We have been negligent on our updates.
We have been gently scolded by those who love us.
We are attempting to fix the omission.
Our most sincere apologies.
Three weeks ago we moved to Bremen, Indiana, a good town. We are in a campground surrounded by cornfields and the train tracks are far enough away that they don't wake you up at night. The weather has been warm and humid, but not hot and humid like Texas. It rained the first two weeks we were here, but it has calmed down since then.
We've mostly been working and working and working. Well, we have mixed in a few days of work in there too! We have pretty much kept to the campground except for the grocery store, church, and a couple of trips to Dairy Queen. Oh, and Trey ran into Elkhart to prepare for some work we are having done on the trailer in August, but that's it.
Our work has been divided into two categories: inside at the computer or outside melting in the humidity. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.
Work at the computer has been mostly for Think the Bible. Susan was able to finally get the workbook to a point where it can be uploaded. She needs to make one more pass through each lesson, but is taking a few days off from that work to let her brain reset. The completion goal was July 30th, so it feels good to be a little ahead at this point. Trey did many behind the scenes projects for several different jobs, but mostly Think the Bible. He spent three days dealing with tech support on an issue that still might not be completely resolved. Such is life in the digital age! We have spent most of our time on these projects, but the details would only excite a few, so we will leave it at that. (This is probably the main reason for the lack of updates. By the time our computer work was done each night, we didn't want to spend more time blogging about how we spent the day on working on the computer. I'm sure no one would want to read it either!)
Our outdoor work has mostly focused on the fifth wheel. She's twelve years old and showing her age. Some of the work has been urgent repair. Most of the work (still ongoing) is just trying to maintain her and extend her life.
Urgent repair: We mentioned before that we had significant rain. That developed into our first roof leak. We knew the trailer leaked in the past because of a few stains on the ceiling, but those had been repaired long before we owned her. One morning after a particularly stormy night, Susan noticed the ceiling in the bathroom was stained. It felt dry, but she didn't remember a stain there before. The stain was on the edge of the Fantastic Fan. Side note: it really is a fantastic fan! It works much like an attic fan: it draws cooler air from outside in through the windows and up and out the ceiling. It can also work in reverse, drawing in air in from outside. Our fan is a bit finicky and we have missed it when it has refused to work.
Back to the leak. That night, there was a more powerful storm and the stain was much larger (and wet!) We knew we had a problem.
You can see the discolored wood (above the insulation) next to the black wire. Water dripped from the roof to that point, then to the insulation and ceiling below. Even though ceiling stain was large, we were thankful that the upper leak was so small. We put our small fan in a position where it could dry out the attic space and then left on an extra day just to make sure. It stormed much of that day, so we couldn't really do anything about it, but the next day Trey bought some caulk specifically for RV roofs and loaded up the seam where the Fantastic Fan met the roof.
We have had several rains since then and no leak. Whew!
In other outside activity, we have been attempting to get our fiberglass shell back in shape. Other than a minor upkeep, we were unable to do anything the first part of the year, so we've taken some time each week to get the exterior of our fifth wheel in shape. Everything attached to the RV has this dirty goopy stuff (butyl putty) oozing out the sides. The RV windows are the worst.
This stuff is gross. It is almost impossible to get off the fiberglass. It took hours of work to remove the putty and then the sticky residue - and it is not all gone. Over time, the dirt and crud around the windows creates black streaks that travel down the side of the RV and is not easily scrubbed off. Soap, water and elbow grease will not touch it. You need a special cleaner and lots of elbow grease to get most of the black streaks. Then another chemical, a fiberglass restorer, to get the remaining stubborn streaks.
We've been working on the sides of the RV for two weeks and this is the only section that is completely finished except for sealing some edges: washed, de-streaked, de-oxidized, waxed. Doesn't it look great?!?
We have also spent quite a bit of time on the roof. We spent the better part of a day scrubbing a cleaning all the nooks and crannies. Our knees were all bruised! There is still much to do on the roof. We want to thoroughly clean it, but it is much worse shape than the sides. We haven't found a solution to restoring the roof to a healthy state, but Trey is researching and experimenting with different methods he's discovered. When the fiberglass is restored (if it can be), we will reseal all the edges to prevent future leaks - we hope!
We are physically tired from the maintenance we have done. We remind ourselves that houses have upkeep too. Difference is, it is much easier/cheaper to hire someone to paint a house than it is to hire someone to paint your RV. Remembering that, we press on!
The detail work on the RV reminds us of the importance of maintaining the details in our life. Just day to day exposure to the elements of this world creates dirt. Then there are those things, like the Butyl tape, that makes life even dirtier and more difficult to clean and maintain. Regular cleaning and maintenance are needed for proper function and longevity. Cleansing the body is a simple matter. Spiritual cleaning is simple, too, but we often make it difficult.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. ~Ephesians 5.25-27
We both ask ourselves frequently: "Am I being regularly washed in the word?" "Am I taking in His word in such a way and to such a degree that I become more like the One who made me, saved me, and gave me new life?"