Dear Relatives and Friends:
It’s Thanksgiving Day as I’m starting this and it’s very unusual for me to be doing it while far from home. I’m in Orange, TX volunteering on a 6 month commitment of hurricane Harvey recovery. That hurricane occurred a little more than 2 years ago but there is much still to be done. When you live in Wisconsin it’s hard to imagine the thousands of homes that were flooded or otherwise damaged and the effect it has on families still living in FEMA trailers or terrible conditions 2 years later. I volunteered through the Methodist Board of Global Ministries (connected to UMCOR) and they referred me to a non-profit here called Iconnect. Iconnect researches requests for help and receives funds from FEMA and charities and assigns contractors or volunteers like me to repair and rebuild homes. Interestingly, most of the contractors they hire are from dubious backgrounds like recovering alcoholics or released prisoners. I fit right in, don’t you think! They’re a good Christian group though and good to work with. Many do the rougher carpentry and drywall and plumbing while I install new doors and flooring and do baseboard, kitchen cabinets and door and window trim installation. I work 8 or more hours a day and to me, it’s kind of fun. Adventure plus and interesting new people to meet! The first 3 months I stayed at a retired naval barracks and am now staying in the storage room of the North Orange Baptist Church. Both the clients I work for and the people I work with are very kind and great!
I plan to fly to Chicago over Christmas week and be with daughter Lauri and her family and maybe sneak in a day or 2 at my house in Brillion. I’m not sure how I’m going to get this sent since I don’t have a printer here. I’m anxious to hear from many of you though. My time here is through in the first of February and then I’ll be back in Brillion.
Obviously, I’m healthy. I keep
saying God put me on this earth for a reason and has given me a little talent
and good health so He must not be through with me yet.
You may wonder what I did before I left for here in August but it was my usual things of doing delivery of meals-on-wheels and transports for the county Aging and Disability Resource Center, helping with the Habitat for Humanity Rock-the-block in Brillion, a trip to Scottsdale, AZ for volunteer training and visit with son, Steve, a short trip to Nebraska for Memorial Day, and 2 weeks at MMDC reconditioning treadle type sewing machines.
Son, Steve Harms is reasonably healthy now and doing well with his dry and wet cleaning and laundry in Prescott, AZ. Daughter, Lauri is still in Lisle, IL traveling all over the U.S. managing lighting design with many trips to their other office in Madison. Husband, Steve is still doing district energy projects for Burns/McDonald. Granddaughter, Katy is now enrolled in veterinary school in Madison, WI, studying full time except for volunteer related work. Granddaughter, Lizzy is in New York City doing free-lance theatre set design. She recently completed a 2 month gig working on the Cirque Du Soleil show opening at Disney World in March of next year.
I’m very thankful for a wonderful family and many other relatives and friends like you.
My Christmas wish for you is good health, a happy home, and God’s blessings throughout the New Year.