December 2007

I just wanted to make it clear that….

No steroids or performance-enhancing drugs were used to complete any of the building projects on the house.

Although they probably would have helped!

So I joined this running group back in April 2007 called H.A.R.D. – Harrisburg-Annville Running Dementia. My entire family thought I was completely crazy…not because it’s running (heck I’ve been running on and off since college) but because the group meets at 5 o’clock in the morning. Not being a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, they (and I) never thought it would last beyond a couple of days. But the group sucked me in. From day one they welcomed me and made me feel a part of the family. I even started to look forward to getting up at 4:30…Spencer just has that affect on people!

When I bought my house members of the group showed up with gloves and shovels to do things to this place that I wouldn’t ask my best friend to do. They were there to help me tear shingles off the roof, to pull up the pee stained carpets, to clean out the mouse dropping and lady bug infested shed contents. And they were there on the morning runs ready with moral support and asking how this week’s work on the house went.

After getting overwhelmed the past month, running fell by the wayside…getting up for a 5 am run just took too much effort. I still kept up with the latest news and fun – like Pippy Longstocking sightings (Marc’s newest running costume) – through the H.A.R.D. forum but it’s not the same as being there. I missed them and looked forward to returning to the regular morning runs. And I vowed to do so as soon as I put the last shingle on the roof. That happened this afternoon.

I finished the roof just in time to get cleaned up and make a quick chili dip to take to the annual H.A.R.D. Christmas party. This was my first H.A.R.D. Christmas party so I didn’t know what all went on. It seems H.A.R.D. has created quite a history in its 10 years (I’m still learning it in bits and pieces) and also a tradition. I found out the tradition the H.A.R.D. way!

Since I am the self-appointed photographer for the group, I always take my camera to the get-togethers. When Wendy stood up and got the group’s attention to make an announcement, I dove for my camera to capture the moment. Bonnie all but tackled me, saying she’d take the picture and that I shouldn’t worry about it. I insisted on it and pried her off me. I sat back on the couch with my camera and waited for Wendy to start her spiel. She explained that instead of exchanging names and gifts every year they pool their money and just get one gift and give that to one person in the group. And this year they were giving it to me. Huh???

She handed me a card. I sat back down wondering whether to open it or not and whether something would jump out of the card if I did. Shawn told me to open it so I did. I was floored. There was a Lowe’s gift card with a picture of me working on the roof of my house. And it was for $300!!! This confirmed it. These people really were nuts!!! I was speechless.


These guys are really something. I never saw it coming. I know I’ve been a little out of the loop with not having run much in the past month but sheesh… I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on these guys!

So, to all the H.A.R.D. members:

Thank you so very much for this gift. It really means a lot to me that you guys did this. I’ll hang a piece of window trim in each of your names. :-)

I had a really good time hanging with you all tonight. It was the best evening I’ve had in a long, long time. I wish you knew how serious I am when I say that you guys will never know how much being a part of the group has done for me. It’s brought healing and helped restore trust I’d lost in mankind. Thank you so much!!!!

And to Kathy…does this sound familiar to you – Beep?

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

FINISHED THE ROOF TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whew! Took long enough with all the weather delays. And other than a few bloody knuckles from scraping them on the asphalt shingles and a minor goose egg on the forehead when the crowbar got away from me, there were no injuries. All appendages are still attached and in good working order.

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Also got all the windows in and insulated. What a difference it made in the propane. Wee doggie! Before the windows were in, it was taking 4-5 gallons of propane per day to keep the temp at a blistering 55-60 degrees inside. With all the new windows in and insulated and the doors sealed up, propane consumption has dropped to 1-2 gallons per day with outside temperatures a little lower and inside temps 65-70. Can’t wait to get a fireplace insert in so I can really crank the heat up in the evenings without paying a fortune.

Still have to put all the trim up inside and lay rug and linoleum. I’m looking forward to doing the trim. When I worked for the carpenter during college I watched a lot of trim go up. Now I get to try my hand at making the cuts.

Furniture is already in. Had to do things a little backwards. Had to get the furniture in when the help was available. There was no way I was going to be able to move the sofa and chair myself.

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Martin Water is coming out on Wednesday to install a water filter system to take the sulfur smell and iron out of the water. Woo hoo. Then I can start actually living and cooking out there. Going to pick up some flour. The first thing I’m going to make is some home made bread!