Saturday, May 20, 2006

our first work circle

For a few years before A was born, we had a work circle with five other families. We met monthly at one family’s house on a weekend morning and worked together on projects until noon, when we ate lunch together. All except one of the families in that work circle moved or got pregnant about the same time I did, so it sort of fell apart at that point.

Recently we joined a newly-formed work circle, and as the only family who’d done it before, we got the first work slot to show everyone else How It’s Done. Hosting an effective work circle usually requires a large amount of planning; in addition to serving a meal to 10 adults and 6-ish kids, which in itself is not an insignificant endeavor, we make it our goal to get the Most Work Possible out of every member of our work crew. This means having multiple projects going at once, all the materials and supplies at hand, and something that can be accomplished in the presence of children (who should not be in the area during asbestos removal or rusty-nail collection or the like).

With only two weeks to prepare, during which we had several other commitments, we didn’t get as much planning done as we’d like. We did have several fairly small projects to do, such as moving a bookcase, and the neverending weed-clearing in our yard is good to suck up hours of anyone’s time. But we decided to start off with a literal and figurative bang- replacing the roof on the shed.

Dan ordered the materials to arrive a week in advance, and started roof-demolition on Thursday; he was out there again at 7 a.m. today to get good start before the work crew arrived at 9:30. What with the expected demolition-and-tarpapering and the less-expected carpenter-ant vacuuming (maybe we should try to get in a Dyson infomercial for that) and the pre-drilling of the roof panels (oh, we got metal, of course; we couldn’t make it easy and cheap by getting asphalt shingles like everyone else- which means we can NOT move from this house for at LEAST 30 years), however, it was 11:30 before the metal started going up. Everyone worked ‘til 12:45-ish before having lunch, and then two families (thankfully) stayed on to finish.

Finally, everything is done except for the last pieces on each side, which need to be cut. Since it’s 2:30 at this point, the roofers start putting up a tarp so they can finally go home.

It’s at this point, when we’re almost done, that Dan decides to hurl himself off the roof.

We suspect a broken foot. Dan hobbles around with ice while our friends do a beautiful job of cleaning up. (I, incidentally, was all-but-useless for much of the work circle because A was extra-needy; which means our friends slaved away while I watched.) Andy, who is a doctor in his spare time when he’s not fixing our roof, needs to be at the hospital immediately; he sends his wife home to get him less mossy clothes and then borrows our OTHER friends’ car to take Dan to the hospital with him. (In this way, we managed to inconvenience as many people as possible while I still got to stay home and watch other people work.)

Andy fast-tracks Dan at the hospital so it "only" takes him three hours to get in and out, and to hear that his foot is in fact NOT broken, just horribly painful. (Hurray!) Dan gets 8 x-rays and a diptheria vaccine, and Andy waits around to deliver him back home again. Are our friends amazing, or what?

Incidentally, we just made up a budget a few nights ago. Should Dan’s medical bills fall under "medical" or "home repair"?


nana said...

I guess you showed your friends How It Is Done, alright.

I hope Dan is doing okay. We have some leftover hydrocodone at the ready! (Dad's wedding drug of choice!)

Aunt Maureen said...

Poor Dan! I think this gets filed under "Entertainment." It will be a family story for years.

Marley said...

I bet Paco had something to do with this!

Dan, Sarah, Cadao, and Alyra Rain said...

He's gonna try to get out of raking next weekend, y'know. AND climbing on the roof to do the chimney.