Habitat for Humanity makes stop in Nacogdoches

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - There are retirees who dream of sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair. Then there are volunteers for Habitat for Humanity's RV Care-a-Vanners. The recreational vehicle owners travel the nation, but their recreation is much different than the expected.

Gwen Larson packs a power saw when she takes a trip

And the youngsters, a couple in their 50s, pack their toys: a kayak.

And Janet Thompson likes to leave her heavy coat at home in Fredonia, Wisc.

"We like to go south in the winter and we were under the impression it would be warm here in January," Thompson said. "One morning it was two degrees colder here than at my daughter's home in Wisconsin."

Today there were no complaints about the Texas weather. The two women joined their husbands and friends working inside and out of the latest Habitat for Humanity house in Nacogdoches.

"They've kinda given us free rein here," Larson said. "We can do what we need to do and they've given us permission to call the lumber yard and order what we need."

They weren't always so competent. About 10 years ago, their knowledge about building houses was ...

"Nothing, zero, zilch," Thompson said.

On-the-job training changed that.

"There's always someone on the build who knows how to do things and they're very patient in teaching those of us who were inexperienced," Thompson said.

Now the gals can't even begin to think how many times they've swung a hammer Or cut a board on behalf of Habitat for Humanity

"Couldn't count 'em," Thompson said.

The retirement dream wasn't always to tote a tool belt. It just evolved as a way to help other people.

And that's what keeps these women and men heading their vans to Habitat homes all across America.

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