Monday, August 02, 2010

I really know how to party

Meet my chimney.

Until this weekend, we hadn't been very well acquainted. And now? Well, now I'm sad that no one willl probably ever see my chimney except in this blog post.

Previously, the chimney was falling in. It was in sad shape. I knew it when I bought it. I was told again when they were working on my roof last fall. And now I knew it was time to do something about it.

Meet my dad and my uncle. They arrived Saturday morning, sussed out the sad state of the stack. Ensured that it was sufficiently safe to get up there. And told me that if I hadn't done something soon, then one day we'd have died of carbon dioxide poisoning.

"Mind you," says my uncle, "If you're going to go, it's a good way to go."

Good to know.

Instead, I decided to live. I played gopher. Up and down those ladders. A lot. Fetching water. Finding tools. And materials. Mixing mortar (although mostly that was Gordon). Relaying instructions. Sending people on errands. Ensuring sustenance at appropriate times. Sometimes preparing it myself. I felt at least moderately useful, even if I wasn't much help at the actual brick-laying.

There was no need for me to do that, that's for sure. I mean, just LOOK at this thing. It's a piece of art. Made from the bricks that were there (that hadn't crumbled already) and a mish-mash of vintages ones I'd found in my backyard.

Five bags of mortar, 4 ceramic chimney flues, a chimney cap and some clean-up later and there it was: a gorgeous new stack. I must say, mine is the nicest one on the block by far.

And did we stop there, my family? Nooooo! We're too tough for just ONE job!

On to job Number Two: Chuck the Wood Pile.

I can't remember if I told you, but back when I was getting the fence done we generated a huge refuse pile of old fence posts. I think I didn't realize they weren't being taken away. So I put them on Craigslist and only SOME was taken. I tried again this year and again some was taken, but there was still a big pile left. So we cut up the posts to fit my uncle's truck, loaded it up, tied it down. Done! Off to the dump or else my dad's wood pile (he, at least, has a wood stove where he can make use of such things).

Off to celebrate with some Indian food! And then walk it off with a long walk.

Finally, the family decides they've had enough of manual labour and take off leaving Gordon and I to marvel at what a productive weekend we've had.

Suddenly the silence is broken with a crack! It's a tree branch from my overgrown silver maple. And that's my neighbour up there, sawing down branches.

It's OK, I did ask him to. An hour later, and the tree that had previously been whipping us in the face is tall and stately. Providing lovely shade from above... far, far above. I'll be honest: it looks a little weird. Like when you first get a really short haircut and you're not used to it yet. And the problem is, I know it'll just grow back. But for now, we'll have a little room to breathe.

A few more things checked off the list.
(Along with birthday panniers and good times with family.)

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