in House

[Name To Be Revealed Later]

Let’s quit screwing around and pick this pig up where we left off three years (!!!) ago, which is talking about the GHAT DAMN deck I have been building nonstop since my last meaningful post. You knew that was why I quit updating the blog, right? Oh, you thought it was because I got busy at work or had a kid? No no. I have been building a deck every day for the past 37 months. I was fired from my job back in 2008 after not showing up for several weeks. That red-headed kid in all the pictures on my Facebook whom many of you have met? Yeah, we’ve been borrowing him from an orphanage here in Smyrna just to keep up appearances. Sweet kid.

Well it certainly feels like I’ve been building the deck that long. And I’m sure it’s felt that way for the numerous friends who have donated entire Saturdays and Sundays to risk heat exhaustion and slipped disks only so that I can have ~1000 ft² of pressure-treated lumber to pee off of late at night. And during the day.

So, following the sink hole rodeo from our last episode, I fell out of attack mode and into a spiral of uncertainty. Did I really solve the problem? What happens if I spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on a new deck only to have it fall into a hole in my yard? What if the solution costs hundreds of millions of dollars? I might have to get a loan for that kind of cheddar!

The Summer of 2008 came and went. I changed jobs in the fall, which was demanding, but, let’s be honest, ain’t nobody building shit during football season, not because of the football games, but because somehow it’s always like, “HURR, AUTUMN, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH ALL MY WEEKENDS?!!” To my credit, however, I did install bamboo floors on the entire first floor of our house that fall. By myself. Like a boss. All day. Real talk.

Then the holidays.

Oh, is it 2009 already? Oh, is your wife pregnant? Sounds like a FINE time to forego nesting and spend your time hammering together a tree house for the grill. Good luck with that. Despite the CIIIRRRRRRRCLE OF LIIIIFE disruption, there was one notable deck development in the summer of ’09. Since the original sink hole project a year earlier, I noticed a couple spots had settled, meaning I was inevitably going to need to get out the big(ger) guns if I wanted this problem solved. In June, I rented an excavator, and Danny and I spent an afternoon trying to figure out how to stop almost killing each other. We also managed to move some dirt. Look, there’s a [bad] video:

We dug out the hole until it felt like solid clay on all sides and the bottom; much, much more than I had done by myself the previous summer. After replacing all the dirt (kill me), everything seemed pretty solid, albeit compressed slightly. (Lest it seem like this is foreshadowing, I’ll go ahead and tell you everything has remained stable since the excavator exercise. Exhale.)

In September, Mattias was born, which was rad. I showed Matty off to the deck project, and the deck was cool about it, but I could tell he was more than a little resentful. I even caught a couple off-handed comments over the following months. “Hey. What’s up? Just chillin’ in the back yard like, uh, every day. Listen, I thought, maybe if you weren’t busy this weekend, you could maybe, I don’t know, it seems like it would be pretty easy to start the demoli–oh, right, you did already tell me about that. No, I mean, of course you should. Kids these days certainly can’t like raise themselves or whatever. I guess I’ll still be in the yard if you need me. Fuckin’ kid huh? What? I didn’t say anything. Yeah sure, later.”

So Matty was born in the Fall, and we’ve already covered what Fall is like. So … THEN THE HOLIDAYS!

I’d like to pause and reflect on how cavalier I am about my life going past me like a bullet train. I should probably take some time to sit down and wri-ONWARD!!!

Let’s see … 2010. Two Thousand and Ten. I don’t remember a god damned thing about 2010.

So here we are in sunny 2011. At some point during the winter, my inner monologue convinced me to quit agonizing over every little detail and just start the stupid piece of crap. There was a slow clap and everything. How does the saying go? A journey of a thousand miles begins with numerous, confidence-draining false starts?

So start we did. On Sunday, March 6th, a little hungover, we (Russ, John, Dave, Keith, and Garrett) tore the old deck off of Tall Brown.

I guess I should pause and tell you why I am replacing the old deck to begin with …

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