I remember how hard that summer was for me personally. I remember thinking i'd never survive that week. I remember crying after hitting my finger with a hammer and wishing I'd never signed up to go. I remember the sense of dread as we got into big blue, the fifteen passenger van and I realized I would have to get through the next 10 ten days. I remember trying to have a good attitude about it. I remember getting an education in the body language of flirting, acting like a drunk girl and smoking candy cigarettes. I remember laughing harder than I ever have. I remember using a hoe to break up dirt and actually feeling like I was useful and being proud that I'd figured out how to be able to tell which way was up. I remember scaring everyone to death when I decided to try to use a pick ax. I remember how the bathroom floor in the house we worked on had a hole and the toilet was held up with a board. I remember not drinking any water the first day so I wouldn't have to go to the bathroom and getting so sick I litterally wanted to die the next day. I remember how good it felt to take a shower even if it was cold. I even remember staying up all night and making myself sick off Mountain Dew.
I remember that I learned that God really could help me get through that week. And I remember learning about the coal mines and what they are doing to the environment, the people and the economy. I remember thinking about how opportunity is denied sometimes just because of where you're born and wondering if it really has to be that way. I remember how attached I got to the family we worked for and how I hoped they'd be alright.
I remember carrying rail-road ties and wishing I were stronger so I could help more. I remember the rain and how we wished we could finish.
I remember so much about that summer...