Our trip is over and most are home. My trip home was fast and furious. I wanted to be home to first see my family and second to have closure on what we had just participated in. Sunday both services had picture presentations and services leaning towards are past weeks of service. We had our own agendas and reasons for being there. We all heard and took back different things even when we were standing in the same spot. We heard the same stories as well as different stories. We all shared with the people of the region in different ways.
I need to thank the following people for hooking us up prior to going to much further. Dan cougar from cougar paws had sent some tools and boots to keep me safe while roofing. I had roofing boots that make it so you can work safely and walk even steep roofs such as 12/12 pitch. His products are required footwear for state farm adjusters and worked great. His nail gun pads kept my tools from sliding off the roof and maiming my fellow workers. Prior to the trip I had been roofing the pump house at stonypoint with the Dornbushes when I first fell off and then later my tools kept sliding off. at one point no one would work anywhere near me. Any way thanks Dan. o see his gear go to cougarpaws.com and he can hook you up if you are a roofer. Then I would like to say thanks to Vaughn Hammers. They had sent a slew of hammers for me to take with us. I left many of them there in Biloxi for other crews to use in the future. My wife deserves thanks as she has taken care of Natey and Bing who were able to divide and conquer as they like to do once they pick you out of the herd and gang up on you.
I also would like to share one experience that I did share while in Biloxi.
One year after playing in the Coed sebastopol league some of the women on my team came and asked me to coach in the womens christian League. I can play just fine and I coach just fine. Their concern was if I could handle the religous aspect as well as the no swearing or drinking policies of the league. I knew I could handle the rules but I had intrepidation about the prayer time before and after the games. I have played sports most of my 42 years and had never prayed or brought religion into the game. In little league you have a pledge you say as a group prior to the game but that is all. The woman were concerned about my loud personality and drive to win. It turns out that the part that I feared and was most apprehensive about was my favorite part. It was that at the end of the game, close or not, good or bad that holding hands in a circle in the middle of the field alternating players that you left all on the field at that exact moment. No matter what thecalls were, no matter how well or how bad you played, whether you won or lost it was left there on the field.
For this trip we all had our own concerns and worries. Mine was all of the religious events surrounding the trip. It is after all a Methodist Church group going. I was not sure how religion fit around construction. My father had taught me to fear and respect religion. I am on my best behavior when I do go to church which is not often. We often joke that I am in the C & E club (Christmas and Easter). Any other occasions are just a bonus for my wife. I do not let my concerns regarding church affect my children and Nate and Chandler as well as my wife go most Sundays. My concern was how to be on my best behavior for three weeks and not embarrass my family. I have been raised on construction sites and have never seen a group of Bubba’s and Billy Joe Bobs use religion on jobsites. I was not sure that the two belonged together. I was as surprised as the next guy that again it was one of my favorite parts. I enjoyed starting the day with a large group with common goals and common interest in helping others.
This trip showed the best in all who went. We all learned construction and people skills. We made friendships that did not exist and increased the ones we already had. We gave to the community and received the satisfaction of helping others.
I have to reiterate the message from Mayor Holloway. Do not forget the region and remind others that help is still needed. It is a unique area in the United States and it is unfortunate they will lose so much of their architectural identity.
My last story for this trip happened in Texas between San Antonio and El Paso. I was behind an SUV who was behind a big rig. The big rig kept refusing to pull into the slow lane on our 2 lanes. It was miles before the SUV could pull around the truck . As he did finally go by he flipped off the big rig driver instantly creating road rage in the trucker. The big rig proceeded to chase the suv down the highway reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour. I was on the phone with 911 describing what was going on. The operator asked for more info like the make and license number of the big rig. I was there following the truck getting the info. Other cars must have called in to report the suv being chased by the big rig being chased by my truck. When we went through El Paso I ended up with a state trooper following me. It is then that I realized the 911 operator never asked what vehicle I was in. I was given an escort by the trooper 150 miles or so all the way to the border. Better than a ticket but slow going.
It was great to be home in time to hear Pastor Joe’s comments and see Pastor Greg’s slide show. It was our moment as a group to see the final fruition of our work. It is always easy to feel good working for those less fortunate. I enjoy building with habitat for Humanity for the same reasons.
Then after church it was a great day at trunk or treat with Natey and Bing.
Until next time,