Friday, September 19, 2008

A Promise a Long Time In the Making

I go to work pretty early in the morning so I spend probably the better share of the year driving to work in the dark. There is a three or four months in the summer where the sun is up and perhaps just a month worth of days where the sun is lounging down on the horizon line. I enjoy those days because there aren't too many of them. Yesterday found me on the road heading west towards another town and I got to see the run rise only in reverse through my rearview mirror. It did appear larger than it actually was. Why I saw the sun rise after a couple months of driving in the dark is all due to a promise that I made long ago.

When we bought our house and moved into it, we most concentrated on fixing the innards. Except for the kitchen which had recently been remodeled and the bathrooms, I've gone through and remodeled it. That involved gutting, rewiring, reflooring, and building in some essential stuff like closets for storage and bookcases for the book kind of storage. Not wanting to start the bathrooms just yet, we declared this year the year of outside remodeling. Even though it had been declared, I hadn't been planning on painting it but one day as I was eyeing the exterior sizing up some landscaping, half the paint leapt to their depths in a shower of flakes. I didn't mind the tangle of flake bodies on my lawn because they seem to decay quickly or blow away but it did leave a lot of unsightly bare spots showing. Perhaps it was the year of the paint after all.

I thought about doing the work myself for all of about three point two milliseconds but my wife was harder to convince. It was only after I got a quote that was ridiculously cheap, or the value of my time has skyrocketed, that she relented and let me hire it done. So sometime in March, I put some money down for a new paint job on the house. At the time, it was still cold and blustery and we had no idea that this would also be the year of the rain.

Rain it did. The handful of houses that had paid before us, took an entire spring and summer to get painted and the crew didn't show up to our house until a couple weeks ago. They were figuring that it would only take them two days to prep, paint the house and stain the many decks. It ended up taking two weeks due to rain. They finished by hanging up the new shutters that I had purchased and collecting the second half of their money. I was only two glad to give it to them because they did a fabulously meticulous job and I couldn't have been more impressed.

So what does this all have to do with a promise? Well my wife has been itching for an arched arbor to put at the head of the path leading towards the back of the house so she could plant some climbing roses under it. I have been hoping the issue would go away by telling her that I couldn't do it until we did something about our siding because it would just be in the way. Of course that was before all the paint had ungraciously committed suicide. So with the house painted and just the plastic to take off and the shutters to hang, I headed to the big box lumber store to buy some shutters and get supplies for an arbor. I spent all day yesterday on "vacation" working on it and I'm still not done. Today I'm back at work so I can rest up and finish it on another day.

7 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Don't they make pre-fabbed arbors? If you're doing one from scratch, I salute you!

Cheers.

Ed Abbey said...

They do but the ones I have looked at are rickety things from box stores that you have to stake into the ground and would probably fall down in a stiff breeze. Mine, for the same price in materials, has four by four posts sunk two and a half feet into the edina clay we have up here. It won't go anywhere and will outlive my time that I spend in this house. I'll take some pictures of it when I'm done and show you what I mean.

Murf said...

So what color are the house and shutters now?

sage said...

sounds like your arbor will be strong enough you can do chin ups on it or Little A could use it to climb

Ed Abbey said...

Murf - The same colors they were before. ;)

Sage - Yes on both accounts.

Murf said...

I hate you. :-)

Beau said...

Will be great to see it when you're finished! I remember making my own style years ago.. two by fours patched together, painted white. Didn't know any better but it looked just fine...