This is what it's all about. Today we were building room additions for a high school student with a degenerative disease. Near the end of the day that student, Justin, was getting so excited he was starting to pick out colors for his new room and bathroom. Last year with my shoulder injury and general stiff, old body, I let myself get somewhat depressed because I was not able to help very much on build days. Today was much better! I still have limited abilities, but---I was able to move lumber, remove nails, assist with cutting lumber, nail headers together, pick up some trash---I felt useful, and it felt good! It's fun to watch the riders as each tries to contribute to the build effort with their level of ability. Some are very experienced and contribute much, others are so willing to learn and be helpful, others just do not know what to do, or how to help. But, at the end of the day as I look at all that has been done, it is truly amazing and rewarding.
Tomorrow we attend church on our day off, and maybe take a trip to whatever large city we are near. That may be Philly?
Back when I was in Portland the first night, while returning to the hotel from dinner, I stopped in a sporting goods store. I saw a whistle for sale and asked if it would scare a dog away that might chase me on my bike. They didn't seem to know, but I just bought it. Sure enough, on one of the rides last week we had a large German Shepherd attack us on the road. I was following Tonya and the dog came after her. We saw it coming, so as I was pulling out my new whistle the dog was chasing and snapping at Tonya. It missed her, and when I blew my whistle to scare the dog away, the dog came after me. It went back after Tonya, and I blew again, and again it came after me. The whistle at least confused the dog enough to get us past it safely. I'm glad I made the stop at the store!
Tonight we had dinner at the home of one of the host families. A very nice gathering of all the host families and riders followed by a bonfire, sparklers, and a singalong. We'll be doing laundry at host families tomorrow, which is badly needed (I'll be wearing dirty socks in the morning).
Since I can't get pictures on my blog at this time, go to the Fuller Center Facebook page, link on the right under "web sites of interest". The Fuller Center Blog link is also there. We're trying to have a blog written each day by the riders willing to write one.