Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, Monday (March 20)

Although this is about Monday I’m doing it Tuesday a.m. – I guess I’ll have to be known as “day late” Charlie since I don’t have any excuse except I was too beat to do it last night – I was sound asleep shortly after 10 and that after a half hour watching TV with Linda.

It is chaotic around here Monday mornings trying to get 150 volunteers organized and sent out on jobs. I mentioned on Saturday that John Sanders had helped the folks from Nashville ( Dianne Griffin, her sister, and a nephew) finish the tear out at Charlotte’s house. However, they hadn’t removed the linoleum on the kitchen floor so I went there at 8 and did that small job. (Lindahad taken her Monday morning medication that she has to take an hour before eating breakfast so she was delayed in being ready to go. )

It took less than ½ hour to do that. However, on looking around I decided that the one ceiling really needed to come down since it was warped and had several holes in it. Trying to fix it would be more effort than doing it over—and obviously would look better. Upon my return I talked to people to get directions on the bleach spray (50/50 water and bleach) that is used to kill of f any of the black mold that is remaining and gathered up sprayers and other tools we needed.

I had commandeered the church bus for transportation but to do that I had to ferry other work crews to their jobs. David Kilbern was taking a group from Americorp? (these are young college age kids that spend 18 months in a program that includes community service projects) to scope out a drywalling job and he dropped us off at the house – after I extracted a promise that he would come back by so I could take him to the church and retain our wheels. We had barely gotten started when they returned on their way back to the building to get tools and supplies needed. . I left Linda(with some trepidation) at the house while I did this. When I got back Linda had removed the ceiling and was cleaning up. She also with her eagle eye pointed out that the sub-floor in the kitchen had a “hump” in it – it was fairly new plywood and I had thought it would be OK – but the water had caused it to swell in this one spot right dead center so it had to come out. I f you know how sub-floors are nailed you will understand that was hard work!!.

We had an interesting incident just as we were leaving the building with David. Linda had seen Kenny ( a guy that is here recuperating from a 15 ft. fall from a roof) heading off in his wheel chair. When she asked him where he was going he said ”Mobile” (that’s 30 miles!!). I have to admit that I was a little “blasé” when Linda told me this and was of the mind that there wasn’t anything we could do about it. – but her compassion for people meant she couldn’t just ignore it. So she told David about it and we spotted him on a side street a couple of blocks away –turned out he had a Dr’s appt. in Mobile but had neglected to tell anyone so a ride could be arranged – David in his fashion got him calmed down and when we got back last evening Kenny was here as usual—he told me that he had made arrangements for his care to be transferred to the local VA hospital rather than having to go all the way to Mobile.

Anyhow, we did finish the tearing out the ceiling and sub floor – cleaned up our mess an, with John Sanders helped sprayed the bleach so we are done there. Charlotte had wanted a wall torn out but it is “load bearing “ so James came over and we looked at what would be needed for a beam if that was to be done. Between James & Linda they came up with a scheme for re-organizing the kitchen and removing part of 2 walls that would really open up the space in the house. To-day we’ll call Charlotte and show her these ideas to see if they suit her. Unfortunately, when we go back to the house yesterday the cleanup crew was there loading the junk so I didn’t get a picture of the big pile of stuff that came out. This “after” picture shows it with the walls completely torn out. (Picture added July 20)

We also want to go back and welcome the Kelly’s home to-day.

Last evening after services John Sanders showed a home video taken by the York’s who lived at Pass Christian. They stayed in their home during Katrina and videoed the progress of the storm. They ended up in a small cramped attic and had chopped a n exit hole to get to the roof when the water was a the ceiling level. However, the water stopped rising about 2 inches before it would have came up into the attic. It was quite surreal to see all the furniture floating around the house and to hear the lady-calmly saying “everything’s gone” (actually while she was calm you could certainly hear the pain and sadness in her heart) but it was obvious that in the face of wondering if they would escape with their lives the priority of ”things” was not as high as most of us think it is. The closing line was “Thank God we are OK and the house is still standing” The other impression – since they were inside and couldn’t get outside – was a sort of calmness – the force of the storm really wasn’t apparent until they drove around and videoed the aftermath.

Well I got to go
God bless
Charlie & Linda

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