Monday, October 27, 2008

Pass Christian Day 5

Same as yesterday, woke up to a beautiful day. I let the group sleep in till 7:30 (usually we were up by 6:00) and they were quite happy. Most of the other volunteers have left and in fact, we had to fend for ourselves for breakfast. Luckily I know how to make a mean milk and cereal so took care of myself and the rest of the group followed suit.

We loaded up the van with some extra tools we would need (nail gun, compressors, drill bits and such) and arrived at Cheri’s around 8:30. Larry was there to greet us and after just a short little chat, we went right to work. We were joined today by Tom and Ben since they finished up their siding job yesterday. Good to have them back.

We jumped right in doing the finishing touches on the floor system. Drilling holes and installing 2 -10 inch bolts for the Header joists on the 6 posts, installing solid blocking, trimming some oversized pieces, and establishing our line for the floor sheathing.

While all the above was going on, Larry and I had a chat about what we thought we could accomplish by Tuesday afternoon. I told him I was sure we could complete the entire exterior and interior wall framing by Monday, and then have all the exterior sheathing in place by Tuesday. With that he and another student went to get us the framing lumber.

An interesting side note. Larry needs a little extra help due to his breathing problem, so he always asks for a student to ride along with him to help. Each time I get a different student to ride with him and each one gets to experience his wisdom and wit. Each student returns back to the job site with a greater appreciation of Larry from all the wisdom, story telling and jokes he tells when they ride with him. If you haven’t heard me say it before, Larry is an amazing man. He and I have become best of friends and see eye to eye on many things. If you ever get a chance to meet him, you would grow to love and appreciate him as much as I do.

Back to work…we finished off the entire flooring system by 11:45, just as Larry and Tom arrived with our framing lumber. During lunch Larry and I discussed the floor plan which Cheri drew up on a simple computer program with no dimensions. After we agreed on what dimensions she needed, I had the students gear up for wall framing. This time I set the goal to have all the new exterior walls up and have the old interior walls demoed and have some new walls at least snapped out on the old floor.

Well true to the Green River tradition we started this year, we met the goal and in fact were done 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Again it was awesome to see the teamwork take place and the quality of the work they put into Cheri’s home. At the end of the day, the place hardly looked the same, especially the 2nd floor.

Once again we headed down to Shaggy’s for some well deserved refreshments, then back to camp for a shower. Since no one cooks on Saturday, we headed to Long Beach and had dinner at the Cajun Crawfish Hut. The place came highly recommended by Larry. Well we weren’t disappointed. After fried pickles and fried alligator for appetizers, each of us had a great seafood meal. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to have fresh crawfish because they’re not in season, but the meal still was great. Got back to camp around 8 p.m. and the camp is pretty much vacant. Students were playing ping pong, making cell phone calls, chatting, and just hanging around. I think they are pretty beat after giving their all the past two days.

Tomorrow they get to sleep in till 8:30 and then we’ll head to New Orleans around 9:30. We’ll spend the day there and return late Sunday afternoon. It’s a well deserved day off and we’ll be back to work on Monday.

Hard to believe how much we have accomplished at Cheri’s house in such a short amount of time. I’ll be anxious to see what she has to say when we return Monday. I think the students along with Verne have done a great job that far exceeded what either Greg or Cheri expected us to accomplish in just 4 days. Green River Community College should be proud of what has transpired here. I know that I am.


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