Last night was the final Habitat for Humanity Women Build clinic at Lowe's.
The "lesson" was about siding--a skill I can't imagine having any use for in my daily life. But Gina had hinted at a surprise for us, so I found myself racing out of the house early to make sure I didn't miss a minute.
Attendance was light, no doubt due to it being a holiday week coupled with the post-rainstorm flooding of the Passaic River that has hit the area hard. Our intrepid group was more interested in talking about the location of this year's "build project" in Paterson than in learning the surprisingly simple secrets of applying vinyl siding to plywood. Construction is set to begin in early June, and we agreed to exchange email addresses and choose a day to go build together.
There was also a fair amount of dissing by the veterans in the group about the just-announced wall-raising kickoff event that had quickly been booked to capacity. It was disappointing (but not surprising) to find out that it's more or less a PR thing where people show up just for a photo op with the celebrity chair (Patti Scialfa for several years running.)
The evening concluded with a visit from the store manager, who handed out gift-wrapped T-shirts and thanked us for participating. There was plenty of hugging and promises to keep in touch. As I left with my parting gifts (my work apron and Gina's homemade Rice Krispie treats), I took with me a sense of accomplishment and high hopes that we'll all cross paths again. Because as much as I've loved learning to tile like a pro, the true gift of the past few months has been becoming part of a new community of women. Women with a purpose. Dedication. And heart.
Women build, indeed.