Wednesday, July 25, 2012


my rule is that if i have to borrow a hand tool more than twice at the work sites, i go and buy my own.

that's why i now have a flatbar, a catspaw, and now a speed square.

and at the last two sites i have to decline a thing or two because of my inability to kneel on hard surfaces, so saturday afternoon i bought some knee pads.

so yesterday when i showed up at the worksite and the homeowner wanted me to get to work putting sealer on the baseboards, i could say "no problem. i brought kneepads."

they'll take any work you can do, and they'll be grateful for it.

but it's sweeter when you can actually do the thing they were hoping you might do, and the slow, mind-numbing hands-and-knees work of doing the baseboards is the kind of job you can just give to a person who will just keep plugging away at it, and more skilled people or people who need to be able to look at the whole room and make decisions can just get on with other work.

sometimes i get asked what i would like to do.

what i would like to do is whatever they need me to do. i'm there to help, not for my own amusement.

on some worksites there are people who know what needs to be done and can figure all that stuff out and just do it.

i am not that worker.

i am the one who, when given a task, will keep doing that task carefully and steadily until you tell me to stop for lunch. and then after lunch, i will do it until it;s quitting time.

or until you give me a different task.

i suppose every work site needs people like me, too.

when we work in moretown, often as not the buildings do not have working plumbing yet. we therefore have to walk upstreet to the moretown general store, where they do not mind if the volunteers use the restrooms and they are also happy to fill our water bottles.

yesterday on the way back from the store i noticed that the concrete bridge at town center is dated proudly 1928. this is only really significant if you know that the last time moretown was wiped out in flooding, it was 1927.

so here are my pictures of the day: one of the worksite, one looking out the front window to the duct tape that labels the high water mark on the downstream side of the building (water two feet lower on the downstream side), and the 1928 bridge.

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