Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday’s Over

We had a family Thanksgiving, but with another’s family.  We spent the day with the pastor of the local church where we are about to work.  We were joining his 2 daughters, 2 grandsons, and 2 dogs so it was quite informal.  On our way back to the motorhome, we stopped with his daughters to see a group of manatees that had come into a nearby shallow channel for warmth.  These gentle giants are sensitive to water temperatures, and the north wind has caused cooler air and water temps.

Friday we got a good look at the facilities here, and reviewed the listing of work to be done.  There will be lots of painting (which is common) but also some light carpentry and plumbing to keep things interesting.  We also drove around the area to get our bearings.  We watched the surfers on the Atlantic, found the big RonJon surf shop, and got some fresh citrus at a local orchard.

Another local church has a history of setting up a large living Nativity display.  On Saturday, members of 4 or 5 local churches came together to assist with its setup.  We went with Dr. Joe to help them.  The first of our co-workers also arrived here about mid-day.  Judie has been traveling solo in her 13 ft Scamp trailer.  She's living fulltime in this rig - amazing!

After attending Dr Joe’s early service on Sunday and having an early lunch, we were back in time to welcome the last members of our team: Bill and Ogie, from Hawaii, and Tom and Evelyn whose address is the same as ours (just a file cabinet or two away) but originally from Kansas.
We've now worked one day - the women painted one room in the Sunday School area and the men are working at the parsonage.  We'll be busy for the next 3 weeks!

Now it is time to get back to work.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve been invited to share Thanksgiving by the pastor at our next project in Satellite Beach Florida with his family, and he had suggested that we arrive there Wednesday afternoon.  Tuesday we drove over halfway there, stopping outside of St Augustine, and allowing for an easy 155 mile drive today.  This morning I’ll be making Chocolate Éclair Ring for tomorrow’s dessert.  It will be a little bit of a slower day.

Dr. Joe (the minister in Satellite Beach) is making 3 turkeys in the fryer; two for other local families.  Bob will be helping him with that.  Also, on Saturday Dr. Joe will be helping another local church to set up a Christmas display and Bob and I will help with that.  The other members of our project will be arriving on Saturday and Sunday.  There will be 7 of us eventually.

As hoped for, we caught up to the warmer weather.  Yesterday’s high temperature here was 70 and the overnight low was 55.  The long range forecast for Satellite Beach is for highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s.  Finally – we can sit outside and enjoy the weather!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family!  We sure miss seeing everyone – Thanksgiving has always been Paige’s favorite holiday.  We’ll be thinking of y’all (the southern influence!) and will be looking forward to our visit home at Christmas.  Have a good one!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dedicated to our Nieces and Nephews

We found the above awning in one of the shopping areas along the river in Savannah today.

 Saturday we finished traveling to the edge of South Carolina.  We found a quiet RV park to settle into for a couple of days.  The name of a nearby town looked familiar so Paige Googled the name of some friends that we thought now lived there.  Rob and Sherri were fellow members of our home church in Minnesota until they retired to SC about 6 years ago.  We were able to reconnect, and they came to our campground Saturday evening for a brief visit.  On Sunday, the socializing continued with an early church service, a lunch with a very southern menu, a tour of their home and the “Low Country” around here.  We had a great time reconnecting with them!



On Monday, we toured Savannah GA by trolley and by foot, seeing many of the small parks and monuments that this city is known for.  There is a lot of history and beauty to be found here.

We also went to the restaurant and souvenir store of another local celebrity (click on the picture to zoom in on the sign):


Tomorrow we leave for Florida.  The weather is getting warmer and sunnier finally!! 




Friday, November 16, 2012

Leaves have Left

And so have we; left that is.  We arrived in Tennessee about 4 weeks ago amid the gorgeous colors of autumn.  As we were leaving today, we noticed that most of the leaves have fallen and the area is getting ready for winter.  Here is one small exception, taken in a sheltered canyon from I-40.:

It is time for us to move south.

Since we haven’t posted since the weekend, we should mention a dinner we were treated to last Monday.  The President of Holston Home has a very old, rustic cabin in the woods at the foothills of the Smokies.  In this case, rustic means no electricity and no water.  Lighting is from candles and older gas lamps.  He prepared a sit-down 4-course gourmet meal for 14 on his hearth and outdoor grills (with some help from his wife).  She admits that he does most of the cooking for the family.  A great time was had by all!

Another good meal was our own going away dinner at a local BBQ joint.  The best part came after the meal as we gathered at the History House back on campus for a last night of cards and laughter.  After working and being together for 3 weeks, we’ve made some good friends.  We will be working with Gene, Carolyn, and Janet at another project in January so we’re glad we’ll be seeing some of them again so soon.  As Mike, one of our project members and a minister, said, each project changes your life a little bit.

We have had great weather over the weekends, and last Monday was rainy, but since then the guys have been able to work outdoors putting in 3-rail wooden fencing while the gals were able to do some more painting and Christmas decorating at the History House. 

Our 3 weeks are up and 5 rigs hit the road this morning, two going north, two going south, and one to the west.  Paige wants to see Savannah GA so we got halfway there today (Friday) and will easily finish that leg tomorrow.  We will play as tourists for awhile before continuing on to our Florida project by mid-week.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

History and Geography

If we had known how much fun these two topics actually are, we would have paid more attention when in school. 

First off, everyone knows of the 13 original colonies, which became the first 13 States in the Union.  What was the next state, the 14th?..............................................Give up yet?
It was Franklin and Greeneville was its capitol.  This area was at the western end of the colonial state of North Carolina, but was ceded back to the federal government after the War of Independence.  It lasted for 4 years until being absorbed by today’s state of Tennessee.  There are also a lot of Civil War sites near here, but we found the history of Franklin to be more interesting, especially after meeting with a man who reenacts the history of the 1780’s last week at church.

Greeneville is also the home of our nation’s 17th president, Andrew Johnson, who was Abraham Lincoln’s Vice President when Lincoln was elected for his second term.  Johnson became President as a result of Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.  He made a lot of enemies during the post war reconstruction, and became the first President to become impeached.  During his trial by the Senate, he was acquitted by one vote.  We learned a lot about this man and his politics at the National Parks Visitors Center on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday we had gorgeous weather.  We took the motorcycle for coffee and a donut in Asheville, North Carolina, a little over an hour away.  The shortest way there is TN70-NC208 and it was a great ride.  After our donuts and a short freeway detour, we returned on an even nicer motorcycling road – NC209 also known as “the Rattler”.  According to the website this is the 7th best motorcycling road in the whole state.  We came across this by chance and rode all 264+twists, turns, and curves.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another Weekend, So Soon?

Time has been flying, so I guess we are having fun.  Once again the physical labor continued, though not as strenuous.  The storage building is now completely emptied, with lots of room for new stuff to be stored.  The weather still hadn’t cooperated for outside work, so we cleaned up the gymnasium

 A lot of interior painting was added to our list of accomplishments.  This was done at a couple of locations, both off-site. 

The weather improved late in the week, allowing the guys to get started on the 3-rail fence. After a day and a half, here is what more than 200 feet looks like:

 That is the History House beyond the new fence.  Those posts will be shortened later.

For social activities, we spent election night playing cards in the History House where there is no TV connection.  Also, 2 of our 9 workers turn 65 this month, so with Medicare replacing high priced private insurance, we have 2 “happy campers”.  Carolyn’s birthday was Thursday, so we all went out to dinner together.   

Here is a photo of our parking area: 2 motorhomes and 3 fifth-wheels, all with 30Amp full hookups.  We view the horse’s pasture and periodically the horses come over to look at us.  There are 5 horses that are available for the kids to ride and learn to care for.

The weather has finally gotten better this weekend.  We’ve been able to sit outside and hope to go on a motorcycle ride today.  Sunny and in the high 60’s!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekends are for Recuperating

The physical labor continued last week. The storage building is almost neat, with lumber racks built and wood sorted (somewhat). We are holding onto the dumpster (the second one) for awhile in case we need to dispose of more stuff. One trailer load of metal items weighing over 2500 lb has been taken to the recycler, plus more trailer loads for Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.
Meanwhile, the ladies have finished getting the History House ready for inspection and moved to the library of the on-site school.  All of the books had been removed recently while some work was being done.  They moved all the books back where they belong, and put them in the right order too.

 As the weather has slowly improved (lows in the 30’s, highs in the 50s) we may be doing the outdoor work that was originally scheduled.  A pile of new lumber has been delivered for us to create a fence.   

Since we work a 4-day week, we took a little field trip on Friday to try a BBQ joint in a nearby town.  They serve “Carolina Style” with a number of different sauces to choose from.  It was very yummy!  On the return trip, we stopped at a state park honoring the birthplace of Davy Crockett.   

Saturday was a free day – laundry and some errands.  After sitting outside and visiting with everyone in the afternoon, we met at the History House for cards and snacks in the evening.  We had a great time with a card game that one of our members created.