It’s what our newspaper was thinking. At 7 a.m. on the morning of the big event, we even sent an email to Executive Director Matt Carlson to confirm our suspicions that the historic event would be postponed to a drier day.
Just 48 minutes later, we received the longtime homebuilder and civic servant’s reply.
“At this point, the ground breaking is still on,” Carlson told us. “We may be slinging mud, but it should still happen.”
Oh we of little faith!
Obviously, this husband, father, man of God and positive thinker knew something that we didn’t. We could read Tuesday’s weather maps as well as anyone else. From our perspective, it pointed to one message ... “More rain, and lots of it!”
On construction sites, rain — and especially when it is heavy and pours for two days — leads to this: Mud!
But Matt Carlson, a man who has dealt with Mother Nature’s fury for years as a Habitat humanitarian, believed. He believed in the cause. He believed in the miracle. He believed in the message behind the shoveling of a few lumpy mounds of dirt ... albeit, muddy dirt.
And so it was.
Almost 30 Habitat for Humanity volunteers, corporate sponsors, government supporters, staff and board members — among them the legendary Jim Tucker whose life’s dream has been to help others — gathered on a grassy slope that looks across 5 acres of undeveloped land to launch yet another dream.
This vision is called Victory Cove.
A product of two years of planning between Habitat, the city of Cleveland, the Community Development Block Grant program, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and locally the respected Bank of Cleveland, this 27-home subdivision is now under way.
Actually, the Planned Urban Development got a head start on the groundbreaking. Part of its first foundation could be seen in the background across the vast 5 acres as Habitat for Humanity visionaries slung their symbolic shovels of dirt high into the air.
But this is what home construction is all about — keeping a schedule, but doing it with flexible minds and firm mindsets.
Under dark clouds whose threat to the hourlong drought seemed real, volunteers and all who believed in the strength of the human spirit offered words of support to the organization that will be dedicating its 100th home in early December ... in the Century Village subdivision.
One of the most inspiring comments — a true message of the heart — came from Barry Boettner, a volunteer who serves as president of the Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland board of directors. Like a bell of liberty, his words rang loudly in truth.
“This (Victory Cove) is more than just a subdivision,” he told the modest assembly. “This will be home for 27 families.”
Such vision speaks with a keen focus. Such conviction rises from the thump of a warm and beating heart. Such belief in a finer day of hard work and honest ways echoes the love for others that is shared by any who have ever pounded a Habitat nail or raised a wall of dreams while working shoulder-to-shoulder with their neighbors of like desire.
In and of itself, Habitat for Humanity — whether in Bangor, Maine; Spokane, Wash.; Biloxi, Miss., or Cleveland, Tenn. — is merely a name.
It is the people behind the name who define the organization.
We congratulate Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland on the start of its third subdivision development. In like manner, we credit the endurance of this hardworking group which reaches for the stars through the unblinking eyes of hope.
Families who will call Victory Cove their home in months and years to come are families themselves who have achieved the grandest victory.
Such celebrations are won through a shared cause — that which we call humanity.