Cement Comes At Eleven


I suppose you have been wondering where I’ve been of late. It’s been a few days between updates. I apologize for my sporadic posting, but cottage life…well…

I’ve Been Busy

I been busy man…real busy. The life of an old retired guy is not an easy one. Sure, you figure ol’Lonesome Larry and I have been kicking back at the lake, watching the ducks, occasionally casting a line for a trout, lounging about in shorts and flip-flops with fancy margarita’s in tall cool looking glasses with a lime wedge.

OK, well that might be true, but let me tell you what we’ve really been at. We’ve got jobs. Well, not exactly jobs, we’re employed…well not exactly employed…but we’re working.

Thursday morning I rolled out of bed around 8 a.m. listening to the loons calling from somewhere out on the lake and the sound of a four wheeler coming down the driveway.

“Four wheeler!” I said, much like Radar used to announce choppers coming on M.A.S.H.

I sucked back my coffee and headed for the door. There was Larry, neatly adorned in his bad boy biker helmet, driving his four wheeler down the driveway, a load of firewood on the trailer.

“Morning” I said, as he brought the four wheeler to a stop outside the door.

“Morning” he replied, climbing off the four wheeler and proceeding to unload the trailer load of firewood. I joined in, and in a few minutes we had it unloaded and we were off for another load.

That was the start of it. That morning we cut half a dozen hardwood trees his neighbor had earmarked for cutting, and hauled the wood out. By 10:30 we had switched our logging attire for construction gear and commenced work helping a new neighbor install forms for the cement foundation of his new cottage. We convinced him that we knew what we were doing, which…in hindsight, might not have been a good idea. However, by the time he figures out the his house is lopsided and one side is longer than the other…well….it will be unique.

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It was a day of hammers, saws, gas generators, measuring tapes, drills, styrofoam forms, 2X4’s and all kinds of other stuff that men like to play with. I especially like the part when someone measures the walls, and then stands there thoughtfully, looking into space, as if they are calculating something. In truth, they are just staring into space, saying some numbers, usually followed up by something like, “It’s right on.” or “It’s only out by an eighth of an inch, that’ll be alright.”

When the measuring and calculating is being done, well that’s a great time for a break. You see, when stuff is being measured, the rest of the work has to stop because if you continue, and it’s wrong, well you have wasted your time. So you wait. Everyone takes turns measuring and calculating so everyone gets a break.

In construction, as the day goes on, you start to get tired, particularly if you have been retired a couple years and you normally don’t get up until 11. That’s when someone does another measure and discovers that the wall is now out by 6 inches. Uh-0h….better take a longer break while we figure this out…more calculating and measuring and calculating, some staring into space, then someone says, “No it’s not, that’s OK, we just measured wrong, we’re good.” Then it’s back to work, only now you are a little more rested. I like those ones.

By mid-afternoon you’d swear we were hardened construction workers. Our pants were dragging down when we bent over, we were wearing our hats backwards and exuding testosterone. Some of it was dripping off Larry’s forehead. If a woman had of walked by, we’d of been whistling at her. Unfortunately when you’re building a camp in the woods, not many women walk by. Perhaps that is just as well.

That job kept us going most of the day, however by nightfall we enlisted Alleghany Al to tow my pontoon boat down the most twisted, bumpy, pothole strewn road to a welder who I had hired to repair a leaky pontoon.

Turned out the guy lives damn near to the end of the road. The trip was uneventful owing to Al’s good driving and his coolness when the boat came off the trailer…twice…I was sure I had double granny knotted the rope…

However, Larry and I were back on the foundation job bright and early the next morning. Steel toe boots laced tight, hammers in hand. In fact, we were sitting on a stack of lumber at the construction site playing with our hammers, when the rest of the crew arrived, somewhat late for work I might add.

We drove those fellers as hard as we could that day to get finished because we had other jobs to do and time was a-wasting. By mid-afternoon I announced I don’t work past 2:30 on Fridays and crawled home where I told Wendy that I was going to bed. I wasn’t sure I would ever walk again, and perhaps never be able to stand up straight.

There’s quite a bit of stuff that happened in between, stuff I probably should tell you about, but here’s the thing…it’s 10:30 p.m. I have to get to bed, work in the morning, we’re pouring ceee-ment at 11:00 a.m. I gotta be fresh. Larry and I are going to sit on the stack of lumber at 7 shine up our hammers and wait for the rest of the crew to show up.

Now I am going to shamelessly ask you to help me, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your Twitter followers, Stumble it, or Like It on Facebook. I really appreciate it.

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