all before lunch

Monday morning, the concrete truck was scheduled to arrive bright and early to pour the concrete slab floor. Breakfast for my (getting sick) husband and younger son (my older son is staying in the volunteer trailer with the two other volunteers) was at 5:40.

As soon as those two were out the door, I got the rest of the gang up and going. This week, four of my husband’s nieces are visiting. (Even though they’re not with MDS, they’re putting in several days of work.) At 6:45, just as we were ready to head to work, I noticed the van had a flat. Since the knowledgeable tire-changers were all otherwise occupied, my daughter, added by a slew of cousins and their assistant Wikihow, changed her first flat.

Fun times!

After a very slow and cautious drive on a wobbly spare to the worksite, I deposited the girls, and then, while my husband oriented them to their tasks …

… I hopped in the truck and drove north of town to a rental place to pick up the power trowel. When I got back, the concrete truck was there, all the kids busily working.

I snapped a few photos and had just retired to the trailer to make up a grocery list when the engineer stuck his head in. Those concrete truck guys, he reported, were so curious about our group. They’d asked him, Who are these people? Are they paid? And how is it that they’re working so hard together, and they’re so young, too! The engineer explained to me that it’s unusual to see young people working so hard and so efficiently — not goofing off at all — and the fact that they were all volunteers made it all the more unique.

Later, my husband told me that the man in charge of the truck (in the above photo, in light blue) was so impressed that he worked alongside everyone else to pour the floor, and when my husband went to pay, he slashed the price. This is my drop of sand, he said.

While they were still pouring the floor, my younger daughter and I took the van to a tire place to get repaired, and then to Sam’s Club for the week’s groceries and then the house to drop them off. When I returned to the jobsite, the concrete truck was gone … and so was my husband. The power trowel didn’t work, and now, with the cement hardening by the second, he’d had to fly back to the rental to get another. Turned out, it didn’t have enough oil — a bunch of employees fixed the problem lickety-split — and back my husband flew, honking his horn as he drove up the hill.

I left then, heading back to the house by myself to do office work and to finish off the morning with a soothing lunch of peanut butter apple, cheese, and pretzels.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.19.18), language study, the quotidian (6.19.12), Kate’s enchiladas, sour cherry crostatas.


  • Ernie

    this is super impressive! My kids leave for a mission trip in a few weeks. they always come home humbled to the experience.

  • Athanasia

    What is the DIO! name of the tire place mean? It is God in Italian. I think God is Dios though in Spanish, right?

    • Jennifer Jo

      The name of the store was RJ Tires, but all the employees were wearing shirts that said "Jesus love you" (in Spanish) so I imagine the sign was saying Dios (God) something-or-other. Maria took the rest of it, obviously.

  • Margo

    oh Jennifer, "my drop of sand" made me tear up. I love that you guys are doing this work and spreading love and light. THANK YOU.

    Also, I have never changed a tire. My hat is off to your tire-changers!

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