During my two weeks off, in between visiting and reunion activities, I was able to build most of a shed. I did this with some help - brother-in-law Marco and I got the floor and walls up, and then little-brother Matt and I got started on the roof. (Photos are coming, when the camera comes back from it's vacation in Vancouver.)
Our family (at least, my dad's kids) has an informal rite-of-passage - during our teens we go and spend part of one summer at the ranch. (This is the same ranch that hosted the reunion a few weeks ago.) Matt was out there two years ago, when he was fourteen. It's been 24 years since I was there, and though many things have changed (plumbing, electricity), the basic lesson in hard work are the same.
Matt and I ended up sharing stories and comparing notes, and had some new perspectives to share, as we'd both been drafted to pick rocks out of the arena in which the rodeo would take place. This is a brutal, slowly progressing job, but one in which we could take pride as the results are fairly visible (as you can see in the picture if you look in just the right way).
However, Matt explained that his self-satisfaction was effectively doused. With wisdom uncommon for a sixteen-year-old (but not so uncommon for Matt), he stated that he had forgotten how hard they work. He remembered, of course, when one of the cousins pointed out that four times as much should have been done in that amount of time. (Matt would have been far more productive than I, but they never mentioned it. Maybe I've reached that age...)
The point, I guess, is that when you work all day every day and you have no choice but to "get 'er done", you never stop. I, however, stop. Often. I will spend as much time admiring my work as I have doing it. (This is only true with physical work - I can immerse myself into an algorithm for hours without coming up for air once.) I know this lifestyle will require a lot of work, so I'm wondering if my work-style will change. At least I have age as an excuse now if it doesn't.
A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)