Behind a white picket fence is a designated area where the press can watch how he works. Local news teams gather, but after a while they have the material they need for their evening programs and move on to get more footage.
Carter is still working.
The Carters are here in Nashville for the 36th Weekly Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter work project with Habitat for Humanity. They have built, refurbished or repaired more than 4,300 homes together with more than 100,000 volunteers in 14 countries.
The week in Nashville is a scene full of joy, sweat and tears, muddy boots and muddy faces. There is a spirit of togetherness, and it is, for the most part, a policy-free zone, as far removed as possible from Washington's fierce partisanship. Carter politely declined to answer a question about President Donald Trump and impeachment during a press conference.
"I had priority number one and that was to come to Nashville and build houses," he told a lot of volunteers on Sunday evening at the Ryman Auditorium.
The only other sign that he is different from the other 1000. plus on-site volunteers is the silent presence of the Secret Service, which only comes to his aid when he drops unexpectedly, helps him nimbly and later suggests sitting on one of the many chairs provided.
Carter looks up at some point and I ask how he's doing.
"Well, until now! Nothing hurt," he says with an intact sense of humor.
It is a testament to his remarkable legacy of service and confidence in his post-presidency. It's a story of service, perseverance and love – an American story.
The Genesis of the Carter Work Project starts with a run in Manhattan.
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, just 10 miles from the Carters House in Plains. Georgia, where they have lived since their departure from the White House in 1981. Carter had been asked to join the organization and had volunteered, but only when he was in New York to meet and flee to the US Lower East Side, where the Carter Work Project seed was planted ,
"He was led by a group of students struggling for a Habitat project, and he commented," We need to do something to help these students. "Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, told CNN:
Soon after, the Carters made a bus ride back to Manhattan" with a boatload of people from South Georgia "to Manhattan and worked for a week at the home of Mascot Flats, The Carter Work Project, inaugurated in 1984. Volunteers – including the first couple – slept each night on the floor of a local church basement, and the Carters had been offered a small room in the church, which they handed over to a young couple who had missed the honeymoon.
That first trip, Reckford said, brought the organization to the scene.
"Then the world learned about Habitat for Humanity," he said.
Since 1984, Carter Work Project has had the first couple in the US and around the world from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, brought to 14 countries, Eagle Butte, South Dakota, Hungary, the Philippines.
N SUPREME year, Carter said in an interview with CNN, the work would continue.
"We will travel to the Dominican Republic next year in 2020," he said.
Proceeding against the Carters
Rosalynn Carter was always present at the annual project. The two are married for almost 74 years, their intense bond is palpable.
The key to this successful marriage, former President told reporters on Monday, is "to give each other plenty of room to do our own things and try to find something we like to do together.
These common adventures include skiing at the age of 62 and 59, bird watching, tennis, fly fishing, habitat building and family time four children, 12 grandchildren and – so they say – 14 great-grandchildren, including two babies born in the last months.
"He says, 14, I agree with him," joked Rosalynn.
"We've seen a decline in recent months, I'm 92, he's 95, and we thought it was time to stop doing it all day," Rosalynn Carter told reporters Monday. But they still have a busy schedule, she said, traveling to Atlanta every month to spend time at the Carter Center.
Carter also teaches at Emory University monthly.
There was no sign this week that the couple, both walking with sticks, had plans to reduce their work on the job site. Rosalynn Carter said it was important that each of the houses built this week have "something we built".
"I'll stop if I have to, but I will not stop until I have to," Jimmy Carter told CNN.
Asked on Monday why they still bother to do the work after all these years, Carter said simply, "We've got more and more out of our habitat work when we put it in."
He added, "We have a net gain when we come to a Habitat project. There is always an emotional feeling among the volunteers and The homeowners somehow bind us together in a spirit of love, appreciation and mutual respect as well as equality. Treat everyone equally and try to help people in need.
Faith in Action
Kimberly Arp Babbit of CNN contributed to this report.