The Post Formerly Titled, “A Crappy Day.”

July 22nd, 2006


It’s almost hard to even understand the level of crazy which I am feebly about to describe, without walking the mile in the shoes yourself. But I’m gonna try.

Let me start off by saying that posts have been short the last week, and the promised picture gallery not up, because of the level of business we’ve been experiencing. We’d been building up to the Wednesday cookout with increasing intensity. Tuesday during our meeting my boss says, “Tomorrow its you and me. Lets be out the door at 5:30 [in the morning] and bust our you know whats so we can look like we know what we’re doing.” This was cool with me. Last minute would not be a good way to start off everything for the cookout, it being our first time and all.

We get up at 5 as planned, and are out the door by 5:30. We hot foot it over to the church, where we had to load about 60 sheets of 4’x12′ pieces of sheetrock (drywall) for this house we’re helping rebuild. Phil (my boss) teaches me how to drive the huge flatbed truck we’re using to haul everything. It’s a stick diesel truck. So I can now operate a forklift and drive a semi huge vehicle. Well, to make a long story short we busted our you know whats hauling these sheets into the house one at a time by hand. And let me tell you: respect the drywall worker. He, like the roofer, has a tougher job than most would realize. CURRENT STATUS: Sweaty, dog tired, but exhilirated.

Once we get done with that, we head back to home base where we learn that the toilet and shower trailer has become clogged. After checking out the scene (flushing toilets, turning on faucets etc.) we determine that yes, indeed, it is a clog in the pipes. You can now see where I was going with the previous title of this post…

So we bust out the tools. At the first crank of the plug with the wrench stuff is spraying like its a pressure cooker from hell. Phil was a real trooper though and wouldn’t let a little thing like everyone’s sewage going everywhere stop him from getting the job done. We tried opening plugs, checking pipes (luckily they are all above ground), running snakes, and finally ended on the least favored option: cutting the pipe.

Okay, if stuff was gross before, this was a whole new level of funk. When Phil cut that pvc pipe with the saw zaw, it was like a mega ultra super soaker shooting mississippi mud. Only, we weren’t in mississippi and it wasn’t mud. CURRENT STATUS: More sweaty, dog tired, poopy attitude (sorry).

This unforseen chore had now eaten up our “getting ahead of scedule so we look like we know what we’re doing” time. So now its time for getting everything loaded for the big community cookout. Luckily I have just enough time to run back and shower before heading out.

To make another long story short, we get there and set up to start grilling. The teams were a big help getting things rolling. I was on grill duty again, which was hot fun. Everything just clicked. It felt peaceful and good. Not to mention totally sucsessful! Kids playing in the field, people actually staying and hanging out, laughing. Good food, good burgers, and just a totally awesome time!!!

Thats when it started raining.

Everyone scattered. People huddling under tents, crowded. Some just left. Most thought it was no big deal- that’s the way it is in the big (not so) easy- storms go from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds. Then they’re over. We had a good time huddling in the tents, laughing and waiting for it to pass. Only, it didn’t pass.

Then there was the lightning.

The wind picked up drastically, and the tents started shaking. Thankfully, they were strong and the tethers helped. We watched as the lightning strikes got closer and closer until they were ALL AROUND US. Some just feet away, at the edge of the field. You could feel it on the back of your neck. At this point most everyone that was from the church with us left, except for the teams. The wind is so hard that the rain was coming into the tent anyway. The streets had utterly flooded, and the water line was now creeping into the field. Not to mention we were running out of daylight. Finally, the decision was made. We had to start packing everything up in the rain and lightning. CURRENT STATUS: all kinds of wet.

It was just so crazy- danger, chaos, feverish working… We had to drop grills off at the church a few blocks away using the big diesel truck. Stacy and I hop on the back to make sure the grills don’t slide off. That was surreal. Driving through flooded streets in the middle of a thunderstorm soaked to the bone on a giant metal plate half past dusk. At first we were laughing like crazy at the ridiculousness of it all. We unloaded the grills and headed back to the site. On the way back, we were sitting in the newly formed traffic and I locked eyes with a guy in a van. He wasn’t laughing. And I realized that this was his neighborhood. Or at least, the memories of Katrina were too fresh in his mind. It sobered me. Stacy must’ve picked up on it too, because we both went from giddy to pensive pretty quickly.

Apparently, it was the worst storm this year down here. I think. But again, to make yet another long story short, we make it back home just in time for the rain to stop. We had to leave my car down there because it wouldn’t have made it in the rain (we got it back safely the next day though).

To cap off such a crazy evening, the mercy response staff all head out to O’Henrys for nice meal. What. A. Day. CURRENT STATUS: Thankful.

Entry Filed under: All,Mike_Said

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Randy  |  July 23rd, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    Well…just thinking the other day that we haven’t heard from the “mister” for a couple of weeks. What a post! I didn’t even know they made 6′ x 12′ sheetrock. I thought it was just 4 x 8 and 4 x 12. 4 x 8 is heavy enough! Keep in mind, only a few more weeks and you’ll return to your cozy, private home where there are two bathrooms for the two of you to share. :-) I’m sure it will bring a whole new level of thankfulness. I remember coming home from just a week of being a camp counselor and thanking God for the vinyl flooring in my bathroom, the water pressure in the shower, things like that.

    much love,

  • 2. David Renner  |  July 24th, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    As bad as your day sounded in many parts, the Lord is sovereign. I would have been right there with you and lovin’ it (especially the torrential downpour) with the exception of the mess from pipe fixing. That reminded me why I vowed a long time ago – I will (attempt) to fix or build anything so long as it does not involve plumbing or the skills of a professional electrician. Keep up the good work, man o’ Scotland!

    In Christ,


  • 3. Mike  |  July 25th, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks guys!

    Randy, you are not crazy. It was 4′ x 12′ sheetrock, not 6. That was a typo and has been corrected.

    Sorry I didn’t get to respond to your email by the way- I LOVE THE SHIRT! THANKS!!!!!!!!!
    : )

    I feel the love. Take care!

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