It's Friday the 13th and people everywhere are having mini-freak outs. Look, there's a cat! Is that mirror cracked? That ladder wasn't there yesterday, was it? My freak out isn't going to happen till later tonight and it has something to do with ladders and broken mirrors but only tangentially.
Tonight ABC Television in the US is going to broadcast the final regular episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and I can't tell you how sad I am to see it go. It debuted in 2003, spun off from Extreme Makeover which was dedicated to personal make overs. Tonight's episode rebuilds seven homes destroyed by tornadoes that ripped through Joplin, Missouri in May 2011.
Over the last nine years this team has built 200 homes for people in need around the US. The recipients are blessed with a seven day dream vacation while host Ty Pennington and the Extreme team demolish and rebuild both their homes and their hopes. Kids who live in houses that are contributing to their health problems get new clean homes. Wounded warriors get spaces they can navigate. Most importantly, families that have been toughing it out get to see that their communities have not abandoned them.
There are naysayers, of course. Families have been harrassed to the point of leaving behind these beautiful gifts because of locals who whisper "they don't deserve all that!" You know what I think? I think your own personal bad luck starts when you spit on someone else's good luck. I'm not superstitious; I just think that if you go through life looking for wounds to rub salt in then that's all you'll ever get to see.
Anyway, I just wanted to take a second to say thanks to Ty Pennington, to his huge team, to ABC Television and to the thousands of volunteers who've made it all happen. Thank you for mirroring back to us the best we can be when we pull together. Cracked? Yeah, probably, but there's no doubt something in Ty's tool belt that can fix it right up for you. Just watch that ladder.