Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Palmer Children's Home, Columbus MS

I'm just back from a week at Palmer Home. It was a church mission trip, and the 14th year or so that our church has fielded a team there. It was my first year to go on this or any other charitable venture over an extended period of time. I'd always looked at these things as an intrusion into my well earned vacation rest, or even better, cycling time. Now that the trip is behind me, I can see how badly I misjudged things. This was a great way to spend a week. Just doing something for others as a volunteer warms a person's heart. How can that not alone be worth the doing of it? This facility is 100% donation supported and entails both the main Palmer Home campus in Columbus proper as well as the recently added Mississippi Sheriff's Boy's Ranch. There is always something needing construction, repiar, or painting. This week we broke into teams and did some of each.

 The kids here have done nothing wrong, their parents have, or they are for some other reason unable to give the kids a home. The children live in large group residences with full time house "parents" and go to school, play, etc in the same way "normal" family kids do. It takes a lot of support to keep the place working and various groups come in during the year to help with projects. A group from Dalton Ga was there as well and had their own stuff to do. I mostly worked out on the ranch, building a small barn for some livestock. We worked in all sorts of weather. we had sleet one morning and 79F degrees the next. It was crazy. I also had fun one morning working on bikes for the staff. Here I am testing out one that I just repaired. It's a Huffy, but the shirt says "Rivendell" so it's all good :)

I also helped disassemble a ton of scrap bikes. Mostly I got rained on or very cold while learning to use tools I had never seen before. Fortunately there were some real pros on our team and they were very patient. I feel like this was as good of a vacation as I ever have had. Sights did not include mambo bands,ancient ruins or art museums, but did include hugs from kids, watching out for a goat while working, and slip sliding away in slick as a whistle Mississippi mud while setting made-on-the-spot roof trusses.  Here's a picture from the day before when it was better weather.

You get the idea.  So tomorrow is back to a club ride after a while of not riding. No parts came in this week, so no more work right now on the winter project. And that's about it for now!

1 comment:

PostCool1 said...

You seem to look younger all the time! Especially this photo...
Must be all the exercise?

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