Americorps/HFH monthly notes for May 2001

The fifth installment of archived notes from my previous year of service with Americorps/Habitat for Humanity.

Accomplishments and Challenges:

Finally, cold weather is fading – I lived! The biggest thing this month was the memorial dedication of the Lancaster house – the person for whom the house has been built in memory to is dying of cancer, and so we had an early dedication so that he could see it. THere’s a very nice dedicatory cornerstone set into the front porch in his honor.

Reflections:

Well, for starters, you can see how short my notes are getting the closer we get to exiting our year of service. 😀 Although in all actuality, it was probably more a case of being too busy to write more than anything else. Since the weather was behaving itself and we had a rush to get the house as much in order as possible for the early dedication, we were no doubt running around like a whole flock of headless chickens.

I remember the dedication of this house. It had been built in honor of one of our Geezers (a huge group of retirees who came out every Thurs and often Saturdays to work on the builds – and they chose the name, not us) who had been with the group for some time. The Geezers did (and, as far as I know, are still doing) a lot of work for our affiliate. They decend like graying locusts on a job site and your best bet as an Americorps crewmember was just to get out of their way and let them go at it, because they didn’t like us younger, less-experienced “whippersnappers” slowing them down and getting in their way. 😀

It was a sad day when we dedicated that house. The whole build, we had been very deeply aware of the significance behind it’s purpose – to memorialize the life of someone who had given so much to our cause. The fact that we had to hold the dedication early just made it that much more poingnant – the dichotomy that the ending of one life was being memorialized in the beginning of another, that of our homeowners and their new life of real ownership and permanance, rather than transition and impermanence. Sad, inspiring, fulfilling, cry-making…all rolled into one. It was an emotionally exhausting build, but worth every second.

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