Sunday, October 16, 2011


And just like that, the work in Joplin, Missouri ended.  The company Todd and I were working for asked us to return with them to New Orleans, Louisiana with promises of work, help paying for school...the moon, the stars and we decided to take the chance.  So we loaded up the trucks and we moved to New Orleans....Mandeville really, which is just across Lake Ponchetrain.
The first few days were very fun and exciting, with visits to Bourbon Street, and checking out all the fun tourist trap places.  Although the temperatures were not as hot as they were in Joplin, the humidity was non stop and made me feel as though I was wet all the time.  The only relief being the daily mid afternoon thunderstorms.  Otherwise, the air conditioned 19 foot condo was our sanctuary.
Todd began working as general labor on a boat in the middle of a bayou on some of the levee's that help protect New Orleans from the tropical storms and hurricanes.  Sounds exciting....but in the heat for 12 hours a day....and for $10.00 per hour, it wasn't ideal and not what we expected at all.  This was not going to pay our bills, especially with the cost of the campgrounds and the $200.00 a week in gas that it was costing him to drive there and back.  However, they did promise work for me eventually, so we decided to give them a month to get him into the job he was promised and get me to work.
Since Sarah and Doug and Baby Doug decided to go with us, the 19 foot condo was getting quite small.  While they slept in a tent at night, when it was cooler, during the day, the heat was unbearable and we were all inside....getting on each others nerves!  After two weeks though, Sarah and Doug had both found good jobs and began saving money to get an apartment.
This of course, made me a full time grandma for Baby Doug.  I have said over and over that I am NOT a kid person, especially babies, but this time for me became the best time of my life.  Baby Doug was so good for me, most generally smiling and laughing, and always taking his nap or going to bed so nicely.  Being a grandmama was the best, his smile as he took Choppers leash and walked him with me everyday was phenomenal.  Watching him and grandpapa, Todd, playing the 'uh oh' game before bed each night, gave me so much joy!
But the month quickly came to an end and still Todd and I were not making it.  Something had to be done, and as we watched the approach of a hurricane headed straight for us, we decided to hit the road.  Sarah and Doug found a great apartment and decided they were staying.  We rushed to get them the basic things they would need into the apartment and prepare for the possible coming storm.  We had found a great church and made contact with them and informed them of the kids decision and they helped so much and promised to keep an eye on them.
One week later, as the beginning of the hurricane hit us, we were ready to go.  Our goodbyes said, we were packed and spending our last night, in non stop rain at Fountainbleu state park.  I can't tell you how anxious we were to leave, even the Spanish Moss which I had thought so beautiful when we first arrived began to look like it was strangling the trees.
We had decided to go to Tennessee, Madison to be exact, where my aunt Sue lives and has a small guesthouse, which sounded like a mansion to me.  We left the Saturday morning before Labor Day and drove through the rain all day, arriving late that evening.  The small guesthouse did indeed look like a mansion once we were in it!  Dry for once, exhausted, and with job interviews already set up for the following week, we felt like we were finally on the right road.
Once again, God had provided for us, I was hired and began work that very week.  A temporary job, but at least we would have a place to sleep and an income right away.  Todd began work a week after that, again, with a temporary assignment, but this one would last through the end of the year.  Aunt Sue has been an inspiration, she is so independent, helpful and faithful.  I began going to church with her, and feel like my walk with God is so much stronger now.  Todd prefers to go to church on Sunday, so we have been trying out different churches where he is comfortable as well.  I feel so blessed to get to worship God on both Saturday's and Sunday's.

My job assignment has now ended and I am again back to looking for work.  I'm not sure what God has planned for us next, but we are giving the Nashville area a chance while we have the help from Aunt Sue.  While we hope to be able to find work in Michigan eventually and return, Tennessee feels so right to me.  I know that I speak for both of us when I say that we miss our children and our family and our friends back in Michigan so much.  We are so hoping and praying to get home for a week around Christmas.  Right now we are still playing catch up with our bills, but if I find work soon, that will help.  I know God will help me do this, he has been so faithful with us, providing everything we need just when we need it.  I will wait for his answer to this problem, he will never let me down!