Dad’s Backyard Pergola Caper

I was trying to remember WHY I awoke feeling so sore, and thinking of my buddy Not-Cool-Billy’s latest “adventure” (related in comments), when I remembered why — and we’re not getting any younger.

A few days ago, after dropping the toe-broken Schöne-Frau off (*that* takes longer to heal, too) at her soon-to-be Not-Workplace, I helped my 89-year-old Dad with a load of local lumber.  Seems my Mom who is an Octogenarian Hippie and advocate of all things Ecological and Recyclable, has taken to a new Townie venture: “Freecycling,” where so-called Neighbors (Bayotch!) offload their stinking junk and rubbish onto each other with the gimlet eye towards finding gold in someone else’s leach-field…

So, in the morning we went over to a house up the street and around the corner from my old Junior High School and DavidWhatsHisName’s house (where I fell off the backyard fence), to pick up a load of dilapidated crap.  What was described as two engineered-wood I-beams and a 4″x4″ turned out to be several 12-foot and 16-foot nasty old cobweb-covered glue-lam I-beams, a couple 10-foot 2″x4″s and a lovely end-rotted piece of 4″x8″ old redwood about 16-feet long, and a 4-foot long 4″x12″ with knots everywhere that might have been poured concrete.  Also on hand Dad picked up some long bits of galvanized flashing, a few pipes, and two heavy-duty joist hangers…  I carried it all out to the truck, piece by piece, the I-beams were not too bad but at 12- and 16-feet weighed a touch, the old-growth redwood in true 4″x8″ dimension was a beauty and probably weighed 70+lbs.  And tipping the concertized slab of 4″x12″ onto the cab-end wedged it all safely into the truck.  Phew!

I was a bit sore, but at 89 my dad is not the broad-shouldered and strapping Naval Academy Crew-rower that he once was.  All that physical activity that built his arms and shoulders (and made him too big to fit in the radioman slot of a TBF Avenger, causing him to be re-assigned to some other service-duty) is gone.  He’s lost weight, muscle mass, and has shrunk from his original 5′-11″ height – and there’s a hint of directional unsteadiness the Neurologist says is from an old back-injury he never told anybody about that involved a skatebaord…  I’m still in the 6-foot/190lb range and can lift stuff, but I haven’t been wrestling Enduros bikes down twisty single track in a while – most of my former dirt-riding buddies have all returned to the asphalt and fast-bikes.

Anyhow, Dad has NOW decided to restore the once covered patio space, after years of having just a fabric awning. Seems the original pergola was not in pristine or Bristol shape back in 1964, and he took it apart to build other pieces of the house before we left for Overseas, when he and Grandpa raised a slot in the roof and added the 4th bedroom.  Fifty years later it’s a pain to deal with the City permit-process-dorks, but he is forging forward, and these bits and pieces should help realize that and re-build the backyard feature.  God I hope so, and it’s a huge bitch but I’m glad I could help.  Fortunately Dad’s not going to be the guy getting up on ladders, we can let the strapping young nephews who are otherwise unemployed/unemployable in this so-called Economy do that work – or the Contractor will hire illegals, doing as all the Good Democrats here do…

So that’s why I was sore – from what we could once bounce-back quickly, it now takes longer to recover…


About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

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