Since we didn’t get to go back to Alabama to close on the house, we had time to play. One of the highly recommended attractions in Laurel is the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the walking tour of Laurel that starts from the Museum. Not sure exactly what we expected at the museum, but it far surpassed any expectations. It is a wonderful museum. Of course, they have some great paintings, but they also had other forms of art including baskets from every basket making Native American group. The baskets were incredible. They even had tiny, miniature baskets so small they were resting on a pin and it took a magnifying glass to see the basket. There was also a hanging Chihuly glass sculpture. Love Chihuly! After enjoying the museum, the director, George Bassi, took about 40 of us on a walking tour. We actually just walked about two blocks but he shared a lot of the history of Laurel – very interesting – and information on the homes in Laurel. There is a purple house that is the Wisteria House B&B. It was a great walking tour and we would highly recommend it. The museum and walking tour are both free although they do accept donations. We are really enjoying our time in Laurel. The people are very friendly and appreciative of our work here.
Next we walked around downtown Laurel, visiting a number of interesting shops, having lunch at The 5000 food truck, visiting “Home Town” (HGTV Show) shops and just taking in the sights including Erin and Ben’s Airstream. We also visited two very old beautiful churches with beautiful stain glass.
Saturday morning the church where we are parked had a big food give away. Their food pantry ministry disburses food one Saturday each month to 150-250 families. It opens at 9:00 and there were people already in line when we got up at 6:30. A much needed ministry.
Our new team members, Randy and Nell, arrived about 2:00 pm yesterday. We are looking forward to working with them again. Today we all visited at Laurel First UMC. Another beautiful church. Today was their day to give their third graders a Bible. The pastor talked about the Word and it’s importance in our lives. Good service and after church, as we were leaving, Erin and Ben thanked us for our work in Laurel. We had our team meeting this afternoon and we are all looking forward to anther good week.
It has been a great week in most ways. We have worked at the abandoned and donated mobile home every day. It’s rained most days and the path into the trailer is now very muddy and slick. Very glad we have four wheel drive! With the help of some YWAM young people for one day and one of the case managers, the trailer has been cleaned out! Many bags of garbage to the dump. Also, all the appliances to the dump. When the previous owners left and power was disconnected, there was still food in the chest freezer and the refrigerator. Horrible stench! Five trailer loads to the dump. Everything smells better since we removed all the carpet and carpet pad.
After emptying the house, we began on the master bedroom repairs. We have removed most of the ceiling drywall and insulation as well as the front wall drywall and insulation. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rot. We will be building a temporary wall to support the structure and then replacing the upper and lower plate, studs and wall sheathing. We haven’t begun on the damage in the master bath but there is a hole in the ceiling over the tub, caused by a limb. A tremendous amount was accomplished this week just to get things cleaned out. It was a very good week!
The only down side to our week is that we still own the house and land. We are still dealing with some pretty incompetent people on the closing. They just can’t seem to type a land description with out errors. We sent them exactly what needed to be typed on the deed and title insurance. Yep. Came back with errors – transposition of numbers and one entire line of the property description just omitted. We have sent it back again this morning and another was posted this afternoon – again with errors. We sent it back and have been told “it’s been sent to legal” – for the fourth time! We just wonder how many deeds are out there that are incorrect. What a mess! We are now hoping for closing next week. It will happen. We will be patient and wait on God’s timing. Well, maybe not so patient but… we will try. Hope everyone has a great weekend because we plan to. Without a trip back to Alabama for closing, we have time to play.
Today began with Ken and Heidi inviting us to sit in on their 7:30 meeting with our construction coordinator, Robby, since we are scheduled to take over lead next week. We began by discussing the new job site we were going to today and Robby shared our scope of work. After a short time at the site, we suspect that scope may expand. A double wide mobile home was donated to the agency and we need to prepare it for moving to a new site. Unfortunately, a tree limb fell on the right end of the home some time prior to the donation and there was some significant damage and subsequent leaking. Part of the ceiling in the master bedroom and master bath were on the floor. Some pretty significant repairs will be required on the roof and ceiling as well as the front wall. There are a few other locations in the house that have some water damage as well. The agency is planning to re-roof the entire house but that is not on our list of work.
After devotion we all headed to the job site and we began by cutting back some of the foliage in preparation for the movers. We cleaned out the master bedroom so we would have room to work and pulled up the carpet to allow the floor to begin drying. By then the morning rain had moved out and we returned to the outside work. Anne and Heidi worked on removing the skirting and Max and Ken helped Robby replace the tarps on the roof. They also removed the siding on the right end of the home. We got more done today than we expected. It was a productive and fun day and we got to know Heidi and Ken a little better. We had met them once before but never worked together. They are talented and fun leaders. This will be good week.
This week has had it’s highs and lows. Monday and Tuesday we continued to finalize the emptying of our house. By the end of the day Tuesday we were done! Wednesday morning was spent catching our breath and then Randy and Debra arrived. It’s always so great to see them! We worked on some chores around Aunt Helen’s but mainly it was food and good conversation. They left Friday morning and then some wonderful NOMADS friends, Dave and Carol stopped by for a visit on their way to Florida. It was wonderful to see them! Thanks so much for stopping by. Stop by anytime you are in the area. Friday afternoon we gathered all our tools we had used at the house and reloaded Fred and the truck. We left the mountain at 8:00 Saturday morning and we are now in Laurel, MS. We will begin work with Heidi and Ken tomorrow, working on homes damaged by some of the tornadoes that have hit this area. We are very thankful for the visits, the work accomplished and safe travel of this week.
There were only two lows. We had another storm that dropped almost 4 inches of rain and Max had to scrape the drive again and we are still owners of our house. There were problems with the paperwork and we did not get to close Friday. Very disappointing. Hopefully, the closing/title company will correct their errors and we will close next week. God is still in control and we simply pray that if it is His will, things will be corrected and finalized quickly.