evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Working In The Rain....

Sunday, I helped build a shed. It was one of those deals where you get a letter in the mail with a list of four names. You go spend a day doing home-improvement projects for the person at the top of the list, then you remove that name, add your name to the bottom, and send the letter to ten friends. About four weeks later, you have 10,000 people show up to work on your house...

Actually it's more of that on-going quid pro quo, where friends help each other out. BA needed a shed built, so a group of us gathered to work on it together. Kind of Amish, really. With seven adults and one child, we spent about eight hours and raised a fine 6x4' shed, with a door. No roof though. We didn't quite finish the roof.

For most of the time, TJ and I shared the job of Sawmaster. The actual cutting was the easy part (although the siding gave off a cloud of dust when cut, which smelled of firecrackers). The tricky bit was that BA's plans only specified that the base was 4' x 6', the back wall was 6' tall, and the front, 7'. We had to calculate all the specific measurements so everything fitted together properly, like a do-it-yourself jigsaw puzzle. We did fairly well, with only a couple embarrassing math errors that resulted in pieces too short to fit properly. But most of those got used for other parts, so it all worked out fine.

The weather had been overcast but dry until mid-afternoon. Then the rain came. It started as a drizzle. Being Oregonians, we moved the tools under shelter, but kept working. Then it rained a bit harder. Not quite hard enough to stop us, but enough so everything was undeniably wet. The siding dust became a gritty muck that coated each piece as we cut. And have you ever tried to snap a chalk line in the rain? It's possible, but you have to work fast, or the line becomes just a brightly-colored puddle. Then the sun tried to break through the clouds, so we pressed on, hoping that the rain would stop. It didn't.

As you may imagine, a roof would have been a good idea, but the materials hadn't been purchased yet. So we finished the walls, framed the door, put a tarp over the top, and called it quits. Which was good, because my muscles were reminding me that I haven't done a full day of home improvement work for a long time. I'm an intellectual, you see, so not really suited for manual labor. But there's something inherently satisfying about building, which makes being tired, wet, and muck-covered seem not so bad, after all.

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