Saturday, November 17, 2007

I have been outworked by a 75-year-old.

Our teens had a work-day at church today. My two were looking forward to it, because in most churches the teens don't know how to work, so they are given easy, meaningless tasks that any three-year-old could complete.

Not so at Faith.

You see, we are building yet another building. The current 500-seat auditorium is not big enough, and the school is quickly outgrowing its facility. There is much to be done.

We arrived at 9 am. The guy running the work-day gave us this run-down: move several stacks of lumber inside the new building, rake the rocks out of an island between the parking lot and new driveway (about 25' x 200', solid packed clay with rocks the size of footballs), weed and mulch the other 7 islands in the parking lot, plus the playground and a row of small trees alongside the soccer field, find and dig up the loose end of a drainpipe that was inadvertantly buried in same clay with rocks the size of footballs (we only have a general idea of where this drainpipe might be, so we'll be fishing for it with pick-axes). We'll get more assignments after lunch.

After lunch??

We took turns raking the rocks because it was the hardest work. After an hour of that I decided my back wouldn't live to see the next day if I kept it up, so I offered to supervise a group of young ladies doing the weeding and mulching.

Bad move. Mary Scott showed up.

Mary Scott is 75 years old and is the caretaker for an "old lady," as she puts it. Mary spends two Saturdays a month at the church, helping with whatever work anybody happens to be doing. So today she was my "helper." She immediately gave the "children" (her term) lessons in digging out weeds. You have to get the roots, you know. Nevermind that it's Bermuda grass whose roots reach to China, dig deeper and you'll find them. When each island was certified weed-free, we began the laying of mulch. We parked the wheelbarrows next to the islands and started throwing armfuls around the bushes. Wrong. "Let me show you how this is done," says Mary, disgusted at our inefficiency. She grabs the wheelbarrow from a young man, picks it up (I am NOT exaggerating here), and dumps the whole thing in the center of the island. "Now start spreading! And don't make it too thin. The first time it rains it'll all get washed away," a theme we heard repeatedly throughout the VERY long day.

Mary works like a mule, and we all left being "rode hard and put up wet" as my husband likes to say. My back is screaming, fingertips almost bloody, arms aching.

Next time I'm raking rocks.

Be thankful ~


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