Breakfast on the Veranda

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2014-07-06 – It’s not really a veranda, but I had breakfast on it. Merriam-Webster demands that a veranda have a roof. We don’t have a roof, but we do have a large umbrella.

I built the veranda many years ago. I called it a deck then. I usually call it a deck now, but I felt like calling it a veranda this morning. I made the mistake of looking up the word and, like I said, the definition demands a roof. I couldn’t have built a roof.

I could barely build a deck.

Our house came with a deck, but the wood was rotten. One day, my wife Kit walked out on to the old deck and put her foot through it. Before I knew it, she had the whole thing dismantled. The back door exited onto a three-foot drop. There was a big fight and I was determined to build a new deck without her help. Without anyone’s help.

Problem was, I never built anything before.

So, I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to make it strong, so strong it is. The framework will last until the sun goes supernova. But the rest of it . . . not so much. Kit knows about construction, but I was mad and wasn’t going to ask for help. I left spaces between the planks of decking to let rainwater through. Again, I planned for the ultimate. The spaces will let Noah’s flood through. But over the year, they caught the legs of our pets and chair legs. Whatever. And I never totally finished the railings.

I’m thinking of doing that now. Our deck now overlooks a nice garden. Breakfast there is quite pleasant. I have been doing some measuring. The gaps in the decking could be filled with 1 ´ ½ strips of wood and the water would still get through. The seats I built around the deck could be reinforced a bit and trimmed out. A few more railings and trim would finish it up. Then, maybe some sealer.

Back in the day when I built this deck, Kit and I would stay mad long enough for a novice carpenter to build an entire deck. Picture me trying to prop up both ends of a 15 foot joist because I didn’t want to ask for help. I used chairs and piled stuff up to hold the boards until I could fasten them.

We don’t stay mad as long these days. Usually not even long enough to eat breakfast. It’s too tiring to hold a grudge. And the mistakes you make when you are mad sometimes take years to repair.

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