Unfinished Thoughts

by William Flake

Salkehatchie 2009, Tuesday

Well, I was right: the rare Monday Morning Miracleâ„¢ may have been a bit of a fluke. Today, we got a lot of work done, but have so very little to really show for it. Here’s the status of our projects.

Daily Status Updates


The crew replacing the bathroom and hall floors ran into some unexpected problems: the plumbers, who have so graciously donated a week of their time and hundred of dollars of materials, did not show up. Rumor has it that they spent the entire day at Carl’s site. The lack of plumbing meant that the group could not put down anything in the bathroom itself, but the flooring in the rest of the house is looking great. The joists are rebuilt, and new plywood is coving the former holes.


The roof, as you may recall, is where I spent most of my time yesterday. Apparently, I was bad, for I was banished to the deck, as usual. I’m not even sure how that happened.

If yesterday’s roofing was a race, today’s work was a crawl. The boards were removed from the second half of the house, only to find that the roof covering the front porch was held up solely by the decorative columns at its corners. The rafters were constructed completely wrong, and all had to be replaced. This major time consumer was only interrupted by on the onset of an afternoon rain, which forced the group to quickly scramble to cover the huge gaping holes in the roof.

When we left, the roof was set up for a much quicker day tomorrow. The rafters are done, some of the plywood has been positioned, and the rest should be fairly easy to complete.


As I mentioned before, I was placed in charge of the deck, in association with Wanda Watts, with whom I built the deck for Ms. Sherril’s house across the street two year ago. That deck is (thankfully) still standing strong.

We started by digging post holes. Fourteen of the them. Fourteen, two foot deep post holes. By hand. Through major tree roots. It was hot, sweaty, tiring work.

We as we started to create the outer frame for the deck, we needed to nail the frame against the house. Using 16 penny nails, we did not find any wood behind the siding. Carefully peeling off the siding, we found that all of the wood there was completely destroyed by termites. I called Vance over, he looked at it, and slowly covered it back up with the siding. We agreed that our little adventure had never happened.

After this major setback, we began to make some progress, and now have the outside frame of the deck leveled and ready to go. I’m expecting most of the deck to be finished before tomorrow is over.


Not everything was doom and gloom, however. As I struggled to find wood which ended up not existing behind the siding, I lamented that the nails I was using were too short. Wanda offhandedly suggested that I needed to find a nail-stretcher. The world fell silent. In the distance, a single angel sang.

We found one of the newbies on our site and sent her with 4 of the nails to go get a nail stretcher. Not finding one at the Cody’s site, she traveled to another. Eventually, she was handed this metal pipe clamp, with instructions on how to use it. She dutifully returned with the contraption, only to eventually learn the truth.

It was righteous.

After-Work Fun

After the work was over, we went to the pool. Once we finally found the shallow, heated pool, we all had a great relaxing time. The freezing cold, Olympic sided pool was far too deep for relaxing. On the whole, it was a great time to just relax and, most importantly, stay completely off our feet.