Old Dog and I do not work well together. Although our socio-economic backgrounds are similar (Appalachian/working class), our working backgrounds are very different. I’ve been in computers most of my life, most recently as a manager; he’s a union electrician in a factory. Sometimes, if a task requires we both participate, we can pull together for the duration, but it’s not easy. So, a couple of years back, when we spent a week of vacation stripping our deck, we knew it would be a challenge.
The previous owner elected to put a semi-translucent redwood on the deck. It didn’t look took bad when the house was Hershey’s Cocoa Brown, but was pretty awful after we updated it to Current Fad Tan.
We rented a floor stripper, which scraped off most of the stain, then used a strip sander, an orbital sander, a Mouse® and sheer elbow power to get the rest of it.
It’s still not a thing of beauty, but at least it isn’t the stuff of nightmares anymore.
For seven days we worked along, two happy elves in pursuit of the American Dream of Home Improvement. Below is an actual snippet of conversation from late in the week:
Me: Those boards under the railing need more work.
Him: They look okay.
Me: They look like shit.
Him: If you want them done again, do them yourself.
Me: Fucking union labor.
Him: Fucking management.
This year we’re putting up a privacy fence. Robert Frost said, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Any bets on what it will do for a marriage?
(Note: We're heading out to Georgia for a few days. See you on Friday (when I'll be announcing the winner of this week's Friday Fiction competition.)