PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 4

Day 4 – We’ve melded into one work group at the Race Street house . . . all hands on deck – or porch, as the case may be. The dreaded rain that spurred an outdoor painting marathon yesterday was much lighter than predicted today, allowing us to not only finish all the painting and touch-ups on the porch, but also add molding, baseboards, and trim. 
There was one additional round of sanding the drywall (and vacuuming the dust) before we were ready to begin painting the dining room, stairs, and upstairs hallway. In addition, we decided to fix one of the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. By the time our day ended, everything except the hallway ceiling had been given a first coat of paint, and the cabinet was basically back to normal.
Our homeowner spent much of the day watching us work and reading, several times expressing how nice everything looked and also a feeling of safety. Tomorrow we’ll complete a second coat of paint where needed, finish the kitchen drawers, and clean up, leaving the house looking as if we had never been there.
We thank the First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland for hosting us, the NAILS organization for directing our work, and all the volunteers who contributed their time and skills in carpentry, painting, etc. and COOKING!!  And most of all, we thank God for the good health and friendships we enjoyed!

Trip Participants:

Bob and Maxine Aldridge, Carol Anderson, Bruce Andrews, Cecilia and Edco Bailey, Ella Bastine, Lucille Baur, Carol Bunch, Dottie and Lynn Cairns, Dave Francis, Mary Beth Lawrence, Abby Lindstrom, Elisa McClelland, Russ Madsen, David Mecklenburg, Stuart Morrison, Alexandra Parker, Mel Reid, Fletcher Tukes, Steve C. Ward, and Bob and Mary Wasik


PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 3

Day 3 . . . Hump Day. That’s the day we usually feel the effects from using less frequently used muscles, different sleep routines, and the increased level of activity. But we shake it off because we also are really making progress on our projects and see how much our work means to our homeowners.

On Race Street, we were met with tears of joy as we arrived this morning. Our homeowner felt so uplifted by the improvements we have made and are making on her house. She had been overwhelmed with all that needed to be done, and just getting a new kitchen ceiling and cleaned-up cabinets, appliances, and walls has brought her so much pleasure. She had spent part of her evening washing kitchen curtains and organizing the items on her counters.
Because the forecast for tomorrow calls for rain, we spent a lot of time today scraping old paint off and then painting her front porch. What a difference fresh paint makes, particularly when what was there was very old and mostly flaking off.
The Eastern Avenue team completed their project today. Another very productive day. Stair railings were successfully completed without too many duplicate cuts. Hand rail posts were set in concrete and trim was attached to all the rails. We all worked “nicely” together and kept arguments over tool usages to a minimum. So we have declared this house completed!
Tonight was our Homeowner Dinner and it was a delight to have them with us as we enjoyed another excellent meal from our cooking crew. No matter how hard we work on these trips, we are guaranteed to gain a few pounds. Looking forward to more good work, food, and fellowship tomorrow!


PDA Mission Trip #26 (Cumberland, MD): Day 3

Day 3 started with a bang! – Breakfast was Eggs Benedict – Yumm!

The Race St. house crew worked on the porch! Much planning and skill were required prior to removing and replacing the front and side rim joists on the porch floor. The crew stripped and replaced the old flooring. Planning stages are beginning for tomorrow’s addition of lattice work under the porch.  The porch floor will be painted prior to departure.

All the drywall was mudded. A new electrical circuit and light were installed for the homeowner in the attic and bathroom. She can now use the plug in her bathroom without danger of electrocution.  A window was repaired with new glass and the front door installation was completed.

In the bathroom, work was done to upgrade the sink. The team had to reinforce the sink to attach it to the wall. Faucet supply lines were replaced.

They plan to do a lot of sanding and painting tomorrow!

The National Highway house crew continued the work on the basement for the homeowner. Much elbow grease was exuded in scrubbing the floor, prior to painting.  Cleaning efforts on all surfaces were completed. Two workers replaced a piece of mildewed wallboard. In order to repair the wall the power was cut. The rest of the team had to work in the “dark”. (It was interesting to paint without adequate light). Phone flashlights were used in the interim. Such a great team of trim painters! It looks so much lighter and smells sooooooo much better.

Repair work was completed on the basement house door. Two crew members replaced temporary window wrap with a thin piece of tricky plexi-glass. Some interesting comments were heard as they worked. An attempt was made to locate a replacement cardboard to cover the electrical cords on the rear of the refrigerator. 7 appliance part providers were called with no success. A replacement part was invented from silver duct tape and cardboard! 

Organization efforts have begun. Several team members spent time with the homeowner separating items for donation from those that will be kept. A few touch ups will be completed tomorrow on the walls and floor.

An excellent meal was provided by our excellent kitchen team. Both homeowners and the Nails coordinator were invited and partook in a meal of Chicken Pot Pie, steamed veggies, salad and COCONUT MACAROONS with ice cream!

Organization efforts have begun. Several team members spent time with the homeowner separating items for donation from those that will be kept. A few touch ups will be completed tomorrow on the walls and floor.

An excellent meal was provided by our excellent kitchen team. Both homeowners and the Nails coordinator were invited and partook in a meal of Chicken Pot Pie, steamed veggies, salad and COCONUT MACAROONS with ice cream!



PDA Mission Trip #26 (Cumberland, MD): Day 1 & 2

 You know it, you love it, you guessed it…it is the Mission Trip Blog!

Day One was Sunday which began with an 11 a.m. Blue Shirt service led by our Sunday School students, and the perfect send off, a Lindsay Hall potluck lunch. Mary Beth cautioned us to take small servings, but in the end there was more than enough to go around for all who came to enjoy.  

Many of us driving got caught in an I-270 five-car crash (thankfully not involving any of us) which delayed us or detoured us, but it was still a beautiful day to be driving into the mountains. 

Sunday’s Send Off Potluck at GPC

The Race Street House group consisted of most of the men and two ladies. Their biggest job was the front porch which was jacked up today, and tomorrow the support beams and the decking will be replaced. But that wasn’t all, not by a long shot. They replaced the whole dining room ceiling with new drywall and also hung it on the hallway upstairs. They got a new front door from Craig’s List, but had to redo it from right opening to left opening and that is quite a feat with old hardware. There were also several people doing electrical work in the attic that amounted to be much more than they had originally anticipated. It was also really hot up there. The upstairs center front window needed new glass which also entailed glazing it. And we can’t forget the bathroom repair, but we’ll spare you those details.

The National Highway House group was the location where most of the ladies ended up with one intrepid male to assist (all right, he did take a leadership role)…but really we all worked together as a harmonious team. We were to be the artistes, the painters. But first we had to clear out our basement quarters and clean them up. This house is home to 7 inside cats, 15 feral cats, and a dog. We were appropriately gloved and masked for the task. We made great progress today, with cleaning behind us and paint on most of the walls. Tomorrow we also need to paint the concrete floor.

This morning started with below freezing temps, but blossomed into a 60-plus degree afternoon. We had a special guest join us for the dinner wonderfully prepared by our cooks, minus crowd favorite, Carol Bunch. She needs to recoup after a nasty trip and ankle injury while involved in helping to carry a communion table down steps at her church. But I digressed. Our special guest was Carvel Graves, now a sophomore at Frostburg. Carvel had gone on previous mission trips with us. It was a treat to have him with us for a visit.

We look forward to another beautiful and blessed day tomorrow. So stay tuned because who knows what wackiness we’ll get involved in and what wonders we will see.





PDA Mission Trip #25 (Gatlinburg, TN): Day 5

This morning the Beards and Bastines cleaned much of the church in order to give the cleaning lady an easier day.

The city of Gatlinburg has installed warning sirens now!  Yeah!

A University of Tennessee biologist says that an old tree slice from the Smoky Mountains shows that it was burned from a fire every 16 or 17 years from the 1830’s to the 1950’s. The amount of dead branches, trees, and shrubs in the park has been building up. He does not believe that the November 2016 fire was a once-in-a-100-year fire; fires will happen there again.

The good news is that the codes in Sevier County require all Mountain Tough fire victims to clear out the dead trees on their property now. Mike has 100 dead trees, which Darryl says should fall in a year. They are far from his house. The priority for the tree cutters is to remove charred trees that could fall on newly rebuilt houses.

I mentioned the need for more flame-retardant siding and roofs, but was reminded that the fire was so hot that it melted glass and aluminum!

Noel and Betty have planted 39 new dogwoods and 1 redbud tree. The dogwoods alternate – one white, one pink, one white, one pink.

We volunteers are very enthusiastic about the heck of a lot of work that we accomplished! It was a treat to see the progress that has been made since last October on Noel’s and Mike’s houses! In the fall of 2017 one of our PDA teams had just started framing Noel’s house. Noel, who is living with his son, who is a city planner in Pigeon Forge, hopes to move back in in 2 months, although Fletcher says it will take longer. We admire Noel’s work ethic – he leaves his son’s house at 5:00 a.m. to start working on his house early in the day!

In conclusion, Darryl, one of our coordinators from Hearts in Action, texted, “Fletcher’s team is the best!”

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, . . . to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes . . .” (Isaiah 61:1–3)

We look forward to helping folks again somewhere in early October possibly.  —Diane