Tuesday and Wednesday, 30 and 31 May, 2017

Travel days. We started in Macon buying two used sofas and an office chair at Salvation Army, went to Forsyth for two more office chairs and a table at Cash Liquidators, then off to the Columbus/Phenix City area.

Our main goal was to prepare the empty apartment in Auburn for the next transfer. We've been staying overnight in empty apartments to save money so we take a queen-size blowup bed, bedding, towels, etc. that we would normally have in a hotel room.

Started cleaning at 6 AM. When the elders arrived at 10:15 we had five bags of trash plus stuff too big for bags. They said, "But we took out eight bags of trash when the sisters left." We left with two additional bags plus two bags of excess bedding. Really, really cleaned the bathroom and put in new shower curtains. Really, really cleaned the kitchen except we ran out of time and had to leave a note on the refrigerator to not put any food in it until it had been cleaned.

Along the way we traded sofas for beat up sofas and gave away light bulbs, measuring cups, and other miscellany. We got home at 10 PM on Wednesday.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Slow day. Late breakfast. Then we did a few things to get ready to travel tomorrow.

I need to mention one item. Not knowing what we might need, we didn't bring a lot with us including any tools. After getting here, it became obvious that a tool kit would be useful. How ofter does one get to go out and buy all new tools. It was wonderful. I still need a saw but the need hasn't been great enough to justify it.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Long day. Left the house at 8:50 to get the mission van. Picked up Dorothy and we picked up Patricia and two of her grandchildren. Regular church schedule in Forsyth. Took four missionaries, Patricia, two grandchildren, and an investigator to the Macon chapel. Somehow the word did not get out that there was to be a baptism so the font had not been filled. Elders Lovell and Ashton carried stock pots of water from the kitchen to move the filling of the font along. Fortunately, we started late—the sister giving the Holy Ghost talk just made it to give her talk. Patricia's son gave the invocation and her nephew baptized her and conferred the Holy Ghost on her. There were a bunch of grandchildren and grandnieces and grandnephews. It was a lovely family occasion. There were brownie bites and cup cakes. It was chaos getting everyone into cars to go back to Forsyth.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Today the office staff and President and Sister Grayson went to Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, GA about 45 minutes from Macon. They grow mostly peaches and pecans, two of the five P's of Georgia agriculture. The other three are peanuts, poultry, and pine trees. They have a self-guided tour of the packing plant. Today they were packing peaches for Kroger and Walmart supermarkets. One thing impressed me—they were using reusable plastic bins for Walmart, not single use cardboard boxes that most fruits is shipped in. I'm assuming it less expensive to gather and return the plastic bins than it is to use the cardboard boxes. At the very least, it saves some of disposal costs.

Friday, 26 May 2017

We are the Housing Coordinators. Today that means taking the trailer to Warner Robins to deliver a badge to a sister missionary, taking mostly trash furniture from the two sets of elders in Warner Robins, exchanging two good chairs with hassocks for a broken down coach and chairs in Cochran, and then hauling the lot to the dump in Macon. The cost to dump exactly 500 lbs of trash is $7.13. I said to the lady at the dump, "I doubt I could do that again." She said, "I get an even number like that about once a week."

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The computer with the software for updating the web site has been out of commission thus the hiatus.

Yesterday was Sister Chadwick's birthday. We had a gift card to a farm-to-table restaurant from our kids. The restaurant is called Dovetail. There were lots of vegetables prepared variously, roasted, grilled, pickled. It was excellent.

In Idaho, there is an individual who regularly sends notes out to all of the missionaries from his ward. His handwriting is superb:

Sunday, 14 May 2017, Mothers' Day

I was asked to be the third speaker in sacrament meeting today for 20 minutes. I gained the podium at 11:01, i.e., four minutes for 20 minutes material. I cut a bunch and finished at 11:09 leaving one minute for the closing song and benediction. If you're interested, you can read my notes here. (The text in red is from the church's The Family, A Proclamation to the World.)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

I volunteered to make dinner for the new missionaries, office staff, etc. for the meeting with the new missionaries coming from the MTC on Monday. Today was a shopping and cooking day. The menu is lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and poppy seed cake.

Friday, 12 May 2017

This evening the Gray Ward threw a 50th wedding anniversary for Elder and Sister McOmber, the senior missionary couple in that ward. The Relief Society had decorated, got a cake and had pot luck finger food. The McOmbers have five sons, four daughters, and thirty-four grandchildren. The young missionaries asked them to meet at the chapel for a correlation meeting then lured them into the cultural hall with, "Oh, I think the Relief Society has had an activity. Let's see if there is any food left." Everyone had gone in the other half of the hall behind the folding doors and when McOmbers came in, opened the doors and shouted, "Surprise!" and "Happy Anniversary!" They were surprised and everyone had a good time.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

I thought I had the habit of keeping this up but apparently not.

Anyway, not much happened this week except office stuff. We did keep an appointment Monday with a set of elders whose landlady had referred to them as "slobs." They had cleaned with vigor so that when we got there, there wasn't much left to do. We did have them clean the refrigerator and we took away a couple of broken down bikes.

As for the bikes, we found a program in Macon, "Learn and Earn," which has inner city kids learn mechanical skills and get a bike in return. We took them a pile of bikes, helmets, and pumps that elders have left in apartments. Steve, the head of the overall program which includes academic programs as well, said, "I've got to call Nathan. He'll be so excited."

I have meant to speak about logging in Georgia, maybe I have but it is so evident. Trucks full of logs hanging off the end are everywhere. We went past a paper mill in Augusta where they were lined up a dozen deep to deliver their loads. The elders that were with us at the time said the trucks are tipped to a 45 degree angle and the logs fall off into a pit.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Granddaughter #2 gave birth to Great Grandson #1 this morning at 1:23. Daniel John Sevey can in at 6 lbs, 10 ozs, 17.5 inches.

I meant to talk about our waiter in Valdosta and had forgotten about it until this morning. We went to a Mexican restaurant with the Flakes for lunch. Our waiter was a fun young man. I ordered Special #1, chili rellenos. The food came and he had a plate for everyone and two for me but when I looked at the two plates, I didn't see any chili rellenos. I ask where it was. He looked puzzled. I said doesn't the special #1 come with a chili rellenos. Again he looked puzzled but then reached behind me for the third plate. Later, having noticed all of our name tags, he asked Sister Flake if it was possible for his 6 and 2 year olds could be baptized. We gave him the address of the church and took his name and phone number.

I took 350 lbs of trash from two missionary apartments, mostly Rincon, to the dump. That didn't count the two thirty-gallon trash bags we left in Rincon for Waste Management.

The first watermelons from Florida have been in farmers' market and roadside stands, a seeded variety. We're on our second one this week.

Friday, 5 May 2017

We got to our apartment at 2 P.M. after stopping in Warner Robins to pick up some extraneous stuff from the elders there. We've traveled 800 this week. I went into the office to catch up on some promised items and to check messages on the telephone. President Grayson held Mission Leadership Conference today and the missionaries were cycling through the office to pick up materials for their zones. I mentioned to one of the sisters about our bug experience and she said, "Oh, those are love bugs." Here are love bugs:

They have been spreading north and east from Central America (Another apocalyptic event of global warming.) for several decades. They are harmless but because of their numbers they have been a nuisance in the past but their natural predators have been catching up with them and reducing the swarms. Their proper name is Plecia nearctica, a type of march fly, and, in addition to "love bugs," they are called honeymoon fly or double-headed bug.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Today's sole task is to fix the apartment situation in Valdosta. Elder and Sister Flake have been complaining for some time about their apartment, the area it is in, and the response to problems by their landlord. They lived next door to a pair of young elders and we had decided last week to move both to a better situation. I had investigated several apartment complexes online and the Flake had looked at several. Yesterday, I toured one and got a sense of what was available and an idea of what we would have to pay for rent. Today we toured that one and one the Flakes had liked, made a decision, filled out an application, and paid the application fee ($100). Looks like we'll be able to put the Flakes and the elders in new housing by the end of May.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I keep meaning to mention the timber industry in Georgia. I was reminded when I somehow lost the block of wood we use to prop up the trailer and had to buy the end of a 6x6 stud for $7. You can not drive in Georgia for any distance without seeing a truck full of logs, long logs, 40 to 50 feet, with the ends hanging off the back of the truck on the roads—not the interstates but all of the other roads. I believe most of them are destined for paper as we've passed a couple of large paper mills

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

We've been at zone conferences yesterday and today and cleaning an empty apartment in Rincon. We delivered a mattress to the zone leaders in Savannah but not until 5 P.M. We've been making our own meals while traveling and needed a break. We chose Pearl's Saltwater Grill off the GPS. The food was good but the ambiance was wonderful. We had at an enormous window that looked out over the salt marshes. An osprey was hunting. Hovered high over the water and then drop with wings folded into the water, twice without any success.

On to Valdosta for the last conference this week. We had noticed some bugs in the throes of spring love on the windows at the restaurant in Savannah and as it got dark, bugs hitting the van sounded like rain. The next day (I'm writing this on Thursday.) I noticed the bugs on the bumper and mirrors. I have no idea what insect it is, a fly of some sort, black except for a reddish thorax. The thing is, all of the splattered insect were two by two. Sister Chadwick said, "At least they died happy."