Shangri La

Shangri La

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Other 60 Percent

I read somewhere that when you have a lockable shell, you're only about 40 done. That seems slightly pessimistic when I quickly tick off the remaining items, but clearly realistic when I sit down to write out what still needs to be done in detail. Add in the amount of time it actually takes to cross any given item off the list, and you begin to wonder if you'll ever actually be finished.

But "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", and so each weekend I plod along, a bit overwhelmed but still enjoying the journey. Since the last post, there have been 3 trips to Shangri-La, two solo and one with LSW and The Boy in tow.

On the first trip I arrived with a punch list of items: Finish siding the south wall, build the bridge between the lofts, and put up the walls in the crawlspace. A solid day's work, I figured forgetting that a day is 24 hours at best, and only 8 hours realistically given the 6 hours of travel. In the end, the siding was all I accomplished, and even that I ran out of before the south wall was done.

No worries, though - we had planned an overnight the following weekend, and we had big plans to make bigger progress. We were up early and out on time for once, the wife actually stayed awake the whole trip and companionable banter sped the journey along. The Boy was in a good mood, the sun was shining and the mercury settled in the low 70s. Everything was absolutely perfect until we pulled up in front of the cabin and I turned off the car.

"Tell me you brought the keys," I said to the LSW.
"I thought you had them," she replied.
Son of a ...

Faced with a challenge from the universe to practice my zen actively, I calmly dropped the family at our beloved Saxtons River Inn, and spent the next 6 hours in a round-trip journey to retrieve the keys.

Here's the thing, though: Compelled to book a second night, we were pleased to be given the best room in the place "because we were regulars". Sitting that second night with a cold beer after a long day of work on our private front porch overlooking the main street, I had one of those moments where everything - and I mean everything - felt perfect and I knew life could not possibly be any better. So there was that, anyway.

And what did we get done? The deck framing is in place for the front porch, the rear gable is ready for the power hookup and both the general and oven circuits have been run. Less work than I thought we could accomplish, but what else is new?

This last weekend I was on the road by 5:30 am and hard at work by 8:45. I would have been there a little sooner, but I couldn't resist stopping at the Saxtons River Market for a bottled water and a hot donut. Those donuts will kill me one day, but what a way to go. The weather was deceptive: It was the kind of day where you felt slightly chilled while standing still, but were pouring rivers of sweat as soon as you lifted any tool. Really, really, really, humid. I didn't do too bad, though: The walls are up in the crawlspace and the bridge is finally built between the lofts. I rewarded myself with a hot roast beef and Cheddar from the Putney Co-op and listened to the dishy 'Mrs. Astor Regrets' on CD on the way home. The latter is a guilty pleasure, but then who doesn't like to hear about the self-destruction of the rich?

Unless of course, you're the rich in question. Then it just sucks.

In other news, Larry expects to get the meter socket on the house this week, and he'll be contacting me soon about running the power to the panel and hooking up the first couple of circuits. I understand that the revised septic plans are on their way to the State of VT as of last Friday, and even as I write I'm waiting for a callback from Green Mountain Well Drilling about moving my well date from the end of July to the end of June. All good stuff.

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