Goodbye, FRED.

Friday May 5, 2017

Goodness, it has been cold and rainy all day today. One person we talked to said they thought it was colder now than it was in February. We agree. It was just a raw day. The predicted low tonight is something like 44. Looking ahead it’s suppose to be 38 Sunday night in Hayesville. Too cold for May!

Rainy drive on the Ocoee HwySo now we need to tell you what has been going on. It has really been somewhat hard to write this blog some days because we were so busy but didn’t feel we should share yet. So finally, here it is. Yesterday at 4:15pm we left Hayesville and drove to Scottboro, AL. It poured rain most of the way, but stopped long enough for us to negotiate the interstates through Chattanooga. We spent the night in the noisiest Walmart parking lot we have ever experienced. It did not quiet down until after 2:00 this morning. Our last night in Fred was not a good sleep night. This morning we met Don and Pat at the Redstone Federal Credit Union and finalized the sale on FRED. Yep, we sold FRED. We purchased the motorhome on April 23, 2011, brought him home two days later and affectionately called him FRED because he is a FRont Engine Diesel. He had 19155 miles. Today when he pulled out of the parking lot with a new owner he had 51396 miles. FRED traveled the most miles in 2014 when we went to Alaska and back (click here). We spent the most time in the rig in 2016 at 32 weeks. Even if we had kept FRED until the end of this year, 2016 would have still been the winner timewise. We loved FRED. He served us well and in some ways it was hard to see him drive off to his new home. We have worked late into the night every night for the past week, packing up all our stuff that was in the rig and deciding what needed to stay at Hinton and what should be in the first load home. We are tired! So what led up to this? We did not make this decision quickly. We have been looking at newer motor homes for about 3 years. We decided that it was time for a replacement that would hopefully serve us in our mission work and travel fun for the next 10-15 years – till it’s time for us to downsize or hang up the motorhome keys. We have purchased a Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (in case you want to google it to see what we are getting) that will be ready for pickup the first week of June. So, today we are excited to have closed the sale as that brings us one step closer to our new rig. It’s also a little sad.

Goodbye, FRED
Goodbye, FRED.

We know it will all be good but right now it is strange to be without a motorhome. We will be returning to North Carolina tomorrow in the pickup to finish the last week of out Hinton project and will be staying in the basement of the Lake House next week. Our next mission project will begin Father’s Day weekend and will be our first project in the new rig. Here is hoping we get a much better night’s sleep tonight.

End of Week Two

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Stormy weather over the lake
Stormy weather over the lake

Today was a rainy dark day, all day. This area is still short on rainfall and can use the rain but… messy and dreary. The wind has been gusting to 45mph and there have been some pretty good size limbs down across the campus. Fortunately no power outages.

Carol challenged us with her devotion using the Beatitudes from the Message Bible. If you have been reading and hearing the Beatitudes for your whole life, sometimes it’s really neat to read those old familiar verses from a different translation. Makes you consider other possibilities.

Today was another day much like the others this week. Everyone is working very hard to get this remodel completed for Hinton. Dave and Bryant first worked to block off parking in front of our RV’s with saw horses and caution tape. The Emmaus Walk will be this weekend at Hinton and with that many people on campus, parking is a real challenge and from past experience we have learned to try to prevent people from parking right next to the RV’s and to protect our parking spaces. After working on parking they also continued to work on the lighting for the tool shed and completed that task. Oneta put another and final coat of paint on the porch swing. Gene and Carol sanded the kitchen dry wall and did some additional mudding in the living room area. Anne and Max painted the lower stair well. Then Anne and Jackie finally got a coat of paint on the kitchen. YEA!! It will need another coat Monday. Cheryl and Jackie also painted the bookcase in the living room. Sandy and Steve continued to work on the upper stair well which is now about 95% complete. We also tried to clean up really well today since we won’t be back until Monday.

Most of us are pretty tired from working this week but still have a pretty busy weekend planned. Hopefully we will find time to catch some rest one of the days. Tomorrow should be a very interesting and busy day so be sure to check back in tomorrow our you will miss out.

Root Beer Floats!

Wednesday, May 03 2017

Morning at the Lake House

Today started early with a really pretty look out over the lake just as sun was rising. Located on Lake Chatuge, Hinton is really a pretty place.

Steve and Sandy brought our devotion today. It was based on an “Our Daily Bread” devotional about God is always listening. When we talk to him he always hears. We had some really good singing this morning. Bryant came down early and we had about 20 minutes of just messing around with some music before devotion and then ended our time with How Great Thou Art. Good music! We were surprised and thrilled when Jackie, the CEO of Hinton joined us for devotion. She just wanted to come spend a little time with us. We really appreciated that.

We then reviewed our work plans, marked off the items we completed yesterday and Bill added several more items to our list. The days are growing few and now there is even more to do. Hopefully we are up to the challenge. One of the things the NOMADS always do at the Hinton spring and fall projects is to change all the smoke detector batteries around campus. Cheryl and Jackie tackled that project and changed something like 98 batteries. That’s 98 trips up and down the ladder. They did an awesome job! Carol and Gene continued to work on the mudding and taping of the drywall in the kitchen and gathering area. It is looking really good. They got the second coat on all the kitchen and the first on the other. Oneta painted the retaining wall and it looks really nice. Dave and Bryant worked in the tool shed putting up some badly needed new lighting. Sandy and Steve continue work on the wall in the gathering area and the steps. It too is looking really good. The first of the paint should go on part of that tomorrow. Steve and Sandy are full-time RVers and do NOMADS projects most weeks of the year so they have a lot of experience and great skills. Max and Anne just try to keep everyone with the tools and supplies they need and fill in where we can help. Mostly we just need to stay out of the way and let this team do their thing.

And at the end of the day:

We forgot to show this yesterday. It is a comparison between the Lake House landscaping when we first arrived and this morning after all the great work the team members did yesterday.

We all went to Maria’s Hayesville Family Restaurant for lunch today. They have a nice buffet and the fried chicken was very good. Dessert come with it and Anne had the strawberry cobbler and Max the chocolate cake. It was all really good but by 2:00 we were feeling the need for a nap – which we did NOT get to take.

Root Beer Floats after workThen after work Dave and Carol prepared us all root beer floats and we all just sat outside in the beautiful spring afternoon and talked and laughed. Els, the lady in charge of hospitality and her husband came by and joined us for a time. Els’s husband spends several weeks each month in Haiti working with an orphanage. They are both from the Netherlands and always very interesting to talk with. It was another busy day. Only five more work days left and still lots to do.

Moving Right Along

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Today started as pretty as yesterday was messy. It was gorgeous all day today. The temps are dropping this evening but hey, it’s spring.

After a wonderful devotion given by Cheryl this morning, we went back to some of the tasks we were working on yesterday and started a few new ones. Anne and Carol continued mudding the kitchen walls, Sandy and Steve continued with the stairs/wall and Dave worked on a change order in the wiring for the kitchen. Gene and Bryant completed reinstalling the duct work in the basement ceiling and worked on replacing some of the ceiling tiles. Cheryl and Jackie re-textured the retaining wall that they cleaned last week. Later in the day, Gene jumped in to help on the kitchen walls while Bryant, Jackie, Cheryl and Oneta got to work outside cleaning out the shrubbery and flower beds around the Lake House.

While working on the landscaping, they came in contact with two southern hazards. Bryant stepped on a fire ant bed and then later found a hornets next in one of the bushes they were trimming. He came inside to tell Anne he had a photo op for Max and also a safety hazard for the team. Yes, Max went right outside and took the photo but we also got some spray to take care of the small nest. We also put some poison on the fire ants. So thankful that no one was stung and the fire ants didn’t get past the socks.

It was a very productive day and by the end of the day we had the first coat of mud on the kitchen walls, the kitchen floor repaired, the kitchen wiring roughed in (again), the shrubbery trimmed, the retaining wall re-textured and part of the stairwell walled in. Things are starting to look better around here.

Dinner at Chevelle's
Dinner at Chevelle’s

After work we all went to Chevelle’s for dinner since on Tuesday evenings all burgers are on sale. The burgers were good and the onion rings quite tasty too. However, someone forgot to read our “No Accidents” sign before they went and we ended up with two drinks spilled all over the table, one by the server and the other by one of our team. Oh well, the food was good and the company great and a good time was had by all.

Beginning Of Week 2

Monday, May 1, 2017

Rainy day

It was a rainy and windy day. We were under a wind advisory most of the day. Finally about 4:00 pm the sun came out and it was beautiful, but cool. Blue sky puffy white clouds. We sat outside and visited for a couple of hours.

Today was the start of week 2 of the Hinton project. Only 7 more work days left and so much to do.

We of course started the day with devotion. Jackie and Bryant gave another excellent devotion on how we deal with temptation. Thought provoking. Thanks, guys.

After reviewing our work list and discussing the week with Bill, we resumed the work where we left off Thursday. Steve and Sandy began construction on another wall by the steps. Several of the guys worked on hanging the dry wall. The kitchen drywall is all hung and the taping and mud have begun. Anne and Carol are working on this and it will take another couple of days. The other ladies worked on the painting and completed the second coat on the ceilings and put two coats on the walls. The hall ways were also painted. Anne also repaired the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen and master bath. A lot was done today.

One humorous thing that happened today:  With all the electrical roughed in Bill gave Dave some fireblock foam to spray around where the wires penetrated the floor. When we read the label to find out how to apply it we thought it was funny that fireblock foam was “extremely flammable”.

Friends Came To See Us

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Today began sunny but then threatened rain off and on during the day but the rain that we know is coming still hasn’t arrived. We took the Hinton bus and we went to First UMC in Hayesville for the 8:30 service. It is a traditional service and today the MissionAires (children K-4th grade) presented special music. We all really enjoyed the children. The church was very welcoming and Pastor Kirk, who we remembered from previous trips to Hinton, is still the pastor. His message today was on the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20:1-16 and was quite good.

After worship we returned to Hinton awaiting the arrival of some NOMADS friends that are working over at Lake Junaluska this period. We had worked with both couples previously so it was great to get to see them again. Since we missed the annual meeting in Branson in September we last saw Gene and Mary Ann when we worked with them at Sumatanga in April of 2016 and Pam and Joe when we worked with them at Midwest Mission Distribution Center in July of 2016. Most of our team had worked with Gene and Mary Anne previously as well. We went to lunch at Rib Country and this time we actually ate the ribs. Their baby back ribs are very good! We also splurged on some onion rings – so much for healthy living today – but it was worth it.

After lunch we returned to Hinton and showed Mary Ann, Gene, Joe and Pam around Hinton and just enjoyed spending the afternoon with friends. They seemed to really enjoy the beauty of this place. The views of the lake from the cabins are just so wonderful. They left to drive back to Junaluska about 3:00 so there was still time for an afternoon nap and work around the rig. We may get some rough weather tonight so will be watching carefully and have our weather radio handy.

Quiet Day Around Hinton

Saturday, April 29, 2017

It was another beautiful day in Hayesville, NC although it did get a bit too warm in the early afternoon, at least if you were working outside. Thankful for these beautiful spring days we get to enjoy. We are just a little further north than in Alabama and a little higher altitude so we are getting to enjoy the spring flowers again. The rhododendrons are beautiful around camp and as you drive along the roads. Did you know that rhododendrons are mainly found in Asia and are the national flower of Nepal? Oh, and of course they are also found in the Southern Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains of North America. The roses are also in bloom in the flower garden and the dogwoods and several other flowering plants are in full blood here are well. We enjoyed walking around the campus and looking at them on this beautiful spring day.

Another flowering plant we didn't recognize
Another flowering plant we didn’t recognize. Can anyone tell us what it is?
Hinton Center Prayer Labyrinth
Hinton Center Prayer Labyrinth

After a very hard day yesterday, we never left camp today. We had lots of work to do around FRED, laundry and needed some rest. We walked over to the prayer labyrinth on one of your walks today. The labyrinth here at Hinton was given in memory of the Staten’s by their four daughters. The Staten’s were supporters of Hinton and Mr. Staten served on the board of directors during the early days of Hinton’s development. The camp is readying the Labyrinth for World Labyrinth Day next Saturday by improving the steps and doing some landscaping. You might want to find a labyrinth in your area and make a point to visit and spend some time in prayer or meditation some time this week. Hinton is having a group walk next Saturday at 1:00. Don’t know if we will be here for that but do like the labyrinth.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Hug your family and tell and show them how much you love them.