Saturday, March 31

#90: Building Memories

Between coffee disasters (a coffee maker that took two hours to percolate) and an all-morning rain shower, you would think my last build day would have been a total wash out. Instead, it was filled with good moments -- reminiscing with my coworkers, joking about the weather with volunteers and thinking about everything the past four years have meant to me. And, as always, I was reminded of how small this world is and how much we're connected to those around us.

During morning registration, I heard a volunteer speaking with what I knew was a British accent. I didn't want to ask about his accent while he was with his coworkers, but a few hours later, he walked up to the tent to take a break, and he, another volunteer and I started talking about the hammer he had brought with him that another volunteer had used to break up ice. 

As the weather wasn't allowing for much hammering (most of the work involved cleaning), I made the joke that at least it was seeing plenty of action. He said not to worry, as it regularly saw action on his 1920s house in midtown. When I heard that voice again, I had to ask where he was born, as I recognized his British accent. He said most people assumed he was Australian, but he was actually from a small village in Scotland. I told him that I was also born in Britain. He asked where, and I told him Windsor. He laughed and said his daughter had also been born there, and that he had lived in a small village called Maidenhead for 30 years. I almost choked, as Maidenhead was our home until I was eight. I told him that, and we laughed about what a small world it is. We talked about Maidenhead, Windsor and London for the longest and how much we miss it at times. I told him that I had been back twice in 20 years, and on the most recent trip, that we had walked from the High Street train station to my old house without needing any directions. He said he didn't get back often enough either because of the lack of vacation time in American (Brits get six weeks of vacation time).

The other volunteer asked how he ended up in Memphis. It turns out that he married a girl from Alabama. He told us a funny story about his future mother-in-law fretting over his kilt on his wedding day. I can only imagine his Scottish family and her Alabama family together...luckily she has British cousins (which is how they first bonded) who live one street from his parents. Again, what a small world. 

Also, according to him, The Dubliner is the best pub in Memphis. We might have to check it out.

What a funny way to end my build site career at Habitat. Everything comes full circle, doesn't it?

P.S. I saw this VW at a stop light on my way home yesterday. Ours will be this color when we're finished with it. :)

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