Thursday, June 23, 2005

Deck Building Project Day 4: Stringers

I've been to sleepy to diarize each day of the deck building project. Here it is in a nutshell.

Day 2 was spent pouring cement into the sonotubes for the deck supports (I am very good at mixing cement, since I learned how to do it at the big playground build last Fall), and putting all the fence posts into the ground. We had a stunning cloudless sky on Day 2, and this squirrel was wearing sunscreen and a t-shirt with sleeves.

The night of Day 2, however, there was a staggering thunder storm that poured buckets of rain and knocked out a few trees in the neighbourhood (and one house by the park got struck by lightning!). Our fence posts stood proud through this test, but the few post holes left to fill (supports for the lower deck) were water-logged once again.

Day 3 was a hot, cloudless day again, and I put up all the fence stringers while Jim put in deck stringers and started on support beams. Our yard, once so organic, is taking on a definite geometric angularity.

Johann, the carpenter from down the alley, stops by once or twice a day to check on our work, crack a few jokes, and share bits of carpenter wisdom: "It's the steady plodders who win in the game of life." (My past favourite carpenter expression, in the case where there's a flaw in your work, is "It's nothing a man riding by fast on a horse would notice.")

Day 4 comes with clouds but no rain yet. It's cool and breezy; perfect working weather, Johann says. I am putting all the capping boards on the fence and Jim is finishing the deck beams. I have become competent with doing my one repetitive task on the chop saw, and have not spilled any blood yet.

My cordless drill is a thing of beauty. I feel oh so builder-esque on my ladder, with my apron, screwing 3-inch screws into the capping boards. My father would have been so proud (a lawyer who bought power tools as a hobby and always dreamed of building big things with his hands).

Sprout comes home from daycare each day and needs to inspect our work and pound on some boards with the hammer. "I making a project in back yard. Dat's my project, Mommy," he says, very importantly.

Off to make coffee for Mary (I'm still the Rhoda). Being the Rhoda, though, is an important and undervalued job in society, don't you think.


Blogger Eileen said...

The Squirrel is obviously "to" sleepy, since she has made this shocking grammatical faux pas. I had to read it twice to be sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. Woe and alas, the bitter shame.

11:46 am  
Blogger Gwen said...

Typographic, not grammatical. And I'll stand bye thot statement.

12:15 pm  
Blogger Carmi said...

What an awesome project. What an awesome story BEHIND the project.

9:24 pm  

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