It is odd what ‘gettin’ better’ means.  Growth is such a personal thing.

In sports, of course, there are measurements like goals, wins, stats and records but, in something like deck-building, well, there isn’t much to compare to.  It is essentially a personal thing.  Subjective.  And, when you are deck-building with your wife (an unholy challenge, if ever there was one – on a par with raising children) you can add the litmus tests of cooperation, partnership, rhythmn and efficiency all of which are hard to measure on anything but a subjective sliding scale of relational growth.

But I know progress when I see it.

And I am seeing it.  We are baaaaaack!

Sal and I have been ‘workin’ on the deck the last few days and we are doin’ good.  She’s doin’ extra good.  I am still somewhat limited in my movements from the latest health faux pas last month with ambulation somewhere between stiff and awkward to pathetic and crippled but, with this work, the stiff and clumsy parts are starting to work out just fine.  It’s been good.

Sidebar: here’s a thing………wood freezes!  Who knew?  I stacked a bunch of joists-to-be and the next day I had a large lump of ice-laminated wood to deal with!?  Sheesh.

Store bought lumber doesn’t do that.  They cook out the moisture content in the processing in the quasi chop-sticks you buy at Home Depot.  But local-made lumber is wetter and denser.  You are expected to air-dry it first as there is a higher water content.  And we did that.  But, I guess, not enough.  Ergo – Fir popsicle sticks.  (Not especially tasty and hard and heavy, too.  Each 16 foot 2×6 weighs about thirty to 35 pounds).  I had to seperate what I could with a large rubber mallet.  The sun finished the job as the day progressed but even the spacer-separated cedar decking was frozen to the spacers!

Never mind.  It was fun.  We measured and stacked, straightened and cut, screwed and scarfed and generally acted like accomplished deck-builders.  And it went pretty smoothly with the hundreds of inevitable disagreements settled quickly at the calm and polite stage.  In those conversations, only the bass tones were employed.  Maybe a couple went into the treble zone.  But they were brief. We did good.

We are going back at it today.  It is decking time.  This is the fun part.  You can see the progress as each plank is put in place.  This is the high-satisfaction stage.  It is kind of pathetic – not to mention surprising – how much I enjoy this.  But it is way better than watching TV, that’s for sure. This is the kind of thing that will stick with us both.  I will enjoy this new deck quite noticeably for at least a few years, probably longer.  I will remember the work, marvel at the magic of it all and, of course, walk on it.

We still marvel and appreciate the hot shower.  Same kinda thing. 

TV doesn’t quite impress like that.

I think that is growth.  I really do.  Sally agrees.  She likes it, too.  She even likes working with me.  And that is definitely growth of the most important kind!  Total magic!

3 thoughts on “Growth

  1. yessir. Me and HImself have had such projects — maybe not building a deck but similiar, carpentry type things. We are pure amateurs and both strongly opinionated so we sometimes run into rough patches and go nose to nose and, okay, maybe I get a little shrill. After we work all through the project and work the kinks out of our egos, it is just plain satisfying. It makes you (well, me anyway) want to start a new project. PS: our most challenging project was calculating, laying out and building a full set of stairs. But by golly, we did it and we both grew on that one! Thanks for your entry!


  2. Love your ironic reply. Were these deck boards run though a planer or do you install them as they come from the sawmill( you know rough).


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