Friday, March 17, 2006

From the sublime to the ridiculous (March 16)

I’m running a day behind because I’ve lost my network connection and I am using the church computer. It is more available in the a.m. than at night.

The question “What’s next David?” was what we asked David Kilbern when we had finished the house. And we also said “No more painting please.

Anyhow he gave us a “tear out” job. It is a small 4 room house that was half gutted. The first picture shows how it was when we walked in. We took the dry wall down in the living room and part of the kitchen yesterday. The title “From the “sublime to the ridiculous” came to mind because of the extreme change in what we were doing. We have moved from one end of the process (finishing the house so people could move in) to the other (destroying what is there to allow for the rebuilding and restoration).

I say this because there is nothing ridiculous or funny about walking into a house that had 30 inches of water flood in and all the walls and floors are unsalvageable.

We met Charlotte who owns the house. She had had renovations done – new wiring and upgraded bathrooms but because of the flood damage she has decided to tear it allout to the studs and start over. There was no insulation and when you get the drywall off you can see daylight through the cracks.

The pictures show Linda getting into it - having fun kicking out a piece of drywall with her boots. She started out cleaning out cupboards while I was pulling carpet and linoleum and she wasn't really thrilled but then she found out that "These boots are made for... stomping" (Remember the song "These boots were made for walking??").

One thing that was interesting is that after getting to know the Kelly’s over the past 2 weeks it felt a little strange –almost like leaving home to not be going there again, There are things that need to be done and I feel like I should be staying on top of them so they don’t fall through the cracks. It is so difficult for people like John (Dobbs) and David Kilbern. There are so many needs -- how do you set priorities and choose who to help. One thing for sure is that you have to make some choices and then be sure that the commitments you make are met. There are so many people who have been let down with promises made and not kept that one of the key priorities here is to show God’s love by keeping their word.

Last evening, the group from OCU (Oklahoma Christian), who are leaving today, shared some of their thoughts about the week they spent here. It was very moving to see these “kids” who have worked their hearts out cleaning out tons of debris from yards in this neighborhood and touching many lives as they did this – it is about healing broken spirits as well as cleaning up the mess left by Katrina. One girl shared that a lady had said to her – When I came down our street to-day it was so neat and clean I could feel pride in my community and in myself for the first time since August 29.

I had wanted to include some pictures of the Kelly house showing before and after but I'm out of time -- I'm showing a picture of us with John Kelly in the "courrtyard" where Linda planted the flowers.The picture was taken just as we were leaving the house to move on to other things.

God Bless


JD said...

Glad you could get online this morning, Charlie. I hope to try to get the wireless back up and running today ... but you know how it is. As soon as you walk into the building the urgent overtakes any agenda one might have. In that picture Linda reminds me of one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! You guys are awesome to take on such a big project.

Anonymous said...

Lookin' good in those stompin' boots mom! Way to go!