a gut day

Every Thursday during the first year that Ken and I lived in New Orleans, our team would gather to work on a house in our neighborhood or finish a house that a team didn't complete. The other days were dedicated to our specific jobs, but Thursday we all did the same thing. Majority of the time, this was gutting. Ripping out walls, removing toilets, filling our lungs with those yummy dust particulates of asbestos, etc. These days were the best.

When we first moved in August, however, gut days were the worst due to the heat. The proper attire for house gutting is long sleeves, long pants, work boots, respirator, and a hat or bandana. All sorts of nonsense is flying around those old houses, so you wanted most of your body covered. So, it's 90+ degrees, you're in a house covered in mold, the air is still and you're sweating. Like just dripping into your eyes and down your back. Can you see why Ken fell in love with me?

But then I got to experience weather. I say this because back home I don't think we had weather. We had 5 degree variations, but not weather. In college, the only differentiation was if I wore Rainbows or Toms. In New Orleans, it's like taking a shower in lotion when it's humid but when a cold front comes in the weather will drop about 15-20 degrees and the air is crisp and you're like, where's my beanie. I mean, it's still around 60 degrees, but you guys, that's cold.

Today the house across the street from us is being worked on after nearly 10 years of nothing and lots of gutting is going on. And if I weren't due, you know, TOMORROW, I'd join them while the girls take their naps. The weather is perfect for gutting, which leads me to this nostalgic post about why gut days were the best. That only took 4 paragraphs.

All of us started the day groggy, barely making it down stairs with our boots in hand, bandana stuffed in our pockets, quasi dreading the day ahead. I usually just brought a power bar for breakfast, and lunch and a Nalgene of water, and then most likely mooched off of others, in my natural fashion. We weren't incredibly chatty in the AM, but we took time to pray over the house and pray for our safety before we made our way to the worksite. The cars were loaded with necessary tools, and we slowly ruined the interior of Ken's Jeep (RIP Black Pearl). Once we got to a house, we had a game plan and then got to it. When the weather was like it is today, you didn't really sweat, and you actually had fun. We would listen to music, sing/yell through our respirators, make jokes (mainly Brittany) and took great pleasure in breaking stuff. Around 3, we'd start cleaning up and then we'd head home. This was the best feeling. Your body was so sore from working all day doing things you never thought you'd call "work" but you were done, and you felt good about the work you did. I was guilty of coming home and not changing out of my moldy clothes and I would crash in the nearest chair or floor. Eventually we'd all shower and declare an honest days work. Usually we would then watch The Office together, and it was a damn fine night. Ken and I occasionally made our way to Frenchman street for some music and Abita ambers, and since it was 2006, it wasn't crowded and it was simply lovely (And Spotted Cat was just called Spotted Cat, not "The Spotted Cat Music Club"... there is a HUGE difference, leaning way in favor of the prior.)

But all of this is because of the weather; the perfect fall, gutting weather.

I know I'm getting old because a mark of age to me has always been conversations about weather. You know when you talk to your grandparents, they always mention the weather, and you smile on the other end of the line thinking, how nice that life has come to a point for you that weather sparks an interest, so much that you can't help but talking about it. Well, I'm there. I talk about weather, and not just as a conversation filler because I can't find anything else to talk about, but because it's the best.

I know if the team was all here, and not either pregnant or working, we would head to an abandoned house and go to work.
The weather would compel us to. 

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