Friday, 31 March 2017

Claire, Theo and Luc have been in Florida with a Claire's friend Jess and her twin daughters. We ran a couple of mission errands in Columbus, GA and Auburn, AL and met them for a late lunch at Mike and Ed's Bar BQ in Auburn. The food was delicious, Claire looked at the blister on Dorothy's foot and told her to stay off it until it healed, and a fine time was had by all.

On the way home, we passed near Warm Springs, GA where Franklin D. Roosevelt came for polio treatment. Off of GA 190 we found a spot where the president liked to picnic. Here are a couple of pictures:

A statue of the president sitting looking out across central Georgia.

The view from where he's sitting.

A plaque on the grill he had built. It's been filled it with concrete to "preserve it."

Thursday, 30 March, 2017

While checking out this morning, the clerk, seeing the name on the credit card ask, "Christ of Jesus Christ?" I said, "Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

"A quarter of my platoon was LDS. Are you a veteran?"

"No. But I have a son and son-in-law in the military. I was just slightly too old for the Viet Nam draft."

"How old are you?"


"I'm two years younger. It was interesting. They put a lot of intelligent people in my platoon. I was assigned to learn German. After a week, they transfered me to learn Vietnamese because I was doing so well. I forgot to tell them I had spent the summer with a couple of German girls."

I noticed my badge was gone. Because he had already checked me out, he had to make a new key for me to go back up and look for the badge in the room. When I came back, he handed me a note.

"I came up with this waiting for something to fly over in Viet Nam:"

"Christ led Heaven" and "Save the Children" are composed of the same letters.

Heard an interview on the radio. The interviewee said, "People say as an excuse, 'I'm only human.' but I think being a human is great. Think of all the great things people do." I don't know who is was. It as just a snippet I heard as I was turning a corner..

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

We leave the house at 8:30 for a day of travel and visiting missionary apartments. Here is the sequence: Cordele, Tifton, Moultrie, Nashville, Douglas, Hazlehurst, and Baxley.

A couple of stories: In Moultrie we were to deliver a mattress and bed frame. We get the mattress upstairs to add the other three mattresses and a single box springs. I left the frame and put the mattress back in the trailer. In Nashville, the sisters have three box springs and five mattresses stacked four high in each bed. I ask, "Is this some kind of Princess and the Pea thing?" After Douglas, supper with the Hazlehurst sisters, and deliver a sofa and shelves, we arrive in Moultrie to exchange the box springs for a mattress they didn't want. Time: 10:15 PM.

The Tifton elders have a full size ping pong table in their living room.

I need to make a comment about the restaurant in Hazlehurst. Hazlehurst is small. Luckie Street Bistro is next to the Piggly Wiggly market. It was the best meal we've had in Georgia. I had a primavera and Dorothy, make that Sister Chadwick, (Can't get used to calling her that.) had a dish with shrimp.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Zone conference today. We were unsure about whether senior missionaries should attend. There had been a young sister staying with the mission nurse, Sister Goff, after suffering a mild concussion falling off a hover board. President Grayson had asked us to take her home on our trip south. We discussed it Sunday with him and decided on today for the trip. When Sister Grayson heard the plan, she changed it. The McOmbers took Sister Pugh home and we went to zone conference. Not that we minded.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Ran around all day with the trailer. Took three dryers and two washing machines to an appliance repair to have them refurbished and then went shopping for desks and dressers and chairs. After several failures we found two desks, two office chairs, two dressers, a couch, and two throw pillows at the Salvation Army. Their biggest sale of the day, some $550.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Church in Forsyth. We took a lunch and then went to visit the people we been assigned to visit as home and visiting teachers. We met Sister Nesmith and her sister and nephew. She joined the church as a young women. She and her husband raised four sons who all served missions. He got pancreatic cancer and died at fifty. He called from the hospital to his home teachees during the last month of his life. He had been on the stake high council when he died. She married another high councilman from Alabama with four sons who all went on missions.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

We went into the office expecting to plan for a Monday trip. I had given President Grayson a list of empty apartment including a senior couple apartment in Valdosta. He said close it. I had written a letter Friday giving the landlord 30-day notice and set the envelope on the mission secretary's desk since I didn't know how to use the postage machine. I prepared a couple of letter and she, the mission secretary, Sister Jensen, said, "Everyone just uses the machine themselves." and showed me how. So I mailed them.

We were planning to clean the Valdosta apartment and use the various desks, dressers and chairs in various other missionary apartments in the central part of the mission.

Suddenly, I discovered that the Valdosta senior apartment was the home of the Flakes who expected to be in the mission for several more months. I thought how do I now write a letter rescinding the vacate notice. At that point, Sister Jensen came in with the letter to Valdosta that she had just found under some other papers. Major relief! Except now what do we do for the various missionaries we had promised we would bring desks, dressers and chairs to.

Friday, 24 March 2017

With all the walking yesterday, Dorothy got a blister on the bottom of her foot. She woke me about 1:45 to help her bandage it and she didn't sleep well after that.

Today was an office day, leases and reimbursements to missionaries for things they bought that the housing budget covers mostly this week, bedbug proof mattresses covers—big surprise.

We mailed birthday presents to Ben and Josey, late as is our style. Came home a little early so Dorothy could get a nap before supper.

Wednesday and Thursday, 22 and 23 March 2017

As of Wednesday, we have three elders' apartments with bedbugs. I suspect one elder may have contaminated the others during a split or transfer. I spent a bunch of time talking the elders through what they need to do. I talked with two landlords. One woman was upset to say the least and talked about how hard and expensive it is to get rid of bedbugs once they have come into a home. The other guy said any expense is on us. It's now 5 AM Thursday and I've been awake since 2:30 AM reading about bedbug life cycle, prevention and treatment. A lot of websites say just eat the expense and get a professional. There are a lot of products out there to fight bedbugs, all more or less expensive.

Here's what I've gleaned:

So I'm thinking we're going to have to go out to these infested apartments and make sure that everything is decontaminated as best we can. If we do everything, vacuum, apply insecticide, wash and dry clean all of the clothing, apply heat to everything else in the contaminated room, cover the mattresses and box springs, and install interpretors, that we have a reasonable chance of beating the bugs.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

First day of spring but it's almost an anticlimax the weather has been so nice since we arrived two months ago. An office day.

Monday, 20 March 2017

I caught up with lease renewals today—a major task.

We went to The Fresh Market to shop. A great grocery store, some items are expensive but are probably worth it. Other stuff is comparable in price to other grocery stores and supermarkets. We got a can of lobster bisque for Josey's birthday and whole wheat pasta.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

We took dinner leftovers to the Forsyth missionaries, Sisters Hobbs and Jacobson and Elders Lovell and Parkin. They get one meal a week from members—the group leader, Bro. Griffith, take them to Shoneys for lunch. Sister Hobbs got a letter from home. An member of her ward who's first name is Val writes to all the missionaries from that ward in a script that is absolutely the most beautiful handwriting I've ever seen on the front of an envelope.

There is an investigator we picked up for church a couple of time in Forsyth named Patricia O'Neal. She blind from macular degeneration and last Sunday it was obvious she was having difficulties. She was hospitalized during the week so we went to visit her. She's in good spirits but is very ill with congestive heart failure. Some unfortunate women broke down in the parking facility exit. Another guy and I pushed her out so at least other people could get out.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

We delivered the training for housing, cleanliness, bug control, clutter control and bike safety to the newest missionaries and their companions.

I had made Irish soda bread and cooked corn beef yesterday and prepared carrots, potatoes, and onions before we went to the mission home to do the training. On Friday, we borrowed a table and chairs from the storage shed, Dorothy ordered two tablecloths online and we set two tables for 12 people. I reheated the corn beef and cooked cabbage and the other vegetables. At five o'clock, the APs, the Macon sisters, Elder and Sister Jensen, Sister Goff, and Elder and Sister McOmber arrived and we had dinner. Dorothy prepared 12 questions and put them under each plate, questions like, "What's on your bucket list?" and "If you're camping, which would you prefer: tent camping or RV?" Then we had dessert. Bread pudding from Sister Goff with vanilla ice cream the Jensens brought. The young elders and sisters left at 6:l5 and we senior set around and reminisced. It was a delight.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Tomorrow we have three-week training for the new missionaries that arrived in February. Because I'm now responsible for the bike program, I'll be giving the bike training. The church has a video but I felt more was needed. I came across a great web-page on bike safety from which I took pictures and some text that I'll use in a Powerpoint tomorrow. It really is a great site:, and I recommend it for anyone concerned about bike safety.

This evening the doorbell rang for the very first time. Dorothy went to the door to find this:

The APs managed to misspell Elder Ballard's name.

"APs" are the assistants to the mission president.

Thursday, 26 March 2017

Mostly paper work today but I'll tell you a story that illustrates the kinds of things we deal with. Two sisters in the southern part of the mission called to say that they needed a parking sticker but the apartment owners wouldn't give them one unless the brought in the lease with their names on it. The lease is signed and held by the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop and we pay all of the rent and utilities. So I called the apartment office and explained that and that the missionaries that live in the apartment change every four to six months but that the car stays with the apartment except when we replace it with a new one.

So he said, "Send me an email explaining all of that and I'll talk to the board." So I wrote the email explaining all that. I got a reply within an hour saying, "Send the missionaries over with their driver licenses and we give them a sticker. When the cars are switched out, remove the sticker as best you can, bring it to the office and we'll replace it."

An easy fix.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

We left our apartment a few minutes after 8 and went and got the van and trailer. Filled the van with gas and headed for Swainsboro. There are a pair of sister missionaries in Swainsboro and an empty apartment into which a senior couple is moving in early April. We needed to confirm that the empty apartment was clean and furnished. Sister Pietz and Violetta were stalwarts in helping to clean the apartment. We meet Wendy, the owner, and he helped me move in the various chairs and desks we were putting in the apartment.

Dorothy is really enjoying shopping to find good, cheap furniture at garage sales, thrift stores, and antique malls. She took the sister along for a ladies shopping trip. Sister Peitz fell in love with a small white desk with drawers painted blue which we switched for her desk which we put in the senior apartment. We spent some $250 at Walmart for kitchen furnishing and $90 for a table and the aforementioned desk.

We had intended to make it a day trip and return to Macon. We got back at 8:15. Put 24 gallons of gas in the van after traveling 221 miles, 9.2 miles per gallon. Not too bad, I guess, for driving at 70 mph pulling a trailer.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

We had loaded the furniture from the estate sale late in the afternoon on Monday and spent part of today getting the trailer ready to go to Swainsboro. More paper work.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Today we got a handle on the shed. With a load of metal and trash we went to Peacock Recycling and the Macon Landfill. I don't know how much the metal we left at Peacock weighted but we left 980 lbs at the landfill. We also took a small load of stuff to Goodwill. Both the housing shed and the bicycle shed are looking much better. There are still a couple of items of doubtful use but they're small.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

I did wash the car yesterday. Spent some eight dollars in quarters which I had a terrible time finding to run the sprayer, buy towels, and vacuum so, of course, it is raining this morning.

We got a home teaching/Relief Society visiting teaching assignment, a couple and two sisters in Forsyth.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

First we went to an estate sale and, for not a lot of money, got good quality used chairs, bookcases, and a desk for use in missionary apartments. It was less than we would have spent for poor quality furniture new.

Then, as if we needed another road trip, we went to High Falls State Park. We've noticed this week the profusion of wisteria and redbud along the road and took the opportunity to take some pictures. Here they are (Hover over an image to see the large view.):

The wisteria grows in groups climbing pines and other trees.

The flowers are pea-like and forms sprays that cascade down.

Here is one spray.

Redbud shows as some ethereal brush stroke in the woods. Up close the flowers are along the branches.

Another branch with flowers.

A closer view of the pea-like flowers. Obviously the wisteria and redbud are related.

This is Carolina Jessamine, another flowering climbing vine. A small pine had blown over and I was able to get close to the vine.

One of my favorite wildflowers, Bluet, which I hadn't seen since living in New England.

I haven't been able to key this flower out. It grows on large bushes. You can see the seed pods from last year.

We saw this house in desperate need of TLC along the way. It's amazing how quickly nature takes over in Georgia. This house couldn't be that old—there were satellite TV dishes on the back side. And the sofa on the porch didn't look any worst that the one we took out of a missionary apartment.

High Falls drops about 100 feet over about a quarter mile in a series of cascades and rapids.

We stopped for lunch. The outdoor patio had fake plastic bushes but the lizard sunning himself was real.

We stopped for lunch and ordered hot dogs with chili, french fries and fried pickles. The hot dog were excellent, the fries average but let me tell you about the fried pickles. The size was enormous. I think they took at least a pint bottle of dill slices, maybe more, battered them up and fried them. More pickles than Dorothy and I would eat in a month. Add the fact that they didn't really appeal and that's probably the last time we order fried pickles.

Friday, 10 March 2017

An office day. Resolved a couple of issues, reimburse some missionaries for miscellaneous household items, found a couple of issues that need resolution. We talked about next week and what needs done. A new senior couple is coming the first of April and the sisters in Swainsboro raided the senior apartment for some furniture so we'll have to go there and get it fixed up. I need to get on top of bicycles next week. I'm just getting used to housing and now have to start dealing with bikes. Actually, a much dimplier and easier task.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Another day on the road but this time to get six missionary car in Atlanta. The entire office staff and Elder and Sister McOmber did the job. It takes about three hours to up and back.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Moving elders from one apartment to another is a lot more work than moving elders into a new apartment. We had to load the trailer twice. First with most of the stuff to go to the new apartment then with the stuff to trash and a little of the rest of the stuff for the new. The trash included a gnome, a ceramic bull, a coach that had seem its last good day before the turn of the century, and a bunch of bedding. Other miscellany included another broken down bike and a wheelchair.

It seems the missionaries had an investigator who needed a wheelchair to get to church. A member had a wheelchair which the missionaries borrowed. The investigator never got to church and in six months plus the missionaries hadn't manage to return the wheelchair. Aah, youth.

A recent convert, Bro Schaefer (from Reading, PA), lives next door to the old missionary apartment and was a real asset getting things done. He got his vacuum and did the final cleaning of the old apartment. We took everyone to lunch at Panera.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

We got the Martinez Spanish elders into their new apartment. They made solemn promise to keep it clean. Something I had never encounter was the lack of a vent for the dryer. Instead we had to go to the hardware store and get a dryer vent box.

The weather has been fantastic, warm day, cool nights, and a little rain. The redbuds, dogwoods, and azaleas are blooming. There seems to me to be a lot more redbud here. Some stretches along the highways are pink for hundreds of yards.

Monday, 6 March 2017

On the road again. This time to move two sets of elders into new apartments in Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC. We thought that we could solve some problems on the way by going south and east. We left the house at 8:30 AM and just settled into a hotel in Augusta at 10 PM. We stopped in Vidalia, Statesboro, Pooler, Rincon, (in Georgia) Ridgeland, (in South Carolina) and lastly, Waynesboro, GA. We had hoped to stay the night in Waynesboro but the Hampton Inn was sold out so we soldiered on to Augusta. Long day.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Son-in-law Stan asked me to read his paper for the audio part of the publication. I got a little over half of it recorded. His subject is Seers and Stones. I'll put in a link when it gets published later this month.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

With the help of the APs, Elders Ballard and Weston, we loaded the furniture for the new apartment in Augusta in preparation for going east on Monday.

Bought a new suit. I had bought two new suits in Pennsylvania in November at Jos. A Bank but by the end of January, one of them was literally falling apart. Very disappointing.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Today was MLC, our first real Mission Leadership Counsel. Last month's included a lot of other missionary because President Grayson wanted to talk about the new missionary rules and key indicators. It was my first as the mission bicycle person. Learned how to assemble and attach bike racks.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Off to the dump early. At the transfer area where you are allowed to dump, there is a sign:

With the trailer empty, we headed for Warner Robbins to get some excess furniture from the Sisters. Back to the shed, empty what we can use from the sisters' apartment, load the stuff we hope to donate, and head off to Goodwill. One of the item in the sisters' apartment is a small carousel horse, about the size of a child's hobby horse. I guess it's some kind of decoration for a child's room or somebody thought it would go well in their living room until it didn't and so they think it will go well in the missionaries' apartment. Dorothy tells me, that someone in the ward gave it to the missionaries and that they would all sign it as they came thorough and lived in the apartment. Nice sentiment but sooner or later, the housing coordinator has to deal with it. The guys at Goodwill ask, "Are you donating the horse." "Of course," I said. They seemed delighted.

I am so astonished by what we find in missionary apartments. People meet the missionary and get to know them and want to help them in any way they can. Unfortunately, often the way they help is by giving them stuff. "We aren't using that tread mill anymore. Let's give it to the Elder Kiddlehopper. He can use it to exercise. That'll be great for him." Two weeks later, Elder Kiddlehopper gets transfered from Aiken, SC to Moultrie, GA. Does the treadmill go with him? Of course, he straps it on top of the car, takes to the stake center in Macon, transfers it to the top of his new companion's car, and gets great use of it in his new area. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can get for you at a bargain basement price. No, it ends up taking space in the housing shed. I've got two of them. If you'll pay the shipping, I'll send you one. Just send me an email.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

With all of the cleaning, we have a lot of stuff to get rid of. There is a member of the church here in Macon whose business is strap metal so after getting the trailer full of stuff, I head for Peacocks Recycling. Bro. Peacock is not particularly well educated but he is no dummy with several businesses and substantial landholdings, he very well off. I have difficulty understanding him. Some of the local accents are nothing I've every heard before. He talked and I listened and when I understood something, I tried to add a little to the conversation. I ended up at the town dump with the rest of the load at 4:02 PM. The dump closes at 4.