There’s a siren voice in home construction sites that calls to me.
I don’t know whether it’s the possibilities ahead or the wonderful peace after everyone has left. (Perhaps it’s some magical combination of the two)
But it draws me to it like the magnet on one of those huge cranes that pick up entire cars.
It pulls me to it — and I can’t begin to resist.
I’ve been crawling around job sites as long as my memory goes back. The ear-ache inducing whine of the electric saws, the artillery phat-phat-phat from the nail guns, the whirling freshness of sawdust that sticks into my pores and ears and the paint not too far from glassy-reeking fresh, it’s all home to me.
My dad and I built a barn together during the summer I was 17 and that is still one of my proudest accomplishments. And it remains so, no matter how many other accolades I earn in this wild life time of mine.
To create any building is special, to create a home is truly a calling. The lives and loves and tragedies that this building will host should not be taken lightly. And no true home construction craftsman does.
There are many passions that light me up, many places that have ingrained themselves as a permanent part of me, many pursuits that turn my veins to fire and fill me up to the tips of my fingers with joy. But the buildings I have even a teeny, tiny part in creating are fundamentally a part of all that makes me, me.
You have to understand that all of the times my dad took little me to Dolan’s Lumber in Concord or the Home Depot make them one of the happiest places on my trail through the earth.
Screw Disneyland, I’m going to Home Depot.
You’d think me so strange even as you laugh over how I simply must stick my nose straight ON all the delicious woods in the lumber section. The cedar, pine and fir are incredible. It’s the ultimate Christmas for my nose so you’ll have to watch how people stare at the freaking crazy chick sniffing the lumber
And the paint samples, they’re an endless array of color and monochrome on shiny little lacquered patches that you’ve got to touch in order to experience the full depth of colors, really.
Granite, tile, hardwood and fake wood floor samples are next. I’ll combine my favorite ones into dizzying clashes of style that would make anyone with functional eyeballs gag in terror.
There’s a lot of lights there. You’ve got to stare straight at them to see the styles, and yes it burns.
Just keep telling yourself that it’s the burn of clear, pure joy.
The siding section is probably going to be dull to you, my normal non-wood inhaling friend! Talking about my schemes for barns, garages and various outbuildings for my forever home will inevitably lead to talking about horses. After an intense wandering through an intermediate horse psychology course, you’ll be dragged into the intense, painstaking recountings of the various horses I’ve worked with and helped green break.
While I promise to stop before you die of old age in front of me, please say that you need a subject change if you have plans for the rest of your life.
You thought we were done? Not even close! I can’t skip “ooooh”s & “aaaahhhhh”s over power tools while concocting extremely creative uses for them that make you think I am hellbent on a crusade for the destruction of all humankind.
And lastly (by this time you’re cheering, or near dead with relief) we will peruse the nursery. Not because I will ever be able to own one without murdering it in such a slow, torture-filled death that the stricken remnants of its leaves will be forever stuck in your mind, but because they are pretty, shiny and I need to touch and exclaim over all the colors.
Here are some of the details behind what you certainly will suffer by being friends with me, someone who has rough framed lumber structures in their bones and power tools in their soul.
Better get out while you can!
Naw, just kidding. You stayed for all of this, so it’s already far too late ;)