Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Feb 10-14, 2020

February 19, 2020

Our leadership transitioned somewhat this week with the arrival of Dave and Patti Hughes as Project Director and Office manager.  Maredda Magnus stepped into the role of Assistant Cook. Our short-term volunteers were six women from Ontario, eight men from Pennsylvania, and a married couple from Pennsylvania. Within a short time, we became a team and proceeded with the work of recovery in Wharton.

Our crews worked at five different houses this week, shifting around as weather dictated. Humidity causes paint and drywall mud to dry slowly, so there can be a waiting period before applying each coat.

At the home of Juana Plascencia at 320 Ford, the flooring was completed, followed by plenty of mopping and cleaning. It still needs cabinet knobs to be installed.

At 213 Outlar, built for Virginia Mobre, the volunteers worked on drywall finishing, waiting for mud to dry before sanding. Others worked outside the house, painting the exterior.

Finishing details progressed at 301 Ford which is to be the home of Jewell Williams. There, the workers painted the entry doors, caulked the shower, put in the cabinets, and installed base and shoe molding.

One of the repair jobs this week was at Janie Gusman’s home where we tore off and replaced the roof.  A second group worked inside: finishing drywall, priming, and painting. It is nearly ready for flooring.

The other repair project this week was at Mr. Jessie Allen’s house. Here, we repaired drywall damage and began finishing the drywall. Scaffolds were placed for ceiling work to begin next week. The challenge here was to avoid the dog, which is very protective of its owner. Volunteers had to be careful that he had the dog secured before approaching. No one got bit, so we considered it a successful week.

We had a Texas barbecue lunch on Friday, provided by the Wharton County Recovery Team.  Crew leader Chad liked the barbecue sauce so much, he drank a cup of it!

Our Project Director, Dave, expects to sign on more repair work next week, plus newly built houses to be finished. There is a lot of work to be done in Wharton.  Dave challenged us to look at the local police and sheriff vehicles and notice what is special about them.  On the back of each one is printed “In God we trust”.  We are also challenged with Dave’s riddles before heading out to work. There was a coffee theme this week:  Why is coffee called mud?……because it was ground.

It was an enjoyable week. There was fair weather, so we sat around a fire one night. There were games to play and puzzles to work as we got to know one another.

Patti Hughes for the Wharton MDS project