The Cross House
It’s a good thing y’all weren’t with me at the Cross House today.
For, my language would have scandalized you. Scandalized!
I cursed and cursed the whole afternoon.
In short, Ross was not happy.
And it’s my own fault.
Several decades ago I learned an invaluable lesson: If you are doing anything, be it working on an old house or writing a novel, create the ideal working conditions. Good lighting! Room to work! A comfortable ambient temperature! And so on.
Poor working conditions? And any job becomes a thousand times worse. Even a good job or project will become a bad job or project.
Well, today I had to re-learn an old lesson.
I almost never use a ladder while restoring the exterior of the Cross House because they are horrible. Horrible! One has to climb up/down a zillion times. the area you can reach is severely limited, there is no place to put tools, and you always, always have the feeling that you might fall to your death with just the slightest slip.
This is why I am so passionate about scaffolding. Wth each tower of scaffolding I erect, I make sure it is FIRMLY attached to the house so there is zero movement. Feeling on solid ground does wonders to keep my mood elevated. I also surround myself with railings so there is never a fear a falling off because I make a wrong step or because I started dancing to a song on my iPhone and my fancy feet skipped me into oblivion. I, too, always add a “cocktail shelf” so there is a convenient place for tools and paint and nails.
I spent the afternoon high up on scaffolding which jiggled with every step because I had not attached it to the house. I also had not created railings so there was the omnipresent feeling of being inches away from disaster.
In addition, I did not create enough room for the chop saw. Thus, as I cut long boards there was a constant headache of boards being longer than the space I was in (the sleeping porch).
Between the jiggly scaffolding and no railings and not enough room to saw wood…Ross was not happy. And this often expressed itself in quite shocking language.
The lesson however was learned. First thing tomorrow I will secure the scaffolding to the house, create safety railings, install the damn cocktail shelf, and move the chop saw into the expansive sewing room.
It’s extremely rare that I don’t enjoy working on the Cross House and today was a powerful reminder how vital good working conditions are.
While this afternoon was not, well, a happy time it did prove, somehow, a productive time.
…that gutter, that fucking gutter (you were cautioned about my language today) caused so much damage over the decades. It not only destroyed the corner I am working on, but it 100% destroyed the first-floor. All the area covered with Tyvek was 100% replaced in 2014, and I mean ALL: The sheathing the studs, and the sill.
All because of a gutter which was not maintained.
The morals of today’s story?
Good working conditions matter.
Perfect gutters matter more.
Ross having a glass of wine tonight matters most.