Life presents many projects to do, but when you don’t have a deadline the projects can wait.
Well this weekend, the projects couldn’t wait.
A few friends, comrades from the high school years, invaded my space to check off some projects. Maybe not invaded, for they were invited, but there were many people jammed in a small space disturbing the silence of normal.
A gathering of the tribe was a good thought and much logistics were made but the weather was not cooperating. After a week of soaking rain and cooler temperatures for this time of year, the party moved inside.
First, there was the crucial assemblage of materials and the most important improper dietary foodies plus adult beverages.
A trio gathered and documented the projects of the day, materials required, and schedule to accomplishment the goals.
Off down past dead generals and into the cement floors of the vast toy warehouse with list in hand the adventure started. A cart filled with sticks and pans and rollers and stuff rolled back and forth, but there were not the cheering I’m used to entering this hall of remodeling. A nice Goth red-haired girl rang up the score and we moved on to the tummy temple.
Returning to the tune of Dixie and past former family houses, the trio found another shelter from the rain. Crackers, cheese, fruit, and lots and lots of alcohol filled the cart along with a huge umbrella and a heavy cast iron umbrella stand that would not fit on the back of a bike. Priorities. It pays to have friends with cars. Check off the to-do list.
One project done with four hands and a flashlight and now I miss my beep. Another project was somehow completed with Marx Brothers antics and mechanical engineering minds. Sanding went must faster than anticipated and the work was done. Cough.
A respite to sit on the misty porch washing down the dust and telling tales of years gone by the clueless crew rested before the quality manager reviewed today’s task without receiving the seal of approval.
An early start of the day to move some furniture and arrange others under a tent of plastic while laying out newspaper and wiping cloths of old sweatshirts. By assembly time I was already exhausted.
It had been agreed upon to start painting the next morning. One by one the body of compatriots assembled and grabbed their weapon of choice to begin their labor when suddenly the processed halted. “This paint is too soggy”, said one. “This paint is too mushy”, said another. “This paint is too old”, said yet another. “There are too many bumps on the wall”, complained the last. Talk went in every direction and options were formulated as part of the team struck off back to the home of home supplies.
More sanding and more complaining and we began all over again. “You take the ceiling and you do the walls and you stand there and complain”. Everyone had an assignment and some did it better than others. “I got paint on my shirt” to “Paint chips on my roller” to “This really ought be sanded down more” to “We are running out of paint” to “I’m taking a break” continued until the rough walls were slapped in every direction in a white wet coating.
Could any of the migrant workers comprehend this as an art project and we were just gesso the canvas?
With enough manpower and tools and complaining, the immediate task was done. The sun welcomed the whiners to cheese and crackers and more beverages. If I had wanted all this noise I would have married them.
Boys will be boys so the topics of conversation continued to discuss dissemination of genitals. One was very boisterous until his wife and daughter-in-law showed up for a secret spy eye on the goings on. Another just sort of wandered back and forth between silence and pontifications. The other two seemed confused by the distance they had lived and the hand signals of a few who had staged contact but had just lost it in the fog.
Old and getting older comrades in arms had conquered the walls and ceiling and now continued to catch up on years with strange tales and laughs of ancient relationships and times gone by. Truth or fiction didn’t matter for this motley crew had started what had been stopped years ago. Now it will be up to me to continue the task at hand. Will I or won’t I? Time will tell. First check their pockets for wristwatches and loose change.
Breaking for a dinner reservation, I checked the disaster that had been my living room, dining room and hallway. “Not bad” I thought, but another coat will be required. That will be my job for the purpose of the kick-starter was to get me motivated.
Still being fairly early, I ventured out to the tummy temple and got some fresh air and worked different muscles from standing, then rehydrate. After feeding a forgotten yard life started to settle down again. The hot shower felt especially good getting the cake of baked on dust off.
Arriving at the destination, through some strange Yuppie double-parking techniques, I set up the payment schedule to a very pretty smiling face. Two tables were pushed together to reward the working crew with food and drink. Once assembled with special guest all appear no worst for the wear and rather proud of our accomplishments of the past two days, gorging on cheese and fruit and breads and libations.
Home again without an incident with a clown, get into the comfier and soak up the remainders while prepare for the next adventure.
Break of dawn and the President of Pittsville map in hand, this brave driver of a motorized metal monster machine, captured me and slung me down a cement ribbon to parts unknown. Once engaged in conversation we challenged the forgotten instructions and got lost. Yet these were brave explorers determined to find their destination with constant calls of assistance to the co-pilot.
Upon arriving, with much relief, we shifted gears to an adventure on the water, and an adventure it was.
Absolutely perfect weather, clear sky, soft breeze and calm waters, the captain accepted a novice crew upon his vessel. With some coaching and prompting and a few words not to be used by children, Capt. got us underway. A few more cranks and pulls and tugs and shifts and more pulls and…. Well you get the idea, the jib came full and a crew of three were sailing.
Yes, sailing like on the water and wind and seagulls and a flashback to memories the other two did not know. To break the inexperience sailors, we mutinied and ate fried chicken and rolls while landlubbers were amazed at the visions of lighthouses and the path that ventures have taken for eons. If we go south and turn starboard, there is Florida?
The Capt. is a pro and we backed into the dock without destroying anything or anyone, though he had his doubts. A 40-foot sailboat takes a bunch of work to secure but I think we got everything done to his instructions. Wonder what that plug below deck was for?
A comfortable afternoon of sunshine, phone calls, relaxing, phone calls, drinks, more phone calls, a tour of the town and then a seafood dinner that was more than enough.
Another break of dawn and another early start, the crew of the Pauper’s Paradise returned back to reality through the morning dew. Following the correct directions and without incident, the speed of light emptied me back at a familiar yard of ivy and tree monkeys.
Once back in the confines of the normal another look around. Where to start? What next?
If it is broken it must be fixed and that is a priority. If it is bruised then how will it take to mend?
So the ‘to-do’ list is reassembled with putting a bed frame together, stripping the kitchen ceiling, sanding and painting the back door and steps, putting up the medicine cabinet and painting the bathroom, sanding the music room after moving a bunch of guitars to another location to make room to move, move the cassettes cases from the bedroom, find some place to put two drawing boards while sanding and painting the art room, hook up the stereo, hang frames and other artwork…..
That is such a distance dream at this point but I’ve been kick-started.
Maybe there will be another invasion weekend from a bunch of grumpy ole men but time is short for Geezers.