almost done

Interesting day on the job today. My crew went back to the same house again to try to finish up. We finished all the dry walling, but there is still a bit of mudding left to do. We may go back tomorrow, or we may just drop off a couple people there and then the rest of us will go do something else.

It rained pretty good most of the morning today, so all the outdoor painting jobs were cancelled. I haven’t spoken much with folks from the other crews yet about their day, but I believe some of them stayed at St. Raymond School (where we meet up each morning) and did some work that was needed around there.

My back wasn’t feeling too well today. Actually, it started aching last night after dinner, and it bothered me most of the day today. I still got some work done, but I just didn’t have the energy I had the past couple of days. I’m okay now, I hope it’ll feel a bit better tomorrow. While David Brooks was hammering some dry wall above his head, something fell into his eye. Denis took him to McDonald’s so he could get some warm running water and try to clean it out. David said he doesn’t think he got it out, though later he said it felt a bit better. He got some eye drops at Walgreen’s so hopefully that helps.

On the way back to camp tonight, there was a Chevy Cavalier on the highway (I-10 westbound, just east of Franklin Ave) pulling a small U-Haul trailer, and it was having some trouble with its front right tire. It wasn’t flat, but it was wobbling pretty bad. Denis was driving, so he followed behind the car as it pulled off to the side of the road. I got out and went up to talk to the driver. It was a woman from Florida who didn’t know what city she was in. She said she didn’t know anyone in town, didn’t have AAA and didn’t have a cell phone (though there was a cell phone charger on the dashboard). So I told her I’d get her some help. The highway was pretty busy and noisy, so I went back into our car to make some calls. I called AAA, and after a bit of a run around about what I needed, they finally gave me the phone numbers of a few local tow trucks. So I called one, gave them all the info, and they said they’d send a truck. We had to leave then,  so I hope things worked out.

From there, we went down to the French Quarter to stop at the gift shop at the Cathedral of St. Louis. Greg mentioned it earlier in the day, and we figured we’d try to make the stop before dinner. Unfortunately, they were closed. So we headed back here to camp.

We’re having pizza at Rocket’s house across the street tonight. Rocket is just a neighbor across the street that lets us drink beer on his property. We’re not allowed to drink beer here at the school, and we had a lot of fun at his place last year. So it’ll be great to see him again. Since tonight’s our last night in town, we’re going to have pizza and beer over there. Should be fun.

It’s been officially decided that we’re only working until noon tomorrow. Then we’ll head back here to the school, get cleaned up and showered, pack up and hit the road by about 2:00 or 3:00. Of course I’ll go along with everyone else, but I don’t like it. I was a bit disappointed when we found out several weeks ago that Catholic Charities wasn’t working this past Monday because it’s King Day. So we had to change our plans, travel down here a day later, watch the NFC Championship game on the way at a bar in Bloomington, IL, and then only work 4 days (Tue thru Fri) once we get here. Now we’ve decided to cut a half day off what’s left of our week. It’s tough to schedule work for all of us volunteers, but cutting a half day off makes it even tougher, and increases the possibility that some of us won’t work at all on Friday. Quite frankly, had I known a couple of months ago that I was going to travel 1,200 miles only to work for 3½ days, I probably wouldn’t have come. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m here, I’m so glad to be able to work on Diane’s house and make a difference, and I’m glad to represent Our Lady of Lourdes with this great bunch of folks. And I’m ever so grateful to Deacon Mike and everyone else that I’m spending this week of my life with. I just don’t agree.

One last thing for today. Last evening, I went to the coffee shop where we get wireless internet access. Denis VandenHeuvel, Tim Groholski, Ed Skoldberg and Paul Albers came along. Paul tried hard to get someone to e-mail photos of his grandson to me, but it just didn’t work out. I was a bit disappointed for Paul. Maybe someone was able to e-mail them today. Or maybe he’ll just have to wait until we get home Saturday, we’ll see.

This may be my last blog posting until I get home. I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to get to a wireless hotspot on Friday. Stay tuned…