Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Carpenters Needed In Connecticut

Mike, Nate, Vic, Susan, Eddie, Cindy, Tim, Marguerite and Roger

The title of this post reads like a job listing.  In a way, I guess one could say that Tim and I were successful job applicants for carpentry positions during our latest Habitat for Humanity build in Salisbury, CT.

There we worked on a three-story home that will one day house a seven-member family.  

Mike, Marguerite and Tim

Our tasks were to frame walls in the basement, 

secure cleats on the tresses upstairs, 

Susan and Mike
nail up siding, 

Vic, Mike, Cindy, Tim and local volunteer Eddie

and build a deck off the back of the house that overlooks the prettiest Habitat vista we've seen.

Salisbury homes, churches and city hall

In fact, all of Salisbury is beautiful, nestled as it is in the Berkshires region of northwestern Connecticut.  This is a community that's been invaded by wealthy New Yorkers who want to own a piece of the picturesque so they've snapped up real estate and renovated existing Colonial homes.  The result is a town that's deprived of young families.  Its schools are starved for children, the local fire department needs volunteer firemen and there's little police protection to guard these second homes.  Young families have been all but priced out of the community.

In this setting, Habitat seeks to make a difference, however slight that might be.  The small Habitat affiliate here has only one house in progress.  

Marguerite and Bob

The executive director, Bob, is a part-time volunteer as is John, the site manager.  

Local volunteer Nate, Bob, Susan and Mike

Working Monday through Friday at his own job as a general contractor, John can only volunteer his services on Saturdays.  That's why this house has assumed shape slowly over the course of two years.   For the past week, John took a break from his real job to oversee us Care-A-Vanners.

Clockwise from upper left: Susan, Mike, Vic, Tim, Marguerite and Mike

Our team of seven could have worked several more days, but the owners at Lone Oak Campground had already donated our campsites for our week's stay.  Campgrounds in New England have a very short operating season; they open mid-May and close in September.  We hated to take spots up that could be bought by paying customers.

Farewell Dinner

But hopefully we'll return next year and maybe by then this house will be finished and another begun.


  1. You guys are becoming very skilled construction workers, if not already. Maybe you'll build your own cabin in the Colorado mountains someday. You sure are good at this HH care-a-vanners mission. Keep well and safe. Happy upcoming Memorial Day. Take the day off and have a cold one!

  2. I'm not sure about the "skilled" part, but we are honing our construction skills along the way. The Colorado mountains sound good, especially as we get into the summer months. We will be traveling thru the Rockies this summer after harvest as we travel the Oregon Trail and do another HH Build in Oregon. Enjoy your Memorial Day aw well, as we remember our Brothers & Sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice.