Last Workday and Celebration – Friday   Leave a comment

Last night after dinner we made a project plan, since Friday had many tasks both on the work site and back at our church home, and our on-site leader had gotten a cold. And, for the most part, today we followed the plan and got it all done. Amazing!

1 person – Make iced tea and put in the van – By 8:15 am
2 people – Print boarding passes for tomorrow –  @8:35 am
1st group – Take the scaffolding out of the house and set it up – 1st thing
All – Take a group photo by the front of the house on the stairs and scaffolding – When Rick arrives
3 sprayers – Spray for termites inside – After the scaffolding is out of the house
2 people – Finish priming the louvers for the vent at the front of the house – Before lunch
2 people – Paint the louvers – After asking Rick:  What color?

4 people – Continue painting the eves and trim at the front
1 person – Finish painting the trim and window edges on the street side 
2 people – Paint the upper portion of the east side 
1 person – Touch up the exterior with green paint 
2 people – Grocery shopping, make snacks and lunch, empty frig
2 people – Develop photos – before 2:30 pm
All – Eat lunch – Starting at 12:00 or 12:30
All – Meet the home owners!
Amazing Graces – sing ‘I Have a Million Nightingales’
1 person – Attach the louvers to the vent – After lunch
1 person – Sweep the east sidewalk – After lunch
1 person – Sort paintbrushes (most get thrown out) – Anytime
2 people – Special, detailed painting project – After lunch
1 person – Leave a note on the fireplace wall – Anytime
2 people – Re-sort tools back into the toolboxes according to Rick’s lists
All – Pack up the ladders and scaffolding – By 2:30 pm
All – Pack up all personal belongings – By 2:30 pm
All – Closing ceremony on site – At 2:30 pm
All – Stop by Mz Otha’s house (last year’s work) – On the way home
All – Clean up back at the church –  By 5:30 pm
2 people – Make a scrapbook page for the big book at St. Matthew’s

The high point of the day was meeting the home owners. Marilyn and Bill both came, along with their oldest daughter, who works in a law firm; a granddaughter who will be graduating from high school in a few days; a son who will be doing the cabinet work on the interior; Bill’s older sister, and another relative. They brought us Krispy Kreme doughnuts (ummmm!) and told us stories about the house and ‘the storm’. One daughter was out of town during the storm, and ended up staying with a colleague at her home in Pensacola, Florida. For over two weeks she could not reach any family members. When Marilyn returned to see the house two months after the storm,  it felt like being in the twilight zone. Marilyn spoke about how much she admired the volunteers who had come to work on the house. She said that the first group included a lady who was 82! And she could push a wheelbarrow no problem! Marilyn, Bill, a daughter, and two grandsons will move back into the house when it is ready. A local furniture store has chosen to give them, along with another family, furniture for the entire house. The family is looking forward to Christmas at home this year. We told them that we had put love and prayers into every brushstroke. Some of the Amazing Graces, plus Patsy (who learned the song in the car on our way to the site), sang ‘I Have a Million Nightengales’ and Marilyn told us we should be on American Idol! 
Rick sat down with us during our lunch break. He said he had come, originally, because he liked building. He had come back out of a sense of gratitude and a feeling that it was time for him to give back. He said that just by our being here means we were called to do this kind of work, and that we seemed to be a congenial group. He hopes we’ll continue to do more volunteer work either in our own local areas or in New Orleans. Our denomination plans to continue the rebuilding work in New Orleans for another 8-10 years.
Michael played Amazing Grace and the notes floated over the roof and circled the house. Then he played When the Saints Go Marching In and we walked behind him in a little parade around and through the house. Then we joined hands in a circle for a prayer, lead by Pastor Susan. With that we blessed the house and its occupants and its future.
* * * * *

After working hard to make our living quarters spic and span for the next group, we celebrated by going out to a restaurant in the French Quarter and then going to a jazz club. We ate at the Praline Connection. Shall I talk about fried okra and gumbo, fried oysters and more shrimp and catfish, slow-cooked greens and cornbread, and melt-in-your mouth peach cobbler and bread pudding? (Maybe not – you’ll be too hungry!) This restaurant had a candy shop attached and we gathered boxes of pralines to carry home. Then off to Snug Harbor to hear Ellis Marsalis play the piano. Very mellow jazz.  Back to pack, sleep, and return home by plane the next day. 

Siging off –Bonnie


Posted May 9, 2008 by NOLA-er in Uncategorized

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