Saturday, May 7, 2011

Highway clean up...

Yesterday (May 7th) Cole and I were up at 6:15 a.m. so we could get out the door and be at our church by 7:00 a.m. to do Highway clean up with the Youth of our Ward. We were a little tired to say the least!

Once we were at the church and everyone who was helping out arrived I was looking around the room to see who had all come to help. I was truly amazed and SO shocked by the people who arrived to help that didn't have any of their own kids their, didn't have callings in the Youth...they knew we needed help, so they were there to help! I couldn't get over it...who does amazing are they. I know I would never had been there yesterday to do the garbage clean up if I didn't have a calling in the YW and was required to be there. There was even parents of the Youth who stayed to help...WHAT??? 

Seriously, my eyes have been opened, I was so touched by all of their kid act. I went over to them and thanked them for their examples of what we should all be like and they smiled and were surprised by what I was saying. 

We watched a safety video of the do's and don't of highway clean up and then there was donuts for us all to eat before we were to leave. Cole and I were assigned to do 2 KM's by ourselves as we were short on help. We were given gloves and a bright ornage vest to wear. This was my first time doing highway clean up so I had NO idea and really didn't think much of big deal, right?!

The weather was somewhat nice out (a little chilly still) and there were dark clouds in the distance. So we knew we needed to get things done as quick as we could cause it was supposed to rain at some point. 
 This is what it was like when we first started out.

Cole and I in "our ditch" that we were cleaning.

I took a couple of pictures of us with my cell phone and I look hilarious as it is really tough to take pictures of yourselves I have to say. BUT, I am so glad I did as we had a lot of fun together. Ya know, 2 KM's is a LONG ways to clean when there is only 2 people doing it :)
Barb picking up garbage.

This is what we were had to wear and what we looked like. 
Cole picking up garbage.
Cole checking out something on the ground and he was really grossed out by whatever it was ha ha! We only saw 1 dead was a badger we think...or what left of it was a badger I should say...NASTY!!

Funny story...
As we were picking up garbage we noticed there were these big holes in the sides of the ditches. Cole asked me what animal could have dug those holes and I told him probably badgers. I told him badgers are mean suckers (which they are) so we needed to be careful when we were picking up garbage near those holes. At one point Cole had to go over to pick up some garbage that was right by 3 of these large badger holes. Me, being the nice, sweet, loving Mother that I am, waited for Cole to be picking up the garbage right near the holes and then I yelled, 

"look out there coming" 

and he SCREAMED and took off running and the garbage he had been pickin' up went everywhere ha ha ha ha!!! So, so funny!! Cole and I laughed and laughed...that was a good one :)

It was great as some drivers as they drove by us on the highway would honk their horns and give us a thumbs up or a wave. That helped pick up our spirits every time someone did that as it made us feel good. 
Cole laughing at me as I am trying to wind up the twine that seems to be forever long! If you look closely there is some orange twine that I am holding up in the left of the picture. We had TONS of twine from hay bails that was in the ditch. It was all unraveled and SO long. 

The view of where we were...

 The weather was slowly changing as time went by. It started to get darker and darker out. You could feel it getting colder as well. Right when we finished it started to lightly rain. We were pretty happy that we were able to finish all we needed to do before it started to rain :)

You can't see them in these pictures, but there were horses in some of the fields we passed by. The were watching us very closely and so unsure of what we were doing. I tried to call them over to us, but they wouldn't come. I love horses and it made me want to go for a ride on one. 

My boy and I...
Cole and I

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get the 2 KM's done. In that time we were out in the country all by ourselves so we were able to have some good talks and good laughs together. When we were done our 2 KM's we got back to our van and drove to the next 2 crews to see if they needed help finishing their ditches.

I really am very grateful for the opportunity that I had to spend so much time with my son yesterday. Yes, we were cleaning up garbage along a highway, but we had some great "alone time" together! I LOVE this boy more than life itself. He is growing so fast and changing before our eyes into such a good young man.

Doing this garbage clean up for our ward has opened my eyes as to what we should ALL be doing. Helping one another whether it is part of our calling or not, whether our kids are in YW or YM's or not. It is something we as a family will definitley be doing to help our ward out each year...I am looking forward to next year and the good talks, laughing and alone time I can have with my boys while doing this. Next year Tyson will be able to come help us :)


Gayla Woolf Holt said...

Hey great pictures for only using your cell phone. You two are awesome and the smiles on your faces in that last picture are the very best and tell the story. Awesome! The volunteers opened my eyes too. All you need for next year are cane picker uppers like Grandma had so you don;t have to bend over for every little thing. Love you both! Mom

Lynn said...

Awesome!!!!! Good for you guys!

I am sad that this year was the FIRST time ever in the history of our family for not doing the highway clean up. It all started years ago.....and now it seems that our little ward's idea has blossomed to wards all over the city. So cool!

But in all those years....we never thought to take pictures. Wow. Sad. Hopefully we will be back in it next year.....but our family was all booked up for the weekend. It was good to hear that our ward still was there in great numbers to get it done. We use to do a highway just north of here, but now we do the stretch of highway all the way to Okotoks.

Anyway.....I too appreciate ALL the ward members that come out to help, even if they don't have youth or kids or never have. It's always been a collective ward project.....even knowing that the funds go to the youth. Love it. Love that you expressed your gratitude to your ward members. You are such an example to me.

Great post!