Whatever good things we build end up building us. So, maybe by the time I finish this place I'm building I will be a halfway decent person. I think building is good for one's being. For one thing, it's amazing how much a wooden post can humble a person. Think you're pretty smart, eh? Try to get them all plumb and in line... Or, lest Jack think I'm picking on him, build that box but make sure it's square. Seems pretty simple right? Well, it is fairly, after years of doing it. After explaining my procedure for running a line of posts, it dawned on me that I have, in essence, spent the last 17 years learning how to plumb a post and build a square box. It basically boils down to that. Ah, but once you learn those two items, oh the things you can build. I think many of the ills of people today are the result of not getting their hands dirty anymore. To build builds you up. Few people have any desire or confidence to get out and try to make something. Is it just coincidence that depression, insecurity, ill health, obesity, and apathy are rampant in our country? As an occasional teacher of the crafts I have often been amazed at how happy it has made some people just to build a little flower box or learn to cut a board correctly (and to the exact measurement you were intending). To build gives so much confidence. You say, I can do this! Look! If I did that, I might could build something bigger.
I have often written here about how timid and insecure I was before I began working construction. I also held many arrogant and narrow-minded opinions regarding those who chose to work blue collar rather than get a college education. When I look back now to my much younger days I am somewhat amused at that girl and those attitudes. What rough but exciting roads she went down and found herself learning so much more standing in mud and scorching sun, rather than in a classroom. It is only fitting I did not receive this land at an earlier time. I was not ready back then. I could not have built these things I build now, even halfway through my construction career. Not that I didn't know how to put pieces of wood together but because I didn't know how to put a life together. Building taught me what was important in life. When you have to do it yourself you begin to get very picky about what really matters. I have to pour this concrete myself, so do I really need 100 more square feet of house? Do I really need a dining room that will only be used on holidays? Isn't someone who will help me dig holes all day long more of a treasure than someone who would just pay someone else to do it? And to be safe and warm and dry in my little house with that person is worth more than all the McMansions and Hollywood 'pads' in the world.
I will explain what I am building in these photos in the next post. The big box in the last 2 photos will be finished and then all torn down again!