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).