PDA Mission Trip #25 (Gatlinburg, TN): Day 3

It’s hump day, and I think we made it through the first hurdle just fine. However, as you know we’ve been missing Mary and Bob Wasik terribly, and today it just boiled over into having to express our emotions in a musical tribute. So, lucky blog readers, you too can see our raw response to the absence of Mary and Bob on our mission trip participants. It may not be appropriate for young children, so exercise your best judgment about who you show this moving musical extravaganza to! Click on  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pq6L_RT1wjTft7nD217t50A38jhyLPTj/view?usp=drivesdk

Now back to the daily basics of what we are really here to accomplish….

Noel Ball’s wife and daughter came to see the progress this afternoon. All the sheet-rock walls are painted! The ceilings were painted north to south yesterday, and east to west today, to make them perfect. After lunch, part of the group painted the second coat on the exterior back of his house – a festive pearl gray that Noel’s wife had picked out herself. Teamwork was evident for this task. Lucille, Dottie, and Maxine painted the low-down siding while Lynn, Bob, and Dave Francis manned the ladders to paint the high siding. We were able to paint the whole back of the house (a fine day’s work, by George!)  —Maxine and Lucille

P.S.  Noel had a hip replacement since we were here in October, so he can stand up a little straighter.

Six of us went over to Mike Morgan’s house, the veteran who some of us helped in October. Alex, Elisa, and Bernadette sanded the log siding in the basement. The siding had weathered various shades of brown while stacked outside. Sam sawed and installed shelves for Mike’s tools in the basement. I spray-stained the pickets a red mahogany along his amazing wheelchair ramp, with Dinah wiping the drips. Thanks to the blowing wind, the white streaks in my hair as well as my shoes are now red mahogany. Mike says he likes my new, hip spray-on tan.

Mike moved into his house last November 30 and the next day had brain surgery to have a stent put in. He had been told last year that he had only 6 months to live, but now he can walk without a cane and he spends much less time in his motorized wheelchair! In March 2018 he had arm surgery because he had lost the use of one hand. He can use his thumb and two fingers, so he says he’s clumsy and drops things a lot. His wife, Diana, has a heart murmur. Tank, his therapy dog, is as lovable as ever! Mike and Noel are very appreciative of our help. It means a lot to us that they help as much as they can.  —Diane

Over at the “far-away” project (an hour east of Gatlinburg), Dave Bastine, Edco, Bruce, and Stuart continued refurbishing two bathrooms – installing toilets, door molding, and a bathtub. Fletcher and Jim joined them in the afternoon, with Fletcher supervising the interior work, and Jim joining Fred and Hunt in cutting steps for the front entrance. Bob Beard with just the right tools and Mary Beth also made an appearance at the “far-away” project.  —Jim

Dinner tonight was two varieties of baked chicken, rice, peas, salad, and freshly baked cookies.

The photos below are from Noel’s and Mike’s houses.

Tomorrow night we will host our homeowners and Hearts in Action work coordinators for a spaghetti dinner. Noel will give us a tour of the beautiful stained-glass windows, which he installed here at Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church, where we eat and sleep. The windows were donated by a church in Chattanooga.