Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Build Day

March 20th

Build Day
St. Paul’s Methodist Church

(Do to lack of internet and the rush of the trip I'm finally posting the rest of the adventure here!)

Before I get too far ahead of myself I would like to highlight a few things about the trip that I haven’t mentioned yet. For starters I mentioned earlier that I ate with Tom Webber and his family. What I neglected to mention was that those folks are also riding with Tom on the Spring Ride. Matthew Webber, Tom’s son, and Harper Webber, Tom’s granddaughter are representing three generations of Webbers on this Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.

I was a little confused at first because Matthew calls Tom, ‘Tom,’ instead of Dad. Although I guess I shouldn’t find this too surprising since my brother Blake calls Dad ‘Randy,’ instead of Dad, but still it can be disorienting. The Webbers are amazing people and very talented. Matthew pastors a church and Harper is an artist, and musician who dabbles in writing and she’s also a member of a band; very impressive considering she’s fourteen years old.

Another group I wanted to highlight are ‘The Sarahs.’ Sarah Doren a returning rider who road with me in 2011 I am very familiar with, but this spring I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Doren’s friend Sarah Cooke – and yes she is equally as nuts and quirky as Sarah Doren, just in case you were wondering. They have both taken to signing their thank you notes to our host churches as ‘The Sarahs,’ - which stands to reason that when you get too goof balls together – wacky and adorable insanity ensues!

Finally I also wanted to mention that I met a rider named Cheryl Smith on the Spring Ride. This is significant because I have an aunt back home named Cheryl Smith. This Cheryl Smith is very active in missions and has a beautiful testimony about her faith and her life. She also has written two books so we had much to talk about. I look forward to keeping in touch with her in the future.

So moving on with Build day I must say we were very grateful to sleep in until 8:00am this morning, and yes I did say sleep in. We split up into two groups for both building projects. One of the projects dealt with replacing shingles on a roof and doing extensive roof restoration and the other dealt with dry walling a room and replacing linoleum tiled flooring in the kitchen.

 Jonas strongly encouraged folks with experience in dry walling to join up with the second group. I remember putting up sheet rock and mudding it from spending time on jobs with Dad so I signed up for group 2, even though I ended up spending most of my time working on tearing up the floor or fixing up a handicap ramp (we found out later that the handicap ramp wasn’t supposed to be our project and we weren’t supposed to touch it). Our bad, at least we managed to finish it so I really can’t see it being a bad thing that we were able to help out this family even more than we were ‘supposed,’ too.

 A lot of the tricks I learned from Dad came in handy during this build – such as using a hammer and paint scrapper and hammer to peel off base boards. Another trick I used was to drive the sharp ends of the nails back into the inside of the board without knocking them out as to make it easier to drive them back into the wall later. I also spent a fair amount of time using a drill on the handicap ramp and I also remembered that when it comes to wooden boards the bow always goes up. I’m sure Dad would be proud to know that I was actually listening to him that whole time. Too bad he never gets on the internet to read these blogs.

The family themselves were amazing. We were helping this elderly woman named Ludeen by doing these renovations to her home. Her son in Law Willy was hot from working on the house long before we had even arrived. Her daughter Mary adopted me as her buddy, it turns out her daughter has the same birthday as I do.

We worked on her house late into the evening and accomplished a lot. Also when it was time to start shuttling a few people back someone, I won’t name names here, but someone ended up getting the van stuck in the mud. It was getting cold by now and many of us riders were tired from the day’s work. It took a number of us and Willy and Mary’s help to finally rock the van out of the mud and get us back on the road.

It was truly an awesome day and we were able to help a family whose house may not be in the best place, but whose hearts are in the perfect place. Ludeen, Willy and Mary are very generous people and often go out of their way to help other people even when they can’t really afford too. They took us in and treated us like family and reminded me so much why I enjoy going out on these build days and traveling with the Fuller Center.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention a few quirks from the build. Here we go.

-          Myself trying to cut out a three and half foot groove into a two-by-four with only a hammer and a chisel; as you might imagine it took forever and was hard on my arms even though I had another rider help alternate with me.
-          Tom webber trying to chisel with a hammer and a pencil

I think Tom’s just won the oily stapler award – named in honor of my Dad who does quirky things with tools too – such as oiling a stapler.

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