George V. Reilly

Basement update

Last weekend, we made good progress on the basement. On Saturday, Dale and Ernest helped us out, doing some demolition in the basement, and bringing loads to Goodwill and to the dump in their truck.

On Sunday, Jill and Delf helped us clean the remaining stuff out of the basement. Louise excavated a hole outside the window that we’re going to enlarge. Deb, currently hors de combat with a pinched nerve, dropped by to provide moral support, as did Frank and Lyndol. Delf spent nearly twelve hours with us that day, and thanks to his experience in con­struc­tion, he and I built framing around the furnace.

Peter and Lucinda have provided some cash to help cover our costs, and Deb has promised to give us some furniture as soon as we’re ready to take it.

Tomorrow and Sunday, we’ll have more work parties, which should largely complete the basement. We need to finish the framing, tack up some panels around the walls, add some new ceiling tiles, and do something about the ten-foot wide entry into the basement bedroom. We also need to prime and paint both the basement and the spare bedroom.

On Monday, the concrete cutters will be enlarging the basement window, so that area of the basement needs to be sealed off to stop dust blowing everywhere. We’ve arranged for someone to measure the opening on Monday afternoon, so that a new window can be installed ASAP. We bought carpet a week ago, and it will be installed early next week.

We still do not yet have Katrina evacuees lined up to stay with us. We have not been able to reach Roy, though we did hear early this week that nobody had seen him in the preceding week. Perhaps he’s gone to New Orleans? We heard from the same source that he had mentioned Emma’s offer to him, so we know he hasn’t forgotten. Meanwhile, we’ve posted offers on several websites, such as Rainbow Relief.

Hurricane Rita is sure to swell the numbers of homeless. The best thing we can do is to finish up the basement as soon as possible, so that we’re ready to take people in.

We extend our profound thanks to everyone who’s helped out. (I think I’ve mentioned everyone. I apologize if I’ve left anyone out.)

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