Saturday morning, we headed to Valley Lumber to order 21 pieces of wood, stopped by Grande Rental to borrow a nail gun and compressor, and came home to work on a project that we’ve been talking about ever since our garage was built — adding a framed-in space within it. By last night, we had the two 11-foot walls up and had even installed the door. We both went to bed exhausted but satisfied.
Of course Peter did the hard stuff — designing it, doing all the sawing, handling the nail gun four rungs up the ladder, knowing what we needed to check when. I’m a pretty good step-and-fetch-it helper, carrying the boards, standing on one end for weight (yeah, that one I can *really* handle!) handing stuff to him, and writing down measurements and things — but that’s just about it.
We both used muscles not generally employed in our day-to-day life (my cheeks will surely attest to a lot of bending and lifting!) Mostly it was a matter of following the “critical path” (a term I learned when we were building our house 18 years ago) so that everything proceeded in order… going from cleaning up and marking out the footprint, to cutting the lengths of wood, making sure everything was straight and level, and nailing it all into place.
We’re going to need a couple of days to recuperate, I think.
Tackling that kind of manual labor relays one clear fact; we’re not as young as we were when we built the house! Now that this is done, the next step is insulating the exterior walls, which we may do ourselves over the next several weekends; we’ve already decided we’ll hire out the sheet-rocking of the entire garage plus the shelf-building for inside the space.
But it IS a reminder of why I’ve always liked “projects,” seeing something start from scratch and then watching it progress through completion. It doesn’t matter whether the project is writing a story, assembling a magazine as editor, finishing up a jewelry-and-junk artwork, or even knitting a baby blanket — these kinds of undertakings are similar in that you take raw materials and with elbow grease and time (and some creative smarts thrown in), those materials are transformed into something new and more substantive than the raw materials were themselves.
Excitement of the day: I almost had a heart-attack when the hose came off the nail gun unexpectedly, and of course, I conked my head a good one on a cross-piece. Every project needs a little high drama, right?!
Here’s to a week of happy building, whatever project you find yourself in….