Mission # 18 Kingston, Oklahoma April 2017
It was a very cool Saturday when 9 volunteers pulled into Cross Point Camp, our home for the next week. The accommodations were wonderful. We had a men’s cabin, a women’s cabin and a very nice gathering room. We checked out the facilities and met Louise and camp manager, Jeff, who invited us to a spaghetti supper, saying they had prepared more than enough. It was a very welcome invitation to our travel weary bodies. After a visit to the beach, we relaxed in the gathering room and played golf (a card game) and got acquainted with one of the two new Watermark volunteers. The others will all arrive tomorrow. Starting Monday, we will prepare our meals at the United Methodist Church kitchen in Kingston. Members of our group volunteer to cook either breakfast or supper for us. We have some very good cooks in the group!
We participated in Mass at Ardmore at 8am. It was Divine Mercy Sunday and before Mass, Father visited with a member of our group and, to our surprise, he incorporated our Mission into his homily on the Works of Mercy. After Mass the parishioners had a fund raiser, cooking authentic Mexican gordito burritos, enchiladas and rice milk. Of course we had to try some. It was delicious! Next on our list was to get groceries for a group of 16 for a week. The afternoon was spent with some of the guys “hunting” for where our job sites will be – GPS did not like the addresses given. Others went to Divine Mercy service led by Dick by the Camp’s large cross overlooking Lake Texoma. Everyone had arrived in time for our Orientation Meal in the evening, which this year was pizza in the gathering room. It was a beautiful, blue sky, sunny warm day but everyone was ready to get settled in early.
Monday started with a breakfast of sausage and pancakes. Gary led our prayer service and Dick lead in the singing. Kevin & Hal, our project managers, joined us at 10 and got our groups to where they were to work. We had 3 projects to work on – one was to tear off two layers of old shingles and re-shingle a double wide, another was to coat the roof of a trailer house with a rubber type coating along with some minor repairs in the house and the third was to fix plumbing in the shower, put laminate on the bathroom floor, repair some sheetrock and put up some trim. A lot was accomplished on our first day, plus we got some eggs from one of the ladies that our group was helping. After supper, we celebrated Irma’s birthday with banana splits!
A couple people from the Methodist church joined us for a breakfast of eggs & bacon and prayer service on Tuesday. They told us a little about the flood. It was 30’ above the lake level with 5 feet flowing above the dam. The camp where we were staying went 80 days without a road. All supplies and people had to be canoed in and out. It is so hard to imagine that much water! The weather man was predicting rain for Wednesday so we wanted to get the house shingled. We pulled a few people from the other jobs and sent out 10 volunteers and the 2 project managers to work on it. It happened to be a very hot but windy day on that roof, but we managed to get the shingling done! Of course we had time for a little water fight fun, too. Two projects close to done and one with room for only 4 people, the project managers had to do some scrambling to find us another job to start on Wednesday. We usually go out to eat one night on our trips so this time we went to Ho-Bo Joe’s. Back at the camp, Kelly found a very long black snake which we checked out – from a distance!
On Wednesday, one group went back to work on the bathroom, a couple people went to finish at the “egg lady's"
house – she gave us more eggs and her 8 year old great-grand daughter gave a beautiful handmade card - while another group of guys finished the roof house by putting on the fascia. Two jobs done! The gals stayed in town and checked out the Methodists thrift store, then went to pick up a few more groceries. After lunch, we were sent to a new site where we painted the plastic coating on the roof and others worked on repairing the ceiling sheetrock. Unlike Tuesday, it was cold out and we were glad to have sweatshirts and jackets, which, unfortunately got all full of the roof coating. We did have a beautiful view of Lake Texoma from that roof. We had a short safety meeting. In the evening, Hal & Kevin joined us for supper, then they talked about the process from storm to rebuild. It was very informative and interesting.
Thursday – this will be our last work day of Mission #18. We all worked on the last project and got the roof finished and a large portion of the ceiling. Fran learned the importance of using the right ladder and Irma was left hanging. Some of the gals left early to clean up the kitchen at the church and prepare a supper of left-overs and pack up our stuff. Six of the group got an early start for home. The rest of us went back to camp and cleaned up the gathering room and our cabins and got packed up for the ride home.
There were storm warnings for the area on Friday and Saturday which meant more flooding. We all got out of the area before the storms hit. During the week, we worked hard and had a lot of fun with a great group of people, including Tom & Irma L, Myra C, Kelly E, Lisa M, Joe F, Fran F, Bill H, Pat K, Dick & Jean K, Jim M, Ron & Marilyn S, and Rosey & Gary A, but as one of our new volunteers commented, “I expected all of that, but it was so much more!”