Arriving by an (thankfully uneventful) train trip, Droz joined us for his 4th Spring Break trip to Jacksonville on March 31st. It was a busy but fun week. On Sunday, we attended the Beyond 90 Open House, where he got to see the work the Nomads and other volunteers had completed, and there was good food off the grill as well. Monday took us down to MD Anderson for Cathy’s treatment, where we made some of the time go by with ice cream, scooped into waffle cones. A little messy, but worth it. Tuesday, he and Grandpa had lunch prepared and served by the culinary students at Florida State College – Jacksonville (FSCJ), followed by a tour by the head of the program. Wednesday, Droz took over the Wesley kitchen to make dessert – fudgy brownies – that was the hit of supper that night. And on Friday, Grandpa and Droz met the owner / chef of Pink Salt, a restaurant we had first visited for the celebration dinner of the Beyond 90 project.
As the number of Nomads dwindled, it wasn’t initially clear how the work to finish the apartment would proceed. But the work did continue with those remaining and then with more help from Pastor Rigo and his family. By the end of the first week of April, all the dry wall had been hung. By the end of the 2nd week, all of it had at least one coat of “mud” and the kitchen walls had been finished and primed or painted. As the 3rd week continued, the kitchen cabinets were hung, the remaining rooms sanded, primed and painted, windows repaired and made functional, and blinds hung. The end, which seemed so elusive 4 months ago, is definitely in site.
We continue to try to walk every day, but we have also added an occasional bike ride as Cathy’s health and the weather permits. We found the shady Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail northwest of the city which allowed options for several easy rides. Also, the city-owned Hanna Park gave us a chance to bike through maritime forest, by a scenic lake, through a huge campground and even get a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean on a cool, breezy Saturday.
We are also trying to grow some tomatoes and have a garden of container plants that are mostly thriving. We haven't had a chance to eat one yet, but that shouldn't be too far off.