Thursday, June 23, 2016

Work Day Four-Team 2

Work Team 2 (John, Nelia, Charlie, Sam, Meredith, Reilly, Chandler, Charlotte)

Being the fifth day in a row that we woke up uncomfortably early, even Kendra put her head down at breakfast. We headed off to our second day at Patsy and Ted's house. After the egg casserole we arrived, but Matt and Lonnie (our carpenters) got held up so we did our devotions early then went to go get some gas. When we returned, Matt and Lonnie were there with everything we needed for the day. We unloaded the lumber then loaded their trailer up with all the trash from the crawlspace. We then began to cut the lumber to make stairs up to the deck in the back. After it was all cut we broke up into two teams and one conditioned work on the stairs and the other group started putting insulation in the ceiling. While all of this was happening, Patsy was cooking up some fantastic brunch for the group. We paused to eat and it was scrumptious. After that we got back to work on the projects. Matt helped us with the insulation and Lonnie helped us with the staircase. We finished the stairs and extended the cement platform at the bottom of the stairs. We sang "Happy Birthday" to Patsy and said our goodbyes to Matt, Lonnie, Patsy, and Ted.

Work Day Four-Team 3

Work Team 3 (Jack D., Teddy, Maddie, Carly, William, Kendra, Gayle)

Dear diary, today our team went back to Alice’s house to finish the job off. The roof team bunkered down and pretty much completed the reinstallation of shingles for Alice’s roof. What the team left behind was absolutely stunning. Maddie McGill was deemed “Shingler Master of the East.” The crawlspace team headed by Teddy Andrew after the departure of McGill, ventured back down into the depths in order to secure the plastic sheeting against the wall with the Mighty Gorilla Tape (It’s harder than it sounds). Down under, the crew experienced multiple encounters with 30 legged creepy-crawlies, some of which group member Jack Dager took a picture with (William served as photographer). Jack Dager commenced to kill a particular creepy-crawly, “If it was a cat, it would have lost three lives.” Chaos ensued though, as Carly Rogers was trekked across by a spooky spider. This team 100% completed the job that they started (the plastic sheeting, not the eradication of the pests). The group rendezvoused for lunch and devotion, before some slight clean up (Gayle led the pack and certainly received style points for her leadership). Afterwards, everyone said their goodbyes to Alice, hugged her and rode off into the 3:00pm sunset.

As part of the daily routine, the mission trip crew showered and the boys got in a “mean racquetball round robin tournament extreme 2016.” The girls wrapped up showers rather quickly and returned to the church for some mean “letter writing.” The team felt quite Italiano as they dined on some spaghetti and the garliciest bread on this side of the Mississippi. Everyone proceeded to circle up for a quick game of “never have I ever,” and the team uncovered that Jack White used to participate in the art of Parkour. We topped off the night with a quick candle-lit worship service. It is currently 9:53. Everyone is asleep. I am awake. I do not know how much longer I can continue to live like this. I have suffered multiple days of early awakenings, and slight withdrawal from private showers. I have seven minutes before I am taken. I am out of Sour Patch Kids. SOS.

The Lord be with you, Teddy Andrew (With some sprinkled in wisdom from Jack Dager)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Work Day Three-Team 3

Work Team 3 (Jack Dager, William, Maddie, Kendra, Gayle, Carly, Teddy)

Today, work team 3 made major progress on the roof as well as in the crawlspace. In the crawlspace, they finished laying down the plastic across the ground and the walls. They secured the plastic with tape and wooden beams (It’s harder than it sounds). While all the action on the ground was happening, the workers on the roof were really gettin’ stuff done. Yesterday they finished one side of the roof, and today they finished most of the other side, particularly because there was a storm and Kendra was not very fond of them working on the roof with lightning (She is very good at keeping us alive). The day was not very labor intensive, filled with many breaks in the crawlspace and a tasty multiple sandwich lunch. Overall, as always, it was a great day and we are excited, yet disappointed that tomorrow will be our last day of work.

After all the work groups reconvened, everyone from work group 3 received a ride from the lovely Nelia to the showers, so we didn’t have to walk. Nelia’s always lookin’ out for the crew. We showered and Nelia drove us back to the church (just making our day a whole lot better one ride to the showers at a time). Kendra then rallied up the troops and took us on a yearly Dairy Queen run. After returning, we worshiped TaizĂ© style. We then had a delish authentic Kentucky styled supper that consisted of only the classics (Cornbread, soupbeans, potatoes and hashbrowns, really really sweet ice tea, and not to mention raspberry AND apple pie. Classic). We winded down with some devotion and prayer, then topped it all off with a friendly-turned-aggressive match of Celebrity. 

Yours truly, Jack Dager (Teddy helped a bit)

Work Day Three-Team 2

Work Team 2 (Nelia, Charlie, Meredith, John, Charlotte K. , Reilly, Chandler, and Sam)

Our third day of work was short but fulfilling. We returned to the home of Ted and Patsy to finish what we started yesterday. In the crawlspace underneath the house, we drilled wooden beams to the cement walls so that the plastic would stay in place. Although it was difficult at times, we really enjoyed using the power tools and established an efficient system to get the job done quickly. We all began to appreciate the crawlspace for its unexpected comfort despite the damp darkness and frequent bug discoveries. Additionally, we power washed the gutters, driveway, and front walkway of the house so that it was sparkling clean by the end of the day. We also organized the things that we removed yesterday and put them back in the crawlspace after the drilling was complete. Before lunch we started to demolish the porch steps, but another storm kept us from completing the job. As we ate lunch, we watched the storm roll in over the hills where the town is situated… really cool.  We returned to the church early due to the prediction of continued storms throughout the afternoon. Although we did not have a full day of work, we still managed to get a lot done and had fun while doing it!

Work Day Three-Team 1

Work team 1 (Ed, Squire, Jack White, Nick, Alex, Gavin)

The third work day for work group 1 got off to a bit of a slow start.  We drove out to a different work site farther outside of Hazard.  It was around 25 to 30 minutes away from the church.  In a ravine at least ¾ of a mile off the main road we helped our carpenters prepare the foundation for a house that will be built in the future.  We actually didn’t dig it though.  A backhoe did most of the digging while we got down in the dirt and tied pieces of rebar together that ran through the foundation trenches, each of which had to be 30 inches deep and 30 inches wide exactly.  Everyone in the group got to bend rebar and Jack, Nick, and Gavin got to snap rebar into two pieces.  The whole house is going to be rectangular shaped.  After the backhoe finished digging the trenches and we finished the rebar work, a concrete truck came into the area to pour concrete in the trenches.  As the concrete began to pour, our head carpenter Steve and Alex got into the concrete with special boots to help spread it.  Everyone else used rakes to spread it around.  All of the youth got splattered with concrete which can be messy when it’s poured.  After that we had lunch and after that we actually quickly left the work site because a thunderstorm was fast approaching.  But before that happened, everyone got to get behind the wheel of the backhoe and learned how to move the arm.  It was awesome!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Work Day Two-Group 3

Work Team 3 (Maddie, Teddy, William, Carly, Jack D., Gayle, Kendra)

Day 2 founds us at the same Housing Development Alliance house as yesterday. The home belongs to an elderly woman, Miss Alice. She is mainly home bound after a stroke prevented her from moving without a walker. With her encouragement, we started the day’s work. About half of the roof had been completely re-done, so we finished up the remaining part. After harnessing up, we began ripping up the old shingles and laying down the waterproof prep sheet. Next we separated the shingles and began to piece them together and secure them with a nail gun. As this was going on, the remainder of the group basked in the shade and spider webs of the crawl space under the house. Continuing work from yesterday, which was to replace the ground barrier sheet, we measured, cut and places many new pieces of plastic. Overall, team three came out of the sun, heat and sweat with smiles.  

Work Day Two-Team 2

Work Team 2 (John, Chandler, Charlotte K., Reilly, Sam, Meredith, Nelia, Charlie)

Today we started off thinking that we would continue our varnishing project, but an unexpected burst of rain changed our plans. Nelia turned the van around and we headed to the housing development alliance headquarters where they gave us our new assignment. From there we drove to our new location, Patsy and Ted’s house. Their home was build seventeen years previous by the housing development alliance. Ted was recently diagnosed with cancer and consequently cannot keep up with his housing maintenance. Although we did not get to varnish today, we were happy to spend another day with our favorite tool; the power washer. Half of the team applied their newly acquired power washing skills to the sides of Ted and Patsy’s house. With the help of a ladder (+Chandler’s height), we managed to make the house shine top to bottom. The other half of the team worked in the house’s crawl space. Our job was to clear out the storage and then re-surface the floor of the space with new plastic. Spiders, cobwebs, and an ancient rat carcass did not stop us and we got the job (almost) done. Today’s daily devotion, led by John, went smoothly as did our exchanges with the homeowners. Our highs of the day included conversations with Ted and Patsy, cooling off in the mist of the power washer, and a giant bag of McDonalds happy meal toys discovered in the crawl space. Our only low of the day was the rain, but like Charlie says, someone upstairs is just trying to challenge us. Minimal lows and happy memories made day three a good day for group 2!