Friday the 13th

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ImageToday is Friday the 13th, and I am feeling very lucky–blessed, actually. A group of volunteers worked at our house this past week, and our stairwell and and upstairs hallway are completely transformed.

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to be very clear that although we did have lots of water in the house, it did not go to the second floor. However, with five feet of water inside, the stairway carpet had to be ripped up and the first floor wall of the stairwell was taken down. Therefore, the second floor wall and upstairs hall were affected. Also, many volunteers with muddy boots had walked on the carpeting in the upstairs hallway.

A group from Temple Baptist Church in Waterford, NY came to Schoharie for the week. They stayed at a hotel in Cobleskill and made our town their mission trip. The group is called TSM Engaged (Temple Student Ministry). All the students we met were really nice kids, and great workers. Their leaders were models of passion for God and compassion for others. And, they had great knowledge and skills for rehabbing homes. This group pulled up the carpeting, removed  the remaining wallpaper, skim-coated the old plaster with new, the primed and painted the walls of the stairwell and upstairs hall. Also, they painted two door to upstairs rooms and the front door. As it turns out, there was a nice finshed wooden floor under the carpeting upstairs!  Thank you, Lord, for TSM Engaged, and thank you to those at Schoharie Recovery and SALT Recovery for attracting and assigning volunteers.

I have had the priviledge of working twice at the Loaves and Fishes Cafe, the system of feeding the volunteers at noon each day. The women who work at this ministry have been serving meals every day since about a week after the flood, and will continue to do so for the rest of the summer. It is amazing tosee God work through those who cook at home and bring food, prepare and serve food, and then clean up and get ready for the next day. There are so many people helping from so many different sources.

A couple of weeks ago, we put a little bistro set on our back porch,and I have been enjoying morning devotions and coffee out there. A photo is included in this slide show.

We are planning on hosting an Open House during Labor Day weekend to re-dedicate the house to the Lord, to celebrate the rebuilding and recovery, and to thank all those who helped. I started this blog to keep our volunteers from far away informed. It would so great to see them again and let them see the fruit of their labor.

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All because two people fell in love

To begin this blog, a bit of background information is in order. Frank Meredith and Betsy Hurd met in a Concert Band rehearsal at Ithaca College in September of 1977. The music school was buzzing about the new euphonium player of amazing talent and skill, but no one had told me how handsome he was! He noticed that I was staring at him, our eyes met, and the rest, as they say, is history. We were married on June 30, 1979, and Christopher was born in December of 1981. I longed for a house, so we did some shopping and one fit our budget: 124 Grand Street in Schoharie. (The number is now 146 but it’s the same house.) It was very close to Schoharie Central School, where Frank was a music teacher at the time. It needed lots of updating, but the plan was to do that room by room in the upstairs. In August of 1983, Jonathan was born, and in 1987, Nathan made our family complete. The house was not fancy, and I am not the best of housekeepers, but over the years, we have eaten dinners together, hosted gatherings of friends, played piano and various band instruments, sang, celebrated birthdays, loved our dog Honey and cat Hot Dog, did our homework, prayed, played whiffle ball in yard, and in general, raised our family in that house.
Sending each of them off to college was wrenching, and adjusting to the empty nest was tough, but Frank and I had settled into a pleasant routine. In October of 2008, we became grandparents, and a brand new chapter of our lives began. I once again longed for a house. This time, it was MY house, but neater, less cluttered, and better suited for grandkids and their parents to stay and play.
So, be careful what you wish for. On August 28, Hurricane Irene caused the flood waters to rise so high that the Schoharie Creek sent rushing muddy water through the basement, garage, and first floor of our home. In the days that followed, I experienced heartache, but also real joy and thankfulness to God for preparing me for this event, and providing for us in the aftermath.
Needless to say, we now have a major remodeling project on our hands. This blog will be good therapy for me, a way to tell others about His goodness to us, and a format for others to share in the rebuilding process with us.