The Deck Project.
Here it is months after the talking began and we have finally made some progress on this daunting deck project. It seemed like a huge undertaking and it is.  There were an assortment of barriers that kept this project to actually start moving forward; the weather (too much rain,) my dad travels a great deal for work (seems that he is in Africa 1/3 of the year,) mountainbike races (I wish I could say that was as much of a variable as the rain, but I have done a number of races and have been riding,) but the largest barrier had to be mental. I was intimidated about actually getting this started. The notion of ordering the wood scared me. My lack of familiarity with the language and the process cause apprehension and fear, thus massive procrastination. This is a major purchase. Sure enough, my fear was not unfounded. When the wood arrived just two days after it was ordered I was hauling the lumber from the alley behind my Mount Pleasant home to my underdeveloped back yard with the assistance of three Salvadoran men that I gathered from the local 7-11 when I noticed an error. We were not far into the stack when I noticed that I had ordered some 1 X 6es, when the correct wood that I wanted was actually 5/4 X 6 (five quarters.) Depression sunk in. It should not have been an issue. I knew that we needed this measure board for the fencing, for a board on board fence, but it still threw that oh too familiar gray blanket of depression over my mind, body, and actions on the days to come. It is tough to climb out from under that blanket, rational thought does not clear things up immediately. Words are just words. But when I finally had the correct wood delivered and learned that the lumber yard would buy back anything uncut I began to feel better. Once we had layered stage one of the three step process I was back on my feet. The error was slight, but had we not needed the wood it would have been a 1,500 dollar boo boo.

With the wood ordered, my dad in town, my ability to put the deck as a higher priority than my Saturday morning yoga class and Sunday's mountainbike race at Michaux, we were actually able to start building the deck. Well, correction, I started building the deck well over a month ago, but with the final wood order in I was able to start with the deck floor of our first section (one of three, the smallest of three)  In no time at all we had that first section covered with planks, but then digging holes, mixing concrete, and setting posts then nailing boards took much longer than I had anticipated. Going into the weekend I was picturing a party on Sunday afternoon....me manning the grill.....Dean and a pack of his toddler buddies laughing and giggling as they slide down the 14 foot slide. But no.....By the end of a long weekend we had a few post in place, concrete hardening, and a few boards hung.....no frivolity grillside, maybe in 2005.

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