Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If Walls Could Talk

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready for day four to be our last day. The issue being, I left New Orleans with a sinus infection I had been trying to get over for two weeks. Before the trip I was prescribed antibiotics, but they had decided to never kick in during the week. Instead, with all the lifting and dust, I seemed to only worsen my condition. When you're in a city like New Orleans though, and working on fixing houses such as the ones we were, the last thing you would ever want to complain or feel bad about is a sinus infection. An experience such as this one really puts things in perspective. I would say this should be a relief for all who had the pleasure of being around me this week as I can tend to be somewhat of a hypochondriac.

We were left with little manpower for the day as the two teachers were leaving at half day and Mark had to be on location elsewhere. Hey, no bodies, no problem. We came into day four with a plan and motivation. We knew we didn't want to leave with a bunch of empty walls still staring at us. To the drywall stack we went, with Tracy, Margaret and Emilie ready to tackle the kitchen area and Alex and I determined to conquer the laundry room. Thanks to the rigorous workload from the previous days, we were old pros at the drywall routine now and had all become comfortable in our little niches. Margaret was our stellar power drillers, Tracy our master layout strategist, Emilie had become a pro at carving and shaving, Alex was fearless on any ladder, and I, well I excelled at telling people they were doing exactly what they should be doing.

All in all day four came and went without too many glitches. We put up more ceiling where, once again, Mark told us the wrong commands even when we tried multiple to correct him. Thankfully though, as stated earlier, Emilie was a carving and shaving pro with the drywall, and the issue was able to be remedied. Of course we can't take all the credit for our energy and hard work. A lot of that came from the Wendy's Frostees we inhaled daily while on the job site. It became a tradition, well if three days can constitute as a tradition , for us to order a Frostee during every lunch break, which doubled as a bathroom break. It may seem a bit unhealthy, but it was not our fault that the job site was still without plumbing and the closest bathroom was at Wendy's down the street. Once there, who can really resist a Frostee? Even I, who had never had Wendy's until this trip, found it difficult to do so.

After all the Frostees and the wonderful combination of sack lunches and food provided by Della and her Mom, we were able to get the lower level off to a strong start. We left the house with a completed laundry room, half completed kitchen, a totally finished upper level that we fine-tuned, and a lot of memories. We all found it was actually hard to leave the house, not knowing what the final product would look like. It became a sort of child for us; it had the framework, it just needed us to give it some good drilling and support. So at the end of the day it may have just looked like a bunch of drywall, but if you looked at the details you could see a lot of strength and care nailed into those studs.

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