Our friend Gary is here for two days to mastermind building a deck off the garage apartment. I need a deck before I can get a certificate of occupancy and rent the apartment out — currently the upstairs sliding doors open to a ten-foot drop.
I had received a few bids on the job and the lowest was a little over $4K. While I might have scraped this sum together it would have knocked out my savings and meant I could not do other things on my list. Gary said, “Don’t be silly. You and I can build that, easy. I’ll make some drawings and come up on my spring break.”
Gary is a woodshop teacher in western Massachusetts. He has been driving three hours north to help me on these building projects almost from the first — the construction of the cabin in 2007. In the photo above we have just dug our materials out of the snow. A month later, below, he was back and we installed the rafters.
In 2009 Gary donated two days to helping me start building the garage.
Later in the summer, when my carpenter flaked out and failed to show up, Gary returned for several more days. After that he would stop by whenever he was in the mountains on climbing trips — it always seemed that Gary appeared just when I needed him. Below, he and Luke are wrestling rafters.
I once wrote that Gary’s middle name should be “Saint.” He’s a wonderful friend.
All the deck materials were delivered last week in the snow and ice storm. The big delivery truck became mired at the top of the driveway and Luke and I had to off-load all the materials into my pickup in multiple trips and carry it to the garage. Still, I think Gary and I are set.
The forecast calls for a 36-hour lull in rotten weather until rain returns Thursday afternoon with 40 mph winds. I pray it holds off until the last nail and screw are driven!