key and look forward to working with them for the remainder of our time here. We did take time Saturday to ride the bikes a few miles to find a couple of geocaches since you can only make finds on February 29th once every 4 years.

On Sunday we again attended church at Big Pine UMC and enjoyed the brunch afterwards. The rest of the day was spent on NOMADS business and getting ready for the team meeting. Another great weekend. Of course, any weekend in the Keys is a great weekend.