PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 4

Day 4 – We’ve melded into one work group at the Race Street house . . . all hands on deck – or porch, as the case may be. The dreaded rain that spurred an outdoor painting marathon yesterday was much lighter than predicted today, allowing us to not only finish all the painting and touch-ups on the porch, but also add molding, baseboards, and trim. 
 
There was one additional round of sanding the drywall (and vacuuming the dust) before we were ready to begin painting the dining room, stairs, and upstairs hallway. In addition, we decided to fix one of the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. By the time our day ended, everything except the hallway ceiling had been given a first coat of paint, and the cabinet was basically back to normal.
 
                               
 
Our homeowner spent much of the day watching us work and reading, several times expressing how nice everything looked and also a feeling of safety. Tomorrow we’ll complete a second coat of paint where needed, finish the kitchen drawers, and clean up, leaving the house looking as if we had never been there.
 
                                                                  
 
 
We thank the First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland for hosting us, the NAILS organization for directing our work, and all the volunteers who contributed their time and skills in carpentry, painting, etc. and COOKING!!  And most of all, we thank God for the good health and friendships we enjoyed!
 
 

Trip Participants:

Bob and Maxine Aldridge, Carol Anderson, Bruce Andrews, Cecilia and Edco Bailey, Ella Bastine, Lucille Baur, Carol Bunch, Dottie and Lynn Cairns, Dave Francis, Mary Beth Lawrence, Abby Lindstrom, Elisa McClelland, Russ Madsen, David Mecklenburg, Stuart Morrison, Alexandra Parker, Mel Reid, Fletcher Tukes, Steve C. Ward, and Bob and Mary Wasik


Read more...

PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 3

Day 3 . . . Hump Day. That’s the day we usually feel the effects from using less frequently used muscles, different sleep routines, and the increased level of activity. But we shake it off because we also are really making progress on our projects and see how much our work means to our homeowners.

 
On Race Street, we were met with tears of joy as we arrived this morning. Our homeowner felt so uplifted by the improvements we have made and are making on her house. She had been overwhelmed with all that needed to be done, and just getting a new kitchen ceiling and cleaned-up cabinets, appliances, and walls has brought her so much pleasure. She had spent part of her evening washing kitchen curtains and organizing the items on her counters.
 
Because the forecast for tomorrow calls for rain, we spent a lot of time today scraping old paint off and then painting her front porch. What a difference fresh paint makes, particularly when what was there was very old and mostly flaking off.
 
                                                               
 
The Eastern Avenue team completed their project today. Another very productive day. Stair railings were successfully completed without too many duplicate cuts. Hand rail posts were set in concrete and trim was attached to all the rails. We all worked “nicely” together and kept arguments over tool usages to a minimum. So we have declared this house completed!
 
                                         
 
Tonight was our Homeowner Dinner and it was a delight to have them with us as we enjoyed another excellent meal from our cooking crew. No matter how hard we work on these trips, we are guaranteed to gain a few pounds. Looking forward to more good work, food, and fellowship tomorrow!
 
                      

Read more...

PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 2

Work Day number 2, and we have melded into precision work group teams. Both teams can be very proud of today’s accomplishments. Anxious to find out just what was completed today? Read on…
 
Rallying on Race Street, “The Rascals” moved into high gear with more mudding and drywall sanding. The goal is to get the dining room, stairway, and upstairs hallway painted before we leave. But we also took on scraping off flaking paint on the front porch and adding a new front porch ceiling outdoor light, with plans to start painting the front porch tomorrow. But back to today. The crew working on finishing the suspended ceiling felt as if they were engaged in a game of Whack-a-Mole as they tried to properly seat each tile. As one fell into place neatly, the next wouldn’t settle in and we’d have to lift another tile to adjust the problem area and then try to get the lifted tile back in place. After some fancy trim work on the final tile, we got them all to lie down smoothly and celebrated with high fives and applause.
 
                                          
 
                                                                           
 
Speaking of worthy of applause, our cooking crew: Ella Bastine, Carol Bunch, Cecelia Bailey, Mel Reid, and Mary and Bob Wasik continue to outdo themselves. They also have become well known at the local Martin’s grocery store serving as ambassadors for PDA. The store even gave them the store discount that is usually reserved for local community members. Let’s face it, Carol and Ella can sweet talk most anyone into doing most anything.
 
Now, on to those “Engineering Experts” working on Eastern Avenue. Fletcher continues to give them the highest praise. Tonight he said that they were doing the volunteer equivalent of a $15,000 job. More now about what they accomplished.
 
 
Our team started work on Monday morning analyzing necessary repairs for two porches (front and rear of the house). The posts holding the roof up consisted of rusted metal structures and were no longer doing an adequate job. So both roofs needed to be jacked up; then the metal posts were cut out and replaced with pressure-treated posts. There were no railings on either porch and the stairs did not have handrails. After the roof was secured, then hand railings were added, including lots of vertical balusters.  As is typical of PDA trips with too many knowledgeable craftspersons, many methods were offered to determine the proper spacing of the balusters. After consultation with the Internet (and we all know that the Internet is always correct), an app was selected to determine a good solution. It all worked out well in the end and the railing looks very nice (the homeowner is very pleased). We have started the stair railings, but most of this work remains (more adventures tomorrow).
 
                                       
 

Read more...

PDA Mission Trip #27 (Cumberland, MD): Day 1

Ahh Spring . . . grass greening up, redbuds in bloom, and time for the 27th annual GPC Mission Trip!

 
Faithful volunteers started arriving at First Presbyterian Church in Cumberland late afternoon/early evening on Easter Sunday. Those who arrived by 6:30 p.m. joined together for a festive kick-off meal at the Applebee’s in LaVale. Guess where everyone in LaVale who wants to eat out on Easter evening goes? Although the service may have taken a little longer, that just meant more quality reunion time for us.
 

Anticipation was high when the sun shone brightly on Monday morning. Our group was divided into two work teams: one assigned to a house on Race Street where we had worked last fall, and the other tackling a new assignment at a house on Eastern Avenue.

 

The “Race Street Rascals” spent the day getting down and dusty while mudding and sanding drywall in the dining room and stairway hallway and replacing the kitchen’s suspended tile ceiling. With all faces appropriately masked, we became one with the drywall dust and spray paint fumes from painting the metal grid of the suspended ceiling. We thoroughly enjoyed unmasking during an al fresco lunch in a nearby park gazebo.  The team of Carol Anderson, Alexandra Parker, Lucille Baur, Elisa McClelland, Maxine & Bob Aldridge, and David Mecklenberg all agreed that it was a very productive first day.
 
 
                      
 
 
And there were the antics of the “Eastern Avenue Engineering Experts.” They started by removing the old, slightly rusty roof supports on the front and back porches, through a combination of unscrewing and Sawzall use, using jacks to support the roof in the interim. They then started replacing the supports with wooden uprights, 4x4s. They also got a start on the horizontal railings around the porch.  Steve Ward, Bob Aldrich, Fletcher Tukes, Bruce Andrews, Abby Lindstrom, and Stuart Morrison had a very good first day and look forward to continuing the second day.
 
             
 
As exciting as our first day was, we really missed our Mission Trip buddies Maxine and Jerry Brown, Fred Hebron, and Charlotte Spencer.  They are in our hearts as they continue to mend and tend to family health challenges. 
 

Read more...