New appreciation

So, yeah, I’ve been rather … absent … on the blogging front recently.

Well, to be fair, I’ve had a lot of stuff on my mind. And I tend to work through those things by working on a project. It’s like as I become focused on the project, my mind sorts itself out. This is also true when I mountain bike or weight lift, which is why I enjoy doing both of those things.

This time, however, I put all of my energy into home projects.

I’ve had a guest room that has remained undone for like 2 years. Without going into a long story about it, let’s just say it’s been a nightmare. So, I finally opted to just nuke that bastard and go all out until it was done. This took on a new sense of urgency because when Cali moved back to California, I bought her bed and some furniture specifically for that room. And I that stuff was just all over the house. So, for better or worse, that room had to get done — the clutter was killing me.

Well, as you all know, the summer weather has gotten pretty brutal at points. And working in that heat was rough. Literally, I was working half naked, fans on high, and I was still dripping sweat. But whenever I hit the “Oh, fuck it” attitude, I remembered one thing — my dad.

Now, most folks who know me rarely hear me talk about my dad. There isn’t any real reason for this other than my dad lives in Florida, and he and I are very different people. We share a lot of traits, and I look almost exactly like him. But I’m a computer guy. He’s a carpenter.  We just don’t share a lot in common except our genetics.

But as I said, dad is a carpenter. A Florida carpenter. And as I worked, I had tons of flashes to him when I lived down South. When I was a kid, I never understood why he had no energy when he came home. Basically, he’d eat dinner, read the paper, watch a little TV and he was out cold on the couch by 8 or 9 p.m.

After working in similar conditions for about a week or 2, I understood why.

So, the other day, I gave him a call.

“Dad, I’ve been doing a bunch of renovations on the house, and it’s been hot as hell. I want you to know that I have no idea of how you’ve been a carpenter down there for so damn long. What’s it been, like 30 years?”

He laughed. “Nah, closer to 40. And apparently I can’t do that shit no more.” He had only recently been sidelined with a shoulder injury that doctors told him would take a year to heal. He was back working like 6 months later. But now he has to rest more often because that time off took away his heat endurance. Did I mention he’s 67? Well, he is. And he’s a beast.

And as we talked, he gave me tips: Wake up early, do the heavy stuff on the West side of the building to stay out of the sun. Knock off around 10. If you have to work in the afternoon, move to the East side so the sun won’t be beating down on you. Just do light stuff from 10 to 1 if you still have to work. Drink lots of Gatoraide.

As we wound our conversation down, I came away with a new respect for him. I kinda always understood why he did the job he did — he’s not a man that could sit at a desk — and carpentry runs in the family. But to be able to do what he’s done for as long as he has no matter what the conditions outside … man, that says something.


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