My husband, aka “Pool Boy” and I were recently horrified to discover, when checking on our lake cabin, that the supports for the dock were not safe. We knew that unless we switched all our friends to anorexic super models, we needed to put in some more supports, pronto.
I have mentioned previously that Lake Franklin Pierce is a “fake lake”, i.e., it is a lake only during the summer months. It was created in 1926 to take the snow and ice run off that used to flood the town of Hillsborough each spring. A side note: in flooding a large part of Hillsborough and Antrim, New Hampshire, the birthplace of President Franklin Pierce became part of the lake bed. No one even bothered to suggest moving his home. Any list of “worst Presidents” has Pierce in the Top Ten. The good citizens of New Hampshire were aware of this, even in 1926. However, the lake was named after him as a sort of consolation prize.
We were knee deep in mud and desperately mixing cement in plastic buckets last weekend. We were assuring ourselves that two supports of pressure-treated lumber would work well until next spring, when we could take out all the supports. Note to visiting friends: the steps leading down to the dock are very comfortable to sit on, and well supported.
Pool Boy has the type of personality where he has to be in charge of any project. His day-to-day paying job is being in charge of projects. He’s good at it. I’m good at “helping”. Helping consists of “hold this” and “hand me that”. Sometimes even “Call 911. I’m bleeding”. I am the perfect helper as I don’t want to be in charge. Before anyone cries sexism, it should be noted my beloved older brother also married a wonderful woman that is “in charge” of any project. There are those that lead, and there are those that call 911.
A helper has much free time. While the project leader is busy thinking and working and cursing, the helper has time to reflect. The dock project is a perfect example of how most of our projects go. While waiting my mind begins to wander. My husband wanted me to help, and called for me. He wanted me to hold the level. Why the new supports have to be perfectly level, when the old ones look like the Tower of Pisa and did just fine for years, is beyond me. Then again, that is yet another reason why I am the “helper”.
However, and this is quite usual, I did not hear my husband. Something had caught my eye. I noticed a small feather stuck in a new shoot from an evergreen tree. The wind was tossing this bit of fluff around. I was mesmerized.
My husband finally got my attention, and asked WHAT was I doing? I said “You need to come see this feather.” We have been married long enough that he didn’t question me. He came over and looked, and then said “It seems to have a bit of blue on the tip, maybe it’s from a blue jay?” I looked again “You are right! I think it is from a blue jay.” We took a photograph, as we thought others might like to see the feather. We then enjoyed watching it moving playfully in the breeze. Finally a stronger bit of wind came along and took it away.
My husband and I walked back over to the dock. I held the level. He hammered the support straight. We worked hard all afternoon. But that evening as we were driving home he turned to me and said “That sure was a neat feather.”
And people wonder how two people so very different have been married for so very long.
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