It was sorta like the perfect storm, without the perfect part… the storm either. You might say the stars were perfectly aligned, but there was only one star; the one closest to our planet, daring me to live a little.
What the day was missing was the easy-to-loathe antagonist, except he didn’t exist, but have no fear, there was a problem… there’s always a problem.
For as much as technology solves, there’s a small percentage of problems it creates, and that’s where our story began.
There was a time I toiled in the elements; rare frigid days and dreaded heart-stopping heat. Since the golden days, construction has changed a bit. It’s become more automated and with a whole lot more pre-manufactured components being used. Computers do the calculating, so the installation methods require a less qualified person, generally speaking.
Sometimes when you’re giving folks instructions on how to accomplish a task, the look on their faces say a whole lot more than their lips can muster. That particular scenario has been dubbed “A deer in the headlights” look. It’s kind of a blank stare, like the person operating their soul cage stepped out for a lunch break.
That’s the look I got from both guys I was trying to explain how to accomplish the not so monumental task. I slowed down and gave it another shot, but they’re eyes told me that their minds were still out to lunch.
That’s when the not so heroic, not to mention frustrated, hero reared his not so pretty head. I was transported back to a time and place I loved… I’d forgotten how just how much.
As youngsters we stripped down to shorts and built a tiny piece of America, daring the ol’ sun to do it’s best, or worst. It took a couple of decades to figure out that we’d actually lost that battle.
The gratification from using your hands and mind to change a community and silhouette of a sunset is unparalleled, even when stacked up against writing.
I stood on the roof rafters, still only and inch and a half wide, one under each arch of my tennis shoes, mocking gravity like I did as a young man.
I cut pieces of lumber on angles coupled with specific degrees to meet them together with precision that looked like art work. I recall as a kid thinking what a shame it was to cover up a meticulously framed house with roofing materials, stucco, siding, drywall, and paint.
When I climbed down off that roof I was dirty, sweaty, like I’d literally stepped out of the shower with my clothes on. I was also, what my uncle Buck used to call, plum tuckered… but I felt good.
I guess it’s like riding a bike or swinging on a swing. We get so old and distinguished that we forget the basic gifts from God, and that some of the most gratifying things in life require we take a step out of our comfort zone… and really live a little.