Walls change everything. Sometimes for good. Sometimes for ill. They divide and block. They enclose and secure. They provide perspective, shelter and a vantage point.
Framers worked from 7:30 to 5 yesterday, assembling and lifting walls. Most of the day, it was only John and Scott. Jason joined them in the early afternoon. John lost part of his crew to other jobs temporarily because of a several day delay in pouring the foundation. These guys have to work. They can’t afford the luxury of laying out, waiting. Time literally is money, and they feel it on payday every Friday afternoon.
The sun went away in the afternoon, dissolving into a grey chill with a stiff wind. I put a thermos of hot coffee and a basket of warm chocolate chip cookies by the door. Scott, who had never made eye contact or spoken to me so far, stopped in his tracks, jerked up his chin, looked straight at me and said, “Thanks. I could sure use some coffee.” Turns out he’s the only coffee drinker of the three, but when I pulled the basket back inside later, the cookies were gone.
It’s not easy to keep a framing crew together. The leader of the pack, John, a master framer, has to get his workers a solid forty hours. He tries to have three or four major projects going on at the same time, at different stages. I heard his red and silver truck rumble up at 7:10 this morning, doors slamming and gutteral exchanges among the men. Steady rain had been falling for several hours. I wondered what would happen next.
It didn’t take long to find out. The talk stopped. Doors slammed again. John gunned the red and silver truck. It sounded like a political statement, a rude gesture to the weather. He is hot to get this project dried in. Then the rain won’t matter. I hope they have another dried in house to go to and work today.
My own experience of the rain this morning is quite different. My raft in life’s river is in a quiescent spot at the moment, a smooth ride. I have it easy, curled up like a fat tabby cat in a corner of the sofa, munching on dates and a warm whole grain seeded bun with a couple of thin slices of buttery Havarti cheese, sipping on a mug of coffee that I whisked up with milk and cinnamon. Buck is working at his desk. Maggie is snoring gently in front of the fireplace.
I am always aware that life’s river is moving, carrying me to a different spot, and that where I am today is just that: where I am today. A snapshot. For today, it’s comfortable, sweet and precious.