Today was probably one of the longest, but most rewarding days of our Pensacola journey. The alarms went off bright and early at 6:30am and we ate breakfast with the beautiful view of the gulf through the windows. By 7:15, we were out the door and en route to the job site. Like every morning, we make up names and stories for the people we see on the street (today was Bob, who we saw running past the house and as we drove out of Pensacola Beach, we reminisced about Georgina, the adorable lady working the toll booth). By the trip’s halfway point, everyone sat back and closed their eyes and I took in the last minutes of quiet before the hustle and bustle of the job site.
Our main focus today was to raise the roof – literally. The group split up and everyone assumed their roles from the previous day. By 9:30am, all the trusses were raised and a few of our brave souls took charge of securing them all into place. Then it was all hands on deck as we nailed in hurricane straps to attach each truss to the house – approximately 16 nails both through wood and metal. This translates to sore arm muscles, blisters, and cramped hands. Sounds like fun, right?
After a delicious lunch provided by Habitat though a local pizza place, it was to the roof to nail OSB to the trusses. A little frightening at first, but being on the roof became more natural with time. Before we knew it, we were singing new songs about our Habitat experience:
“Sitting on the roof
Lookin’ like a goof
Splinters in my tush
Hope I don’t fall and land in a bush”
By the end of day three, the roof was complete and we couldn’t be prouder…or more exhausted. But it was s good kind of exhaustion.
We were able to make a stop at the Habitat office and warehouse for a quick tour and to purchase t-shirts of every color of the rainbow. We had the opportunity to meet many of the Habitat employees and Josh, one if the volunteer coordinators, who provided us with detailed information about the Habitat application process to the selection of families. It was nice to have had a unique “behind the scenes” experience and it increased our appreciation for this wonderful organization.
Once we arrived back at the beach house, we were women on a mission, as we had 1.5 hours to get 16 women showered and ready for dinner; I am still amazed that we left perfectly on time. Tonight’s dinner was at Joanne’s house. Joanne has been volunteering with Habitat since 1998 and has become a close friend of Kathy and Maryville. She is a fabulous woman with a great sense of humor and more energy than I have been able to muster up all week. Joanne has a beautiful home on the water and we had a blast getting to know her better.
It’s another late night and everyone is in bed. We are tired, but feeling so great about our experience here and all the things that we’ve accomplished. Tomorrow is our last day at the job site and I can hardly believe how quickly the week has passed. It’s bittersweet that it’s coming to an end, but can’t wait to see what another day brings.