Ms.D decided to go ahead with building the shed. I warned her about the carpenter but she said “I trust you will see I don’t get taken”. I was pleased that she trusted me but I wasn’t so sure about the carpenter. There was still something about him I couldn’t put my finger on other than, at times, he was a greedy shellfish jerk.
That’s not a crime it’s his personality.
Ms. D seemed so excited to have her shed built. She explained to me it was her mother’s dream to have an outdoor shed in which to put all her garden tools. It felt like it was going to be kind of a monument built in her memory. I knew Ms. D and her mom had been very close.
I was holding my breath that she wasn’t going to be disappointed.
I picked up all the materials and stacked them in the yard next to where she wanted to have the shed built. She sat in a lawn chair watching every move. I decided to make her part of the project. I wanted to give her a job to keep her busy so that I didn’t feel like she was constantly staring at me. I knew she was would be sitting in that chair until the project was done, when she brought out a jug of lemonade with one glass.
It seemed for every board I pulled off the bed of my pickup she had 3 questions. Like, “Where does that board go” and “What do you use that for?” I figured the only way I would get any work done was to find a job for her.
I stopped and got a clipboard with a pencil. At the same time I brought over my two shop buddies, my basset hounds, who were very unhappy being separated from me on the other side of the fence. They were used to me being with them.
I then gave Ms. D a couple of jobs. One was to check off bill of materials. As I unloaded the material I explained what each item was. The second was to babysit the hounds. I tied them to her lawn chair. The hounds and Ms D instantly fell in love with each other. Before I knew it, she was off to get them a bowl of water and some treats. She was so busy she forgot about me. I finished unloading the truck in no time. I could see that I was going to have to find something for her to do, again the next day, when the project started.
I asked her if she would mind watching the hounds while we worked on her shed. I explained that they would be much happier if they could at least see me. She seemed genuinely touched and said, “Oh yes!”
The shed construction went off with out a hitch. Everything seemed to go smoothly. I had all the right materials and they were all staged so it makes it easier for the carpenter.
I am a quick study, remember?
The project came off with out a hitch. Ms. D was very pleased and started to name off other things she would like to do. The list included things like, a new patio sink and storage cupboards for inside her home.
She then asked me why I didn’t do the work myself and why I hired a carpenter for these projects.
The only answer, other than the fact that my carpentry experience was limited to high-school shop and the experience I gained growing up on a farm where I built our own buildings, was that I had a handicap.
Somehow this seemed to ring hollow now, with here having a deformed hand also; she seemed to get by.
The next best excuse I could come up with was I don’t have the tools or shop to work in.
She said, “Buy them. You could make a shop out of your over sized garage.”
I hate it whenever someone is not only right, but are so practical and simple in the solutions they offer.
The next excuse I had available was I had just finished buying and remodeling my house and didn’t have any money left over to spend on tools. She said, “OK, I will buy the tools and we can trade out different projects for them until they are paid for”.
I must admit this idea got my attention.
(Protected by copy write, all rights reserved ,D.Jerzak 3-03-2007)