Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meet the Care-A-Vanners In Sioux Falls

A few months ago, we went online to Habitat-for-Humanity's Care-A-Vanner build list.  It showed a listing for Sioux Falls and we had a few weeks in our schedule open, so we signed up.  We love Sioux Falls!
The build called for five couples and we ended up with four couples.  Turns out that was a good number and we all had some great memories from our time together.  I thought you might be interested in knowing who the other three couples that made up our team so I put together some information about them:

Carole and Scott are from Casselberry FL.
They have been full-timing since 2015. Scott was a police officer and later a college professor in his career days and Carole was a realtor before they hit the road.
They thought about full-timing in 2010 and actually bought their 1993 Dodge Xplorer in 2015 after a long and winding road of research and discovery.  Scott and Carole had been looking at all shapes and sizes - from the big class A motor homes to travel trailers.  When this popped up they drove a few hours away to look at it and after about an hour, made the decision.
The RV was repainted and christened 'Ripley' after a town in Ohio they were passing through while on a road trip.  There was something about that name that 'stuck'.  Ridley is unique and fits the couple well!  They put up their canopy that serves as their kitchen/living room.  Scoot and Carole have been on the road a couple of years and love to volunteer and workamp.  They have had some interesting jobs including house sitting in Alaska and Seattle.

They found some information about Care-A-Vanners on an Airstream forum.  They saw our post a few weeks ago about the need for volunteers at this build and contacted us to let us know they were going to sign up.  We're glad they did and thoroughly enjoyed our time with them.  They liked being on the build and said they'd been participating in future builds.

Brenda and Kit are from Gardener Maine.
He was a career social worker and she had a clinical psychologist practice.  They are long time Habitat for Humanity volunteers and have been on many oversees efforts building homes with HFH and the Fuller Center out of Atlanta GA.
They have been volunteering for years and in the past couple have sold their home in Gardner.  They also have a 'casita' in Benson Arizona at the SKP Saguaro CO-OP where they spend the winter months.  While they are on the road, it gets rented out.  The facility is part of the Escapees properties throughout the U.S.

The name of their Tiffin Allegro Bay is "BHOWER", which stands for Bigger House on Wheels Includes Everything.  Their previous RV as a 5th wheel which they named HOWER.

They are going to be volunteering next week in Brookings SD with another Care-A-Vanner group, then in November will be leading a group from the Fuller Center on a house building project to Sri Lanka.  They have been on similar efforts to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Boliva.

The third couple in the group is David and Jo Ann Lininger.
They left their home in Missouri and have been on the road full-timing almost three years.  They have  three kids in the surrounding states and I believe they said they have 11 grand children.
They have been active in their church building ministry called, "Laborers for Christ" and have split their volunteer time over the years between that group and the Care-A-Vanners.

Among their many skills, I think it was Jo Ann who seemed to 'connect' first with the home owners at each house we worked.  There were two houses and two families and she befriended both very quickly.  It was fun to work along side of them.

From Sioux Falls, they were traveling to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Here is a group photo of the team along with the home owners, staff members Heidi (on the right saw horse) and Paul (far right).

We have many fond memories of our time in Sioux Falls!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quick Week Gone in Sioux Falls

We finished up our first week at the Greater Sioux Falls Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanner build last week and are already half way intoour second week!  It has flown by.  The affiliate has three houses currently under construction and we have worked at two.

We finished up our time (there is lots more work to be done) at our first house with some work in the basement,
finishing off the house painting and
some work on the front porch deck.
On Monday morning, we moved over to our second house and put a coat of paint on it. First we had to assemble the scaffolding on the side of the house.
 We did a lot of painting from ladders also.
 After the second coat of paint went on the house today, we started on the soffit under the eves.
 It helps when you have a major league soffit cutting tool.
We paused for a group picture mid-afternoon and then finished up the soffit on the back side of the house.

We are enjoying the work and getting to know our fellow Care-A-Vanners.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Different Kind of Day with the Care-A-Vanners

We have been thoroughly enjoying our time in Sioux Falls.  We have completed day two of our Habitat for Humanity build and working on some fun tasks and learning a lot.

This morning during our devotions,
David was using a framing hammer for an object lesson.  I never knew that a framing hammer is exactly 16" long - the same distance as the standard distance between studs.  So I can use my hammer to take a quick check.

Also this has been a unique build (they are all a little different) in that we have been furnished breakfast, coffee, lunch and water from the local Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bakery store here in town.  So a big shoutout to them!  Thank you very much!!
Jessica, our Volunteer Coordinator and Point of Contact for our time here has been on site every morning to greet us, make sure all our paperwork is squared away (sign-in sheets, waivers etc) and generally be there in case we have items.

After two days we've finished the siding on the garage on three sides and are going to paint tomorrow.

As we were eating our lunch, Dan arrived.  He is a reporter for local CBS affiliate in Sioux Falls.  He spoke with quite a few of us.
Later in the day, he posted his report on the 5 o'clock news:

It's not every day things turn out this way, but it was a lot of fun.  Back to work tomorrow and painting the garage and maybe we will get started on building the front deck and porch.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Kicking it Off in Sioux Falls

We had our 'Meet and Greet' meeting with some of the local Sioux Falls Habitat for Humanity staff.  Our Care-A-Vanner group consists of four couples and all four are full-timer RVers.
We have two couples whose domicile and mail service center is here in Sioux Falls and two whose address and mail forwarding service is located in Green Cove Springs FL.
One never knows what to expect and each build is a little different.  Our meeting was held at the Bracco Restaurant and it was great!
We got a chance to meet the Executive Director - Patty Brooks, the Volunteer Coordinator - Jessica Shulte plus more folks on their team as well as their spouses and Paul Johnson - Construction Supervisor.

Other Habitat supporters were there and it was a very nice couple of hours to meet and get to know the people on our end of the table.  It was a lot of fun and the affiliate was very generous to host us their for dinner.

We got a group photo before we started, heard about the work we will be doing (outside siding for starters).
We are off to a great start and looking forward to the week.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

An Afternoon at Humble Hill

One of the great things about coming to Sioux Falls is that Pam and I have some good friends who live here.  Pam learned electronics repair in the Air Force and went to technical training years ago in Biloxi Mississippi.

While there she met a classmate, Steve and his wife Therressa, who are from Sioux Falls.  Steve retired a few years ago from the Air National Guard here in town and we've managed to see them many times over the years as full-time RVers.  This time we are in town to participate in the two week Care-A-Vanner RV / Habitat for Humanity build along with three other couples.

And here we are again.  We always enjoy our time with them and got to spend Saturday together.  On Saturday we went to lunch together at PourHouse which is a new sports bar place in town.  We had some great sandwiches and fries.

After lunch we drove over to the two houses where we are scheduled to work.  It helps to know where they are located a little before Monday morning so we aren't late and don't get lost.

Therressa has a brother in Garretson which is a small town about 25 miles away.  Rob and his wife Joan own a winery that just opened for business.  People who are in business for themselves I find intriguing.  It was a beautiful drive out to Humble Hill Winery.
They have a growing vineyard and add rows and rows every year.  I think Joan and Rob said they have eight acres.  Though they just opened, they have been working on the vineyard and their property for years.

Here Pam, Steve and Rob are enjoying the shade outside of the tasting room.  Their place is nicely arranged and a great place to hang out and learn about wine.
 Inside the tasting room, they have created a well decorated and quaint environment.  Rob used timber from his granary that destroyed in a "downburst" that destroyed the granary and what was going to be the original tasting room.
Yikes!  The challenges of the small business person.  And then there was the fire that destroyed the garage and damage the house.  But that is another story.  Despite all that, they persevered and now are open for business.
 Downstairs in the cool temperatures of the basement they are storing the wine in 35 gallon drums and preparing bottles with labels.
 The two enemies of wine is heat and light and so the 5 gallon jugs of different flavors are covered up.
Rob and Joan are a very interesting couple and we are so glad to meet them and see Humble Hill Winery!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!