Community Rebuilds Thus Far

This post was written by Fall 2017 intern, Linnea Morgan.

Monday Aug. 14

Time has flown.  One month has turned into a constant stream of beautiful memories, and excitement for what is still yet to come. Friends here are beautiful and amazing people.  There is so much to learn from everyone.  Even outside the house, there is so much to learn. Not enough time to do it all.

Wake up at 6:30.. Kitchen bustle already underway.  Throwing together breakfast and lunch over a cup of coffee, finding the dance between two kitchens.  Jump in the car, truck, bike.. down the hill to the site.  

Stretch, stretch, question, answer, stretch.  Laugh… drink coffee. Something to look forward to every morning, random references, sharing something new, learning something new.  

Building.  Every moment presents a new challenge to be explored. How to put together pieces of wood, concrete, metal for it to transform beyond its parts.

Heat.  Building in the heat.  What once seemed an impossible mission is now everyday reality.  Morning cool fades to afternoon sun.  Shade moves slowly across the site and we do not take it for granted.  

First nails.  How to swing a hammer and not miss the nail time and time again.  Getting the nail to sink like putty into a plank of wood.  How to bend a nail over and over again, on your knees laughing in frustration, prying out your mistake.  How to create a box beam.  

How to level.  How to peer into a tiny hole and focus knobs to read the lines of a measuring stick across the way. How to measure and re-measure to make sure stakes we made above the ground are straight.  We are building the foundation on top of the ground.  We are stringing neon string, marking the boundaries of the three houses to come.  We are tripping over these strings and laughing in surprise but also exasperation.  Like walking into a glass door.  Strings.

How to use a drill.  How fun and satisfying it is to use a drill. How to create a massive concrete mold by screwing screws into 2×4’s and OSB. How to hammer stakes into hard ground. Sledgehammer, mallet, hammer, hit it hard.

Rebar.. How to lift rebar from the perimeter of the house and walk with nearly 20 people to reposition it in unison. Wire twist ties.. metal to metal. They break and break and then they spiral nicely eventually.

Unison. Heavy objects in unison.  How to unload a truck filled with 2×4’s and simultaneously attempt to play telephone. Hands as conveyer belts.

How to work while sitting on the ground.  How to mess up measurements and edit. Screw, unscrew, adjust, screw, fuck it it’s fine.

The satisfaction of peeling away foam and wood to new concrete. The beauty of seeing everyone’s mark they left- names, symbols, hands, words- on Holly’s house.  Strength in the form and in the material.  The house is now ready to be built, and it’s coming up fast.

3:30 and we’ve made it.  Another day.  Bob Ross pin awarded and smiles go around, cheers to the one recognized for the day.  Happy to be on the way home.

Drive to the river and cool off in the water.  Stop at the springs for rock water. Cold shower, clean body, coconut water.  Abundant dinner cooked by our new family of friends.  Exhausted body, promises to sleep early, but another night of enjoying sweet time with one another.

This and so much just in one month, and four months to go.


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