When Do You Call A Day, A Day?
Or three days, rather? I struggle a bit, secretly, with deciding when or what is enough. The so-called eight-hour business day is very ingrained. Our contractors have typically started at 8:30 and quit around 3:30. When we started doing full days ourselves of physical labor, 3:30 was a very welcome stopping point — when the body is fatigued, you may be prone to mistakes or accidents.
Then there’s the task at hand… is it “done”? Did you get to all the things? Are you at a stopping point?
And what about the tools? Is it going to rain? It can take 30-40 minutes just to tidy the work area and stow the tools and cords.
It’s gotten easier. One builds a rhythm, and physical work informs the body, if you listen. We were done today at 4:30, in time to make a nice dinner. Done with what, you say? Follow….
The next day (yesterday) was largely taken with doctor and car servicing appointments, but in the late afternoon I started constructing the beam.
At this point I realized the finished beam was going to be, um, HARD to move, so we spent the evening talking about how we would tackle it in the morning. I decided to try to get the 2/3 beam closer into position, and add the third layer in situ.
From there the trick was to move it higher. It was too heavy to lift each end directly to the brackets I had prepared — even the incremental brackets. I could only lift one end a few inches at a time. And the brackets themselves had to be reinforced. Marsh suggested the Pyramids-of-Giza (or maybe Stonehenge) approach of piling great ziggurats of lumber to make secure platforms from which to move the beam higher.
By the time we “called it a day,” we had all five new posts up on their footings, all the ad-hoc braces and struts put away, tools stowed, and the grade raked out. This felt like a major, major accomplishment, and a big prerequisite crossed off for the continuing work inside.