Thursday, April 22, 2010
From the Garden History Book - 2002 "A Lot of Hammering a Lot of Confusion and a Little Vine".
Second Pic.= Completed Arbor on planting day May 2002
Not having been born one of those natural carpenters I have always relied on the expertise of my father when it came to carpentry projects, especially plans for a project that I was too cheap to hire a professional. I did however draft quite a professional drawing of the project at hand without the kiss of approval from the local contractors union. The summer previously I had purchased from a local Nursery a very nice quality specimen of Chinese Wisteria. This is were the whole cart before the horse thing comes in, but I was also not a natural born planner either. After presenting the plans to the Board of Directors at Menagerie Manor (Mema) and a cost sheet I was very surprised by a nod of approval, so not being one to waste any time with such endeavors I got on the phone and ordered all the materials to be delivered.
What I thought was going to be a quiet weekend of building my new wisteria arbor turned into the usual confused squalor of events. Friday night we received a panicked call from Nathan our oldest son, the drummer, living in Eugene and working at a bakery for minimum wage and playing drums in a band at night and any other spare time that came their way. Often the discovery that life is not all it should be and the memories of the home you left to strike out and make it big in the music world come flooding back in one big wave that rolls you over and over until you can't come up for air. Fortunately there is always a phone at hand, two sleeping parents that will jump into their car at the very moment you hang up, they will speed down the freeway at an ungodly hour only to discover that they are still in their pajamas and both forgot to answer the early morning bladder call before they set out on their quest to rescue their son. That’s right, red BMW doing 85+ mph, two very frazzled occupants dressed in pajamas, now there is a pretty picture that every sleepy State Police is looking for at that time of morning hmmmm! We hit the first available rest area and were back on the road in record time but traveling at a cop friendly speed.
Needless to say the rest of that Friday was pretty well shot, getting Nathan and all his belongings home was the easy part. I steered him to a bed that he plunged into and was immediately unconscious and dropping the two bags of cloths into the wash. We spent the rest of the day wondering how this all came about and staring at each other in silence thinking about what was going to happen next.
That afternoon “next” happened in the form of the delivery truck with lumber for the Arbor. Saturday morning came with a flurry. Nathan was still sleeping but the rest of the house took on a less casual movement. It was a beautiful day outside, perfect weather for the construction job. We were into a second cup of coffee when it was discovered that the kitchen sink was no longer draining no matter how much plunging was done to it. Now if I had a resume for life’s skills there are two that would not be on it, electrical and plumbing, and not necessarily in that order. I called the local plumber and set up an appointment for him to come in the afternoon, meanwhile my father and I went out to start the construction of the arbor. I had previously cemented the three four by four support posts into the ground so we were able to immediately start hammering away on all the top rails. We live in a wonderfully close knit neighborhood and all the hammering brought out onlookers with all the ready and mostly unhelpful suggestions. We had amassed about four of these unofficial inspectors on the patio when the plumber came to the door, our three dogs and Ian’s dog Ninja just about took the door off at the hinges. I welcomed him into the chaos and pointed him towards the kitchen He was there for just a short time when he told us that it was going to be a major job and that it would cost just under eight hundred to fix and that he would have to remove a section of wall from our recently remodeled laundry room.
It’s amazing how quickly a well planned project as this goes up. And even more amazing that a fellow as myself can pull it off. But pull it off I did. Careful planning and some basic skills are what it’s all about, and a very good natured and patient father. The arbor was finished and I ran to the back and brought out my wisteria, after planting it and watering it in I stood back and surveyed the whole project, my father who was sitting in the shade and sipping a cool drink said “that is a little vine” “don’t you think this big arbor needs something bigger? Or maybe a few more on the other corners? I looked shocked and surprised to which he continued, “well I just think that’s a little vine".