The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

An 'Extreme' Afternoon

They came out in the rain, mud, thunder, and lightning. They came to help, watch, and donate. They came because they were inspired, curious, and in awe at the wonder before them. This past week, Extreme Home Makeover traveled to my area of this great nation. I was excited at the news that they'd be coming and promptly signed up to be a volunteer. This was my chance to do something I always felt strongly about;
I believe we teach our children by example and therefore, teach the world.

Every Sunday night my two oldest children and I sit down and watch not just a home being constructed in a week; but hopes, dreams, and a brighter tomorrow for these families that held on even though it felt as if the whole world was working against them. Isaac, Leah, and I talk quite often about 'if they ever come close to us' and how we'd volunteer every chance we had. Unfortunately, you have to be eighteen or older and they both aren't old enough. But I promised them I would take as many pictures as I could.

The outpouring of help Extreme Home Makeover received, left me in the standby position for working on site. (Being a writer I love the chance to do different things and see different places. It helps get the creative juices flowing.) Oh, sadly they didn't need me. I was so disappointed. With a heavy heart, I went about my week; until Friday came.
Once again, my wonderful husband came to the rescue. Through work, he was offered a VIP pass into the tent where food was served and music was played. He gave this to me knowing how much it meant and how much I'd enjoy being apart of something life changing.

There I was with torrential downpours, lightening streaking across the sky (did I mention I'm afraid of lightening?), and some of the most friendly welcoming people I ever met. Any nervousness I had about spending time with my husband's co-workers was reassured when I met them and they told me how lucky I was to have him. (HA! He's lucky to have me! Just kidding.)
I have to say the excitement was contagious. Everywhere you looked people were smiling and laughing. Even the construction workers, who I'm sure were dog tired, seemed to be happily doing there jobs. Well, until the rain really started. (If you look in the picture above where the men are holding green umbrellas, you'll see all the works in the garage in the background. It was raining that hard.) The VIP tent even threatened to

collapse on us while the water was starting to flow in. They shut the music down and for a split second all was quiet. It was very surreal.

I have a hard time putting into words what I felt that day. A lack of words I'm usually never without, but I guess you'd have to be there to understand the monumental task these people take on when doing this. Did you know many times they have to set the neighbors up in hotels so they can accomplish their goal? Also, there were at least four homes where they took over their lawns with the promise of replacing them with new ones. The home where the VIP tent was set up, actually had a road built from the front lawn to the back so they could get trucks through without having to do the winding roads. Then when it was all done, they repaved the town road the homes are on.

We stayed for a few hours then, with umbrellas in hand, we braved the storm and ran for the bus to take us to our cars. My feet sloshed in my sneakers as I ran for my vehicle. My hair and clothes were drench and I sighed in relief when I closed my door. Smiling I thought of what Ty Pennington would say to this family come Sunday;
"Welcome home Hill family! WELCOME HOME!"

This episode of Extreme Home Makeover, Suffield CT, will appear this September.

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely amazing experience, Rebecca! I envy you.

    My teens and I also watch the Extreme Home Makeover and we'd all love tomparticipate in such an awesome and awe inspiring experience.

    Thanks for sharing!