Sisters of Life and the Whatzis?

Do you know what this is?

When Jim Fitzgerald and Andrei Bell pulled into the driveway of the Good Counsel Home after the open house last Saturday, this was in the back of Jim’s red pickup truck.

(You’ll find the answer on the next page)

Here’s the answer:

It’s a slash hauler!

Jim, volunteer coordinator at the Sisters of Life Motherhouse project in Suffern, had a problem.

A  crew from the Bruderhof community in Orange County, who had come to help the sisters, had been tasked with cutting down all the undergrowth and brush, which over the years had grown up along the long, winding entrance road to the property the sisters had purchased last year.

They did the job, but now the problem was how to collect and move the mounds of woody debris — technically called “slash” — out of the woods to a location where it could be collected and disposed of.

Jim and Andrei and the “Slash Hauler”

In the best tradition of “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” enter Andrei Bell, a home-schooled student and volunteer firefighter.

After considering the problem, he engineered and built the device you see in the photo, which allows the pickup to hook onto the tangled debris and haul it away.

Over the past year, the sisters have faced many challenges restoring the buildings and grounds of the old Marydell convent property on Montebello Rd. in Suffern. But willing volunteers have come to help make their dream of a  Motherhouse in Rockland a reality — people like Andrei, who see a job that has to be done, and figure out how to do it.