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Christmas and News Year's Florida Rebuilding


Christmas Week

Our Christmas and New Year’s Team was completed as we welcomed Steve and Glenita in on Saturday. Sunday night was a long night for the team. During our team meeting we learned that Monroe County was placed under a tornado watch. Later in the evening a water spout headed straight toward Key West and Monroe County was placed under a tornado warning. All the team received their phone alerts and gathered back inside the church as requested. The tornado warning wasn’t canceled until 11:00 but most of the team was so wide awake by then that there was little sleep to be had. We had a lot of rain but no wind damage.

This being Christmas week we decided to work on Monday at Bob’s house on Sugarloaf Key and Dennis’s house on Big Pine Key and the rest of the week at the church, which is also part of the rebuild project. At Bob’s the team continued to work punch list items such as hanging closet doors, repairing drywall and some paint touch up. At Dennis’s the team worked on drywall, installed the four new kitchen ceiling lights and began the priming of the walls.

The team spent all of Christmas Eve 2019 at Big Pine UMC. We decided early on in the project that we would spend some time working at the church to thank them for being such welcoming hosts. The church was flooded during Hurricane Irma but is mostly rebuilt. We worked on the sound booth adding some new flooring and trim. And as always did some painting and caulking. Then the team attended the traditional Christmas Eve service with carols and the reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.

On Christmas Day the team planned a potluck for which we all spent our morning preparing food. It was a fun gathering. We invited Dennis, one of our homeowners who had no local family and no plans for the day, and he really seemed to have fun and joined in the laughter.

Thursday was spent finishing the sound booth, installing a custom made door over the HVAC system and finishing the covers over the ductwork in the sanctuary. And of course, more painting and caulking. We hope the church members enjoy the sprucing up of a few things.

New Year’s Week

Before heading back to our job sites on Monday, we first needed to help Jim, our construction coordinator, with 5 pallets of vinyl laminate flooring. Then Max, Glenita and Steve went back to Sugarloaf Key and worked on more punch list items in the morning. After lunch they worked at the church finishing the trim in the sound booth, caulking and resizing a return air intake in one of the rooms. The rest of the team went back to Dennis’s and completed preparing the kitchen and living room walls for texture. The remainder of their day was more work on the drywall in the hall and back bedroom.

The rest of the week, except for a quick trip back to Sugarloaf Key to install a door, was spent at Dennis’s preparing the kitchen and living room ceiling and walls for texture, texturing them and painting. After that we worked on preparing the hall, one bedroom and closets for texture. The team spent Thursday afternoon deep cleaning the floors in preparation for starting the vinyl plank flooring.

On New Year’s Eve the team elected to gather in the fellowship hall for appetizers and game time.

On Friday and Saturday we said “see-you-down-the-road” to Glenita and Steve, Kathy and Larry and Elaine and “welcome” to Greg, Karen and Sara. We also welcomed Wanda, a new NOMAD on her first project.

The morning of Monday, January 6th started with beautiful cooler weather. It was really funny listening to the local TV weather forecasters tell how “COLD” it was. It was about 20 degrees cooler than last week, but we just can’t bring ourselves to say 69 degrees is cold.

After devotion we all headed to this team’s first day of work at Dennis’s house. Dennis was very pleased to meet and get to know the new team. He enjoys showing everyone all the plants in his yard such as the papaya trees, and art work he is has in process. He does a lot of work with granite and certain woods. He has some beautiful pieces.

The first task for the team was texturing of the back bedroom, closets and hallway. There was texturing and then knockdown and then the cleaning of all the equipment. Once that was completed we began teaching the team to install laminate flooring. They picked up on it quickly and we ended the day with about a fourth of the flooring installed in the living room and kitchen.

For the most part the rest of the week was spent painting and flooring Dennis’s house. We painted what was textured on Monday and completed the laminate in the kitchen and living room. We also installed a new plywood cover on the attic pulldown steps and trimmed out the opening. The team also washed and painted the interior doors and got the rest of the floors ready for flooring. On Wednesday Max and Greg worked with the conference staff on George’s house on Marathon installing ceiling panels and building a supporting wall to hold up one that had rotted away. Two nights this week we had fun game nights in the fellowship hall at the church. We have been very busy but have been having a blast serving the people in the lower Keys.

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