Waking up was hard today.
Not only does it seem like we are getting up earlier and earlier [as we adjust to the ever-so-slight-time difference], but today the soreness really kicked in.
We got everything packed up, breakfast, and headed back out the Rockport house for the last time. Today the weather was BRILLIANT, a pretty constant 60 degrees with blue skies, so it was perfect for the outdoor work we did.
We basically sorted and cleaned up all of the stuff that had been dislocated and strewn over the property by the wind and got rid of the waterlogged, moldy wood/tools/scraps.
When we arrived at the site, the woman was there to let us in and was telling us about things to do in Texas, since we only had a half day of work today. She recommended several places to eat, visiting Goliad, the wildlife reserve, Fulton Mansion, among other places to spend the rest of the day.
We broke for lunch, and then cleaned up our tools and took them back to the church that we borrowed them from. We then hit the road towards the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.
We stopped first at an alligator viewing dock, where an alligator practically posed for us, swimming up as we walked up.
We then made our way to a viewing tower that overlooked a waterlogged area/marshy land housing whooping cranes.
We made a fast Sonic pitstop on the way back to the church homestead, because we needed to prep a dish to bring to the potluck the Church of the Good Shepherd was having. The weather continued to stay stellar throughout our fellowship. It turns out that the potluck preceded a presentation [put on by the church] that offered helpful information and legal advice for writing your will.
Considering we were on a mission trip, in a foreign state no less, we opted not to stay for the program. But we did stay for the food! And the lovely conversation with the parishioners, of course.
There was an older woman named Susie sitting at our table who shared stories from a hurricane/tropical storm back in 1939 that decimated Long Beach. She then recalled finding out about the escalation of Harvey from category 1 to category 4 while getting her hair cut in a salon.
The stories all shared the same threads– friends and family making it out safe, everyone coming together to help those whose homes had been literally flattened. It really did give a great perspective. Natural disaster has a way of bringing people together…I wish sometimes we could get to the end result sans disaster, but like Susie so endearingly said: “it changes you. It really makes you thankful, and you end up knowing that if you can get through that…you can get through anything.”
We caught a glimpse of a gorgeous sunset and wrapped up the night with a contemplative bout of Compline, and then I practically passed out because I was dead tired and my elbow hurt, but we also had to be up early up the next morning.
It was a lovely day of weather, work, people, and fellowship. We have plans to visit a church in Port A [Port Aransas] tomorrow, as they need some help re-painting and re-flooring the church.
I can’t wait.