Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Francis of Assisi
Today’s home repair site was a bit like visiting an old friend. We returned to a house in Itmann that we worked on twelve years ago. It was a fun homecoming for both the home owner and the volunteers, as many of them had worked on the house many years ago. The home owner was doing well and the house looked great, including a bunch of cats and kittens who greeted us on the deck when we arrived. The work on the agenda for the day included replacing a window in the kitchen. The amazing thing about the new window… that fit perfectly on the first try. For anyone that has ever tried to replace a window, you know it is very rare for a new window to fit in an old hole without any adjustments needed. It was fantastic! In the backyard, we repaired a railing on the steps on the porch and cleared out weeds that were growing on the hillside behind the house that were encroaching on the house. Inside the house, volunteers were able to fix a leaky toilet that will in turn help save on water costs. The other big project for the house it to figure out some electrical issues causing some outlets and switches not too work in part of the house. Today was process of elimination and creating a plan of attack to try and get some of the electrical problems solved.
As a delayed thank you to the volunteers for helping us to move all the supplies up to The Way for the summer, we had a pizza for dinner and our local volunteers brought us pies for dessert. What is not too like about pizza and pies!!!
Reflection tonight centered on the idea of doing unto others as we would like to be treated. A very basic, yet important idea to reflect on. We wrapped up the reflection by sharing our New and Goods for the day.
The window work and yard work, in one shot
Checking the wiring in the attic
How many PVs can you fit into one bathroom?
Part of our kitty welcoming committee
“It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.” Kahlil Gibran
We are officially off and running with the PV Summer Program in Wyoming County, WV. Volunteers all arrived safe and sound yesterday just in time for a simple communal dinner together. After dinner we gathered for the first commissioning service of the summer. Connecting together in this way and preparing ourselves for the week ahead is always a great centering piece.
After a good nights sleep, only interrupted by 2 coals trains passing in the night, the volunteers were up and eager to begin. As we have in the past few years, the first group of volunteers generously help to get us set up for the rest of the summer by moving our supplies up from St. Vincent dePaul and getting everything organized. Because of their dedication and hard work, the rest of the summer’s volunteers are set up nicely. It also turned out to be an extra good activity this year as it rained pretty much the entire day.
Pairing up nicely with the weather, we enjoyed chili and cornbread for dinner tonight. It was delicious and hit the spot. The salad wasn’t too bad either : ) And oh, did I mention that we had ice cream for dessert?
For our evening reflection we reflected on experiences that were both challenging and hard and how we learned from those. We also shared a good experience to end on a more positive note. Our life as a tapestry of experiences…
First Grocery Shop! Loading up for the summer….well, maybe the first week
In honor of the the first week of the PV Summer Program, we are throwing it back to 1992, the first summer in Preston County , WV. Back then, the first two weeks were reserved just for families. These families are still active with the program #PVvolunteers #WV #1992
“Country roads, take me home, to the place, I belong West Virginia…” This John Denver song came on randomly today, just a few days from the start of the PV summer program in West Virginia. Whenever I hear it I am taken back to my first summer volunteering and the amazing life changing experience that I had and continue to have each time I return to the mountain state. So many volunteers over the years have talked about the special connection they feel to West Virginia, the people and the place, and their sense of belonging while they are volunteering.
This summer will be our 21st in Wyoming County, WV and 45th as a program. We are excited to tackle the home repair projects that we are given, meet the families we will be working with and the kids at Energy Express, work with St. Vincent DePaul and the Itmann Food Bank and spend time building and fostering community. There will be sweat and tears, tired bodies and lots of laughter. Each summer is rewarding, challenging and life affirming. Bring it on!!!!
We will be posting on the PV website and social media during the summer, so if you are unable to come and be a part of the hands on experience, you can still be a part of the whole PV experience. Any prayers and good wishes sent our way for a safe and fulfilling summer would be much appreciated.
Oh, and I encourage everyone to listen to Country Roads again and try not to get a little nostalgic : )
Throwing in back to 1999-2000 ish time period. The “Reading Crew” PVs in the kitchen at Glen Fork, WV.
Throwing it back to the late 90’s and the first PV Midwest Reunion in Atchison, KS at the Schletzbaum’s farm. This first weekend took place in the fall, the reason why we all look a little cold : )