Sunday, January 26, 2014

Traveling Home

The weather was nice when we left Florida and the first day we made it to Perry, GA. We made 400 miles trouble free. The night was spent at the Lighthouse Harbor RV park and we even had cable TV for a change. The temperatures dropped to 19  over night, but warmed up nicely on Saturday. Lunch was at the top of Monteagle, TN and the traveling went smooth, even through Atlanta and Nashville. As we traveled the winds picked up and we had our challenges so we decided to put the trailer in storage in Paducah, Ky and get it later.

Sunday, we spent some time with my parents and enjoyed lunch together before packing the truck to head north. We treated ourselves to a night in Drury Inn, before heading north.

We are expecting some cold weather and bad driving conditions tomorrow, but hopefully God will give us a safe and trouble free trip home!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Community Service Projects

This week has been an interesting week and I have had the opportunity to work with several different people in the community. The people I have worked for have ranged from single mothers to elderly people who have needed a little job around their home done. Some of the team have been doing interior painting, but I have been on several jobs that can be done by one person. My first project was to make a materials list for an elderly gentleman who needed doors in his home repaired. This included the replacement of the doors, repair of locks where someone had tried to break into his home, and  the repair of a pump house. I gave him the list and the team that will be here next week will be able to complete the task. The next project was to replace a light fixture at an elderly lady's home. While there she also asked me to repair her electric range (she had the parts) and I learned it is best to turn off the electricity to the appliance before working on it! On to the next project of changing some electrical receptacles in another home and to change the filter in a vent fan over the cooking stove. That was followed by a visit to a single mother who has been unemployed for quite some time. The repairs involved some exterior repair in the cement walls and to replace some of the tile in the bathroom that was loose. Tomorrow I have to install baseboards in a house and that will be my last project.

All of the visits left me with a wonderful feeling, not that I could just do the job, but that I had really done something that brightened someone's day.

Thursday evening Linda and I will start packing for our trip north. We plan on staying in a RV park in Perry, Georgia on Friday night, a RV park in Paducah, Kentucky on Saturday night, and then on Sunday make the final leg of our trip permitting. Oh the temptation to stay in Florida is great given the weather reports we are seeing from Wisconsin!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Projects

The Youth Room is nearing completion and the painting is in progress, so my work turned to other projects. The projects included repairing the drains on the church kitchen sinks, trying to fix a set of faucets for one of the sinks in the kitchen, insulating the ceiling near the windows in the office. Today I should be working on small projects at the Parsonage.

The story of the faucets is a very interesting story. To repair the faucets, new stems were needed since the old ones were stripped and would not stop turning. I took the entire faucet assembly and started to one plumbing supply store. They looked at the markings and determined the faucet was made by Chicago Brass so it should not be a problem, but after searching his inventory, no luck, so he sent me to another supplier, same story, no parts, and this process was repeated two more times before someone scrapped a little deeper on the assembly and discovered "China" so now we had to assume the CHB marking (which is the trademark for Chicago Brass) actually was China Brass. So after an afternoon of chasing parts, the only solution was to put the old assembly back on the pipes and tell the Trustees they would need to get an entire new assembly.

The day was finally beautiful, so at the end of the work day, Linda, Greta and I headed out to a wildlife area for a long walk. Several people were fishing and having some luck. Made me wish I had spent the afternoon fishing instead of chasing parts.

This was Martin Luther King's Birthday and there was a parade in town, the church office was closed, but we worked.

After another frustrating day of trying to use the WiFi the church is suppose to be providing, Linda and I gave up and made a trip to McDonalds for a milk shake and internet service!

Weather is to cool down, just hope it is not too cool to camp on the way home!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Last Week

The last week of work at Rockledge is approaching. The weekend was cold (by Florida standards) so we did not do much other than the routine shopping and cleaning. Even though we did drive to the Oceanfront again, it was too cool to even get on the beach, so we just looked. Gretta did get quite a few walks in some of the smaller parks. This year she has been much better...I guess she is maturing and that will make travel easier.

This week the team will focus on finishing projects and preparing to go our different paths. For Linda and I will be to travel back to the Tundra! We will leave early Friday morning and hope to make Perry, GA to overnight. Saturday should find us as far north as Metropolis, IL where we will spend some time on Sunday with my folks before heading to Wisconsin. Our goal is to be home by Sunday evening. Please pray that we have a safe journey.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Community Projects

Today myself and two other NOMADS painted a tiny kitchen in this lady's house.  Her name  is Marcelle and she has lived in this house for ten years.  She has macular degeneration in her eyes and needed to have the walls painted bright white.  Marcelle lives alone and she is a member of the Rockledge UMC.  It tooks us two hours to complete the painting.  The kitchen was very small, and when we bumped into each other she told us it is a "one butt" kitchen.  When we were finished, she hugged each one of us and cried.  I expected a thank you but not tears.

That's Chick painting.  She was a good sport and agreed to get behind both the stove and the refrigerator.  I painted a lot of the edges.

The bird's name is Taquilla.  I started speaking Spanish to him and he'd danced around-bobbing up and down.  Marcelle said she never saw him dance like that before.  She had rescued the bird from a nursing home where some of the residents pulled his feathers out.  Well, I explained, he understands Spanish.  Ok, how do you say give me a kiss?  Da me una besso.  OK  I guess I'll have to learn so Spanish to talk to my bird and make hin dance.  What a blessed day I had today-Linda

Community Work Projects Started

Today as the projects at the church were nearing completion, some of the team started working on community projects. The projects are for persons who are elderly and do not have the resources to complete the work. In some cases it is single parents, or others with limited income that need help. The happenings for the day include:

Jim, Jay and I completed the construction of the office remodeling project. The finishing of the walls, sanding, and trim work was completed, now it is waiting for the paint crew. After lunch I worked some on raking pine needles and cleaning the outside area of the church. I also went out on community project and did my favorite I had to fix a leaky faucet, but luckily it only needed some tightening. I also looked at some other projects the person wanted completed and did schedule the crew for next week. 

Linda, Chic, and Bob painted the kitchen for an elderly person. The lady was very grateful
for the work that was done and I am sure Linda will write more about this. The lady was so happy that some one cared enough to do the simple task for her.

This is the lady the painting was done for. The goal of NOMADS is to not only talk about our faith, but to put it in action and show compassion for those who are less fortunate than we are. 

More projects are on the list for tomorrow....stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Week 2

Another week has started and the team continues to work on projects at the Rockledge United Methodist Church. The projects include remodeling the office area so the Youth Minister has an office, cleaning the church kitchen, cleaning and painting a room that is to be used by the Boy Scouts for their regular meetings, and doing some landscaping. The weather has been great, a little cooler but dry. Rains are to start again soon. We have been told there is a good fishing area close to the church, but time has not permitted us to go fishing yet.

The team always begins the week with Worship on Sunday Morning followed by brunch together. The team consists of Bob & Carol Hahn (Florida); Lindell & Linda Whitelock (Wisconsin), Jim and Chic Bixler (Indiana) and Jay and Jan Weinheimer (Oklahoma). In addition to the weekly worship service, each morning time is set aside for Bible Study and Devotions. Fellowship and Spiritual Growth are important parts of being NOMADS.

The church consists of several  buildings on a large track of land. The area is large enough we can park our RV's on the property and still have some "roaming space". The  Church was built and the community has grown around the church. The church is not only a place of worship, but does host several community activities as well.

One of the projects has been to improve the landscaping and do some "spring cleaning" on the property. Linda and Jan are shown here working on the flower bed that surrounds the main church sign. I am sure they are enjoying the Florida Sunshine! Other projects that are in progress include cleaning the church kitchen, remodeling the youth area, painting some of the rooms in the education building, making curtains for some of the rooms. There are several projects to complete yet!

Linda did finally get to the beach, but not to swim. The water at Coca Beach was very cold and the weather has been too cool to swim! I know this is a disappointment to her, but it is much better than the snow and cold that our friends and family in Wisconsin are enduring. Hopefully we will get to do a little fishing one evening this week and we will be able to tell some fish stories in the next posting.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Work Has Started!

The weekend was devoted to setting up, getting organized and meeting the rest of the team. The church has a large space and we are "camping at the back of the church. The area has electrical service, water service, and sewage, so the living arrangements are OK.

As you can see we have a very pleasant area for out stay. Greta loves the place because I can tie her to a tree and she can watch the happenings. She is also happy because there are three more dogs for her to challenge. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other supplies are close by as well. There are several fresh fruit and vegetable markets close by so we have plenty of fresh fruits to eat. (Yes, Linda is making me eat healthy!)

The team consists of members from Oklahoma, Florida, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

The work assignments have been given out and projects have been started. I am working on remodeling the office space in the Church. This has included removing some walls, carrying out the debris, framing new walls, hanging sheetrock, framing in windows and doors. Hopefully by the end of the week, this part of the project will be completed and we can move on to another activity. After two days of work the area looks much different.

Linda has been busy as well. She has worked on the team that has cleaned some of the classrooms, worked on cleaning and organizing the kitchen, and doing her favorite jobs...painting!

We have thought about the current conditions in Wisconsin and recognize the weather has created some hardships for many people. Our prayers are the adverse weather will subside soon, and life will return to normal. Linda and I can not complain, we have had one day at 45, but the rest of the time it has been in the 60's and 70's....very nice. 

The team has planned an Wisconsin night tomorrow night...cheese, brats, and sausage. Some of us plan on doing a little fishing this weekend. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

We Arrived!

Finally we arrived in Rockledge in a rainstorm! As we traveled south from Chattanooga our eye was on the sky and on the temperature! The outside temperature was climbing and even before we arrived in Atlanta the air conditioning on the truck was working, but the clouds were building. By the time we reached our campsite in Perry, Georgia, the rain was falling heavily! The rain continued through the night and the next day, but just as we arrived at our final destination the rain stopped.

The bargaining chip in getting Linda to commit to leaving Wisconsin early was the dream of setting by the swimming pool and enjoying a dip in the warm water before we started to work on the project. The reality was the only free day we had before going to the worksite the skies were cloudy and the high temperature for the day was 50! Hopefully it will get better.

New Year's Day Linda had the opportunity to visit two of the colleagues she worked with in Honduras. She had a very good visit, and it was worth the challenge of dragging the RV through some very narrow roads in the Georgia mountains.

Tomorrow we will meet the rest of the team and start looking at the job assignments. Helping others is certainly an important part of the work of NOMADS, but for Linda and I visiting new churches, the opportunity to experience spiritual growth, and developing new friendships makes all of the hardships of traveling worth the challenge.