Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What ever you do, don't look that goat in the eye

This past weekend, Jennie, David, myself, little David (aka Upper Body Strength man), and Anna all traveled out to the east side to visit all of our friends in Johnson County. The Johnson house is kind of like our house 2.0; very new, very nice...a nice place to visit I'd say. The weekend's highlight was the 18 foot tall teepee we built in their back yard. UBS man, being a Illinois engineer, quickly took the reigns and asked what 18 feet times pi was so as to determine the precise calculations for the tarp we would use to wrap around the huge poles. Once we connected the tarp with duck tape, the Davids shimmied their way up the poles to attach the tarp at the top. Most of us started out sleeping in the teepee at night but only a few of us stayed in there until morning. It was widely agreed that the teepee was a success and most satisfactory.

We recently started working on a job that I have dreamed of working on since I came to CAP. The Rader family is a husband, wife, and 4 kids, all under the age of 9; 3 girls and one boy who is about a year old. Their father has been building their home basically on his own. He is a mason by trade, so the workmanship is all superb. But, he has been working on the house at night and on the weekends, trying to get it ready for inspections and ultimately living, so the progress can only go so fast. It is a touching job to all of us, especially after meeting the little ones. The little boy doesn't walk yet, but he does scoot around on his butt on the floor. The girls all have smiles that strike right to your heart and make you smile yourself, despite how overworked and cold you are. Its a blessing just to be there and to work on their home. I would love more than anything to have the family in the house at Christmas...we all told Ross we'd work night and day to see it done. It's an ambitious goal...but that's just how we like it. When you work on jobs like this, you can almost get glimpses into the future. As you install a window, you can just about see a little girl looking out the window of her new room at a soft snowfall. As you put in a porch, you can see a mother reading to her son on the porch swing, waving goodbye to a child leaving home to make their way in the wide world, or waiting there patiently for their return. You put in a stove and you imagine how many good meals will be cooked there, children learning to cook there. You put in insulation and you see all the children sleeping quietly and warmly. You work for the hope of better times. You work for the love of the family who deserve, more than anything, a warm, dependable place to grow and live. You work because God has put you there to help this family build their home. And that's why it's a blessing.

Today, we were over at the house working on sofit, bird boxes on the roof corners (they're not really for birds, they're just square boxes where the sloped part of the roof meets the front), and house wrap to prepare for siding. So, I'm cutting a piece of wood with a circular saw when all the sudden I hear some rustling in the brush behind me. I turn around to see 6 huge goats just staring at me, looking puzzled and generally pissed. So I was like....hello goats.... Well, we were "dealing" with those goats all day. At one point, one of them jumped into the bed of the truck and was eating our sunflower seeds. Laura exclaimed..."HEY....uh...GET OUT!" Then came the knowledge that David Frank was once a goat herder in California....who knew. So every time they would get too close or take things out of the truck, he'd yell "BAHHHHH" while running at them frantically, waving his hammer and flailing his limbs. However, when I got the plastic house wrap out of the truck and unraveled it, the goats went crazy, bahing and running at me....apparently goats love giant plastic sheets...I was on the extension ladder so I yelled out, "DAVID, what's happening"...He advised that I not look them in the eye and we both strategically retreated. Eventually, the goats withdrew...but the whole time I was doing the house wrap, they just stood there staring at me....watching...waiting.

Tomorrow we return to face the goats...if I don't make it, you guys can have my frosted flakes and my pork chops.


Quote of the day:

But I'm a headed west from the Cumberland Gap

To Johnson City, Tennessee
And I gotta get a move on fit for the sun
I hear my baby callin’ my name
And I know that she's the only one
And if I die in Raleigh
At least I will die free

-Old Crow Medicine Show


Em J. said...

I think those goat must have some sort of secret agenda. You'd better be careful.

Christopher J said...

I wonder what hobbits thought about goats... A good-sized goat would be almost as tall as a full-grown hobbit.

How do you think Bilbo would respond were he--which is of course a proposterous idea--in your shoes?

Anonymous said...

Reading the family description equired two kleenex to get through.
I will come down there myself and help out if it means getting them into that house by Christmas.

Dave said...

hah like the frosted flakes reference. Quick question: what was the "most satisfactory" sentence a reference to? It's ringing some bells, but i can't think of what...