Our Labor Day weekend began rather unexpectedly, as the roofers showed up early Saturday morning to put on our new roof. Three of them finished the roof in just under eight hours. I was quite impressed with their professionalism and their dedication to their work. It took me almost that long to repair a small section of the roof after a huge wind storm two years ago, and I could barely stand up by the time I’d finally finished it. I thought $3,400 for a new roof was a real bargain considering how long it would have taken me to finish it.
The next day Leslie and I started on another job that’s been hanging over my head since last year’s wind storm. Since our YMCA will be closed most of this week and next week, I decided it was a good time to finally repair the fence that I’ve been promising to repair for a little over a year now.
We spent most of Sunday shopping for supplies, probably because it’s been too long since we’ve been to Home Depot. We not only bought most of the supplies for the fence but also a new curtain for the Dining Room window, plumbing supplies to clean a semi-clogged bathroom drain, sprinkler heads for the drip irrigation system, and shopped for a front door lock before deciding that we couldn’t decide on the lock we wanted. Since I have to put a leash on Skye to let him out, we waited until Monday morning to actually start working on the fence. So we proceeded to hang the curtain, and free the drain.
Everything started well Sunday morning, especially since I had a chop saw to dismantle the fence so that we could reuse most of it. I was optimistic that I could have the fence back up by Tuesday afternoon. Foolish me. I should have know better. We encountered some fence posts that couldn’t be gotten out easily. In fact, we ended up renting a jack hammer for four hours to split the concrete around the posts in order to get them out. Working four hours with a jack hammer is a great reminder of how tough manual labor really is. By the end of the day, I had managed to get all the old fence down, but that’s all.
So I spent all day today, after I dragged my aching body out of bed at 8:30, putting new fence posts and railings in. I was quite sore from the day before, but this part went well compared to the day before, and I hope to have the dog’s fence back up by the end of the day tomorrow.
Watching someone who’s an expert at their trade work like the roofers and having to spend several days doing manual labor were a good reminder that all work is valuable, that all work is demanding in its own way, and that all work, especially physical work, deserves a decent salary.
Of course, having put myself through college working half time as a janitor and full time summers filling oxygen cylinders, I’ve always respected blue collar work. Hell, the main reason I went to college was so that I wouldn’t have to spend my whole life earning my living by the sweat of my brow.