Saturday, January 16, 2010

Watching a wreckingball

I love to use pictures to augment my posts, but none today. So, let me draw a word picture for you. Most of you know that Aleene has been on building projects before...Kentucky, Baltimore, Holland, Nicaragua, to name just a few. But today she was on the tearing down end of a project. But she proved, yet again, that she works equally well either building up or tearing down.

Friends of ours (Brendon's sister, Erinn and her husband Ron) bought an old house just out of town, not too far from their present residence. It is bigger and on a large lot with some outbuildings. But it is old (circa 1910) and in need of lots of TLC.

Yesterday, the call went out via Face Book that Ron would be at the house this morning tearing out old walls. Anyone wishing to help was certainly welcome.

It is one thing to not know about a chance to help friends, but it is something else again to know help is needed and not heed the call. As the saying goes, "The Lord put a burden on our hearts." The weather cooperated as we got up this morning. It had rained all night. We did our usual two mile walk and stopped for morning coffee. We had talked about Erinn's entry on FB last night and we felt that if we could swing it, we should go for at least an hour or two.

We were only assuming that what we needed was a crow bar and a hammer... so off we went each equipped with our own tools... not knowing what we might find when we got there. Sure enough the house was alive with activity in and on the structure. There were brief introductions and re-acquaintances as Ron gave us choices of where to start. "Everything comes off the walls. We're going down to the studs," he said.

What ensued for about ninety minutes in our little room was hammering, busting and gathering. "I work like a turtle; slow and steady," she said later. I protested that she was no turtle while the metaphor might be accurate. While I smack and rip, Aleene pries and removes, rhythmically and consistantly. I tired of the flying debris and dust while my partner did her removal surgically with minimal dust. I began to pick up lath and wood to go to the paper-mill just so I could get outside. Aleene continued to tap and tear. We lasted longer than I thought we might. But in the end we were both tired.

Ron and Erinn have a lot of work ahead of them. I am glad that they are the ones working this project. We are glad our modest rebuild projects are over. But be it the heat of Baltimore, the hard pan soil of Estelle or the dust of Chahalem Road, Newberg, Oregon you will find a willing craftsperson hammer in had, ready to go.

I love you, sweetie. Once more I realize we made the right choice 45 years ago to team up.

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