holy moly, people
When I went back to work after New Years I found out that Extreme Makeover was coming to our area. Rumor had it that the family lived in the adjacent town. Last Thursday the family and exact location was revealed. Yep, they live nearby. Crazy. They seem like great, deserving people. You'll have to tune in sometime in March for the details.
Rewind, oh, 7 seasons ago. The show was new. The host was from one of The Brother's and my favorite shows. Seemed like an interesting idea. Find some deserving folks with a virtually (or actually) unlivable home, tear it down, rebuild better, change a family. All in a week. A week. We loved the show. The Brother and I would watch in our separate homes, in our separate towns and call each other. We'd cry. Every week. The crying fathers on the show get to me every time. Sigh... These families help you feel so grateful. The community pulling together makes you feel proud (even when you're not a part of it).
Then The Boyfriend (at the time) came along. I forced him to watch the show and it warmed his little heart, too. I'll be honest, we don't catch every episode but--years later--I still cry. It's just with a different (or additional) man now. Throughout the years we've mentioned how cool it would be to help out on the show. We even mentioned it earlier this season.
So, yeah, we did some volunteering. We completed the online forms last Monday but never heard back. The internet information was mixed. People were saying they just showed up to volunteer and were accepted. Some said they were rejected since they hadn't personally received an email stating they were chosen to volunteer. We received a few emails asking for professional volunteers (framers, people who put up siding, etc.). Then we got one that said those spots were filled. Then yet another that listed some tasks that needed to be done but didn't specifically mention "professionals."
I was doubtful they'd let us go since the email didn't say "cjm, please help us." Wearing LOTS of layers in the near freezing weather, we showed up at the volunteer tent at about 5:30 yesterday morning. They let us right on the bus (after giving us the famous blue t-shirt and loaning us hardhats). My pink tool belt (made popular by one of the show's designers) made an appearance on site.
A few minutes later, we were there. The site was pretty quiet, not too many folks around. I worked on cleaning up for about 3 hours--sweeping (probably about 4000 sq ft of house) and picking up trash and scrap materials. We also moved pressboard and plywood and roofing materials and roof trusses. While we didn't get to literally "build that house," it felt good to be a part of it. It was amazing to watch the things that go into building a house so quickly. It was amazing to see the professionals work so efficiently. It was amazing to see how many people wanted to help out (over 3,000 applied to volunteer).
I never thought I'd be able to do this so it never made the Life List. Funny, how I thought meeting the Dalai Lama would be more attainable. Seriously, it was awesome and I can't wait for the show to air.
Side note? On Sunday night I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to go because I'd have to miss work and I have such a busy week this week (and next). I was feeling resentful and jealous that The Hubby was going to go without me. But after stewing in it for awhile, I realized that that was stupid. Work shouldn't keep you from living, especially when you have semi-flexible work hours. And, you know, turning in one thing late isn't going to kill you (but I'll probably end up getting it in right on the deadline anyway). So I told Hubby that I was going to go with him. He told me a story about when he chose a life experience over work. He told me that no one will ever look back and wish they worked more. I know this and I know he isn't the first person to say that but still...he's fantastic and I love him for it. Thanks, Hubby. Your support is lovely.