Saturday, March 20, 2010
IN DEFENSE OF FENCE BUILDING
First lets start with plumbing. I had a rough day at work last Monday. I tried my best to be superman and you can imagine the outcome. Far too many tasks to juggle because I was short handed and my ability to actually complete any of them sorely tested. At the end of the day it was a marvelous whirlwind of activity and I paused for a moment in wonder at this business I've built.
As I was leaving the shop at about 7 PM I noticed a large water leak in the mechanics bathroom. "Mechanic's Bathroom" you ask? Yeah, this building was a mechanic shop for the last 25 years. A whole other rant believe me.
I checked under the toilet and saw a steady drip. The hose going into the tank itself. The connection was loose. Simple tightening did the job, thankfully. I got some old shop rags and threw them all around to soak up the water.
Its all part of owning a building I figure and being blessed with handiness. Like my Father before me, I'm a pretty good handyman.
Later, as I was detailing this remarkable day to my close buddies in the TBG (a discussion group on Ebay) I had several mention that I should stop doing this type of repair and call a service person. My time is too valuable for this type of thing and I should be doing far more important tasks. I suppose if my entire day had come to a halt for major plumbing I could agree but as you've read the repair was small and quick.
Now forward to the next Saturday morning. I've reserved this part of my week for fence building. It wasn't very much of a fence actually. I measured the length at 28 feet. I knocked down the old fence with a hammer and pry bar and found that I had to dig up the entire corner post, concrete and all. All the other posts I could just break off at ground level and dig next to them with post hole diggers and set my new posts.
As I was was doing this chore I could just imagine the hoopla I would create with my business peers as they berate me for doing such work. I actually chuckled. I can't really think of another chore that I like as much. Digging fence post holes is my least favorite part though. Thankfully the ground was damp so it went pretty fast. While I dug the holes and measured the ground my mind is free of the everyday worries of my business. It's quite pleasant JUST hammering away and watching the results of my labor. No phones, no irate customers, no questions, no emergencies. I'm able to think freely and work and concentrate on the small details of the fence. I'm reminded of the old book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".
The outdoors can be cleansing mentally and emotionally too. The smells, fresh air, and in my case rain. It didn't rain hard but lightly. Just enough to soak me pretty good but not stop me from my weekend chore. After the posts had been leveled and supported with scrap wood to hold steady, I poured a small sack of concrete mix in each hole and shoveled a bit of dirt around. The days work was done. When the posts set up firmly I will build the frame work of 2x4s to hold the fence pickets. I will wait overnight for the setting and install the pickets tomorrow afternoon.
I highly recommend this chore to anyone who needs a bit of distraction from the daily zoo of business. It is totally relaxing and enjoyable. It costs a lot less than the gym and you get a lot more out of it. Mainly peace of mind, tired muscles, money saved, and the joy of pure work and effort that pays off in a beautiful stretch of wooden fence.