Coming to you from a lovely king size guest bed in the home of a family who two weeks ago were strangers and whom we now consider family of our own.
Three weeks since we left home and we are feeling tired but happy. We planned to stay only two weeks in the beginning, but we feel right about being here right now. We have a small team working houses with us, just three people plus Bobby and I, who have all been together since the start. They all told us that as long as we are here gutting homes, they will be also – which means that staying here keeps five pairs of boots on the ground.
I do not mean to make light of the situations that many people are finding themselves after the flooding in Texas. I cannot imagine losing everything I own in a matter of a few hours. However, I do wish to share what I have observed while helping them.
Ten homes down, and all I can think about is the impermanence of everything around us.
Gutting homes has changed my perspective in how I look at material things. Big house small house, fancy furniture or particle board – it all is destroyed by the same water and the same mold in the same way in the end. We take out wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of stuff. Things that may have once held some meaning but that are now a sopping pile of trash in the front yard. But you know what? Most people don’t even blink an eye at these piles. They don’t seem to care. What do they care about? Picture frames. Photo albums. Children’s artwork. They comb through the piles of moldy clutter to find these treasures that hold true memories. What they care about is preserving the memory of family, friends, and experiences.
Sometimes I get caught up in imagining what I want to have one day. A ranch house, acres of land, four wheelers, boats, etc. But a life lived greatly is not about the money we make or the stuff we collect. No matter how nice your house is, the drywall always molds the same. A life lived greatly is about creating experiences. Memories with friends and family. When it’s all over and we lose all we have, that’s what we will hang on to. Thank you, Texas for reminding me.
As always, live greatly my friends.
– Sarah Cate