Friday, 24 Jun 2017

On Monday, 22 missionaries are flying home and 14 are coming from the MTC so there's lots to do: Get 14 bed-in-a-bags ready and pick up bicycles. In addition, I had stuff from Tifton to take to Goodwill and clean out the trailer. Because of the number of missionaries coming we need to use both trailers and that took time to get the bike rack transfers. The van is scheduled for service so it has to be delivered to the other side of Macon. Another busy day.

Last transfer I offered to prepare the Monday evening meal at the mission home and made lasagna and poppy seed cake. Sister Chadwick made the salad. Sister Grayson liked the poppy seed cake. I making two this week for Monday. One tonight and one tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 June 2017

The management for the two apartments is great. Had a key ready when we get there. With the help of the Tifton Elders, McPherson and Gillins, we get the apartment decluttered and replace worn out stuff like pots and skillets and shower curtains. We take the elders to lunch at an excellent Japanese restaurant. We finish the apartment and find an excellent Mexican restaurant before heading back to Macon arriving at 9 PM. Busy 24 hours.

Wednesday, 22 June 2017

We imagined that we would do office stuff, Sister Chadwick would go to a doctors appointment at 1:30, I would prepare the van and trailer, and we would leave for Tifton with plenty of time to get there and get settled in the empty apartment. Then get up in the morning and clean the apartment in preparation for a new set of sister missionaries.

The best laid plans...

The van wouldn't start, the battery was dead. It hadn't been driven for several days. Elder Jensen has this marvelous little device about the size of two decks of card that can be used to recharge telephones and cameras but, in addition, it's strong enough to start a large van when the battery is low. Ain't technology wunerful.

So I didn't want to stop the engine until I had a chance to drive it some distance and recharge the battery so I got the trailer attached, went to the shed and loaded stuff there and then to our apartment to load the suitcase, blowup bed, bedding, etc. we needed—still with the engine running at about 2 o'clock. I thought how long can it be before Sister Chadwick is finished at the doctors and we can head out. Well is seems that it can be long. 3:30 she tested me that she was still in the waiting room. Finally, she gets home at just before 6.

Off to Tifton. Supper and then we get to the apartment in Tifton at 9 PM. The keys we have don't fit the lock. There are three, all different. None work. Call the Tifton Elders. None of their keys work. We find a Hampton Inn. NO VACANCY. They send us to to a nearby Comfort Inn. We finally get to bed about 11.

Tuesday, 21 June 2017

Today was zone conference in Macon but Sister Chadwick and I had medical appointments which went over long and so we only made it in time for lunch. The Relief Society in the various stakes put on lunch for the missionaries when they meet for zone conferences or other conferences. It's usually sandwiches and salad. Today's sandwiches were homemade ham and cheese sliders. They were good.

Monday, 20 June 2017

Quiet day in the office. Talk to Elder Weston, one of the APs (assistant to the President) about his plans. He's leaving next week. He hopes to go to Weber State College and study nursing with the goal of becoming a nurse anesthetist. In addition to a BS, he will have to get a masters degree. At least one school he's investigated requires total commitment, i.e., no outside work while going to school. Tough choice. Either you're wealthy or you go into debt. We encouraged him to think about letting the military pay.

Sunday, 19 June 2017

Back and forth to Forsyth: First to church at 10, then take the Forsyth elders to the stake center in Macon to interview two prospective converts who are scheduled to be baptized next Saturday (Elder Lovell is the district leader and interviews all converts before baptism.), take the two elders home for lunch, (Pasta salad, kielbasa, corn-on-the-cob, baked crookneck squash, and burnt sugar pie), back to Forsyth to take the missionaries home, and, finally, back home at 4:45.

Saturday, 18 June 2017

On the other hand (See Friday's blog.), we have good success finding things for missionary apartments at garage sales. Today we found an good quality dresser, which we'll constantly being asked for, at a home that the family was moving out of. The cost: $20.00 US. One drawer needs gluing but that's an easy fix. The quality is much better than a new dresser at Walmart or some other discount retailer.

Every time I've put the phone down today and gone to the other end of the house to do something, the phone rings. Cell phones just don't ring long enough. I never make it to the phone in time and have to call someone back. And, at least on my Android phone, there doesn't seem to be a way to lengthen the time it rings. Bummer. We're tied to these devices whether we like it or not.

My first memory of phones was in Rocky Ridge north of Fort Collins, CO. It was a party line with six or so homes on one line. Each home has it own distinct ring and you could listen into your neighbors call if you were careful not to breath into the receiver. Of course, they could listen to your call too so had to be careful what you said for fear you would make an announcement for the whole town to hear about.

Friday, 17 June 2017

We keep an eye out for places where we might get things for the missionary apartments. Things that are simultaneously inexpensive and of reasonably good quality. We saw an ad for The Warehouse in Warner Robins about 20 miles south of Macon so we thought we would check it out. The trip was a failure. Lots of stuff but not much that we would want to put into a missionary apartment.

Thursday, 16 June 2017

Trash and Goodwill day. I unloaded the trailer from yesterday's trip and then took a load to the dump. Imagine, if you can, the looks I get from people when I show up at the dump in a white shirt and tie to throw out beat-up desks and old chairs. I also took a small load of stuff to Goodwill.

Wednesday, 15 June 2017

Today we put the final cleaning touches on the sister apartment in Grovetown, delivered a few items to missionaries in the Augusta area and in Statesboro.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

I think it about time to talk about gnats. Late spring is gnat season especially below the fall line in Georgia. (If you don't know what the fall line is, here is a link to the Wikipedia description.) When there isn't much of a breeze, these tiny monsters buzz around you head and try to get in your nose or ears. Why I don't know but it is irritating to the extreme. They don't bite or sting, just buzz around. The environment below the fall line is particularly favorable for gnats but as you to to higher elevation above the fall line they are less of a problem. Because Macon is on the fall line, the problem is moderate, some day good, i.e., not many gnats, some days bad.

We had a piece of liver and some leftover rice so I made matsalattico. Haven't done that for decades. The recipe is here.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Today was an office day. I've been building a data base of all the information we have on each apartment. I'm hoping that with it I can write reports and print descriptions of the apartments and mission districts. I've been reading the leases. Checking all the information that has been assembled over the last seven to eight years. The mission has been in some apartments as long as ten years. For the most part, landlords love us because we pay on time and missionaries rarely cause any problems, certainly nothing serious just silly stuff you'd expect from 18 to 21 year old young men.

So I'm working on apartment #32 in Americus, GA. We've been paying $650.00 per month but in the lease the figure is $649.00. Moreover the most recent lease is dated to end in 2013. So I'm thinking maybe there is something amiss. I call the landlord and speak to a young lady. The lease is fine. It went to month-by-month in 2013 which is fine with them and fine with us. Then I ask her about the $650/$649 thing. She says, "Yes, you have a $45 credit. Just pay us $604 for July and we'll be fine." OK! For 45 months we been paying $1 extra and nobody noticed. Let me see—that's three months shy of four years since the lease was up. Not a lot but it will help pay the $168 bill we got today for finding out that the AC unit in another apartment wasn't working because no one thought to change the filter and we're required to change the filter by that lease. (Not all leases are like that. Some don't specify, some require the landlord to change the filters.) That was $7 for the new filter and $161 to discover that the filter was the problem and put it in. I think I'll become an AC technician when I grow up.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

We arranged to pick up the Forsyth missionaries and any investigators for stake conference and then feed them lunch. We ended up with four missionaries, a recent, blind convert and two of her granddaughters, and two other men. Except for Amber who wouldn't eat the lasagna, everyone had an enjoyable time.

The granddaughters, Amber and Hannah, are preteens. They thought Sister Chadwick and I were twins. They slipped their flan to their grandmother so that I wouldn't feel bad about them not eating it.

Sister Chadwick has commented and I agreed, the talks at sacrament meetings and conference are excellent—well thought out, well prepared, and delivered with conviction. The youth speaker and the stake primary president talks today were particularly good. Carol Cutchen's, the stake primary president, topic was "Who am I." ("HF" is Heavenly Father, "CTR" is choice the right.) She gave examples and stories from the scriptures of individuals who knew they were the children of God and lived their lives accordingly.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

So there's this tourist trap kind of place we pass when we go to Forsyth and we had a few minutes before picking up the missionaries for the Saturday evening session of the Macon Stake conference so we stopped. It has a wrecked airplane, lots of antique tractors and cars rusting into oblivion. What made it all worthwhile was a small sign with a chicken on it and these words: "I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without everyone questioning their motives."

Friday, 9 June 2017

Elder Major, one of the assistants to the president, came into the office today and got to talking about his after-mission plans. His family raises cattle in northern Utah and he hopes to follow the family tradition. His already has six cows and a small amount of capital. He plans to build his herd while he's in school, find a wife who will be supportive and willing to be work and get started with a small herd on a couple hundred acres. He hopes in thirty years to have 1000 acres and 200 head of cattle and sell young breeding stock.

On of the great things about being among this young elders and sisters is to get to know them and hear their plans and aspirations.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

I get exercise. Consider this: I loaded two dryers and a washing machine onto the trailer on Saturday. Monday through Wednesday, I took those three working appliances off the trailer and replace them with three nonworking appliances. Today I took the three nonworking appliances off the trailer to deliver them to an appliance repair company. This doesn't count the miscellaneous mattresses, tables, bookcases, and chairs that were companions to the appliances—many of which had to be moved on and off the trailer to get the appliances on and off.

Then yesterday we got back to discovery a package waiting for us at the mission office. There was a tape label on it that read, "Caution, Heavy Package Over 70 lbs." This I drug from the office to the car and from the car to the apartment. It took two hours to assemble the new walking machine for Sister Chadwick. I get exercise.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 6 and 7 June 2017

With Monday afternoon, travel days. We delivered beds, washing machines, dryers, office chairs, etc. from Beaufort and Parris Island and Aiken, SC to Augusta, GA.

On Tuesday evening we had supper with Brother and Sister Wilson, the military relations missionaries in Parris Island. At their apartment complex there were mushrooms growing up out of th pavement. The largest mushrooms I have ever seen (If you don't know, I've been a amateur mycologist for 40+ years so I've seen a lot of mushrooms.):

You can tell compared to the curb, how big they are. When I first saw them, I thought someone had thrown out some pillows.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Cunninghams in Hinesville invited us to join them for their P-day activity. (P-day is preparation day, most of the mission has P-day on Monday to do their laundry, shop, etc. The office staff has P-day on Saturday.) Their P-day activity was a visit to the Midway Museum in Midway, GA. The museum is next door to a Congregational church with history back to the mid-1700s. The docent who gave us a tour has a sister who is a member of the church and her nephews had served missions. She gave a 90-minute lecture on local history and then showed us the church.

Just a couple of facts and then some pictures: The Union general, Kilpatrick, was in the area in 1864 for six weeks, used the cemetery for a corral and the cattle ate all of the wooden grave markers, and used the church for a slaughter house. Now the pictures:

The exterior and interior of the church.

The cemetery includes the grave of Danial Stewart died May 27, 1829 at the age of 70. He was a brigadier general in the Revolutionary War and the great grandfather of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the USA. Fort Stewart army base in Georgia is named for him.

Later addendum: I mentioned that the docent at the museum said her sister was a Mormon and her nephews had served missions. Sister Cunningham had brought along a Book of Mormon which we all signed. At the end of the tour, Sister Cunningham thanked the docent and gave her the book. She said, "Thank you, you know my sister has never offered me one."

Sunday, 3 June 2017

Going to Forsyth for church reminded me to comment about the current crop of flowering trees. The mimosa grow wild here in Georgia. I had only seen them in yards in the Northeast. The crepe myrtle has started blooming, mostly pink and white. They are a favorite of landscapers. Sometime they are severely pruned, down to just a couple of sticks really and other times allowed to grow as large as possible. Here is a single flower. Notice that each crepy petal is on a stem:

The southern magnolia is also a favorite. It grows to be very large and is often used a shade tree. They flower starting around here in May and have been blooming for a couple of weeks. They aren't like the earlier magnolias that have a short blooming season and stop. The southern magnolia has several flower which peak while other are starting and fading. The flower is about the size of a small plate and have a very pleasant sweet fruity odor.

We're feeling kind of detached from the Forsyth group in spite of going to church there. We're only there on Sundays except when we go to a furniture salesroom that has used furniture from hotels that is both reasonable quality and CHEAP. We do have a home teaching route and have got to know some of the people but it's some 17 miles away and we don't have much interaction with them.

I think I mentioned Tom Ridgeway who tuned the piano for me. He is an amazing pianoist. He has a light touch with great feeling. He gave Sister Goff a CD with his testimony and 14 songs and said, "Make as many copies as you'd like. Here are his renditions of Danny Boy: danny_boy and Amazing Grace: amazing_grace

Saturday, 2 June 2017

A "Load the Trailer" day: Two mattresses, one box spring, a table, a desk, two chairs, four office chairs, two end tables, vacuums, fans, shower curtains, light bulbs, skillets, etc.

Friday, 2 June 2017

An office day. Paper work and prep for going to Savannah and Augusta next week.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

I'm paying the price for go up and down the stairs in Auburn. My calves are so sore I have difficulty walking.

Got a couple of pictures while traveling. First some mushrooms in the lawn at Cash Liquidators:

Then an interesting juxtaposition of services: