This may be my favorite picture
Landscaping is one of the hardest days of a build. It is pure labor. Everyone ends up exhausted and filthy. If you look at any of the pictures you will find people with mud or red clay all over. It is the day when there is never enough water and cold drinks to go around. So sooner or later a keg is filled up with ice and we drink the melting ice. Oh, what a blessing water is on Landscaping day. We had about 40 volunteers today. This little girl (see picture above), daughter of one of our volunteers, worked as hard as anyone – she could really move that sod!
If you’re too slow, you will be sodded over!
We could have used 60, but 40 was just enough. One year we were doing two houses side by side and just plain ran out of steam. Everybody was so pooped it was getting dangerous. A quick call and a group of Methodists broke loose from the house they were building and came to our aid. “Gotter Done”. There were a couple of our workers who were sent to do “community service” for some offense or another (not in any of the pictures shown here), but they enjoyed it and will probably volunteer next time – it has happened before.
As a matter of note, we are a Christian group, but there are houses going up that are built by Jews, Muslims and secular companies. The most unusual local group building houses has three different religious organizations banded together to build Habitat Houses. A Christian Church, a Jewish Synagogue, and a Muslim Mosque. That way, believe it or not, there is a crew working 3 days a week around weekends because they each have a different day to worship. While one group is worshiping, the other two are working. Food, friendship and cultural differences are shared as are the pastoral and devotional duties.
Play in the dirt again!
We arrived at 8 AM to find 8 pallets scattered around the yard, mostly in the front. The ground had been reasonably sculpted, but full of rocks, lumps and pretty ugly. After the devotional and the mandatory safety lecture, the marching orders were given. “Everyone grab a rake.” The first 2 hours was raking – garden rakes that is. Rake rocks, totem away in wheelbarrows, scratch out dirt for picture perfect wallows – paths for rainwater to take, sculpt the planting areas, level and slope as needed. “Gett’er Right”
There were long 2×4 boards with 4 ft levels around to make certain that water ran the right way and no pools or rivers formed in the yard, regardless of the downpour.
The landscaper that usually starts us off was not there, wanted to be but it was not possible. Our Presbyterian Coalition happens to have a Master Gardner on its board and although Terry had been very sick the previous week, he showed up and got us all going in the right direction. The plants were there, and he directed us on how deep and exactly where to put them, and how the ground should flow for best water usage.
So we raked, toted rocks away, molded the ground, dug holes, planted shrubs, flowers and trees, toted and placed sod and watered. “Gotter Done”. Several worked to get the rest of the soffit and fascia done. The early joke by our SPM was “green side up.” Then he grumbled (good naturally) the rest of the day that nobody appreciated his jokes.
The “tweet tweet” bird box was finally covered. The fascia was finally covered, and the Georgia red clay was covered. Red to green, what a transformation!
Each church volunteers to serve lunch at least once. Today was my church’s day – Macland Presbyterian. Lunch varies by church and by who gets stuck with the task of providing food (or sometimes insists). Sometimes it is Subway sandwiches, another time it is Papa John’s pizza, other times it is home-made sandwiches. Whatever it is, it is enjoyed. Every lunch is preceded by a devotional and a request for a blessing.
A real feast!
There are pictures of the huge plates of food we had for lunch in the slide show. Home - made taco salad with watermelon and home – made brownies. It was cool and delicious. Just right. Across the street the sponsor there, a corporation, had barbecue catered in. William’s Brothers. Too expensive for a church group to have catered, but every time we have asked, William’s Brothers has donated the food. Papa John’s has donated our food, so have several restaurants.
The one cool spot!
Friday’s subways were donated by a woman that happened to be in line behind the person from our group that had volunteered to pick them up. “Are you a missionary?” asked the woman behind. (The shirt said “First Presbyterian Missionary”). ”No, I just happen to be getting food for a Habitat build.” “I would like to pay for it!” says the woman behind. After a little “you don’t need to do that…. I want to…, ok, lets split it… no I want to pay for it all..” bantering, she ended up paying for 12 subways and drinks. We don’t even know who she is. Maybe one of those secret angels we hear about from time to time.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Margaret, Pat, Joi, Jeff
Done for this year, well, almost done, maybe somewhat done. We still have a clean up weekend scheduled next Saturday and a House Dedication July 15. We turn over the keys on that date. If everything goes well, it will pass inspection and we will get our CO – Certificate of Occupancy so that we can move in all that brand new beautiful furniture that a member of our church donated. Living Room, Dining room, Master Bedroom, Second Bedroom, Office. Washer Dryer and kitchen flatware, pots and pans, glassware, etc.
Soon it will turn over from a mere house to a happy home.
Oh, and we have a bunch of fund raisers for the rest of the year. Gotta raise money to pay for next year’s house and for more houses in Kenya. 8 in 2008 . One here and 7 in Kenya. 9 in 2009. “Keeper Going.”
Visit our Presbyterian Coalition web site (PCCH) through a link on the right. PCCH has links to our churches and to this web site.
Here is a link to the slide show for today – Landscape Slide Show, or click on any picture above.