Saturday, February 6, 2016

Our First Home

About two million people worldwide work with Habitat for Humanity every year and now that number includes Tim and I.  

This past week we've been employed by the 6th largest construction firm in the United States. I was surprised to learn that fact about Habitat for Humanity, but I suppose I should not have been.  Habitat is at work in over 1,400 communities in the United States and in more than 70 countries around the world, from Argentina to Zambia.

Our team of 14 volunteers includes seasoned HFH veterans who've been volunteering for more than 15 years, three widowed ladies who travel solo to builds around the country, an accountant, 2 nurses, a factory owner, 3 teachers, a contractor whose wife is almost as skilled as he is, and then there's us. Tim finished our unfinished basement back in the early 1990s, but all I knew how to do is to wield a paintbrush. 

Yet during this week, I've puttied nail holes, cut lengths of siding with a chop saw, caulked windows, laid tile and, most importantly, learned how to properly hammer a nail. 

My instructors were Ann and Sue, two inspiring ladies who are of an indeterminate age.  Who knew that hammering is done with the wrist and not the shoulder?  And that the easiest way to drill a nail in is to stand with your back to the wall and let gravity help your swing.  The lesson was much appreciated when I put my new skill to work nailing up siding on one of the houses. 

Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. with devotions and prayer. Once the Amens have been said, everyone holds their clasped hands out at chest height and says, "Habitat is not a hand out; (raised hands above head) it's a hand up."

We are building not one but 5 houses in Grace Meadows, a subdivision that Habitat began a few years ago on the outskirts of Fellsmere, FL. 

Today the prospective families labored along with us. Keira and her grandmother Joy, who adopted her, helped Tim and I lay tile throughout their house. Both are anticipating the completion and dedication of their new home later in February.  

I'm sorry I have so few photos to share here. There was no pocket for my cell phone in my tool belt. Maybe next week I'll have more to post. Meanwhile, I'm using my day off tomorrow to recuperate.  Then next week it's back to building hope--that is, homes--for hardworking, low-income families. 


  1. This is so awesome you two are truly exemplifying servant leadership in helping build these homes what a great mission! Take care, be careful! Love you both😍

  2. Did two HFH builds in Colorado. I learned alot, mostly outside work. Deck stairs,sealing the outside of the foundation. Fun stuff. Good luck.

  3. That was the first day all week I worked inside when laying tile. Otherwise, I was outside on the roof laying plywood, raising trusses on another house, building a shed for the house and using all their wonderful power tools. Although after the first couple days, my muscles reminded me that I'm no longer a White Collar employee! But when we raised the trusses on ladders, and the guy next to me on the ladder was 85 years old, I felt honored to work along side him ...

    1. No injuries yet, Yas! I hope it stays that way. From the Weater Channel, it appears that you are freezing in Virginia. Wish you were here!