Beaumont, Texas:  another two weeks dedicated to building homes for Habitat for Humanity.  One event changed that to one week and a day, as I was delayed in Houston while visiting my brother and his wife by the most ferocious lightning and thunder storm I have ever witnessed and by needed repairs to my Leon.  The lightening that descended upon us in the middle of the night was comparable to a crazy strobe light show….it was incessant with no breaks, and the thunder rumbled and rattled us like never before.  Poor little Mojo was terrified, and I gathered him in my arms and retreated to the windowless bathroom and shut the door.  Below, the pictures are from the Kingwood Country Club Golf Course, and although it all looks very beautiful, white water and golf courses don’t mix too well!

The build in Beaumont included two homes and the warehouse.  Because of the weather, working at the warehouse was somewhat easier than working around mud and puddles trying to finish the new house’s exterior and completion of the tool shed.  As a result, we spent two days building new dividing walls and hanging a large metal gate in the warehouse.  We also did some general clean-up.  When we were able to work on the new home and/or the rehab, we were finishing siding, completing the tool shed, painting, and cleaning debris.  On the last Saturday, after my return from Houston, five men and I worked on the interior framing of the new house.  I learned how to use a very powerful nail gun for the first time, and spent many hours nailing the rafters in with precise spacing using a template we made.  My shoulders and hands were a mite bit sore the next day!  We only had one staff member with us the entire time, and the full burden lay on him.  Pat is an excellent instructor.  We were his first Care-a-Vanner team, and he was impressed with what we were able to accomplish on our own.  He wants another team back soon!

Lastly, while in Houston, my brother and his wife took me out to a wonderful Latino dinner for my birthday.  What a treat!  Chimichurris is a mixed Latin American themed restaurant, and it was so much fun to share memories with my brother over the foods we were tasting again after many years (for me) of not having them:  especially the fried sweet platains and yucca sticks.  Below is a picture of the piece of Pastel de Tres Leches we shared to commemorate the event.  Thanks, Guys!

bday cake me

Moments of Grace:  A birthday is always a good time to count your blessings.  Sometimes, I don’t think I can count that high!  I am so grateful for the time spent with my brother and his wife.  Participating at the wine club gathering and the photography club was very special.  Mojo spent a couple of extra days with them, being spoiled rotten, as I returned to Beaumont.  I almost couldn’t get him back.  Then, once again I am so grateful for the new friends made at the build, reaffirming how big the hearts are that beat among the Care-a-Vanners.