On the first Wednesday in March, Faith hosted the Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation’s high school masonry competition. There were 22 individual competitors from 4 area masonry programs, including 1 from the Dept of Corrections. The participants were given a specification sheet, cinder blocks, bricks, and mortar. Using their own tools, they set to work building the required structure. The event was timed, and each result was measured by the judges, with points deducted for every 1/16th of an inch that was off in any measurement, among other criteria. Scores were given by group and individual and prizes awarded accordingly
Live oaks are protected trees in Florida. You can’t prune them without consulting an arborist, which the church does on a regular basis to ensure the many trees on their property are healthy. That only works so well, since 2 major limbs fell on Peeler Hall several years ago within weeks of each other and the recent arborist visit.
In an effort to provide water to the Burmese garden, there has been a considerable amount of work and re-design on the well to ensure the water continues to flow even when the volunteers are gone over the summer months. The design that evolved over the last few months incorporated 2 different pumps and 2 sets of holding tanks, including a method to fill the tanks automatically using a timer.
One of the higher priority tasks that we hadn’t been able to address was a leak in the roof of the house occupied by the church’s caretaker and his wife. The building is a converted school trailer, so it’s roof has some similarities to an RV roof. There seemed to be 2 possible sources of leaks – the many screws securing the roof and several seams along the roof ridge and down its slope. Since the leak was confined to the northwest corner of the roof, we focused on first cleaning, then sealing the screws and seams. We applied self-leveling sealant to almost all of the screws, but we had to wait several days for more supplies before continuing. In the interim, the rains came, but no water leaked below.
With Spring Break under way, we had visits from 2 different college groups on an alternative spring break. The first group was from Illinois on a “Mystery Tour”. They would travel each day to a new location known only to their leaders. After working on a project in that location, they would head out to a new city. Jacksonville was the next to the last stop before heading home. We signed up to serve them breakfast and lunch, and they were a joy to meet and serve. They even enthusiastically helped with the clean up and kept thanking us for the meals.
Joe and Sandy had commitments early in March that caused them to head off to Georgia, so we said our goodbyes, thanking them for a lot of work done this winter. Not long after, we had a surprise visit from Tom and Dau, our friends (and Cathy’s distant cousin) from our sailing days. Passing through Jacksonville on their way north, they spent the night, and the guys put Tom to work smoothing out the path to the well, using the tractor and a box scraper. Since we were unsuccessful in persuading them to stay another day, we sent them on their way north again the next day.