As some of you may have heard, we had record flooding this past September. Tropical storm Lee stalled over us and left us with 15 inches of rain that day.
As luck would have it, I had previously arranged to take some vacation that week in order to avoid forfeiting it.
After the flood, I heard through the grapevine that a friend of mine, who lives adjacent to a large creek was in need of cleanup help. The creek was projected to peak at 7.7 feet, but ended up higher than the gauge could measure (it was a flat horizontal line at 26.8 feet). So I went over to help. And we began tearing out the first floor of this 100+ year old house.
This friend of mine is a former scout leader and an avid bicyclist. He is about 6-3 225lb (this has relevance). He and his family never hesitate to help someone in need, and I can attest to that personally.
By the time the third day of cleanup arrived, this family was having trouble coping. Seeing so much of your belongings destroyed, sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion do take their toll.
On this day, a few Boy Scouts from his old troop came by to help. One of the tasks they were assigned to do was to carry wheelbarrows into the living room, and fill them with whatever mud they could shovel as well as the bricks that were added inside the walls in the late 19th century as "insulation".
My friend observed one of these scouts, probably a tenderfoot, crouched in a small closet with a claw hammer tearing out these bricks from the wall. He made a comment, which I believe this young man heard, about how grateful he was that someone would do that for him because "I just couldn't". He was as tired as he was sincere in that comment.
That evening, I got an email from the volunteer coordinator which contained this:
This was the young scout. He was assigned to my crew that morning.Tonight as I feel the tears coming after being in most of the affected homes... I am grateful for all of you that are willing and able to help. I had a 12 year old call me tonight to tell me his dad could not make it tomorrow but he is wanting to help tomorrow as he does not have school. This warms my heart and I hope some other adults can come and assist in supervising the younger kids that are wanting to help. This young man is planning to show up at 9am.