Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thornton's Update

Well, today's almost the day that the Thornton's move into their new house. I passed Luc on Division St. and it was as if we knew that we needed to talk to one another. I pulled over to call him, then my phone rang ... he was calling me. "I'll be right back to the house." "OK." How'd he know that's where I was headed? I guess I make the rounds enough to be fairly predicatable.

It was surreal when I arrived. Normally, I unabashedly enter the house to check on folks. Today the door was closed; I felt something different about this closed door. I expected to see Amanda sitting behind it, doing touch-up painting. But no, there was something different. As I reached for the knob, I felt that I was entering the Thornton's home, not our work site. It felt wierd to just walk in.

After all this time, the Thornton's are finally ready to move into the house. We gutted the house to the studs, scraped off the mold, painted the studs with Kilz, then worked on the framing of the house. When all the subcontractors completed their work and the house passed its rough-in inspection, we hung drywall, painted, and trimmed it all up. What a transformation. It's the first house we've taken from start to finish.

Despite the low-key perusal of the house, I don't have descriptive adjectives that can accurately capture the feeling that accompanies the knowledge that Hands On Gulf Coast, AmeriCorps, and NCCC volunteers took a resident from a FEMA trailer into their home. Yeah, there's a back door that needs hanging, and maybe the ice make doesn't work, and the dryer trips the break, but the house is liveable. Lights, refrigeration, and air conditioning! What more do you need? Oh yeah, cable TV.

Luc must feel pretty awesome about the work he's done. The Thornton's still need furniture, bedding, and other household items, but the house work is pretty much done. Wow! Congrats to Luc and the steadfast Amanda for finishing the work started by Brian, the Blue 6 warriors, the Bay St. Louis crew, and all the other volunteers who passed through the walls of the Thorntons. It's the first of many!

:: Chris ::

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