Friday, May 09, 2008

Creative Survival at its best

There is absolutely no way I can show you Mr Robert's home! I thought I had seen everything until our home visit today!
Please take the time to click on each one and look closely -- this home survived the storm!
Mr Robert has lived in this home since 1973. It was moved from across the street and he started adding the second story. He got his building permit --- and still has it! He informed us that as long as continued "building" on the home the permit was good! He took them literally and that is what has kept him going all these years.
Mr Robert is 80 years "young" and this house is what has kept him so! The blue tarp you see is his roof. Yes, it's flat as a pancake and held on top of the home with bundles of old newspapers and sandbags. He did tell us that the last big rainstorm we had left him with 5 inches of water inside! He said he's fixed the tarp since then!
The outside is indeed made of treated plywood -- and he does NOT want it painted! Look closely and you will see the set of steps he has "created" going up to the top of the roof where he plans on building a deck!
He lives directly on the water, on a little inlet. The black circle you see is some piping that washed ashore from the shipyard. Mr Robert does not waste anything!! He used it to wrap around his garden. With the black color is attracts heat, and this is where he gets his hot water. He brings it inside the home with a hose and syphens is back outside when he is done washing clothes or bathing. No, I am not kidding!
He electricity comes from the pole out back and everything runs from extension cords inside. There isn't any plumbing, insulation or sheetrock. The floors are true hardwood, no interior doors, plenty of windows and imagination and creativity like I have NEVER seen before!
How in the world he does what he does is beyond me! He can't be 80 pounds soaking wet but this home is his life!
When we asked him about tearing down this one and building a new one he said he would not live in a new home! BUT --- he would take the lumber from the old one torn down, build a boat and live on it! He was not kidding! And he is completely sane! I think maybe more so than the rest of us.
The Bible tells us to "be content in whatever circumstances" and he is the perfect example of this!
He had a copy machine that he had gotten at a second hand store, which made getting his paperwork helpful. When he realized we were there to help he didn't mind me going through some of his files to help him locate documents. He said he would love to have a computer -- if someone would run it for him!
He has 4 step children but no much help. There is one nephew who comes around and helps him putter with things. He said he's had alot of people want to purchase the property but he's not selling! I don't blame him!
The city is trying to get him safe, sanitary and secure! We are going to step in and see what we can do to get him there. We simply cannot!!! tear this house down, he lives for it and it keeps him living! We will do what we can to get a good roof on top, electricity and plumbing done and let him continue with his dreams of what he's going to do inside!
Mr Robert stole not only my heart, but Monty's as well! We both would have loved to have spent the entire day with him -- a man of history and wisdom that can't be found much anymore!
I did have to laugh -- Monty asked him "Mr Robert, what is it that you want?" His answer, "a good woman with a dollar in her pocket!"
Monty and I have decided that if another hurricane comes this way we are going to Mr Robert's house, go upstairs and watch it blow through!
It's people like Mr Robert that God places in our lives to let us know we ARE exactly where He wants us to be, doing exactly what He has called us to do!
Be sure and stay tuned for . . . the rest of the story!!! It will be a blessing to all of us!!
"To the world you may be one person -- but to one person you may be the world" Author unknown.
May we all use Mr Robert as an example of being content!!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

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