Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day Sixteen: January 2008

Day Sixteen: Wednesday, January 23

Yes! A warm morning with no rain! Things were grey and foggy, but not cold and wet. We’ll take it! We had leftover king cake for breakfast, prepped lunch, then headed out for Habitat. A few of us passed around Leo’s maddening metal dexterity puzzles (those brainteaser things where two curved pieces of metal are interlocked and the challenge is to separate them). These things have made the rounds through the whole group and some other peripheral folks. Even though we are sick of hearing the clinking of the parts, everyone still wants to try again whenever one of the puzzles is near.

Once at Habitat, the morning was full of jobs that were not exactly our dream tasks. One group blocked cabinets and closets in the house, which involves nailing boards between all the studs to serve as cabinet supports and closet structure supports. It’s an awful job that usually involves lots of hammer hits to our own fingers and hands. We persevered.

Another group applied weather stripping to the windows throughout the lot, while others worked on finishing the very highest parts of the siding on some of the houses whose exteriors are nearly finished. This job is particularly difficult, as it involves holding heavy strips of siding parallel off two ladders twenty or so feet in the air while also hammering them in. Matt P., Scott, and Lindsay S. were moving along swimmingly until we suffered our first hospital run of the year: Lindsay got an eye injury that seemed somewhat serious. Happily, it was not. She did not scratch her cornea as we suspected and has already recovered substantially just by using special drops.

While Lindsay headed to the ER, others kept working away at Habitat. Lindsay R. and Julie worked on truly beautiful signs for all of the houses in the Habitat block. And then our group was offered two special jobs: decking the double hip roof whose trusses have driven us crazy for a week and framing out walls on the house on which we built the floor system last week. We couldn’t finish either job, but tomorrow should bring both to an end.

The folks who went to Rosie’s house continued painting and working on those crackled front doors. We resorted to paint stripper and a pressure washer to move the sanding job along, with Brad as the chief paint removal specialist. Shane ordered replacement panes for all of the sections of the front doors. Some others cleared more parts of the area surrounding the house, including exposing a sidewalk that was almost entirely buried in muck and construction debris (not ours). Matt W. and Aaron got very artistic on a salvaged birdbath that we found at yesterday’s garden; once they have finished their artistry, we’ll show you their handiwork.

A side job also occupied a few people this afternoon: several of Rosie’s neighbors asked our crew to help eliminate the search party X’s that have been spray-painted on the fronts of their houses for two and a half years now. That means that some of us are learning to replace sections of vinyl siding without destroying the trim or the surrounding siding. Because we know how important it was for Rosie and our friend Sarah when we removed the markings from their houses, we knew that we wanted to help. It’s not as easy a job as it sounds, but it is worth it to us to figure it out. We worked past sundown, but hustled out quickly because we were hungry.

For dinner, we got to have lots of leftovers from Katie’s birthday bonfire, including chicken and vegetables that didn’t come out of cans! We’ve eaten well the last few days, which will help to keep us going as we make our final pushes at the Habitat site and at Rosie’s. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we are confident that we can make it happen.

Our hours for the day number at 295; our running total now is 4173.

Julie and Lindsay enjoy each others company as they make lovely signs for the Habitat work site.

Scott and Nicole work diligently on removing nails as they look to perfect their project.

The puppies get some much needed play time in the back of Jared’s truck. We can’t wait for their eyes to open!

Bri, Amanda, and Sam work on finishing the siding on the front of the house.

Bryan gets up close and personal with the stripper!

Dr. Aaron helps Lindsay S. before she heads to the emergency room to get debris out of her eye.

Leo and Stephanie take a break from working hard on the siding.

Julie paints beautiful signs to label the Habitat Homes.

In preparation for the wall raising ceremony, Amanda works to build the walls that will be brought up tomorrow.

Katie gracefully and courageously nails in the first piece of decking along the edge of the house.

Matt and Scottie reach great heights as they hammer in the siding of one of the habitat homes.

Mark and Aaron come down from the roof where they spent the day installing drainage.

Lindsay helps paint a sign displaying the address of one of soon to be completed Habitat for Humanity homes.

Elijah and Emily dangle from the trusses of the roof as they nail in the rest of the roof’s framing.

Amanda and Emily take part in the seemingly endless sanding of the large front door of Rosie’s house.

Lindsay R. working on signs for the habitat houses in the West bank village

Tommy Bell on the edge working on side fascia

Bryan working the chop saw at habitat for window rain diverters

Aaron and Mat hash out the plans for Rosie’s birdbath

Kate keeping moist after a day’s worth of painting