Texas 2 update 2 8/12/19
Greetings again from Texas:
I’m starting this on Wednesday evening, 8/7. I’m quite sure I won’t finish it this weekend. A volunteer group of 5 from Minnesota is coming Thursday evening and wants to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and go back home on Monday. They will be staying in the barracks with me and I have been asked to show them the house to work on and work with them there. They (we) will be doing drywall, mudding, installing doors and floors and other miscellaneous. My supervisor, Pauleau, is from New Hampshire and has his wife here this week and will be busy with her so here I go on working with a group on my own! It is unusual for a group to want to work over a weekend. I’m told that one of the 5 is “experienced” so a lot is yet to be determined. Pauleau took me to the house this afternoon to review what materials have been delivered and what still is being ordered.
I’ve been working the last 2 days helping Steve. He lives near and is more of a plumber by trade but does a lot of odds and ends besides. He is about the age of my 2 granddaughters. The first day we poured concrete, more like mortar, to level a bathroom floor. I mixed and he troweled. Then we went to another house and installed lower kitchen cabinet units in a trailer home with no working air conditioning. Today, I didn’t do much but watch and listen the owner complain.
Of course, things are different here than in Wisconsin. There are no basements because of the high ground water levels. In Wisconsin, not much is done inside a house until the furnace is installed if it’s winter. Here not much is done inside a house until the air conditioning is working if it’s summer. One thing that is different here than it was in Aransas Pass where I was last year is that there, most of the damage was done by high winds blowing off roofs and then rains damaging the inside. Here, there is not much wind damage but whole square miles of houses were flooded with 3 to 8 feet of water. I will try to include pictures of houses the group has been working on. There is great variety.
Now it’s Sunday night and the “group” had a plane to catch and left today around 3:30 rather than Monday. The “group” turned out to be 4 women, all inexperienced in building. Most were in their early 30s. Can you imagine me trying to get them set up with cots to sleep on at 1:30 Thursday night and then trying to teach them how to apply drywall and hang doors at 10:00 Friday morning? It was a zoo for a while. One of the girls managed to pinch a thermostat wire under the drywall and drive a screw through it and we were without air-conditioning and I couldn’t fix it by repairing the wire. The older couple owners had to call a technician that came out at 9:00 that night to find and replace a small fuse and get it back in operation. It’s not all bad though. The girls tried hard and soon learned to do drywall and mud and one of them helped me hang doors. The owners were very appreciative and thankful and the girls seemed to enjoy it all.
I’m attaching three photos. 1369 is a trailer that they said had water up to the eaves and Steve and I worked with the owner complaining all the while that we did shoddy work. 1371 is a house that we helped clean so the owner and her 3 young children could move in after remodeling was done. She was very grateful. That house and many surrounding houses had water about 3 feet high. 1372 is the house the 4 girls shown and I worked on. They tell me it had about 2 feet of water. Together we dry walled one room, hung 2 regular doors, 3 bypass closet doors, and a bi-fold laundry room door. We didn’t get to putting on trim or putting floor.
McDonald’s Wi-Fi would not let me send my last update and I had to do it at the iconnect office. I don’t know when I will get back there so I don’t know when this will get sent.