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This past Saturday was Rebuilding Together. One Saturday a year, all across the country and across Portland, we are doing home repair for low income elderly and disabled. I’ve told you about my baking endeavors to prepare for this day (more here and here), but what I didn’t tell you about were the countless hours putting together material lists, hounding volunteers, and prodding my carpenter (who has NO electronic forms of communication).

Our homeowner this year was darling! Johnny is a 70 year old firecracker. She made all my headaches and sleepless nights completely worth it! I have no doubt she slept great Saturday night. 24 of us stormed her house at 8am Saturday morning and didn’t leave until 6:15 in the evening.  It has taken me 2 days to recover.  When I talked to her Monday afternoon she said she had pretty much been in bed since we left.  I can believe it.

We built her a wheelchair ramp, painted the living and dining rooms, did a little repair and painting in the kitchen and a lot of yard work. This year’s project, unlike years past, was just the right size and fit for our randy band of do-gooders. Most of us are not skilled, but we can paint and dig and clean with the best of them.

We dedicated this year’s project to our house captain and contractor for the last 3 years, Doug, who died suddenly this spring. Doug was one of the most generous souls you have ever met. He also had the worst sense of what can be done in 2 hours, 8 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks. In years past, his enthusiasm had gotten us HUGE projects that we spent days working on. This year we got done in record time.

This year’s group of volunteers were outstanding in all aspects. Great attitudes and great workers.  It was hard not to give your all for Johnny!

So, here is a series of pictures from throughout the day and some before and afters.

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I owe a huge bunch of Thank You’s to Sarah at Pacific Pie Co who donated a fabulous lunch for us and to Starbucks who donated coffee to fuel us through the morning.  The Director’s Assistant Sarah fielded so many of my silly questions,  I’m not sure I would have survived with as much hair as I did without her help.  I cannot thank all my friends and co-workers enough for all their help and hard work to make this day the great success it really was!

If you want to see everything, you can go here. (Beware. There are A LOT of pictures, I just uploaded everything I took.)

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