Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A Day of Hard Work

Tuesday began slowly. I was still bushed from Monday, but I walked Her Highness, walked the garden to get all the caterpillars off my fruit trees and bushes, and then Preston arrived to give me a quote on cleaning my roofs to remove all the stuck-on pollen and mildew. I was relieved to have found a person whose word is true. So many service providers here on Gabe promise to come but don’t. 

It's going to cost me a thousand bucks to clean my three roofs, but I reckon it’s worth it. Pinecone Park is going to be a spectacular sanctuary for me once all this work is done. And next Summer will be fabulous. I won’t have a major project to do. 

Pete arrived for a day of destruction and construction. This deck makeover has become a much bigger challenge than either of us foresaw. Today we make decisions about what to remove, replace and improve, and then we got on with it. We ripped off two long stairs running alone one side of the deck so that we could assess the rot damage, and once opened-up, we saw another problem. The hot tub, which is a very heavy item, is collapsing the deck, so we must shore-up the beams supporting it.

Pete decided what we would do. While I sanded the small deck outside the shed, he removed everything he wanted off the foundation of the stairs of the deck. Then we went shopping for some of the wood we will need for the new foundation, 45 concrete tiles. There are two sixes. And 20 heavy concrete foundation stones. We loaded part of our purchase into the van and went home to unload it. Pete got to work, and I went back for the rest of the heavy supplies.

When I got back here, Pete had Dave from next door helping him work under the deck. Pete crawled into Spiderland (under the deck) on his belly, and he worked lying on his side or back. Pete is my hero. He made pillars of the tiles to support the hot tub properly, and to support the new foundation for the steps. We have one more day of work on the steps to do next, and then we stain.

Preston implied the roofs will be done within a week’s time.  If that turns out to be true, I’ll okay the work. If it’s later, I’ll defer to July, until after the stain has dried. But the end is in sight.

This year, my Laburnum tree didn’t bloom, but it has exploded in growth. Even without blossoms, it’s a lovely tree. And the same is true of many more of the feature plantings of Pinecone Park (a park with very, very modest ambitions). It’s starting to look lush, and with shiny green metal roofs on all three buildings, and a deck that looks brand new, it’s like I have a new home.

I had no idea about what to do about the rotting deck. That concern is gone. I also truly value knowing that the hot tub—it’s a big one for eight people)—is properly supported. I can hardly wait to have my privacy again and to focus on the garden and weed/moss/grass fields.

I’ve come to like the yard. There is some grass, but I like the raw look of a forest floor and I’m glad to serve the insect world with a natural cycle—except, of course, in the gardens.

I feel like I’m living in Versailles. That stops when the cold comes, and life moves indoors. But then I feel good by a fire in my cozy, quiet, cabin in the woods.

Neighbours. Pete’s done all the heavy labour. Ali is helping me paint. Dave is lending us a table saw and was helping Pete. Dave also helped me stack wood. The sander came from Ray. Nancy lent us pry-bars, scrapers and a reciprocating saw. These are all friends who live on my street. 

I can’t get over how happy I am to be here. Although the speech thing is annoying, the condition forced me to want to move here. 

It’s so apt that I feel almost overwhelmed by my good fortune to be a resident of this island. I suffered a lot due to having no bond with the people whose hands I moved through. Once I was an adult, I became forever happy and fulfilled. Coming out was hard. I liked sex, but I wasn’t very good at it. I was assaulted by a man with a knife who forced me to drive to a secluded place. When I hear women talk about rape, I identify with them. That was horrible. Having AIDS was horrible, especially after seeing so many of my friends die of it.

The amazing thing is, I feel secure here. I’ve written in past posts about how this neighbourhood rallied to support my gardens and pets when I had my heart attack. And now, Pete and my neighbours. I needed and deserved this paradise I live in.

Pete emerging from under the deck.

Pete and Ali.

All the soil area was more stairs, all on rotten
foundations. Now we start rebuilding.

Pete sawed off the bottom of rotted supports, and we used bricks
to support them—on the stairs and under the large hot tub.

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