The original plan for the summer was to work for a few months and then assist son-in-law Ernie with the construction of an addition to the old farmhouse they bought last year.
The second part of that plan was derailed a bit by their house in town not selling on schedule. Major construction devolved into a bit of plumbing and flooring in the old house. I only helped a few days with that. I guess my mind was wrapped around not working for pay this summer and after three months having enough money for now so work ended June 24th and I declined other jobs that were out there.
A summer off!
Without deadlines I vegged, surfed, read and crammed a couple of weeks work into 8 weeks.
There was helping son-in-law Nick with the fence in Edmonton. Construction of a pirogue, a long procrastinated project, was finally attempted. The fifth wheel trailer was greased and prepped for the trip south. Some rubble from previous excavations was finally moved away. The siding was finally completed on the water shed. A couple of trips to the dump were made. An eight foot section on the roof of the sea can was clothed in fibreglas cloth and epoxy resined and then top coated with Gaco Roofing coating. Air bags were installed on the rear suspension of the dually.
A winter worth's of wood was split. An additional hose bib was installed. Finally got around to putting gutters and downspouts on the house. The eavestroughs were ordered two yeas ago, but first snow guard had to be added and then that summer was gone and then last summer other work squeezed the gutters out of the schedule between jobs. All in all this year was a pretty lazy summer.
Oh! Just before we went south there were a number of work bees to put a metal roof on the Meadow Lake church we attend. I was mostly a ground hog, only going up onto the roof itself a couple of times, partly in obedience to Juanita and partly out of fear. As a friend advised, "Remember. At our age we don't bounce. We break."
We didn't travel much this summer. The trip to Edmonton for the fence. A trip to the dentist to get ready for the crown on the implant. A trip for Juanita to get the crown installed and a trip to Edmonton for Canadian Thanksgiving and a joint birthday party for Rebekah and ourselves.
I finished work at the refinery in Regina on Tuesday at noon and we pulled out of the Kingsacres RV park and headed north to Meadow Lake in a convoy of truck and fifth wheel with Juanita following in the car. Juanita had finished up her volunteering at the thrift mission store the previous week. We bring the car with us because it is easier to park in the city than the dually and a lot cheaper to run back to Meadow Lake for the birthdays that occur during the turnaround season.
Wednesday we got caught up on chores at home in Meadow Lake and packed tools for the fencing project at Nick and Rebekah's in Edmonton. They live on a cul de sac with wide back fences and long side fences. The project involved all their fence and both side fences of their neighbour on one side. That means the endeavour involved four properties.
We picked up our grandson, Kohen, in Meadow Lake and all travelled to Edmonton on Thursday morning arriving in time to help with jacking out posts and drive truck loads of sections of old fencing to the eco station. Friday morning Nick and I drove to a rental store and picked up the reserved power auger. It was a beast at first, but things improved once we figured out it was missing a tooth on one edge of the screw and got a replacement and a spare from the rental shop.
The side fences had been done with four by fours and the posts were showing their twenty years. The back fence had been done with four by six cedar posts and were still pretty solid maybe because some of them had been replaced when a car missed the corner a few years back. We pulled one four by six post but it was almost impossible, taking two jackalls and a lot of effort by two people, compared to one jackall and not much effort for the four by fours. We elected to cut the four by sixes off just below ground level and drill holes for the new posts between the old posts. All the new posts are six by six pressure treated, rough cut lumber. The fence boards and cross supports are all pressure treated. All the coated screws used were countersunk first to prevent splitting. The new fence should outlast me.
The dirt excavated from the holes was piled in the driveway and hauled to the eco station. The new posts were set in dry tamped sack crete and topped with crushed rock driveway mix (called screener chips where I buy gravel). With piles of new lumber and old fence and clean gravel and old dirt the two driveways looked quite a mess. At the height of disruption I noticed the Google Streetview car go by. Great! Preserved for posterity at one's worst! I keep checking, for the updated picture. They say it takes about six months.
The effort was communal with neighbours, friends, neighbour's friends under the expert guidance of Harry Richter, Nick's firend who is a real carpenter as opposed all us amateurs.
On July 1st we worked until the fence was substantially complete except for leaving the gate areas for Nick and Harry to do. In the evening the two cousins, Nick, Rebekah and Paul all took the LRT downtown and walked to an area east of the upper level bridge and watched the light show on the bridge and the other Canada Day fireworks. On July 2nd we took back some posts for credit at the lumber yard, picked up some more sackrete, repaired a couple of flourescent fixtures and then drove back to Meadow Lake where we stayed until September.
I had bought plans from Uncle John's General Store on line several years ago, but had never got around to actually using them. I also have plans for some seats and even got as far as buying the hardware for them and cutting out the patterns the day before we headed south for the winter. I must be Irish with always thinking about where I'm not and all.
Late last winter a storm blew a number of shingles off the Northwest Community Church, the Mennonite Brethren church we are members of in Meadow Lake. Starting in September there were work bees to strap the roof with one by fours and then screw sheets of metal roofing. There is usually wind blowing in Saskatchewan which made hoisting the thirty foot long sheets onto the roof sometimes more exciting than anybody wanted.
I was mostly a ground hog, only venturing onto the roof a couple of times and only the north side which seemed less scary since the ground was a bit closer and there was a lower, less steep roof at the bottom of much of the steep part. By the time we headed to Edmonton for the last dental appointment in October the roof was mostly done.
There were birthday celebrations in August for Kohen, in September for Deborah, in October on Canadian Thankgiving Weekend jointly for Rebekah (October), Juanita (August), Paul (January) and Eliana (October). Eliana also had a big birthday celebration for her first birthday closer to the first anniversary of her birth in late October. I think the Thanksgiving weekend one was for the benefit of the Meadow Lake crowd us included.