Good to be home... by Cindi Bigelow
Good to be home...but oh what a moving week I just had!
Just got back from an amazing week down in Johnson City, TN.
Wow-I was with 70 outstanding humans in VERY warm conditions. We
were part of a group from our area in Connecticut (actually 210 of
us in total) that goes into the Appalachian mountains the end of
June every year and works on homes. The conditions this year were
challenging and the job was a little more difficult than usual but
it did not stop my team of two other adult advisor, Barbara and
Brendan, and 5 super hero high schools kids, Tommy, Sarah,
Sarah, Dan and Kimber.
We stayed at a church and each morning headed out around 9 (woke
up at 6:40 to load up the vans with supplies) and worked on a home
till about 4 ish. We had many laughs, lots of tears (of love and
compassion) and worked hard to help this little home and wonderful
couple get a "to a better place." Often we were working in
temperatures that were close to 100 degrees. But we did not
care...we were excited to get things done!
The improvement to the home was solid but what made the trip
extraordinary was the connection to the family. This couple who
owned the home really bonded with the team-we had some very
meaningful conversations and lots of laughs (and of course lots of
tears too). When the week was finally over, we loaded up our vans
to come home on Saturday and drove back to our sweet hometown. It
was wonderful to be back but we also carry a sadness with us-we
miss each other and we miss our family in Appalachia.
It is a week than transforms you, and it is not easy to
transition back. But I am so delighted to have gone and made the
connections I made. I am already gearing up for next year...got to
go...time to make some more teabags and carry around a smile on my
face with the thoughts of my experience from last week.