Sunday, March 9, 2014

Initiation

          We bought a 1930's craftsman style house and are in the process of renovating it.  Our role has mostly been that of demolition.  We have been knocking out plaster and insulation and hoofing it to the dumpster nonstop.  Well, yesterday the contractor, Steve, was working on the roof by himself and he needed a hand.  So, just like that I was promoted to contractor helper.  It was just nice to get away from the demo end and actually work on fixing something.
      We worked on replacing some rotted wood on the roof deck and things were going very smoothly.  Steve starts nailing down the sheathing and I ask him if he would like some help.
    "Sure, grab some nails,"  is his response.
    I reach into the nail bucket and slip a handful into my pocket.  "How many nails are we doing in each sheet?" I ask. I don't want to screw up my new promotion.
    He responds with a grin, "Every 8 to 10 inches, but not so many that we run out of nails.  He laughs and so do I.
    "Got it!"  I pull the first nail from my pocket and place it on the sheathing above a stud.  A quick tap sets the nail and I am ready to drive it home.  Of course, the nail head bends, starts to go crooked and with a heavy bang is mashed in to the wood.  I know what your thinking, teacher, hammer, nails... stick to what I know, right?
    In my defense I do know how to nail.  I was raised by a perfectionist jack of all trades,  my father would never have allowed a bent head ever to be mashed into the wood.  He would make me stop, bend the head with the claw end of the hammer, tap it straight with the face of the hammer, hit it again and repeat as many times as necessary to drive it home.  As crazy as this made me when I was a kid, I am now pretty darn good with all aspects of a hammer.
    So back to Steve,  I keep on nailing doing pretty well, couple bent heads here and there, when I begin to notice that each nail I pull from my pocket is already bent.  Not terribly, but more like little metal bananas.
     "Hey! Steve.  Is it just me or are all of these nails bent already?"
     "Funny story," is his response.  "When they came to pick up the dumpster yesterday, I had a box of nails in the driveway and he pretty much ran them all over."  He smiles and laughs.  "I thought they would be perfect for this job."
   "I thought maybe this was my initiation to your crew," I crack back with a laugh.
   "No initiation is much worse."
    "Thanks, I reply, "I was having flashbacks to my childhood." I continue to give him the long and short of my nailing experience as a kid.
 But I keep on nailing, thinking about my childhood, smiling, snow is falling, my hands are freezing but I say to myself,  "Hey, beats the demo crew!"
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Great slice! Felt like I was up there on the roof, too. Interesting how small things like bent nails can zoom us back in time.

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Slice Of Life