“I can’t be picky, I just want to move in.”

When Trina was asked, what colors did you pick for your kitchen? What is your countertop going to look like? She looked at the group of us and said, “I can’t be picky, I just want to move in.” She has been out of her home since Katrina! The day the storm happened, she was at work – she was called in to work. Trina works in housekeeping at one of the local hospitals. Three and 1/2 weeks after the storm hit, she had no idea where her 4 adult kids were – were they safe, were they being taken care of. As a mother or father, it is unimaginable! My heart goes out to her even today, so long after.

Her kids were safe, thank you God! This is the women who owns the 2nd work site home that we are working on. She was 26 when she bought the home. A single mom, 4 kids – she was going to make a better life for her kids. She received insurance money to do repairs, she hired what she thought was an honest contractor. Like so many, he turned out to be not so honest. After all this time, St. Bernard Project and site supervisors Taylor and Janelle along with volunteers are repairing her HOME.

Trina left work early on Tuesday to come meet the people working on her home. In a quiet way she greeted all of us and answered our questions patiently. Not less than 3 or 4 times she told us to make sure that we signed her book, “Leave your phone number so that we can stay in touch”, she said.

Tuesday, Team One is still working at Sande’s house. They have been so busy exceeding goals that they did not even know they had. Hanging doors, installing molding, finish work so that by the end of the week they hope to install floors. Tim S. and Ryan S. can be caught near the saw bickering over how many tenths of an inch to cut. Keith L., if only he had finished the little 5 inch piece of molding he was working on, they could have claimed the molding complete.

Team Two is working at Trina’s house. Mudding, taping, sanding, priming and painting. Good thing we have Mike W. to show us how to spackle the correct way. Avery is now a professional and ready to take on any job you have. Mike W. even taught Michelle S. how to use that trowel – don’t tell her husband she knows how to do this now.

Last night, it was a walk to Cafe Dumond for coffee and beignets. We all needed a little caffeine and sugar for the night. Great time was had by all!

I think I can say that we are all tired and sore but the feeling inside as we work and put 110% into these homes is something that everyone should experience. As you see a room almost to completion you want to do more to get done faster to get that homeowner back into their HOME.

Signing off to now write Wednesdays blog. So much to do, so little time,

Michelle Strate

PS. What would I do without Mike Willett guiding me on how to post blogs? Well, the easy answer is you would not be reading this right now.