Hammer and Nails This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Weekends: the temptation tosleep late can be almost too much to resist. One Saturday morning, though, therewas something important enough to get me up early.

Rubbing my eyes andyawning, I stumbled out of bed and put on old jeans and a T-shirt. After combingthe house for work gloves, my dad came up with a pair my mother used forgardening. He looked at the rose-patterned gloves with disdain, but took themalong anyway.

We hopped in the car and headed into Boston. Guidedby my directions, Dad was somehow able to get us to our destination: a row oftwo-story houses. They were in the process of being built, mostly by volunteerslike us, and stood unfinished with plywood outsides and hollow insides.

After grabbing a huge leather tool belt, I met the people I would beworking with. Virginia, James and Wilbur were all more than twice my age buttreated me like a peer. We got to work nailing the frames of walls, whichactually relieved some of my fears. Hammering nails was something I could handle.(I shudder to think what could have happened had I been entrusted with a powertool.) Besides, pounding nails looked like a great way to relieve stress.

By lunch break I had hit what seemed like every knot in the whole house,and pried countless bent nails out of two-by-fours. Working together, the four ofus had framed three doorways, a bathroom, a closet and two bedrooms. The rest ofthe day went by quickly, as I gained efficiency with my hammer. Soon it was timeto pack up.

As I was leaving, a woman came into the house. She'dobviously been working, too. She saw the progress we'd made upstairs and startedlooking around the rooms. Then I realized who the woman was - her family would beliving in the house. As she walked through each room, I could see her envisioningthe finished house and planning where furniture would go.

Even thoughI had only been there one short day out of weeks of construction, I felt a greatsense of accomplishment. The blisters on my hands, my few carpentry skills andthe fact that my dad had to wear gloves with roses seemed unimportant. When thesehouses were finished, six families would have nice homes, and I felt privilegedto be part of that.

Habitat for Humanity is an internationalorganization. Local information can be found by visiting www.habitat.org




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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