Sometime in the last 33 years, Tom and I got good at building things together. He’s usually the designer (appropriate for an engineer) and I’m the worker bee, and we have built numerous handicapped ramps, decks, and sheds. He likes to do the big, heavy things like digging postholes. I’m better at
putting the screws in decks and mudding drywall. We are planning on doing more of this when we retire. We especially want to work with Habitat for Humanity when they rebuild areas after a disaster.
Yesterday we got to help a friend build her deck. Tom designed it and I made sure all
the parts were there. Tom and another friend dug the postholes on Thursday, then Friday we put in the concrete, followed by the posts. Yesterday we put up the frame, did the decking, and the rail, built the steps, and started the balusters. The whole crew worked hard and we were hot,
tired, and happy with our progress when we finished. We still have some balusters and lattice to put up, but the deck is looking good.
Building things like this is fun. In our jobs we have had the opportunity to build a church and a university program, but it isn’t the same kind of hands-on
thing. Preaching every week is challenging and interesting, but sometimes it is hard to see if you are making a difference. The routine, as well as the hours, can be overwhelming. And working in people’s lives is always messy – one step forward, one step back. One crisis averted, another one
around the corner. One person helped, another one in need.
So building a deck – starting with a yard and finishing with something you can sit and stand on – is very satisfying. My body is sore, but it is a good feeling because I know I have done something. The best part for me? Working with power tools!