Monday, February 19, 2007

February 19, 2007

Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all…
Flat Taylor (above) enjoying Mardi Gras.

The sunset with the sailboat (left) looks like snow, don't you think - the white beach

Pastor David Greer & Ken (right) installing the front door of Mrs. Johnson

The time is flying very fast. We finished Mrs. Johnson’s home and moved across the street to Ernest & Callie Young’s home. Both Ernest & Callie hugged us as we came over to tell them we were sent to help them. Callie’s 94 year old mother is staying with them and they are trying to get their home in livable state. Ernest is in his mid-70’s and has been doing everything for himself with no help from anyone. In fact, he told us that we are the first people who have come to help him and he thanks God every day for us. He is on a fixed income and insurance has paid nothing. Everything he has used to try to fix his home has been given to him or he has found it discarded somewhere. Ernest told me that he was sleeping when the water came into his bed. He said he had never been so terrified in his life. His dad’s house is next door and they are still waiting for the insurance to pay for that also. Through all this he has not become disillusioned…he is still hopeful and so full of faith.

He told us that he worked about 48 hours off and on, with little rest and ended up in the hospital with a heart attack. In that frenzy while he was dry-walling their master bedroom, his wife asked him when he got home from the hospital where her daddy’s rifle was. The rifle was from the Civil War and although it had duct tape on it, it meant a lot to her. Ernest said he looked all over for it and one day when she went out for groceries, he opened up a small section of the wall, stuck his hand down and there it was – dry walled between the walls. Although Callie was happy he found the rifle, she was not so happy about the “door” he put in the wall. They laugh about it now.

We have been hanging closet and bathroom doors here also – shimming, cutting to fit (nothing is square). Ernest asked us to help get a cabinet for their bathroom. They had a sink but nothing to put it on. They are very simple and appreciative people. They will take anything. Well, Ken & I went on a shopping trip – hit about 6 stores and ended up at Loew’s in the unfinished kitchen section. We found an unfinished piece of kitchen cabinet that was returned because it was damaged. The only thing that was damaged were the glides for the drawers. It was normally $240 and we got it for $25 as is. We took it over to Ernest and Callie and they were so excited about the bargain. In fact, Callie had tears in her eyes and kept saying how beautiful it was. Ken had to cut the back down to fit and added side panels and it looks gorgeous. He also built a shelf for her towels which she didn’t expect. But, of course, no installation is without its problems. Ken had to do some plumbing to get it to work. We will be going over there next week to put in a window, a kitchen faucet and a front door. The kitchen faucet is hard to describe – it is hard to believe that they use it. There are no handles on it, only the valve stem on the cold water side, Ernest has to turn it off and on with a wrench. The valve stem is broken off on the hot water side. He told his wife until it got fixed he would do the dishes…and he does.

One day when we were coming out of Ernest’s driveway, Mrs. Johnson, who lives across the street (the house we finished up last week) came over and asked Ken if we could put up a storm door for her. Her son was sending her some money and she wanted to have it put up for the summer. We said of course we would. She is sort of like the lady we worked with last year – looking for projects to keep us around.

We were under a tornado warning last week and had to evacuate our RV at 4:00 a.m. We went inside to the church and were under alert until 11:00 a.m. It was a ferocious storm, a lot of lightening and torrential rains.

We went out last week to view the devastation in the surrounding area. It is slow coming back – some have just left and not come back. Those that have received insurance checks, because of businesses closing up, have had to use the money to live on. Many have just started to gut out their houses and do little by little, as they can afford to. Those that have started to rebuild must do so on stilts at least 6’ high.

Although there is snow at home (and I miss the snow, not the cold), I did snap this picture of the sand, which was so pure and white amongst all the devastation – it reminded me of home, without the cold.

Enough for this update – stay tuned for more work details of the Davis family.

julie and ken


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