04/05/02: Two members of our team did get called to disaster relief for flooding in Kentucky. They have been gone for two weeks and will be returning to Perry Point this weekend, a week earlier than planned. It will be great to have a whole team again.
Last week also went quickly, but I was in a terrible mood all week. The team function sucked. I felt all quiet and lonely and melancholy and other no-fun things. The weekend was a little better, though.
Harford Heights was on spring break this week. Unfortunately, we don't get time off just because our kids do. So we got to do some different work, and it's been a great week. Last Friday and this Monday, we worked on the new tool sheds here on campus. We shingled both roofs. Woo! It was fun. The lines aren't quite even, but it looks pretty good considering we'd never done that before. Monday, the doors were constructed, and so was the trim work. I did half of the corner trim boards myself, with six-foot boards, a clamp, and a hammer. I was pretty damn proud of myself.
Tuesday was the best day. We drove out to a school in Delaware (it's a charter school opening in the fall). We had been told that our project would be constructing a dam, but we ended up planting trees instead. The day could not have been more perfect for it. It was sunny and warm, blue sky, big green fields of winter wheat. It was beautiful. And the planting went great. We figured out a teamwork rhythm halfway into it and kicked some tree-planting ass. They had us plant four lines of trees, to be used as windbreak for the fields and property. The second half of the second row was when we really got it going. So the third row, we did about 1500 feet, one tree every ten feet and alternating sides of a five-foot swath of tilled earth. One hundred and fifty trees planted--and we did it in less than half an hour. It was so awesome. The fourth row was interrupted by the tractor getting stuck in the muddy ground. Thus the planting was halted briefly, and, getting antsy, we had a mud fight. Good fun.
At the end of the day, we had planted nearly 700 trees. Seven hundred trees! We felt great (other than the sunburn). It was just the thing the team needed, to actually work together, and act like a unified team. Plus we did a great thing for the earth and a great favor (so to speak) for the school. In twenty years, there will be a bunch of pine trees standing tall because we planted them.
Dad sent me an old Chinese proverb after hearing about our Tuesday: "You must write a book, have a child and plant a tree--then you will live forever." The book is in the making (in my head; it's one of my life goals to publish a book), the kids will wait a few more years, but all those trees! What a great start. The circle of life.
To continue the week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent at the empty Harford Heights. We painted the computer lab and stamped and counted myriad books in the stock room. The painting required lots of preparation--we had to take everything off the walls, remove staples, spackle holes, sand the whole wall and dust it, then apply two coats of paint. Oh, and put tape along the floor and windows--that was surely the most fun part. (That was me being sarcastic, in case you couldn't tell.) Today was mostly a clean up day. In the book room, we did the last few boxes of stamping, and counted the books and boxes. My rough count (I can't rely on my mental math so much) was approximately 4,600 books stamped. Woohoo! That is awesome.
Oh, yes. This week's team function was baseball--the Yankees played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last night. It was a great night, we started off the evening with dinner at the Inner Harbor. The game went quickly, it was over before 10. The Yankees shut out the O's 4-0 until the bottom of the ninth, when the Orioles saved face by scoring a single run. We didn't get home until midnight, so it was a long day. But good.
Altogether, it has been a productive, unifying, tiring week. It feels wonderful to have a change of scenery, to do something different every day, and to see the fruits of our labor. The team morale and dynamic has definitely improved for it as well, which is most important.