Tuesday, September 23, 2008

when the saints came marching in

I was there in that number

twelve 20-30 something
single adult saints

. . . . .
I don't know all their exact ages, but I do know they're old enough to know better. And their 'better' is the way they hang-out with one another, take trips together, and serve others just for the sake of promoting friendship and 'love of the Lord.'

Since the last week of June [approximately] I have been engaged in an effort to clean-up / re-model / restore an old added-on to the back-of-the-house room. It has been slow going, to say the least.

This past week-end the saints arrived to give me a hand.

. . . . .
On Friday evening, the first two of three vehicles pulled-up in front of my house around 9pm. Each had 4 occupants. They drove from South Bend Indiana after each had gotten out of work at their 'day-jobs'. One additional vehicle with another 3 crew-members arrived Saturday morning around 10am. We also have a young woman presently living with us who joined right in with these never-before-met new friends.

Total = 12.

Their mission, and they had freely chosen to accept it, was to come to Muncie IN to help old uncle jim on his remodeling project. The goal was to relieve some of the pressures he was feeling from the slow progress he was making.

of the group, a JustinW and a SheilaP were the perps who put the group together. They just put a 'call' out to their other 20 - 30 something single friends and before they knew it there were 11 of them committed to the road trip [3 hours] and the 'Help Uncle Jim' project was launched.

There were a total of 4 men and 7 women saints. JustinW's family lives in Muncie, so he and the other men spent FR and SA night there. The 7 women stayed at our house [along with the recently moved in young lady I've mentioned - she made 8]. Bodies were everywhere - and the water heater seldom had time to recoup ... but everything worked out just fine.

Saturday was the project work-day. They did just about anything they were asked to do - and even if they had never done anything like it before, they were open to learning. They painted shutters, they hung drywall, they sanded and painted 4 doors [which included removing and reinstalling ALL hinges and knobs and locks, etc.] They removed a couple of other doors in order to move an upright freezer from an enclosed back-porch and placed it in the garage. Then they moved a spare refrigerator-freezer from the added-on to the back-of-the-house room to the space formerly occupied by the upright freezer that was now in the garage [this included removing both doors of the unit, reversing all hinges and handles, etc., to the opposite side of the cabinet - they learned a lot]. Wood furring strips were cut; a built-in toy-box was sanded and painted with 3-coats of the wife's specified color of paint. All kinds of odds- and ends were accomplished. ALL of it left less for me to do between now and completion of the job in the next couple of months.

Then it happened.

It was time for the University of Notre Dame game to be televised. Work stopped - and all of them, men and women alike, gathered in front of the TV. The women were as knowledgeable and enthusiastic during the game as any I've ever met. They claim that everything stops in South Bend when the team is playing at home - and when they are on the road, everyone is in front of a TV during the game. Such avid loyalty - wow!

When the game was over, they helped pick-up and put away all tools and paint and equipment. The men headed to Justin's house to clean up and come back in an hour or so for a huge dinner with all of us. The women began their rituals to get ready also - and as fast as they showered and cleaned up, they reported to the kitchen and dining area to help get everything prepared and set up for the banquet.

And what a feast we had. The food was great - the table conversation [we had 2 tables set up: one with 9 and one with 6] was super. We talked about quantum mechanics [I think] and guardian angels and creationism and each shared, per my question to them, about their own personal journey that eventually brought them together in South Bend Indiana ... and eventually to my house in Muncie IN. Home towns were from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the twin-cities of Minneapolis - St Paul to the heart of dixie in Alabama to Chicago to home-grown South Benders to a couple of locations I've forgotten. And each of them was responding to a 'call' from the Lord to seek out other like minded seriously Christian singles and help each other make it through the mine-fields of present day culture and society. They were nurses and computer IT geeks and homeless shelter staff and office workers and grad-students [one young lady working on a Masters in Theology] and other health care professionals including a speech pathologist and others occupations I've since forgotten.

I will N E V E R forget their faces and their pleasant dispositions and their willingness and eagerness to help.

Here's to: Justin W, Sheila P, Sarah H, Ricky T, Sarah E, Liz B, Peter G, Laura G, Meghan S, Dan R, Joy H, Allesha L - may God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit always keep them safe.

And I was there in that number, when these Saints came marching in.

- - - - -


Father Schnippel said...

How fun, bet it was a blast to be around.

uncle jim said...

we set up 5 workstations [saw-horses, etc.] in the backyard.

what with all the action and coming and going and power saws and sanders and conversations, the noise level was pretty close to a saturday night beer party almost anywhere in the neighborhood [i live 3 blocks off-campus from Ball State University - and the vast majority of properties are student rentals] except our party was going on during the daylight hours.

i wondered what the neighbors thought - in fact on one side there is a young family just moved in during the week ... hope we didn't give the pause to rethink their decision to buy that house.

wish all of you could have been here to experience it.

MJ said...

Wish we could have been there too! Especially our little group from the Vatican Exhibit weekend. I still think of that weekend when I want to "escape" and it makes me smile. Here's to friends! They get you through so much!!

Adoro said...

Awesome..wish I could have been there.

But..I have to say...you and Aunt Ros are the Saints!

And you've just been tagged for a Meme....


I SO have to come to Muncie...!

uncle jim said...

don't be so fast to judge ... i'll probably be crying out across the great abyss, like lazarus, asking for just a drop of water to wet my lips ... and there you will be on the other side crying because you can't reach me

actually, like you, i hope i can at least merit purgatory ... i'd be glad to join you there for however long it takes

now, that speaks for me ... as for aunt rozann, she'll be there in heaven far in front of us - and she'll be there cheering for us and shouting encouragements.

yes, someday you'll have to come to muncie.