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July 17, 2004: Not quite angel dust

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What do you get when you take three women and toss them (and eight men) into a small house on a rather warm day, sprinkle them liberally with drywall dust (and make sure they get a full breathing dose too), and then, at some point, hand those three women matching drills?

You get three women stupidly posing with their drills in the classic Charlie's Angels pose, of course (click picture below for larger view).

It was our second work day for the Sacramento chapter of Habitat for Humanity. We were at the same house we'd been to before - the house where we poured the cement for the back patio, and installed a french drain in the back yard. This time we were installing sheetrock in the interior.

It was good that we were inside for this workday, since it was a lot hotter out than last time. Not, mind you, that it was all that cool and comfortable inside, but at least it wasn't in the direct sun. And at least hanging drywall did not require anyone to cart wheelbarrows of very heavy cement or rocks anywhere, so that was another plus.

We hung drywall the entire day. We hung it for what felt like about 8 hours straight but what was actually only 4 hours. We took a break for lunch, very nicely provided by a local church congregation, and then we still had half the day left, so we spent another 25 years or so hanging drywall until it was about 4pm and two of the three Charlie's Angels wannabes (the third got to leave early because she was coordinating a wedding) decided that enough was enough and that we had inhaled our yearly quota of gypsum dust and it was time to be done with the hanging of drywall Right Now.

I have utmost respect for people who spend their work lives doing this sort of thing. It's heavy, hot, hard work. When we started it was uncoordinated and none of us were really sure what we were doing and had to be shown rather slowly by the habitat site supervisors. But by the afternoon we'd all settled into a routine and by the time we were done we'd managed to get most of the house completed. We were hot and sweaty and sore and completely exhausted by the time we stopped but it was a wonderful feeling to look around and see what we'd accomplished.

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