A wave of déjà vu came over me as I pulled on the lead abatement gear for the second time this summer. Looking like an oversized marshmallow in my extra large coveralls, I grabbed a paint scrapper and got to work stripping the paint off the wall. The site supervisor estimated that the job would take two and a half hours. Having scraped walls before, I estimated it would take longer. Luckily, we were working in the shade so wearing the suit was bearable.
We scraped all morning and continued after lunch. By this time, the sun was high in the sky and our shade had evaporated. Our bodies poured sweat inside the suits and we periodically had to remove our goggles to dump out the sweat the gathered in them.
Fittingly, as we worked, we talked about what our hells would be. Mine would definitely be sitting naked and alone in Antartica with a strong wind blowing for all eternity. Austin's was pretty much the exact opposite of mine. He would be in the heat and humidity, bundled up as if it were winter out, alone, forever. Ethan argued that scraping paint off of a never-ending wall dressed up in lead abatement gear would be his hell.
The rest of the team worked on demolishing a few sheds and cleaning up the landscaping. The yard looked beautiful when we were done. We were working with a Habitat program called "A Brush with Kindness." It works not on building new houses but on smaller projects that help beautify the community. We were working at a center for mental health. The patients there would benefit from having a nice yard where they can sit and enjoy the weather and each other's company. I hope we could help make a difference in their lives.
This evening, we had a great potluck dinner provided by the community. It was the healthiest meal we've had in a while and the best cornbread I have ever eaten! Yum!!
Our three day home stretch begins tomorrow. Santa Cruz, here we come!!!!