Hi ya, little doves,
At 5:30 am yesterday, my alarm clock was the enemy.
You know that moment when you’re scared out of sleep by the alarm and then mad? Yeah, that’s where I was.
You’re cruel, clock. I slammed down the snooze button.
Then I remembered that there were people counting on me to be up and ready early that Saturday. I got out of bed and hurried out the door soon after.
At my new job, there are lots of sweet-soul folks who sometimes get together and do nice things as a group.
Despite the chilly weather and anticipated heavy rain showers, we were among hundreds of volunteers layered in t-shirts, sweatshirts and mittens. We were gathered to fix stuff and do yard work at the homes of the old people and less fortunate residents in the town near our office.
My group was assigned to the home of our new friend, Elaine, an 80-ish lady with grey hair and a wide smile.
A roofing company and a landscaping company had already done lot of work on the home the day before so that made the project move quickly.
Some people in our group cleared shingles from the roof. (By the way, it is very hard to watch people work on a roof. With every step, you just want to shout, “Whoa! Watch it! Not so fast!”) The rest of us cleared the shingles that had been taken off of the roof, did minor yard work and swept the sidewalks.
I was sweeping the driveway as Elaine watched the dozen or so volunteers keeping their balance atop her home’s roof.
She shook her head and stepped in front of me so that I’d know to stop sweeping. “This new roof means more to me than you might think,” she said. “You see, two years ago, doctors found tumors near the spinal cord of my 54-year-old son.”
Elaine explained that since her son was no longer able to work, he lost his home, his car and his savings. She welcomed him back home. The cancer appears to be gone but her son is still unable to work. They don’t have enough money. When Elaine learned that she needed a new roof and couldn’t afford the $6,000 to make it happen, it added a lot of stress.
“When they told me I was picked to get a new roof and that you all were going to come here, I cried for 20 minutes,” she said.
Her story, her sincere gratitude in that simple sentence, her grand old lady smile. Gosh, it was nice.
It was a Saturday very well spent, chickadees.
Helping other people and volunteering when/if you can is something grownups should do a lot more often. It sure beats sleeping in.
I hope this week brings you unexpected, memorable happy things.