Extreme Quietness

Well, the dust has literally settled on last week’s Extreme Makeover project. What a week! Some of the production crew is still here, cleaning up the neighborhood and they’ll be here until Wednesday. That means in the space of ten days, they came in, completely took over people’s yards, closed off streets, installed security details at multiple checkpoints, set up barricades, parked cars in our yards and oh yeah…….built a house in seven days, working around the clock. I tell you what, though – everybody we came across on that production crew were polite and terrific. They were in communication with us nearly every day on what would be happening, they will repair any damages to our lawn and they even are compensating us additionally for our trouble. Really, it was no trouble. It’s a small price to pay to get that family back together.

The payoff? A teeming crowd on a freezing Friday afternoon, a lot of whom showed up at 7am, all waiting for that limo containing the family to turn the corner onto little Elm Ct. I’d say there was just short of 2,000 people, jammed onto people’s yards (including ours, partially), up in trees and standing on rocks, all to catch a glimpse of a father and husband coming home for the first time in two years. It was pretty moving. I shot some very cool video towards the end that I’ll post eventually.

When the smoke had cleared and the bus was gone, the neighborhood took about an hour to clear out and suddenly, things were relatively quiet again for the first time in a week. Our local newspaper reported in the aftermath that the fundraiser which the town put on resulted in $50K plus for the family. We were more than happy to contribute and clearly many others were as well. Monster.com, Maynard’s largest employer, contributed another $80K to the family and promised a job to the husband when he’s ready. A local landscaping company offered their services for a year – gratis. Even Dunkin Donuts gave the family a free one year supply of coffee. Steph made brownies and brought them to a food drive for the volunteers. Apparantly the amount of food donated was staggering. How’s that for a community? Yeah. We love this town.

Now playing: The Soft Boys – Old Pervert
via FoxyTunes


I was brushing my teeth last night and as I squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube, I started thinking back to when I was growing up. I think we predominantly used Aim toothpaste at home, but that’s not the point. The point of today’s post is how we got the toothpaste out of the tube. Everyone in our family basically just squeezed the tube wherever they could to get the toothpaste out. Not my dad. He used to squeeze from the bottom and every couple of days, he’d run the tube across the edge of the counter or something to push all the toothpaste up to the top of the tube, so it was easier to get out. I mean, it’s a minor thing, but it does make it easier. Still, he was the only one in the house who did it. Now I do it, too. I think it’s pretty rare that people do this with their toothpaste – or is it? Do you or anyone you know do it?

My dad does a lot of stuff like this – making things easier to access and/or find and being orderly with things. I think it’s because he doesn’t want to deal with the prospect of having to fight with the tube or waste time looking for something. Maybe he can comment if I’m wrong, but that’s what I’m thinking is the reason.

Extreme Makover update: they’ve pretty much finished the exterior now and most work going on is on the interior. We’re lucky to live so close – at about 6pm, the throngs of the curious public emerge, walking orderly past our house (nobody is allowed to drive on the road except residents and HUGE trucks) to see the job site. The nice part is that during the day there’s almost nobody out there, so you can get a front row seat. I’ve been out there during my lunch each day this week, taking it all in. It is awesome to watch.

Move That Branch!

Back in August, you might remember that I wrote about the show Extreme Home Makeover coming to our hometown of Maynard to do some pre-screening for a family that, at the time, lived about a mile away from us. I had sort of filed in the deep recesses of my mind that they might be back at some time, but life always seems to get in the way of such things. I had kind of forgotten about it until last week when one of the production crew knocked on our door and told us to prepare for bedlam in the neighborhood because the house three doors down from us was the family whose house is being knocked down and rebuilt! Wow! I didn’t know it was on our street, much less three doors down. I even met the woman who lives here one morning when I was outside clearing snow! I didn’t even know it.

So this morning around 8am, Ty Pennington’s Bus barreled down Elm Ct and stopped in front of the house and the family ran outside in a gently falling snow, psyched beyond belief that they had been chosen. They are well deserving. Their story is in my post from August, which I linked to above. And now, starting today and culminating next Friday, they will tear down the house and build a new one so their dad and husband can come home after a year-and-a-half. How about that! We have one hell of a view from our upstairs window – it’s clear as day and very close to us, there’s a small branch obscuring one small corner of the house, but that’s it!

I’ll post pictures here and on Flickr from time-to-time as things progress.