Friday, March 16, 2012

An Epic Tale - The Beginning

Where to start, where to start...
How do you blog about events in your life that are so huge you just don't know where to start describing them? The Christmas/New Year's thing this year was one of those monumental events, and it's only just barely over such that I can recognize it's been six weeks without a post of meaningful content.
Not because stuff hasn't happened - because it has, all over the floor it has - but because it's too immense for one post and I have no idea how to break it into many posts, so instead I do neither and watch six episodes of The Big Bang Theory instead. I know that's a healthy response. And that's not even including the whole Relief Society President responsibilities thing, though I have developed a lovely eyelid twitch because of that.
Completely different story.
I've been composing this post for a while now and I'm sure I'm omitting dozens of details but it seems to be blocking me from writing anything new, so here goes.
Early in December of 2011 my father got a contract to build a hay barn for a customer of his grain business. Because I am "the resident architect" - his words, not mine - and Tarzan is young, strong and willing to do most anything, we were conscripted to help my father, my sister and my brother get the thing up. Once Tarzan was on Christmas vacation we scheduled a visit. The night we had to drive the two hours out, we were at a family wedding - Tarzan's family - and it went a little later than planned so we were late leaving and therefore late getting to my parent's house and they do not like to be up past their bedtime, so that gave us a stellar start to the project. Oh, and a few days before that, Tarzan's parents came to town, ostensibly for the wedding, but also to see us and while I love them both, very much, it is stressful to have one's in-laws come to visit, especially when one has to figure out where to have them sleep in a house that - I am learning - is the size of most people's front porches. But they did, sleep, and so did we and we made it to my parent's in time to get up bright and early to work on this shed thing.
On the surface it seemed a fairly simple project. Four 4" square galvanized steel posts to be sunk into the dirt, a front and back beam, three 2" square support posts, twelve 4'x8' corrugated metal side panels and eight 8'x12' corrugated metal panels for the roof. A zillion screws and we should have been fine. We started with high hopes of taking one day for the structure, one day for the roof.
Oh, the follies of ignorance...
To begin with, there were no instructions. Not even a stick drawing. Tarzan and my father did not think this was a big deal but it's nigh on to heresy - blasphemy! - as far as I am concerned. I will deviate from a plan as required, color outside the lines so to speak, but I at least need to know where the line was. I hate flying without a net. As we plugged along, it became apparent that we would need a tool to notch the support pieces and the beams so the exterior panels would lay flat and give us at least two places to connect to. This necessitated a trip - which ended up being three trips - to Home Depot to get a grinder, which can also cut metal, with the right kind of blade. Of course, the cutting wears down the blade and with the kind of cuts were were making, we used up six blades over the course of the project. The first day took much longer than we had planned. We were trying to get as much done as possible so we stayed past dark and tried some fancy finagling to bend light around the corners and came home exhausted.
The second day deserves it's own post, so let's leave it there.
The third day we could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, and the bloomin' thing hadn't fallen down in the middle of either of the two previous nights, so that was good for our morale.
This is how it came out:
Not too bad, considering what we started with. And with the sun still up.
It didn't take us two days however.
Grand total: Four days, a few more dollars than we planned and not a little pain.
AND THEN, to put the frosting on the cupcake, after the previous three days of crazy, my father informed us we had to buck the hay, into the brand new shed. Those bales are heavy. My poor fingers did not recover for days.

This is me, stay tuned for the rest of the epic tale.


Elizabeth said... have no idea how glad I am that I found not one but TWO updates from you. Yay! Welcome back. I have been in an updating haze since November...I really do think you and I have some underlying twin connection, since you know, we have so much in like. I watched 6 episodes of the Big Bang Theory too. Seriously. In one night. With popcorn.

Anyways, glad the hay barn is standing, I am very much impressed!

RHM said...

Don't you love parents who "promote" your skills?

They mean so well but they don't often really understand what's happening behind the curtain. My family is flabbergasted when I don't help.

Mara said...

Well done!!!

From Whence You Cometh