Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saturday Project

I get one day a week, Saturday, to really sleep in. Saturday morning is the time to stay in bed, watch SportsCenter, and let Dana handle the morning Dylan duties (I take Oscar for his morning walk on Saturday, but he is patient enough to not bother me.) My Saturday morning Last week, though, I woke up with purpose. I was going to put the railing up on our back deck before the end of the day. Doing this was not debatable, as we are on vacation this week Thursday and Friday and I was NOT going to work on a project during a vacation day. Furthermore, I wanted enjoy our deck during this vacation time and watch NCAA basketball out there.

I downed some coffee, got in the car, and headed to Lowe’s. In addition to buying the wood and supplies, I needed to buy some nuts and bolts for some of our deck chairs. I had a clear sandwich bag with about 4 different types of screws and bolts with me. I needed to find their match. I wasn’t expecting an entire screw/nut aisle waiting for me at Lowes. I literally spent 45 minutes trying to match the thousands of screws to the ones in my sandwich bag. Why didn’t I ask for help? Two reasons, really.

1. There was no one there to help. All morning I waiting for someone to assist me, but no one was in sight. Lowes better have the lowest prices, because their customer service was terrible. Good job Lowes, you are now the Walmart of home improvement stores.

2. I am stubborn. “Kevin Bacon was not in Footloose!” Eh-yah, Eh-Yah, Eh-Yah

I remember thinking to myself that I am glad I am not going to hell because Satan would give me a trash bag of bolts/screws and tell me to go find their matches as my eternal punishment. I also remember thinking, “Don’t screw this up, Bryan, and get the wrong screws. You don’t want come back here, do you?” It’s a lot of pressure for a Saturday morning.

When that debacle was over, I went to the wood area and tried to calculate in my head how much wood was needed for the project. I also had to go back to the dreaded screw/bolt aisle to get more screws for the deck, but it wasn’t bad this time, because someone was actually helping me. Finally. Lowe's must have a 90 minute policy to offer assistance after someone has wandered their store for an hour and a half.

I came home around 11:00 am and headed straight to work. I borrowed all of the necessary tools from our neighbor, whose garage is the ultimate tool shed. Before I knew, the same neighbor, Tina, was showing me how to install the first post and providing me directions on how to continue. Before I knew it, I was on my own.

After being married for almost 8 years, Dana knows that outdoor ‘projects’ are not my cup of tea (indoor projects aren’t either.) The best word to describe my demeanor during a project is ‘chippy.’ Therefore, Dana stayed inside with Dylan for most of the day offering an occasional, “Do you need anything?”

A couple of hours in to the project and I was making progress. This inspired me to work quicker and measure less. I still don’t know why I would measure it after it’s been screwed in. It ended up being straight, though, so I kept on moving. I didn’t stop for a break all day and only paused to gobble a sandwich and drink a bottle of water. I think I even did that while screwing a rail in.
At 6:00pm, the project ended. I had put up about 45 feet worth of railing. I put the tools away and crashed on the couch. Dana kept her distance for about an hour as she knew I still needed some time to shift out of project mode and move back into Bryan- weekend mode. Since then, I have felt compelled to turn on the lights to admire it every night while locking up the house. I love the way our deck looks, but hate the process involved getting the project done.


Cathy Z said...

Love the pictures and the deck building story! lol... Bryan, you need Uncle Bob nearby. Although the best way to learn is by doing, and you are doing a great job. The deck looks great!! Love you all.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Bryan. Looks like you have the confidence and the ability to tackle anything you put your mind to. Good idea, Dana, to keep your distance while the work is being done :).

Anonymous said...

The deck railing looks great Bryan -- good job! We have some home improvements that we want to do also -- but don't have the know-how so we've been procrastinating. I think we all need an Uncle Bob or Dad in town to help with these projects. :) -Robyn