Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Not Your Typical Crew

Day #1

I never know what is going to pull into my driveway each day in regards to our building project.

I’m not the foreman of the job this time.

Been there, 

done that, 

not doing it again.

We first remodeled our kitchen when I was pregnant with Ellie over 12 years ago.

Our main carpenter had to have sudden hemorrhoid surgery and didn’t tell me.

He just didn’t show up on the job for a week.

Meanwhile the clock ticked on my pregnancy and the deadline of getting the kitchen done.

Which I had hoped would not be ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

After many phone messages, I finally learned of the surgery and FAR TOO MUCH of what led to the need for it.


No one should know that much 
about their carpenter’s behind.

When he came in limping the first day back on the job, I hid upstairs, lest he go into all the woeful details once again.

Needless to say, I am SO thankful I am not the one doing the organizing, arranging, booking and/or wrangling of any one of the many people pulling into my driveway on any given morning.

And I am NOT going to be the one who has to hear about their behind 
or their need for surgery on it.


I love our builder, Paul. He is encouraging and really rallies his crew earning not just their respect, but their loyalty.

The other day, I almost called Paul when hour two ticked by on the nap of the guy asleep in his truck in my driveway.

I texted Monte during the 2-hour period and he began to question 
if this guy was actually even part of the construction crew.

But Paul showed up before I had a chance to tattle and soon more people arrived. They all worked until after 9:00 pm. building the block wall in our construction hole.

A few days after that, I rushed out the door to meet a friend for coffee. I didn’t realize someone was at the house nor did he realize I would be rushing out the door.

He was standing on the top layer of the cinder block wall REALLY close to our kitchen door steps.

When I caught a glimpse of him, I gasped

and he gasped.

I jumped back

 and he started to jump back…

but had to steady himself as he 

almost fell right back into our construction hole.

We both stared at each other in wide-eyed shock.

“I almost scared you into the hole!” I said grabbing my heart.

“I almost fell into the hole!” He said tightly gripping the stick he was holding.

I was still recovering when I backed out of the drive and saw what he had parked on the street right in front of my house.

A circa 1980/82 long Chevy station wagon with enormously huge and wide tires with fancy rims. He had the window in the hatch back open so he could easily access his tools.

A little attitude to go with the practical,
thank you very much.

I snapped a picture and sent it to Monte and he surmised the total of those 4 tires and rims more than likely exceeded the total value of the Chevy station wagon.

I’d share the picture but I 

almost scared the poor guy into a construction hole 

and I feel bonded to him now.

We have a history.

We might need our own special handshake.

I love that not even a month into our project a guy on a bike with a crowbar and a hammer in his basket pedaled up to tear down our den.

I love that a guy patiently napped in his truck in my driveway while waiting on his crew to show up to build our block walls.

I love that a jumpy guy with a love of vintage tricked out carpool vehicles painted sealant on our block walls to keep moisture from seeping in.

If they all wore a uniform and drove shiny trucks with a fancy construction company logo on the side, there would be no story.

And God has always been faithful to give stories.

There would be no story if Joseph hadn’t first been thrown into a hole (not a construction hole) by jealous brothers and sold into slavery.

There would be no drama if David didn’t slay Goliath when he was only 15 years old and too small to wear any armor for protection.

There would be no need to ever even remember Jonah if he’d obeyed God and went to Nineveh to preach instead of running away and getting swallowed by that whale.

The stories are more memorable because they weren’t perfect 

or even typical.

They stick with us because we can see ourselves in them and God chose them just like He chooses us.

Every rag tag, 

bike pedaling, 

truck napping, 

big-wheeled station wagon driving 

one of us.

Just as we are.

And after the storm of drama,

God looks at us with such precious love,

bonded to us by the knowledge we looked to Him 
during the worst of it.

And that becomes our history.

Better than any special handshake.


  1. I love the way you tell your stories Karmen & I identify with this one. I too, felt like I had developed a bond of love & appreciation for a couple strangers who worked on our plugged septic lines a few years ago, me just watching out the window as they did that humbling repair for us. God's stories are the best! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    1. Cynthia,

      Thank you for your sweet comment! Oh, the stories we could tell of the people willing to work on our houses! :)

  2. What a cute story. I feel your pain. We spent 2013 gutting the main floor of our house, while we lived in it. At the beginning of the master bathroom gut, the handyman (age 51 and with four kids 23-8) discovered they were expecting #5. Lord, I knew way too much about them! The baby was three months old when they finally finished. Looking forward to hearing more as part of 31 days! My google sign-in isn't sending you to my new blog ( need to fix it.


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