A Day in Mississippi (and Georgia)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tiffin paint facility at Belmont
Tiffin paint facility at Belmont

Max: I drove to Red Bay again today to check on the status of our new motorhome being built there. But it wasn’t there. The nice security officers tracked it down to the paint facility in Belmont, Mississippi which is just across the state line from Red Bay. The nice security officer in Belmont pointed me in the direction he thought it would be. But it wasn’t there. After I walked through the areas it was scheduled to be today and returned to the security office we found out it was in one of large paint booths on the “paint repair line”. After all that I was able to stay with it the rest of the day and watch the workers touch up paint defects (some of which I couldn’t even see), apply the brand decals and seal the windshield. Another interesting day.

According to the schedule, tomorrow it should have the final sealing and rain test then return to Red Bay for final inspection and the installation of the items that go in after painting.

On returning home, I found there had been a storm here, the driveway had washed again and the power was off. It still is as I write this.Driveway washed again

Anne: No pictures for me, just an update for those of you that don’t know what’s been happening. Currently I am in Atlanta with my Mom. Last Saturday Max and I returned from South Carolina as far as Atlanta. We stayed with Marguerite while Jim drove to meet my other brother who was bringing my Mom from Tuscaloosa with plans for Mom to sit with Marguerite this week so Jim could take care of some business. Max and I left Jim’s about 5:45 Sunday morning with intentions of being in Oneonta in time for church and Sunday School. However….. Semper Gumby. We were between Ashville and Oneonta when I received a call from my brother Jim. Mom had fallen when she got out of bed, so instead of continuing to Oneonta, we went home and I gathered a few clothes and immediately returned to Atlanta. Long story short, Mom had a light stroke, and fell, breaking both bones in the lower leg just as they join the ankle. Her speech, once slurred,  has returned to normal, but she still has some balance problems and slight weakness in left hand, arm and leg. Hopefully tomorrow she will have surgery to repair the breaks with screws and plates. She had to wait at least 48 hours after the stroke to get clearance from neurology for the surgery. We won’t know until about 6:00 am tomorrow if she has made the surgery schedule. If not, we will try for Thursday. So, for now we just ask for prayers for successful surgery and quick healing and strength to walk through these difficult times for our entire family.

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We are in between mission projects right now and dealing with some family situations that would probably not be very interesting to most of our readers. So, we will probably not be blogging for a few days.

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Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We are both blessed with still having our mother’s with us for another Mother’s Day. And we both got to see our mothers today, although Anne in Georgia and Max in Alabama.

Anne:  I am still in Atlanta with my brother Jim and his wife Marguerite who has ovarian cancer.  My Mom has been here for the past week and it’s time for her to go back to Tuscaloosa.  I will stay a few days to help Jim out with some cooking, cleaning, and care of Marguerite.  It’s a blessing to get to spend some time with them and visit even though it’s under the lousy circumstances of cancer.  Since I hadn’t seen Mom since we went to the Sumatanga project six weeks ago it was great to get to see her, too.  Very grateful that I was able to be with my Mom on Mother’s Day.  Really hate that I was unable to see Max’s mom today but at least he was able to see her.  Marguerite had a really rough morning, but pain improved during the afternoon and we had a little time to visit when she was fairly comfortable.  Taking it one day at a time.

Morning visitor
Morning visitor

Max: As I was headed out the door to go to church I looked out through the garage door window and saw a doe standing just outside. I grabbed a camera and slipped out the back door. Using the corner of the house as a blind, I held the camera around the corner and snapped a few pictures. The deer heard the shutter and slowly walked away. By the time it was out of sight, three other does joined her and trotted over the hill. That is one of the joys of living in the country.

Yesterday, while working on the back deck, I heard a familiar hum overhead and then some tiny chirps. Someone was telling me it was time to put the hummingbird feeder back out. As soon as I did, a camera shy male came and checked it out and left. This afternoon there were several around the feeder so I was able to get a few pictures.

Murder in Blount CountyLater this evening I took Mother her card and gift, an autographed copy of Murder in Blount County by Judi McGuire. It is a fictional mystery based in our home county using names of people and places that we know. Of course, unknown to us, she had bought herself a copy on Wednesday when the author was at the Oneonta Public Library for a book signing. Anyway, it was good to see her (and my sister who was also visiting) and Mother appreciated the thought.

Mother's irises.jpg
Max’s mother has always had a green thumb as witnessed by these irises growing in her yard.

Saturday Workday

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Last night Anne received a call from her brother asking her to come to Senoia (Atlanta), Ga to help with Marguerite.  Marguerite had taken another turn for the worse, was in a great deal of pain and Jim was having problems getting it under control. Anne left early this morning to drive over.  She arrived safely and found things had improved a little over night.  Marguerite is, as expected, continuing to decline.  She is not yet in Hospice, but that may change the first of the week.  Pain control is becoming more difficult.  Please continue to pray for the entire family.

When we returned from North Carolina, our driveway had washed out some from the heavy rains while we were gone, then again yesterday while we were in Red Bay. So, today Max’s priority was to get started making the driveway passable for a motorhome. First he had to do some regular maintenance on the tractor and get it out of the basement without tearing up the back yard too much. Once that was done it only took a few hours to repair the washouts and mow back some of the privet hedge from the sides. There are still some limbs to cut before the new motorhome arrives, but at least now cars can get in and out without dragging and having limbs drag across them.

Max also rode a few miles on his bicycle for the first time since his surgery. No problems and he enjoyed the ride to visit his mother.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Meeting FRED’S Replacement

Friday, May 12, 2017

We got home about 7:30 last night and spent the next two hours unloading the truck. It was so packed that we were afraid to open any door without being ready to catch something that might fall out. We had somewhat underestimated the room it would take. Tuesday when we loaded out what we thought was a lot of our stuff we were feeling pretty good about getting everything home. Really thought there would be some extra space. NOT! We barely stuffed it all in yesterday afternoon. So now the sunroom and our bedroom are full of boxes and bags of FRED stuff. We packed so fast last week that we didn’t label anything and therefore will probably be looking for things for several weeks. Oh, well.

Today we almost felt like we had gained a “free” day because it was suppose to be a travel day.  So instead of staying home and working we decided to go play. Tiffin Motorhomes in Red Bay, Alabama does something most manufacturers would not think of doing. They allow you to follow your rig from the time it enters the factory until it is complete. There are certain things you can’t do, like the welding shop, but for the most part very little is off limits. You can wander around, talk to the people working on your rig and ask questions, going in and out of the motor home as you please. Of course, you have to stay out of everyone’s way so they can work and stay out of the way of the delivery of parts to the rigs.

We have the build schedule which gives the hour by hour schedule for our rig. Since our new motorhome started in the welding shop on Monday and into the main plant on Wednesday, we decided to make a road trip back to Red Bay. The work day at Tiffin starts at 6:00 and ends at 2:30. We didn’t make it there for the start of the workday since we had a two hour drive, but were there by about 6:30. After we checked in with security and received our badge and safety glasses, we had to go find our rig. We knew where it would enter the plant from previous visits, but there is more than one assembly line. We didn’t know exactly where our rig would be when we arrived. We knew our build number, 108449, and that that should be on the parts and rig, but where was it. There were so many rigs. We wandered around looking, looking. It was so exciting when we finally spotted “108449” on a rig right at the station listed on the build schedule. They were putting the large driver side slide in place when we first saw it. We are so glad we made the trip. It was so fun to watch the building of our future RV. Everyone was very nice. They even gave us the extra pex and plumbing tubing so we have started our spare parts kit. Hope it was Ok for them to give it to us, but they were going to throw it away and when we asked they said “Sure you can have it. You’re paying for it.” They are about 1.5 to 2 hours behind schedule right now due to a problem further up the line. Hope they don’t get too far behind since we are on a pretty tight schedule. The employees seemed very conscientious. When the employees from Station 12 finished the rig they were working on they picked up their parts and tools and came back to Station 11 where we were and started doing what they could from there. The young lady said “I can’t stand to get behind and I don’t want to start Monday even further behind, so I just go to where the RV is.” As we talked to the workers, they asked questions about where we travel and what we do with our RV which allowed us to share the NOMADS story. Can’t help but think that as we talked and they got to know us a little, that maybe they were taking a little extra care of our new baby.

It was just a really good day of time spent together not thinking of cancer. Now back to the real world of sorting and organizing and being responsible.

Happy Birthday, Bill!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Birthday, Bill! We hope you have a great year.  Now that the NOMADS have finished maybe you can get some well-deserved rest.  Thanks for all your help.

Today we officially concluded the spring project at Hinton Rural Life Center. As usual we started the day with our devotion and a time of sharing and prayer. We then reviewed our work list and marked off the completed items. It is quite a list. Since we had completed our part of the remodeling of the Lake House yesterday, we just worked a few odd jobs today – mostly yard work and re-organizing the tool rooms. The cabinet makers also finally showed up and installed the wall cabinets.

We stopped work about 11:30 and went to Roma’s to celebrate Bill’s birthday. The food was great and the company even better and a great way to end the project.

After lunch we returned to campus and Dave and Carol and Bryant and Jackie readied their motorhomes to leave. We went back to the Lake House and found that there was no water because a plumber who had come to install a new meter had cut the line to the house. We then decided we might as well head home. Since we had already loaded most of our stuff in only took a little while to finish. We notified the team members and then made an uneventful drive back to Alabama.

We look forward to working with all these NOMADS again.

“See you down the road.”

A Day of Awesomes

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It was another beautiful spring/summer day in Hayesville. Looking out on Lake Chatuge is just so peaceful and renewing. Feel so blessed to be here at this time.

Devotion today was by Sandy and Steve. Steve started by saying “You know we all have something to share.” The scripture was John 1:6-13. He then shared from Our Daily Bread, “Too Good Not To Share” and ended by reminding us that people who don’t read the Bible read Christians. How’s that as a sobering reminder of our responsibilities?

What did we do today? We finished the Lake House remodel!!!! A day early!! AWESOME!! We had hoped that the subcontractor who is building the custom cabinets would finally arrive, but it was not to be. Nothing else can be done until the cabinets and flooring are installed. This morning we installed the last of the trim, installed the wiring for the heat pump, touched up a few areas on the paint, and then started cleaning up. The clean up took a while. Getting all our tools back to the motor homes, and the Hinton tool shed was a big task. Then cleaning up all the dust was another big job. The pressure washing of the exterior was also completed. We then had a little time with Bill where we all signed our names on the floor which will be covered with carpet. Bill thanked the team for all their hard work and officially declared our part of the remodel complete. We know the pictures don’t look complete but we will post some additional pictures after the cabinets and flooring are installed. They will also have to get someone else to do the final plumbing and electrical since that can not be done until after the subs complete their work. We had really hoped to do that job for Hinton. Tomorrow we will be doing some outside work.

Dinner tonight – our last meal at Hinton this project – was also AWESOME! Phillip served us a wonderful potato casserole, grilled veggies and a scrumptious beef tenderloin. Oh, and there was a wonderful salad bar and delicious pineapple cake. Yep, don’t think we will be having anything but salad after we get home. Salad and a lot of walking and other exercise. Oh well, it was worth it.

After dinner we were back to the Lake House for a group picture and closing worship and communion. We usually do this on Thursday evening of week three but Dave and Carol will have to leave about lunch tomorrow because they have to get on to Kentucky where they will be leading next period and we didn’t want them to miss our closing. We asked Bryant to serve our communion since he is a retired UMC pastor. We held the service in the remodeled upstairs of the Lake House. It was AWESOME!!! We so appreciate Bryant and what he has meant to the team. It’s been a wonderful three weeks. The team really was a team in every sense of the word. This team has also been so supportive of Anne in the difficult times with Marguerite’s cancer battle.

Tomorrow we will probably work a half day so everyone can get all the tools sorted and loaded in their motor homes and be ready to hit the road Friday morning. We are ready to go home and get our life sorted back out after packing everything from FRED into two pickup loads.

Petunias at the office
Awesome petunias we saw at the office today