Leaving home in the wake of a storm was a little apprehensive, but the decision was made to forge forward. We blasted through rain most of the day. Kansas City gave us a break to put a new battery cable on one of Larry's daughter's cars. Then it was to the pastry shop for most delicious pecan pastries. With a bag of pastries and a cooler with pop, water, and sandwiches we headed out of town for our destination for the day, Texarkana. We bedded down about 9:00 PM after getting our grub at the Cracker Barrel.
I sprang out of bed at the crack of dawn, well ok, would you believe 8:00 am. I took my morning constitutional walk and ate the quite adequate breakfast of Oatmeal, waffles, breakfast cereal, fruit, milk, juice, and coffee. Ok, all I had was a bowl of Frosted Flakes, juice, and coffee.
We set out on our journey with bright sunshine and climbing temperatures. Five hours later we arrived at our destination somewhere around 6:30 PM. We staid in the house that we worked on the last time we were there. It really finished up beautiful. The design is a southern type house with a full length porch with four ceiling fans and rocking chairs to finish off the charm.
The next day we were in the truck and moving toward Bridge City at 6:30 am. We did a breakfast stop at the DQ which became part of the daily morning routine. We hit the job site about 8 am. The first day we stepped into the church to take an inventory of what we could work on. The proper drywall was not yet there. We needed sheets for the ceiling which were 5/8 inch firerock. This firerock proved to be a issue for sure. Because of the 24" ceiling joists the extra thickness was needed and for fire requirements the firerock was needed. Firerock has some fire retardant ingredient mixed into the regular mixture to help with preventing fire. It make the rock much heavier than regular. That added to the ceilings of nine feet and the rock being 12 foot long made for trying lifting up to the ceiling.
The first day we put fiberglass insulation into the outside walls and some of the inside walls for sound proofing. We met Pastor Samuel the pastor of the church. I for one was glad to end this day as the itching began about noon and increased the rest of the day. It carried over into the next couple of days before relief began to come.
The next day we hit the site with thoughts in mind of what we would accomplish. With scaffolding in place and two men on high in the sky, the cutter began measuring and cutting the drywall to fit the ceiling joists. First the ceiling and then 1/2 " regular drywall on the walls. We broke for lunch and got after it again.
My job was to help with the measuring, cutting, lifting, and carrying. By the third day my arms were beginning cramp up by the end of the day. I slugged down a quart of Gator Aide, two bananas, and a couple vitamin C pills. The next morning I was good as new and ready to tackle that firerock again.
By the third day we were finished with the front foyer and entry way. We had made our way through the front office rooms.
By the end of the fourth day we had made our way through many of the Sunday School rooms and hallway.
The fifth day we decided to take a day and hit the lake to do some fishing. So while the storm raged on in Omaha Nebraska, I was getting a sunburn on Sam Raeburn Reservoir in Texas. Now I hadn't taken anything to fish with so this is where the story gets really good. The last day we drywalled a church member named Jeff helped us for the day. In the afternoon Larry let it leak out that we would be open to a day of fishing. All most immediately cell phones flared up and filled the airways with plans to make it happen. Drywalling shut down for the day.
We vaulted out of bed at the early hour of 4:00 am and hit the road by 5:00 am. Jeff came with his boat. It was a Javelin Renegade 20 with motor of 225 horsepower. Oh yeah it made the boat scream across the water. I don't think it had to be in the water to actually move. The prop could be a propeller in the water or propeller in the air. Either way we could move from one spot to another really fast. It was wonderful. A real guy experience.
Anyway we found what should be a good spot and Jeff let me pick out a rod from his assortment of old rods. Each had a artificial lures attached to the line. Jeff had his 6 or 7 special rods to use with all different lures attached so he could change quickly from one to another. I picked out what I thought would be dead beat rod and lure and had plans to enjoy the scenery and boat ride. Jeff on the other hand had intentions of catching the lake record at any time. Larry in the rear was casting and cranking as well. I stood for a while then sat in the seat in the boat. I would flip the bait in the lake and crank it back toward me as I enjoyed the splendor of the tree covered banks and awesome weather. To my surprise I connected with a fish and began slowly reeling in the bass. I really had no idea what size it was until I got it up near the boat at which time it began the under and around the boat scenario.
Jeff saw the my rod bending and asked, "You got a fish?"
I nonchalantly said, "Yeah, I think there's one on." I knew I had something of size, but I just wanted those southern boys to think it really wasn't a big deal to catch a big bass.
I had to get up and chase the fish around the boat a couple times. I watched Jeff as I cranked the bass toward the boat. Upon first sight, he dropped his rod on the deck and scrambled to the center of the boat gasping out, "Man you got a fish." He helped me get the fish into the live well and immediately called the other boat in our party to tell them we had caught a good sized bass.
A few more casts and a couple fish more of smaller size, Jeff called on the phone again and said, "Dang these Northern boys are kicking our butt." Jeff did get his justice by catching a bunch of bass in another spot, but I held onto the biggest catch of the day.
Oh I forgot to tell you that the lure I was using was old, had rusty hooks, and one barb was missing on the rear hook. Five pounds exactly.
We headed back to Texarkana on Saturday with the notion of staying over in Kansas City and attending IHOP service before heading back home. Calls home revealed that I-29 was shut down to traffic. The closer we got the more it concerned us about getting back to Omaha. When we hit Kansas City and found out the roads were open, we decided to scat on home because we didn't know how long it would take. Turned out we drove the speed limit all the way back to Omaha and the roads were in excellent shape.
So ended another successful trip to the zone. There's still a lot of damage that needs repaired from the storms of the decade.