Habitat heat kicks my Humanity or “Putting the red in redneck”…

~Friday~ I had a bunch of Facebook comments and affirmations yesterday in response to my status update about my participation in Habitat for Humanity today:

John Martin John Martin I’m going to help build a Habitat house tomorrow. They say siding and roofing. Among my tools I’m packing a personal fan. 🙂

Richard Baek Richard BaekNo good southern lady ever leaves the house without a fan and parasol. Didn’t you see Gone With The Wind?

Julie Haugh Julie HaughFree advice — the intersection of “hammer” and “finger” is a bad thing. Also, do not wear cowboy boots on a roof. I did that on one of Harry Connick’s houses in New Orleans. Big mistake.

Jenni Harris Jenni Harriswear a pink hard hat. I built a Habitat house with the Junior League. Amazing!

Andrea J Wenger Andrea J WengerHint: You may also want to take a tool for cutting the siding, since what they have available may have seen better, sharper days. Also, be sure to use a level every time you put up a piece of siding (you can tell from my use of jargon that I’m an expert at this…).

Karen Rae Fraser Karen Rae FraserJohn, that’s kind of you, taking a work day off to help others. I could be your personal fan, but cannot get to your area by tomorrow <grin>. If I could I’d walk around fanning you. Your fan, Karen

John Martin John MartinThanks to all of you for the laughs and for the advice. I have done Habitat once before, where we worked on the deck, so it was mostly placing boards and hammering nails. I’m looking forward to learning something new.

Erin Shields Erin ShieldsJohn, you have so many fans; who will you select to take with you?

Linda Oestreich Linda OestreichYou are awesome, do you know that????

John Martin John MartinYouse guys! Shucks! Thanks so much. You KNOW that now you’re going to end up in http://dailyafirmation.livejournal.com as affirmations. The lengths some people will go to to get in a blog! 🙂 (THANK you!)

Brenda Yearout Gibbs Brenda Yearout GibbsOne sure way to keep from hitting your thumb with a hammer is to have someone else hold the nail.

Karen Rae Fraser Karen Rae FraserBrenda, you ‘made’ me laugh out loud. ha! karen
John Martin John MartinThat’s beautiful, Brender. I did manage to get through the day unscathed! 🙂
Karen Rae Fraser  Karen Rae FraserJohn, you have lots of great funny friends. We have another thunderstorm here. EEK. icky. don’t like this part. this will soon pass. Our cat Kizzy (Kismet) won’t let Hoover (dog) in the room.They are both eying each other. I am thinking they are having some silent conversation. I have to tell you and others, with this sour tooth, I can barely type but feeling great kindness for all. My best friend David (we live in sin) told me he saw the fox at the feeder tonight around sundown. life is great, right. i need to speak to someone who fully understands me. I am here, friendly. karen

My boss’s boss picked me up at 7:15, and we met the rest of the group over at the McKimmon Center to car pool over to the Habitat site, which was out off Poole Road.

It was hot as a mofo out there today, and I immediately passed on the “opportunity” for eight of us to work on the roof. Another group was supposed to be out there this morning, but they didn’t show up, so the rest of our group (we had about 12 folks) went down the street a little to another house and helped on that one.

I started off painting one of the bedroom ceilings with Garrison. He was tall enough to reach the ceiling without a ladder, but I wasn’t. We rolled the hell out of that ceiling, as the (totally hot) Habitat guy, Hugh, told us not to do even lines, but to go back and forth and sideways, as it covers better that way without leaving obvious lines.

After doing about an eighth of the ceiling, I took off my glasses, as 1) they were sliding off my nose from the sweat, and 2) they were getting specks of white paint on them from my frantic rolling.

After finishing about a quarter of the ceiling, I took a break, and my friend and colleague, Jen, volunteered to take over, which I gladly took her up on. For the rest of the day, I painted trim—first a coat of primer and later a coat of trim paint, all white.

We did all of the trim painting outside, and at times it got so excruciatingly hot that we took turns taking a break in the little bit of shade in the painting area, or by going inside the house or on a porch for a few minutes. At one point, we were able to move the painting table into the shade, but it didn’t last long as the sun moved—as it’s proned to do during the day.

We felt incredible empathy for the folks up on the roof. They had to carry a bag that was estimated to weigh in the 60- to 70-pound range up a ladder, and then work on that hot, black roof in the totally exposed sun all day long.

We stopped working at about 3:00, and spent 20 minutes or so cleaning up the site, before all heading wearily home thanking our respective deities that our regular day jobs were in an air-conditioned office, sitting down.

I’m appreciative of the fact that we get three days per year from the State that we can take off to do community service, one of which I used today.

At home, I tweeted this, and then did it: “The heat at Habitat kicked our Humanity. Gonna talk to nappy for a while after a nice cool shower!”

Before hopping in the shower, in the bathroom mirror, I noticed (and felt) a significant sunburn on the back of my neck.

I had planned to go out, but as it got later and later that plan fell by the wayside. I read a little bit more of Anna Karenina.

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