The View in West VirginiaWe awoke to a freshly washed Beards Fork. The rain from last night cleared away and broke to a beautiful July morning. Breakfast was prepared by all and sleepy heads rubbed the dew from their eyes over hot coffee, tea, and the kind conversation of new friends. Artie arrived and formally began our work day. Heidi shared a beautiful poem, “The Way You Say It, ”and the boys read their journal from the day before.
Heidi, Nancy, Gary, Jen, and Grady headed off to the site to hopefully begin the roofing project on the house rehab in Powelton. Skylar, Travis, Cooper, Meghan, Alex, and Cathy read to the summer school children. The students, on the whole, are very good readers and enjoy having new friends read with them. Mariann, Polly, Jim, Rhonda, Rosie, Carol, Kris, and Wendy worked on the dorm project. Cabinets were hung with Craig’s help and Ralph’s expertise in the kitchen. Paint was brought in with the anticipation that wall paint will be rolled soon. Skimming of the bathroom walls progressed and painting should start before we finish our week here. The walls in the hallway had all of the imperfections filled to make them also ready for a finishing coat of paint. The kick plates were installed and things are moving right along. Skylar said it’s a very good day if his shoulder blades are burning at the end of the day. Today is a very good day!
The afternoon project in the school building was the preparation of the new food pantry. Rosie and Rhonda tackled the space known as the “secret room” to clean out, uncover, and otherwise get to the bare bones in preparation for construction of the new shelves and then the enormous moving project of the canned goods. Two groups worked on sorting the donated food. It was a huge, overwhelming job. Some categorizing was achieved, but the 10, 000 cans are quite a huge mountain. We will conquer this mountain this week. A Hearts game made the late afternoon pleasant along with snacks and cold beverages!

Jen and Nancy arrived back with the evidence of hard work spent on the roof on their clothes and bodies. With half the roof now completed tomorrow’s project will be the other half. Gary said the kitchen is now six inches taller because it is now straight. Good deal. Bob and his family will undoubtedly enjoy the fruits of our labor for years to come. Heidi worked on the sofits and siding, too. Our team loves the mantra that Craig repeats throughout the day with his kind smile and contagious laughter: “Team work makes the dream work.” Our bodies are a bit sore but our spirits are shining brightly. Good work, good friends, great food. . . what’s not to like?

Another feast was prepared by Artie and enjoyed by all. Dishes were washed by Gary, Mariann, and Nancy, and Carol vacuumed our common space in preparation of more group time. We ended our day with memories of Ralph, T. J, Chris, Craig, Debbie, Vicki, and so many more. Our hearts are grateful for new friends and such kind hosts. Sleep will come easily after a nice day. . . hopefully, quiet will, too.

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