NOMADS in Western North Carolina

A different kind of pretty from our Arizona parking site

We have a nice campsite directly across the road from Lake Junaluska Assembly. The Assembly operates this campground for conference attendees and volunteers, like us. Volunteer work with NOMADS (Nomads on a mission acting in divine service) affords us comped RV parking. We full-timers feel like it’s a holiday from paying rents. The campground is nicely arranged and allows us to park together while allowing other RVs to park in nice spots close to or remote from us.

Big raindrops are hitting our RV and drum beat is resonating especially on our skylight. Most polite, though, this rainfall waited until we returned from this week’s final work shift. We stepped in our door to the sound of raindrops popping on the roof and the weather alert radio sounding off with its lout mechanical voice, “large hail can be damaging to buildings and especially cars. The National Weather Service recommends . . .”

Weeks and weeks pass without our weather alert radio sounding off. These past three days it has alarmed at least three times for severe weather in our county or the surrounding ones. We leave this radio in our RV in the on position at all times. The alert tone is so startling and sharp it changes our heart rate and posture instantly if we’re inside. And we’re generally not used to the alarm. Thankfully it is silent most of the time.

This week we’ve seen heavy duty thunderstorms a couple of times and lingering rains a couple of times. No hail yet, and no tornadoes. We’ll hope it stays so throughout out visit at Lake Junaluska.

We’ve worked Monday through Thursday, four six-hour shifts. Our group of twelve NOMADS meets each work morning at 8 for devotions, singing, and coffee. We hear briefly from our team leader and from the liaison from Lake Junaluska Assembly. And we march off to work — primarily painting.

This week our work included moving over 10,000 pounds of new thru-wall air-conditioning units to 100 rooms in the Terrace Inn for installers to replace the existing units. We painted two washrooms in the Jones Dining Hall and re-installed a bunch of chairs in the Stuart Auditorium. And our team prepped and painted eleven hotel rooms in The Lambuth Inn, a 100 year-old hotel on the highest point in the Assembly.

The hotel rooms painting reminds me of paint commercials from the late 1960’s — maybe you remember them? He leaves for work and she gets out a roller and a brush and some paint. Before he returns from his day at the office she has painted the entire living room. But wait — did she remove the drapes and pictures and mirror, and all the switch and receptacle cover plates? Wow! Fast worker.

A little bit of wall repair before painting

We remove drapes, linens, mattress and box, headboard, bedside table, desk, straight chair, arm chair, lamps, and cover plates. We mask the wall lamp, baseboard, and any other trim we must paint against. Only the television armoire remains in the room, moved toward the middle. We brush and roll two coats of paint. And can, with eight or ten of us, complete eleven rooms in four days. Many hands make light work.

I think our pace will pick up too. We’ve developed improved methods throughout our first four days. We understand who likes to do what and what works best for our team. We’re not in a hurry, it’s just easier and smoother for our team this way. Eleven rooms down, sixty or another hundred to go.

rocking on Lambuth Inn's front verandah

NOMADS time at Lake Junaluska Assembly isn’t only about our work assignments. We take breaks throughout the work day. And last night Debbie and I walked an hour in a few of the many residential streets above the lake. We might not be able to finish walking them all in our three weeks, but we’ll probably try. We’ve played tennis and will try to play at least three times weekly.

This evening our group is going to a favorite pizza joint in nearby Waynesville Saturday morning we’ve volunteered to help with the Assembly’s Easter egg hunt for children. Sunday afternoon Debbie and I will shop for a nephew’s wedding present and browse historic downtown Waynesville. Sunday we plan to attend Sunrise Service at Inspiration Point by Lambuth Inn, high above Lake Junaluska.

Looking south just before the storm

And whenever we get a chance, we like to stop by the lake and look. Today, amidst all the clouds, we saw sunshine onto the colorful trees across the lake from our spot. The entire area is at least this pretty. We’re lucky and happy to be here.

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©2007-2012 Dreamstreamr


2 responses to “NOMADS in Western North Carolina

  1. Richard Hunt

    Wow, what a great entry into your open journal! I loved hearing about the campground, work, and off duty activities. Good accompanying photographs as well. Western NC is so beautiful. Your whole post made me want to be there. I will reflect on your Camp J sunrise experience as we go to worship on Easter. (We are hanging close to our MO location while Julie has and recovers from corneal transplant surgery.)

    • Julie, Richard will read this to you — you are in our prayers for the sure and skillful hands of your surgeon and for a speedy and complete recovery. Love to you both,

      Jim and Deb

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