Well, that’s it. I’m tapped out. My bag of literary tricks is officially empty. Inspired by the undeniable excellence of the work done by volunteers and Project Homecoming staff on Flossmoor Drive, the last three months have seen me exhaust my rather sizable repertoire of scholarly creativity. I’ve referenced both Whitney Houston and Quasimodo, dabbled in both standard poetry and iambic pentameter, and even penned a triple haiku that still has ancient Japanese poets rolling over in their graves.
But now I have officially been rendered bare of ideas by the work done by a group of volunteers from Charlotte. They came down to a half tiled downstairs and sunroom totally bereft of any exterior trim or siding. What they left behind was a totally tiled and grouted home featuring a nearly completed sunroom. However, their crowning achievement was neither aesthetic nor ceramic. They lay claim to a much more unlikely feat never before seen by man or beast. This squad of courageous Carolinians has achieved the improbable, the implausible, nay, the impossible: They made me speechless.
Hey Hey Blogger land! Ooooh how I miss y’all I wanna catch you guys up on how my MAZANT PROJECT is going. Well we’re finally at the flooring stage, since sooo many of you know I love tiling floors.
This week I had the help from some special people I’m going to hold forever and dear to my heart. My team was from Florida and those guys came ready to rock the N.O. FROM DAY ONE! They were eager to hear my stories, tell some stories of there own, and, believe it are not, about the time we were done laughing and crying at the stories, 3 rooms were completely tiled….I CALL THIS AMAZING!
MS. SONYA, the home owner, came over and was surprised at the accomplishments made to her home since she last saw it. Sooo now again we all in tears…shouting out Florida cause they were more then volunteers, they were my FAMILY. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m getting all teary eyed again, so now I must go. I’M FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR PROJECT HOMECOMING GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO MEET MY FAMILY FROM ALL ACROSS THE WORLD.
Signing off til we blog again, sincerely NEW ORLEANS ORIGINAL ISABELL…BYEEEEE
A lot of bad things have happened in New Orleans. There were dozens of major problems in our city even before we got hit with the costliest disaster to ever hit the United States. Families lost loved ones to violence, children grew up without adequate education, people lost trust in their leaders due to decades of corruption. And then we lost our houses – and more loved ones – and our ability to carry on enjoying life in each others company. But, for the majority of us, we never lost hope.
I learned how to cope from the experts. To go through what families who have lived here far longer my 9 years have had to deal with and still have an exuberance for life normally reserved for the infinitely wealthy or excessively caffeinated has continued to inspire me. When I suffered the comparatively minor loss of all of my world possessions in the floods of Katrina, I found no room for self pity in the simplest of notions: there are so many more people who have lost so much more than I have and therefore my job is to get over it and get to helping out. This notion continued to grow as I met more and more families whose lives were devastated but who kept smiles on their faces and future in the thoughts. It takes a pretty special town for the majority of the people who live here to get totally wrecked by a storm after years of tough living as it was and to have the perseverance to climb the mountain of small insurance payouts and numerous incidents of contractor fraud and government red tape all to come back home.
A lot of bad things have happened in the world (including New Orleans) recently. Each of you I’m sure has a personal connection to one of these terrible headlines from the past month or so and I won’t try to provide context since it all means different things to different folks. You may have read about some of the recent tragedies in New Orleans and felt concerned about the city you have grown to love through your numerous trips here to help a family in need. It is important to understand that while upsetting, New Orleanians have black belts in coping. And I don’t mean dusting it under the rug only for it to come out in therapy a decade later…I mean talking it through with their people and finding a way to move on and overcome it.
People in New Orleans are lucky in that we all call home this place that is full of other joyful and emotionally strong folks who have learned to cope by facing tragedy and heartache over the years with the strongest faith that as long as they live right it’ll be alright. My hope for today is that while you read about continued violence around the world and in New Orleans that you’ll too have the strength of those who I am proud to call neighbors. If you need a refresher course on how it works, I welcome you to email email@example.com and book a 5 day seminar in hope :)
All my life I have always been pretty terrified of heights. Roofs, cliffs, planes, ladders, you name it, if it is high it probably makes me a little uneasy. That being said I find it really humorous when someone tells me that I am too comfortable with heights, which is often the case.
For those who have seen pictures of or passed by Mrs. Pat’s house on Terpsichore it is a tall house with a steep roof (for Project Homecoming anyway). So as the project has been going on I have gradually had spend more time at higher and higher heights, culminating this week in the time I have (and will) spend on the roof. For me, finding the ability to at least partially conquer my fear comes in the form of small baby steps.
First, there was the mad sprint I made to the apex of the roof where I held on for a minute then immediately retreated back to the safety of the scaffolding. Second, was the slightly more controlled assent followed by a quick easy task that I could do while sitting on the apex of the roof. Third, was the moment when I really needed to set up the pump jacks and therefore was forced to venture down to the edge of the roof to do an involved task.
Each time that I pushed myself further and further I became more and more confident, not less scared though. To me, so much about my job (and I hope yours) is wrapped up in my roof experience this week. I could let someone else do the work I am scared to do, or I could take the challenge. I realize that I like taking the challenge. I do not think I will ever overcome my fear of heights, but at least I can take solace in continually pushing myself to explore my fear.
Oh, and the view of New Orleans from the top of Mrs. Pat’s house is hard to beat.
My post today is dedicated to all of the wonderful mothers that have given us this great gift of life and (among many, many other things) have taught us the meaning of profound love, joy and strength. My mother is the greatest role model in my life and is my hero, no, she is a superhero. Even as a small child I recognized that my Mom is the strongest person I would ever meet, she is the source of the unity and love that is alive in our family. So thank you Mom, and thank you to all of the mothers who have participated in some way in Project Homecoming.
I also want to give a special shout out to the mothers of Project Homecoming: Izzy, Christina, Karin, and Noelle, you ladies are an inspiration and I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day!
Project Homecoming’s Christmas Party with our moms hanging out at the front row! Izzy and her baby Rodney, Christina, Noelle with some hot sauce, and Karin is the one with the sweet beard (I couldn’t find another more recent picture so here you go).
Project Homecoming Update: We are happy to be working with groups from Bluffton University, Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian, Marquette University, and our TCNJ’ers!
Have a great week bloggerland!