Building a deck or a dock?

Many years ago, my brother and I built a deck. 

Now, almost 40 years later, we are at it again!

The first deck was at the end of a summer of fine furniture construction.  We had decided to create wood (oak mostly) art pieces for others.  Even our side tables were unique.

Then my wife asked for a deck at the back of the house.  Made out of spruce.  About two or three feet high.  Nothing fancy.

We decided to use only dowels, with unique decking boards, and to size.

Which size ended up looking more like a dock than a deck.  Quite literally you stepped out the back door and, in winter, slide to the end of the deck and down the stairs.  A masterpiece that is no longer on the house (yes, I have driven by the old house in Regina – they got rid of the deck/dock).

NOW, things are different.  We are using special lag screws, the decks (we are building two decks, one in front and one at the back) are made of treated wood beams, joists and decking planks, and the sizes . . .

The front deck is around four feet off the ground and is eight feet by thirteen feet.  The back deck is 12 feet by 20 feet.

No docks here!

Live the Life

I love to research historic events.

Often for assignments or on commission.  Sometimes for my own curiosity.

As I enter the life of the historic actors, the play becomes complex.  There are no small characteristics in a person’s life.  As in Jenga, all the pieces hold the whole together.

For many, reading a fiction book is a pleasure.  The reader begins to see the character as shaped by the author.  They enter their lives and guess what comes next.  A good author keeps them guessing while holding true to the essential person they have created.

Historic research is the opposite in many ways.  The character’s final actions have been mapped out previously.  Now the researcher is given the task of finding out the character of the subject.  When, in their own minds, they guess wrong, they go back to the archives.  Searching once again (re-search), they find a new narrative line.  Tested against previous action, the description of the subject is altered to remain true to history.

And I suppose that is why I love to read the last chapter of a book first.  Here is the archive of the characters.  Here is the final result of the actions taken.  Now, in mystery type fashion, I construct the story line.  If a cursory examination of the book (called skimming) shows the results are what was expected – I leave the book.  If there are anomalies, I’m driven to searching the book to find answers.

I like to create the life from the final results, and not necessarily journey through the life to final end.

For the beauty of the earth

I can look out my window and see green grass, brown dirt and beautiful sky.

That’s beautiful.

Meanwhile the farmers want the rain to stop so they can harvest.  Oil workers trucks are coated with mud.  Mosquitos continue to appear.

Some would say that is an interruption of beauty.

Depends on your perspective.  Farmers are still farming, oil workers have a job and the mosquitos are doing their job.

All on this beautiful earth.

Decked Out

Today we begin, in earnest – or is that surely, or perhaps . . . (just being gender inclusive!)

Our town gave us permission to build decks onto our house.  In a desire to do this right, we asked my brother to give us a hand – or more rightly, two hands, strong shoulders, able feet, etc. . . .

The lumber arrived yesterday.  We built flooring for under the front deck with pallets – not of the artistic painter type or the culinary taste type – but actually from the wood type:  pine, oak, cedar . . .

And enough of the . . . Onward to the rest of the day.  Let’s see what it holds . . .

New beginnings in an old house

Well, we moved across the street.

We are living in a newly renovated 1939 “farm house”.  The trim is not all done, there are decks to put on, but overall, the structure is sound and up-to-date.

I woke up on Saturday morning, staring at a ceiling with crown moulding.  Except I thought I was hovering in the room looking down at baseboards on a white floor.

That’s perspective for you.  Sometimes upside down is the right side up.

Meanwhile, some left over projects are awaiting my attention.  Sermons, books, lectures and much more. 

Off I go, into the upside down world around me . . .

You know you are known

You know you are known when you can rhyme off connections with those in front of you.

I was leading a hymn sing at our local senior’s home yesterday, and mentioned that my mother had turned 87 a few weeks ago.

There in front of me was a friend of hers from the early 1950’s, who had worked with her at the hospital.  To one side was another friend whose son was there with her. 

As I continued throughout the room, there was a lady whom I had met over 40 years ago, whose husband’s and son’s funerals I had officiated.  My pianist has been someone I have know for over 40 years. 

Each time I mentioned a name, the activities director shook her head.  Somehow I had just taken these things for granted – she hadn’t known!

You know you are known . . .

The cabinet thing

I’m in the midst of rebuilding some cabinets for the library in our house.

Saying library doesn’t really explain the area!

Our library is the size of a small bedroom, to be used as a study, reading area and work surface.  The cabinets are salvaged from ReStore. 

Unfortunately in the move, the inevitable happened when working with article board.  The staples failed, the corners fell apart and the generally the whole thing needed rebuilt.

Taking apart the structure was no problem.  Then came the measuring to be sure the foundation of the project would remain the same.  I exchanged our as much of the particle board trusses for wood as was feasible.  I added some more backing and front image pieces.  In the end – the product will not be bad!

And now for the bad news.  No pictures today – a final day is approaching when all will be revealed!

The Internet is a dark place

I was an early adopter of the internet – back when it wasn’t even called the internet.  Staying abreast of all that is happening . . . that’s another question.  I am not a Luddite (check that out on Google).  I am also not a naive fan.

As with any new technology, there is the good and the bad.

Most often we want to hear the bad first.

Like, being charged three times on a credit card for what should have been one transaction.  For all the fixes that you can get from customer service and other service providers, the hacker is more than likely still loose.

Or, the blog posting software is being hacked across a number of platforms – yours is potentially one.  So, a fix for the many interrupts the programming you had in place.  Now you have to reprogram – after a bit of frustration trying to figure out the problem.

Or, the foreign gift offerings of millions of dollars if you will only give them access to your bank account.

Or, searching for an item on-line, and finding when you turn to your facebook account, an advertizement appears which would fulfil your previous search.

The good news?

While I struggle to discern when fake news arises, I now use Google to solve many immediate problems, or YouTube to give me directions.  I can quickly contact someone.  I can even send pictures of a recent event to interested parties.

What God has created, we get to manage and have dominion over.