Rebuilding Our Communities – Nov. 13

Nola 15

Friday, November 13, 2015

Man playing pianoThe last few days have been very busy from early morning until late at night. Two nights ago we were invited to the home of Dave, the person from Neighborhood Services who has helped to find projects for us. We have worked with him since the past two years and he has a direct ear to the needs of the people most in need.

Dave’s home is both beautiful and welcoming. We sat out in his garden under the stars and enjoyed a delicious New Orleans dinner. There were red beans and rice, gumbo, salad, Abita beer, and wine. The conversation flowed and music rang out as his neighbor, a well-known musician played piano.


Yesterday, was one of the days that seem magical in retrospect, but is incredibly difficult to live through. It is the point in time when we reach the tipping point; however, at the time it feels like the “Oh no, we will never get it all done” point. To sum up: the handicap ramp was completed, floors in two bedrooms were painted (floors must be “sealed” or covered in order for people to occupy the home), tile partially laid in the bathroom and kitchen.

As we made progress it was hard to believe that we could accomplish all that Terry Combs set out for us and that we hoped to get done for our homeowner. We left the home sure that we would never be able to complete everything before the end of day on Friday.

Today was jam-packed. We arrived at the home at 8:15 and began putting second coats of paint on the floors and finishing the tile in the kitchen and bathroom. The tiling was down to the picky part of the work – the areas that needed special cuts instead of whole tiles.

This was also our last day of work. As always on this day, a large part of the day is spent on cleaning up the work-site. Tools need to be separated into what stays at the home, goes back to where we are staying or is returning to Massachusetts with Roger and Sally Demler in their car. This sounds so simple, but takes many hours to accomplish. We also needed to mow the grass and clean up all the mess that a week of construction work creates.

By early afternoon, we had picked up a new stove, installed light fixtures (thank you Sparky – aka Dave Hatton), and begun grouting our tiles. We began to believe that we would have everything ready for the homeowner to move in. It was a long work day, but by 5 Pam Teibel was putting the second coat of paint on the floor in the main living space, all the tools were loaded into the vans, the second dumpster was filled, extra paint and tiles organized and ready for the homeowner, and we were exhausted but grateful to be done.

Dave from Neighborhood services arrived to witness the final coat of paint as well as our circle of gratitude. Rev Heather Concannon read a traditional blessing of a home. Our wish for Thelma: “May nothing evil cross this door, and may ill fortune never pry about these windows, may the roar and rain go by.”

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