Today I went to Breezy Point, Queens, NY with a group of volunteers. We cleaned out a basement and gutted and demolished 2 houses.
It was eerie getting into Breezy Point. All I saw was policemen, firemen, and other organizations. The house and other properties seemed abandoned.
There were no kids playing, teenagers running around, people walking/jogging, nothing of the usual images that makes up what we think a small shore town should look like.
The houses we worked on were right on the water, the view and location was amazing, but it is hard to reconcile the beauty of the view with the destruction that I am witnessing.
I ask myself: Would I want to live this close to the water? the answer is no! I love and I am grateful for nature and the ocean, for the beauty of it and for all it affords us, but since the tsunami in 2004 my respect for nature is becoming a fear.
Unfortunately besides all the garbage and debris removed from the houses, at one of them we located the owner’s dead cat that we found behind the insulation. I guess it tried desperately to escape the rising water and failed.
It has been a real long time since I have felt this physically exhausted. Every muscle in my body hurts. But it is good pain.
I enjoy manual labor, I enjoy cleaning. I wish I could do it more often.
Besides the joy of the manual labor and the joy of helping families that desperately need help, I had the joy of bringing home this old wooden tennis racket (only a tennis lover could appreciate it!). We had saved some of the contents of the houses that we were clearing out for the owners to confirm it was garbage. The owner decided that she no longer wanted to keep her mother’s old tennis racket, so I happily brought it home!:)
I am looking forward to Pilates tomorrow because of the stretching that I get at the end of it. I am also looking forward to volunteer again next Saturday!