Sunday, April 27, 2008

With a good deed, came a good deal of pain

This is the morning after Rebuilding Together Day and I feel like a two-by-four because I MUST be made of wood. I can not bend or twist at all. Almost every part of my body hurts, except my hands (lucky blogger me.) All my other joints and parts hurt, including my ankles and right behind my ears (oh, the neck pain!)

But it was a great experience.

Our house was a pretty unusual project for a Rebuilding Together Day. Their projects usually involve tasks that can all be completed in one day. However, this project had been started weeks before and is still in progress. The recipient of our volunteer help developed diabetes and lost one of her legs. Therefore, her house was remodeled in order to be handicap accessible. The kitchen, bathrooms, and all doorways were altered for wheelchair access. Before yesterday, a beautiful ramp with seating at the top had been built, new kitchen cabinets and task lighting had been installed, the bathroom had been enlarged taking some space from the living room, and a new wall had been erected before we arrived.

Along with another person, I was tasked with painting the ceiling and walls in her living room. I remember thinking when I walked in, 'wow, it's a small room, we should be finished in no time at all.' As it turns out, even with additional help, we ended up going thirty minutes over the deadline of 5PM (meaning an hour and a half past the "stop and clean-up" time) and we were almost the last people there.

Why? Well, let's just say, I never want to paint a ceiling again. (In truth, I didn't paint much of it, because I must be the weakest girl in the world when it comes to upper arm strength. Thank god, the other volunteer was a pro at using a paint roller extension pole!)

The color on the ceiling and walls that we thought looked off-white turned out to be a definite tan color once we tried to paint a REAL off-white on top of it. So two coats were required on the ceiling and all of the walls needed to be primed first. In addition, lots of windows, four doorways, baseboards, and a fireplace mantel called for a lot of preliminary taping.

But the final outcome was gorgeous!

Despite the pain, I know I will be volunteering for this next year.

So, check out the national site for Rebuilding Together and find an affiliate in your state for next April 26.

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