Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lending a Hand

I had the opportunity to help my ex- begin his clean up process. One friend watched my kids and another drove with me to lend a hand as well.

It was quite a scene. That sticky-gooey mud that oozes up between your toes was everywhere. Literally, everywhere.

We started wiping down furniture that had been moved outside by a group of strangers lending a hand the day before. I sorted through piles of "stuff": opened up sleeping bags, lay them out to dry, peeled apart pictures of the kids that were stuck together in an envelope. Furniture, small appliances and nick-knacks got sorted into "keep" and "toss" piles.

Inside, the men were using snow shovels to remove that sticky-gooey mud from his living room, dining room and kitchen.

Once the furniture was clean(er), we headed inside to the kitchen. My friend and I sorted through the pantry, and wiped the mud off of the counter tops. We opened cabinet drawers, dumped out the water sitting in them, and sorted the contents into "keep" and "toss" piles as well.

Up and down the road, on either side were other similar piles - "keep" and "toss". As far as the eye could see, piles and piles of stuff.

At the point where we were preparing to leave, the men were removing the drywall from his condo, exposing the studs, setting fans on the generator, hoping to get things dry - really dry- very quickly.

As awful as that sounds, - and truly it is awful - there were miracles and acts of kindness wherever we looked. People dropped off cases of water and chips and snacks. A local restaurant had brought lunch, and were preparing to bring dinner as well. Several people walked up asking, "Can I help?"

Community in action. I love that.

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