Trains and rain overnight last night. What is usually a single train was multiples last night with what sounded like multiple track switches. We usually aren’t really bothered by the trains but last night they were going back and forth for way too long. It was the first topic of conversation at morning devotion. The second was the continuing rain. The forecast indicates today was our last rainy day and we will be glad to see some sun. Tonight we are getting lots of wind.
Bruce and Jackie led devotion this morning with Bruce talking to us about patience and his lack of patience. He shared several scriptures on the subject and the group discussed how we don’t want to pray for patience because God just might let us learn some patience in a not so fun way. Bruce and Jackie also gave each of us a really nice cross necklace that Bruce made. The nails that make the cross are race horse horseshoe nails. The black represents sin, the red the blood of Jesus and the white, salvation. Thanks, Bruce and Jackie.
Back to work, Anne went back to taping and mudding drywall. Max and Tom and Mike completed installing all the drywall they can do until the bathroom plumbing is completed. Reid continued to work on that plumbing today. Bruce, Hillary, Jackie and Jenny all began the day working in the cold mist installing the siding. They made great progress – finishing all but the top row on the south side and starting the two remaining sides. The drywall in the bedroom was not dry today. It’s just been too humid, so Dave, the maintenance manager, brought a fan and then later a couple of heaters for the cottage. That seemed to help and by this afternoon at least a portion of the bedroom could be sanded by Suzanne. Jackie also worked on finishing drywall this afternoon. We have all worked very hard this week and are looking forward to getting some rest this weekend.
Tonight, Tom and Jenny walked into town with us. It is “Moonlight Madness” in downtown Sebewaing. They closed some of the streets and had various activities. There were inflatables for the kids. Music in the park. Several food vendors and craft vendors. There were also specials/sales at the downtown businesses. The Rotary gave away bean soup which was very good. There was popcorn and apple cider at the library. We all, of course, had ice cream from the antique store. Tried the root beer float tonight and it very good. We also ran into Hillary, Mike, Jackie and Bruce while strolling downtown. We were interested in seeing the fires on the river and waited until they lit the floating fire rings before we called it a night. As we were leaving we had a really nice sunset and stopped on the board walk to get some pictures before returning home . It was another good day.
It rained all night and it continued to rain today. We remain under a lakeshore flood advisory and the water in the bay was visibly rising toward the back road of the camp. It was strange to see water rising in such a huge body of water. Along with the rain and all the run off into the rivers which drain into the bay, the wind was blowing across the bay and pushing the water toward shore and “plugging” the water at the mouth of the rivers. Winds which are still quite high have now changed to northerly and the water is receding. Totally different weather than we have in Alabama – and its 93 in Alabama and 53 here. Definitely seems summer is over in upper Michigan.
Reid led devotion time today. It was of course back inside due to rain. He talked using Galatians 5:13-14 as his basis to discuss servanthood and love for others, reminding us God calls us to put others first, not “me first”.
We then all headed back to the cottage to work. Since the weather was bad, most of us were working inside most of the day. It was a little crowded. The cottage is roughly 550 sq ft and when all ten of us are in there working it gets pretty crowded. Today Hillary and Jackie, our insulation queens, completed the very last of the insulation and joined Anne and Jenny with finishing the drywall. Jackie also worked outside part of the day, with Bruce, who spent almost all day working out in the rain. He made great progress on the side of the cottage. It’s looking good. First coat of mud was completed in the bedroom. Max, Tom, and Mike hung drywall in the living room so all that is left is the kitchen area and bathroom. The blue board was delivered for the bathroom today. Reid continued to work on plumbing. It’s really beginning to look like a house.
No playing ping pong today. There are a group of quilters using the building that houses the table so we walked today. Suspect we will have to run the heat pumps tonight. Hope Alabama gets a break from the heat soon.
Another great day in Michigan. It was nice this morning and after gathering at the cottage, we decided to have devotion time out on the boardwalk that goes out into the bay. We gathered at the far end of the boardwalk sitting on the benches provided there. We had already been out on the boardwalk earlier to see if we could see the eagles that have a nest nearby, but saw nothing this morning. We shared with the team today discussing what it really means to ask God to tell you what He wants you do, remembering the hymn “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go. What if He asks us to do something really hard; something really outside our comfort zone. We had good response and conversation. “Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing Mind.” 1 Chronicles 18:9. During devotion an eagle flew by so we could all see and appreciate its beauty. Great way to start the day.
After devotion it was back to work. Today Max and Bruce continued to install the siding. Most of the day they worked in the rain. They had help from others throughout the day but they were very wet by the end of the day. They have really changed the appearance of the cottage. We also had help today from some work release inmates from the county jail. Don’t know exactly the arrangements but a deputy brings them out one or two days a week to help with various work around the camp. Today they helped us with hanging drywall. It was great. Most of the guys were tall and had some experience hanging drywall. The deputy also was very knowledgeable with drywall and how the camp usually does things. The inmates and deputy went right to work and with their help it was short work to drywall the bedroom ceiling and walls. We really appreciate the help and they may be return later in the week to help us and/or help the camp setup for the fall family festival this weekend. We now have all the walls shimmed as needed and insulation installed so we will be working on more drywall tomorrow. The plumbing is continuing to progress as well.
We were all really tired at the end of the day but a lot was accomplished. It was raining this afternoon so we went back to the rig and settled in for some rest. Please continue to pray for our safety and that we accomplish what God wants us to do in this beautiful place.
It rained some more during the night last night and was very cloudy and a little drizzle when we got up this morning. 50 degrees. We are using the fireplace to knock the chill off.
Today’s devotion was led by Tom and Jenny with wonderful music and a devotion about the TEAs in our lives. All these things we need to drink in order to live our Christian lives to the fullest. These will all add up to our Spirituali-TEA. How we live reflects Who we serve and when we begin sipping on those “teas” in our lives and concentrating on those areas, we begin reflecting Christ more. These “teas” will help put us in the right frame of mind just like our morning cup of tea or coffee. Reflecting on these areas of our lives will give us a boost in our spirituality. We all got tea bags too, with the TEAs and scriptures attached. Great job, Tom and Jenny. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
Also today I would like to ask all of you to start praying for our dear friend Carol and her husband Dave. We received a call from Carol last week and she told us that she has stage 3 colorectal cancer. Since she has now told all our NOMADS family, we feel free to ask you to join us in surrounding Carol and Dave in prayer. We also think about yesterday’s sermon and know that God can handle this giant too.
We all headed back to work picking up where we left off on Thursday. Today Tom, Reid and Mike made great progress on the plumbing and the shower is now installed. Reid and Tom had to spend some quality time in the crawl space today. As you can tell from the photos, that space is not very large. Max and Bruce spent quality time on the scaffolding today. They completed the house wrap in the front of the cottage and began the siding installation. Hillary and Jackie continued to work on installing insulation and the front bedroom is now ready for drywall which should start in the morning. Jenny and Anne continued to work on straightening walls, installing shims as needed to prepare the living room area for drywall. They hope to have that area completed by lunch tomorrow, hopefully before. And, Suzanne, as she does so well, assisted us all by answering questions, offering encouragement and kept us all supplied. By lunchtime, the sun was out and we had a beautiful afternoon.
We played ping pong again after work today. We haven’t played in ages but have been enjoying afternoon games since arriving at Bay Shore. Thank you God for another good and safe day.
This morning the team went back to Trinity UMC. They combined their early and 11:00 service with breakfast at 9:00 and worship at 10:00 for today’s special service featuring Goliath’s spear. They invited the team to breakfast and of course we gladly accepted. They served various breakfast casseroles as well as pan pancakes, all sorts of wonderful fruit and sweet rolls. The pan pancakes were new to us, but very tasty. We will probably try to prepare them ourselves soon. Good item to feed teams. Wonderful meal and we appreciate their hospitality so much.
Trinity traditionally does something special for their fifth Sunday’s. Today they invited Sheldon Rhodes to speak and bring Goliath’s Spear for display. The spear is a Biblically accurate replica of Goliath’s spear. The spear is 12’7” long and weighs 33 lbs 12oz. Along with the visual aid of the spear, Mr Sheldon brought a message of encouragement to us to seek God’s guidance to defeat the giants in our lives. Everyone faces giants such as relationship problems, employment problems, addictions, health problems and the list goes on. Just as God was big enough to help David defeat Goliath, He is big enough to help us defeat the giants in our lives. Giants are no match for our God. Good service.
This afternoon after a late lunch, Suzanne joined us for a road trip northeast of Sebewaing. We headed over to Grindstone, MI, about 35 miles northeast of our campground. We drove Michigan highway 25 that travels along the shore of Lake Huron in tip of the upper thumb. We passed through several tiny villages along the shore that bustle Memorial Day through Labor Day. A lot of things close after Labor Day. Our purpose for going to Grindstone was to visit the Grindstone General Store. (Click here for a PBS video about the store). It is known for the largest ice cream cones in the thumb and we were told it would be worth our trip. We really expected there to be an old general store with an ice cream shop inside. Reality is that the old general store is an ice cream shop now and there would be no reason for anyone to make the drive expect for the legendary huge ice cream cones and some really nice scenery. We had the homemade sassy peach cheesecake ice cream and Suzanne had the homemade crunchy cappuccino. We both got the ice cream in a cup rather than the waffle cone (which makes for a better picture) and both were very, very good. Amazingly the huge amount of ice cream is $3.00 for what they call one scoop. We stopped at a couple of the beaches for brief walks and pics on the way back. Just love to listen to the waves. It was another really good day.
As mentioned above we are in what is known as the “thumb” of Michigan. We saw several businesses that use that term in their name – like Thumb Bank and Trust and Thumb Educational Services. This was the funniest:
Today was a sleep in day. We did not have to be anywhere at any particular time. It was great. After a slow start to our day, we continued our slow morning and watched a movie, did some laundry and just relaxed.
By mid afternoon we were ready for a little activity and headed back to Bay City to check out their Riverwalk. We did not realize that this weekend is the River of Time festival. The festival draws a huge crowd celebrating various times in the history of the US from the pioneer days to the Spanish-American War to Civil War, both World Wars, etc. There were re-enactments, guns firing, music, people in all types of period costumes with many spending the night in tents in the park. There were food vendors, crafts, and camp fires. Here are a few pictures:
We made our way down to the trail by the river and got some nice exercise walking about four miles. By this time the sun was bright with the temperature in the mid 60’s and it was a great day to be walking by the river enjoying the boats going by and watching all the water birds. We saw some really nice boats as we walked around the marina.
By late afternoon it was time to head back to Sebewaing where we stopped to pick up some local BBQ and returned to FRED to eat and watch a little football and another movie. It was a good day.
Today was a cloudy and cool day but we did not get the forecasted rain – at least yet. Just got off the phone with a prospective NOMADS member in Mississippi. They want us to bring our 66 degree highs home with us in two weeks or better yet, send it on south this week. The high at their house in MS was 95 today. We really hope it cools off at home before we return.
This morning rather than sleeping in we were up at our regular time and were on the road to Bay City, MI at 8:00. We, along with Suzanne, Tom, and Jenny scheduled a tour of the sugar factory at 9:00. This area of Michigan is the largest producer of sugar beets east of the Mississippi river. We can hear the huge trucks dumping the beets at the sugar factory here in Sebewaing from our motor homes. Unfortunately Michigan Sugar Company only gives tours at the Bay City factory where their corporate headquarters are located. The tour was very informative and fun. We all looked so cute in our hair and beard nets, hard hats and safety glasses. The sugar making process is really pretty simple, but when you do it on the huge scale of these factories it’s really impressive. They process 4-5 million tons of sugar beets annually. It takes 7 average size (ugly) sugar beets to make a 5 pound bag of sugar. So the beets come to the factory from the local fields. They are piled up for later processing or dumped into the “washing river” and make their way into the factory. After a good bath they go through a slicer that cuts them to about french fry size. Then they are cooked in water to extract the sugar. The sugar water then is cooked down to a brown sludge. The sludge goes into a centrifuge and then it comes out white sugar. The sugar is dried and then stored in huge storage tanks/silos. As needed it is then bagged and shipped, or they fill train cars with sugar for businesses like Kellogg cereals. We saw some sugar being bagged in Aldi bags and Walmart bags today.
After the tour we did some grocery shopping and then made our way back to Sebewaing. Then it was time for lunch and naps. Later in the afternoon we walked back to old downtown Sebewaing to Cornerstone Ventures and had some really good ice cream. It was a fun day in Michigan.