It happened at a time in my life when I was searching for a positive and rewarding hobby to fill a creative void. Ask and you shall receive. The idea was placed on my table. It was introduced to me at church: Building a home for someone in need. I had some carpentry skill but that did not include building a house and I wanted to learn as much as I could. I signed up and fought the apprehension until I was on the work site armed with a hammer.
The other early bird was Kevin Eggers who volunteered to share his people skills, caring heart and his experience in the carpentry and building trade. He was the team leader and an excellent one at that. In a very short time we were joined in company by volunteers. This was the Fourth of July and here I was watching a construction safety video. Once the safety was addressed Kevin began teaching and leading.
Boards were laid in order to Kevin’s pencil markings, the nailing began and the frame was squared and sheeting nailed. The team lined shoulder to shoulder to put it in its designated upright position, trusses where lifted on top of the walls by volunteers and the new home owner joined in on this labor of love. The roof was ready for papering after one day.
I went home and took two Advil and then cut out a “Home Sweet Home” sign on my scroll saw. I went back to the work site and was met by the new owner and friends who were cleaning up the job site. My sign split when pounding it in the ground but it didn’t matter because the owner shared her excitement and pride that she felt when visiting the work site each day and her surprise to see the large amount of work that had been done from her last visit. Hands-on experience is a wonderful learning tool. Habitat for Humanity always keeps the night light burning and the welcome mat in front of the door-to-be. I would like to give a bouquet of roses to the volunteers that provided a picnic smorgasbord for the noon meal; barbecues and blueberry pie. Wow!
Habitat for Humanity board members are usually on site to share safety issues and experience, but what was really noticeable was their enthusiasm and excitement over building progress that was contagious from one volunteer to another. The gift shared by all was a memorable pride of accomplishment.
Food for thought.
Craig Strid, Rhinelander