Monday, July 21, 2014

The Peculiar Particularity of Life

I have been giving a good deal of thought lately about the particularity of life.  It must be a function of age, because one thinks of life in general terms (or at least I thought of life in general terms) when young.  When we're young we can't help but observe the life ahead in the general terms of potential, not in the particular terms of what happened, when and where.  I had a vision for myself, or as the American Idol aspirants would say, "a dream," but none of it really has come to pass.  Thinking about it, I have a peculiar mixture of emotion, regret and resignation on the one hand, sufficiency and satisfaction on the other.

I would not have thought, for example, that I would have ended in Mountain Home, Idaho -- that I would have ended in this little house, with its small bathrooms, one of which has a cotton ball container, a repurposed candy dish that catches the afternoon light in a very particular way that is, such as it is, and beggars description.  It is, quite literally, a transparent thing that has followed Lora and I in our lives, for how long?  I do not remember it coming into our life, but I do remember it in the Chicago house, the Draper house, and now here in Mountain Home.  How odd.  Just this thing, following us, catching a certain slant of light on a summer afternoon, lifting the spirit with nostalgia.

I distract myself.  I have my shop pretty much assembled in the new garage, but having that garage entirely to myself -- that is to say, my shop -- depends upon the shed.  Lora has taken the camera with her to Michgan for the week, so I cannot post pictures, but I have nearly completed the framing for the foundation and floor.  I used concrete pier blocks (aka hand blocks) partly because there is about an eight inch drop from one corner of the shed to the other, and the pier blocks seemed about the easiest way to create a level floor -- easiest conceptually.   How it works out in particular is something else.  Each block is about on cubic foot of concrete, and so it's, well, heavy.  I must have lifted each of the fifteen two dozen times, attempting to get a perfectly square footing for the shed.   My shoulders ache with the unaccustomed effort.

Instead of the standard joist arrangement, I made a modification.  The top of each block has a center depression for a standard 4x4 post.  Crossing that, it also has a depression for standard 2x lumber.  Instead of a standard row of joists, I have opted for a torsion box frame for the flooring joists.  It seemed the best way to maximize the pressure points of the pier blocks.  I will probably regret that decision, but it provided supported joists running in all four directions.  Today, I need to visit the lumber yard, and get the sheathing for the floor -- 3/4 OSB -- and some of the 2x4s that I will need to frame out the roof joists.  Lora wants a hip roof on each end of the shed, so that will take some doing.


  1. I understand many of those thoughts about life - nicely spoken. And the guitar looks beautiful. How does it sound?

    1. I understand many of those thoughts about life - nicely spoken. And the guitar looks beautiful. How does it sound?