Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Concrete lessons

My new living space has lots of windows and light. Most of the windows are covered with paper until the blinds come in, but the French doors across from my desk and the window to the right are bare. As a result, I’m like a fish in a gold bowl—except there’s usually no one out there to see. Today there was a whole crew of concrete people—preparing to pour the patio, taking up the old sidewalk and getting ready to pour a new one. I was treated to a fascinating study in people’s behavior and a construction process.

These men work hard. They were here when I got up at 8:30—okay, I overslept—and some were still working at 5:30 tonight. They work with picks and sledgehammers, slamming them into the ground, picking up huge chunks of concrete and pitching them into some kind of motorized wagon that disposes of them. I saw them standing around frequently and figured they had to take breaks from that hard labor. They churn up the dirt, then rake it and pounds it flat, painstaking work. By the end of the day they had made an absolute mess of my back yard, which was already a mess. But the forms were in place, and I could see where the patio and curving walkway will be.

I had intended to ask neighbor Greg to mow the grass in back today, but he came back to the cottage before I could do that and said there was so little grass anyway he meant to go after it with the weed eater. The worker mens (a grandchild’s phrase) even tore up my large, flourishing turk’s cap but Greg says you can’t kill them, so I guess it will bloom again.

Today’s work was not as noisy as I’d dreaded but they apparently cut through concrete because occasionally the air was thick with a white powder—that can’t be healthy. It was that way when the physical therapist came, and I knew he intended for me to walk down the ramp. I balked, because I didn’t want to go out in that thick dust.

 We walked in the house. I asked if he was comfortable with me using the walker when home alone, and he said he was. “Are you?” he asked. I figured I have to be, because if I don’t start walking more, I’ll never walk again. And the surgeon recommended a lot more walking. So watch my dust! (Bad pun)

On a completely unrelated note, my Scottish heart beat faster tonight. I found on Facebook a lovely rendition of “Loch Lomand.” I can remember singing it with my dad on one of our piano nights. We had a book of folk songs-I have it still—and would sing the Scottish ones with special fervor. Dad loved “Loch Lomand.” His signature song on the piano was “Red Wing.” I can still sing the chorus to that one. What a fine memory to have.

This is my fourth night in the cottage, and I am still happy as a clam. Tonight my dining pal Betty brought spaghetti from Chadra—so delicious. I am one lucky lady.


LD Masterson said...

My hubby is on a walker right now and you're right - it's use it or lose it so keep going strong. You need to take pictures of the work outside and when it's all finished so you can post before and after shots.

Judy Alter said...

OUtside work has come to a halt. It's a muddy mess.