10% What Happens, 90% How You Deal With It

The St. Johns Group has made it through the first day in New Orleans. All 4 cars and all 18 Passengers made it safely and still talking to each other. We settled into our sleeping quarters – the women were a little jealous as the men got the Pent House Suite on the top floor all to themselves, since the other room that housed the men’s group was full to the brim. They say women are more social! We have about 40 women sharing the room with another group from Canada, mostly teenage girls. What a great opportunity for our teens to meet others that are interested in serving others.

We all had orientation this morning at St. Bernard Project Headquarters to get our assignments and Welcome! What an amazing volunteer group with an amazing story. Google St. Bernard Project and learn.
Our Monday assignment, all 18 of us were working at one house. The tasks of hanging doors, trimming the doors out, painting molding and hanging molding. The house is within 2 weeks of being done – but, this trip “Is not about Us”. It is not even about the house we are working on.

I learned about what truly mattered and why we were all there in New Orleans in a conversation with the homeowner. Outside, on the front of her lawn she talked, I listened! She is two weeks away from moving back into her home after 7 1/2 years. NO…..not a typo, 7 1/2 years Sande has been living in a camper parked on her front lawn. She owns her home, Sande and her husband worked hard, they raised their 4 children, they coached little league, they watched their children grow, work, marry, they owned their own furniture store. They were married for over 40 years. They lost their home in Katrina and 5 years ago on Labor Day, Sande lost one of the most precious things in her life, her husband to a heart attack. She told me, “They did everything right. We raised our kids, we worked hard, we evacuated when the storm hit, we had insurance on our home, we were not rich but we knew what mattered.” They were not the type of people that asked for help, they were the ones that gave help. One of the hardest things that Sande had to do was ask for help. Her house was 75% finished and she just needed it to be complete.

I shared with her that someone once told me that accepting a gift does more for the person giving the gift than it does the person accepting the gift. Thank you Sande, for sharing your story with me. Thank you for letting “little old me” help you. YOU are an amazing women, YOU are a strong women.

YOU told me, life is “10% about what happens to you and 90% about how you deal with it!” You have dealt and now it’s time for the many to get you back in your home.

I was told I needed to identify myself so you know who is writing this.

More to come,

Michelle Strate

COMING SOON- Pictures!