This past Saturday, I dragged Dave to a Habitat for Humanity build sponsored by my company. Of our 250-plus work force at the operating company, about fifteen people showed up to “raise the roof.”
Actually, it was more like “mud the ceilings.”
At first, I was nervous about helping build a future home. I can barely lift a hammer and hit a nail, but there I was in old jeans and a t-shirt that screamed, “I LOVE TO VOLUNTEER,” standing in a future kitchen and learning how to mud walls, corners, and ceilings. With two metal scraper-things and some stuff everyone referred to as “mud,” but actually was not, I began to master the art of standing on a ladder and slathering the ceiling with this compound.
And if you never believe a word I say, believe this: the contractor on the site said I did a perfect job mudding the ceilings. ME! THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE! The contractor then looked over his shoulder at Dave on his ladder, scrutinizing his patch of ceiling, and told Dave that he needed some practice still. BUT NOT ME! I am a good mudder! He even said I had a future in mudding…not that I need a new profession.
And while I reveled in my new-found glory, smashing this significant achievement in Dave’s face, I found that I sincerely enjoyed the experience. It felt like I contributed to making the dreams of another come true. I know that sounds silly and a little nostalgic, in a way, but it is the truth. While the people in the neighborhood sat slack-jawed on their front porch, watching us, we labored in the house. Each layer of mud was one more layer closer to a finished, new home for a family that needed the help. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I look forward to future builds. It was a great feeling – an oxymoron in a way – to be a helpful mudslinger.