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Pages of Life — These people touched our hearts

by Dorothy Kleindienst, For the Fulton Sun | September 2, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Submitted photo

Since the duplexes in our little community had hail damage from the last storm our landlords Jim & Bonnie Barton, was having all roofs re-roofed.

A couple days ago the crew arrived, (they work for our neighbor's company), and they completely re-roofed the first duplex house. Ours was next. As they pulled up early yesterday several men and a couple ladies immediately went to work. And I do mean work!

We stayed home all day and watched, so impressed by the workers. They worked fast and precisely. No slackers in this group!

All day they went up and down ladders packing heavy things. This went on until almost dark because they ran into problems on our neighbor's house. They found some plywood damage and had to have some brought in.

It was already dark, and they were still working trying to clean up all they could. I fought tears thinking how hard they had worked all day! They were working like there was no tomorrow, but yet I knew they would be here early the next day to do it all over again at the next house.

This morning they came back to clean up our yard, before moving on to the next duplex. When they arrived, part of the crew walked with buckets looking for nails to pick up. The rest moved on to work on the next duplex.

Then they used magnets to go over our whole yard still searching. They swept the front and back patios with brooms. Then rechecked again for missed nails. Then one of the men used a leaf blower and they left our patio and porch better than they had found it.

After everything looked good, one of the men made another check for hidden nails. He used a push magnet roller that looked like the old push mower mom and daddy had in the 50's, called a Reel, from years ago. I know it is impossible to find every nail, but they sure tried.

We were so touched by watching how they worked. David told me you want to do something for them, you could offer them pears from the tree. I was wondering how I could tell them since I was sure they couldn't speak English. I decided to print a simple note to try to let them know, and perhaps they could show someone who could read it. Also, to show we had given them permission in case someone asked.

I went out with the note as the two ladies were there close by working. I asked if they speak English. One lady said hello. They smiled, and I smiled, and gave them my note. They tried so hard to understand. I was pointing at pears and trying to signal for them to take. One man started coming over to see what was going on. They said, "English" to him. He shook his head no.

I came on in, hoping they would figure it out, or someone in the group could. I looked outside a little later and I saw someone with my note, I believe on his phone, trying to translate. I found a box and I told David I was going out and making another try. Out I went. I showed them the box and pears and pointing, signaling, and I think they understood.

They, and me, were all smiling as we tried to communicate. The man then touched his billfold smiling and pulled out a scratcher's ticket from his pocket and handed it to me. I checked it and he had won $2.00. I handed it back and I tried to tell him that's what I get... nothing higher, as I made gestures. Reaching higher, sad face, pointing at myself, shaking my head no... Everyone laughed so I 'think' they understood... But I hope he wasn't trying to pay me for the pears!

I know very few sign languages, but I almost tried that. Then it came to me that they didn't know that either.

Last night our neighbor Reese came over and we were talking about it. She is a teacher at MSD and had almost done the same thing when she took them out some ice water. So, we had a laugh at ourselves.

David reminded Reese and Ryan of how I talk slowly trying to communicate as if it makes a difference. He told them of how in a restaurant I had asked our server, who looked like a foreigner, for a to go box. I spoke one word at a time gesturing. He smiled and said in perfect English, "would you like a large or small to go box?"

Meeting them was a fun experience, and I think they have touched all our hearts with their hard, committed work ethics, and friendly attitude. I told David I just hope they are paid well; they deserve it.

Sometimes we can work around those language barriers. And yes, they did pick some pears.

Print Headline: Pages of Life — These people touched our hearts


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