Today was spent off our bikes, as we worked with a Fuller Center Covenant Partner here in Tupelo, MS. For my fellow riders, they might remember the dust or the paint or the drywall, but for me I will remember my sticky fingers (among other things). We arrived this morning at the home of a woman named Ladeen; our mission was to replace her kitchen floor and some drywall in her bedroom.
I helped a little here and a little there taking advantage of talking with Ladeen and her family when I could. The real work began when we got to measuring the linoleum for the kitchen. I assisted another rider, Jesse Adler, while he cut everything to dimension. Because math is not my strong suit, I supervised this portion of the process. Then, with the help of Ladeen’s daughter Mary, Jesse and I adjusted the piece of flooring until it fit just right. And that was the last time my hands were adhesive free. In fact, I hope that none of the still sticky spots catch these computer keys just right or this post might nnnnever end! I helped another rider, Jonas Winn, apply the floor glue. His exact words were, “Don’t ever get this on you.” That was over the second I reached in the bucket with my trowel. While most of the glue made it to the floor, successfully sealing it down, some remained on my hands. Thankfully that first batch was graciously removed with some weed-whacker gasoline provided to me by Willy, Mary’s husband.
At this point, I believed I was free from glue for the rest of the day. But later we glued down the carpet in Ladeen’s bedroom. With the gasoline gone and no other means to remove the adhesive from my hands other than ten minutes of scrubbing, with varying results, I left Ladeen’s with plenty of glue on my hands.
Yet, I don’t really mind. This is a huge part of the reason why I ride. Not the glue really but the build days. They are one of my favorite parts of the adventure. I love meeting the families who are helped by the money we raise and I love being a part of how God is blessing others through this work. So I may have goo on my hands for days but the memories of meeting this family will be stuck to me long after the glue wears away.
Thank you to Ladeen, Mary, Willy, Rita and BJ for welcoming us into your home. And thank you to everyone else whose support made this day possible.
By: Sarah Doren