Yes, it has been a LONG time. As mentioned, I spent a week in Pittsburgh on a church mission trip. It was great! It just took a little longer to get caught up than I anticipated! (Doesn't it always?!)
So, about Pittsburgh. It was such a good week. I have to admit, at the beginning of the week I was questioning what I had signed up for. But the Pittsburgh Project is a really great organization and I learned so much from them. (I could write a whole post about that, but maybe later!) How it worked was that our group of 25 was split up into 4 smaller groups, each was assigned a home to work on, and given a list of repairs for the home. We were also encouraged to share with the homeowners our religious beliefs if they seemed receptive. I wasn't sure if our homeowner would even want to talk or if she would be the type who just watched and made sure everything was checked off our list. However, Mary, our homeowner, was a pretty amazing person. I'm certain she taught all of us more about religion & faith than we could ever teach her!
After the first night (and a huge rain storm) the roof we were in the process of repairing leaked ALL over her house. Instead of getting upset, Mary simply said everything happens for a reason, and she was trusting in God that it would all work out in the end. Harry really enjoyed our time at Mary's house, and got into the habit of playing the piano for her every day. He DID actually work, too - nothing super strenuous, but painting, replacing floors & light fixtures, and hauling shingles & garbage aren't things he does every day. He helped with all of it and didn't complain!
|Sassy soldier with a little hip thrust|
In addition to the work, we had a good time with our team. Our ages ranged from 10 years old to 50-something. There were several college students, who of course were waaaay cool in Harry's eyes. Every day on our way to the homes, we'd pass certain landmarks that became group favorites, such as a monument of a World War I soldier who was standing at a sort of strange angle. (Kind of like he was posed on the fashion runway - very odd!) All the kids would shout out names they made up for things like this, and I still hear Harry saying some of the Pittsburgh catch phrases while we're driving around at home!
One night we went to the top of the city to Mt. Washington, which has a great view of the city.
|Pittsburgh at night|
(As one of our fellow team members pointed out, it looked much better in the dark - Pittsburgh is a fairly run-down city, which is basically why we were there!)
It really was a good week, and as Mary said, everything did work out in the end (after a few additional repairs that weren't on our list!) I think Harry learned a lot about how lucky we are. And as Mary told him, he now also has a new "grandma"! We exchanged addresses & phone numbers, and hope to keep in touch!