With that in mind, I noticed a string of clear days and decided to do a two-nighter this week. I left Sunday evening and had a cool, quiet, restful night in the cabin. Yesterday morning, I finally addressed myself to picking up where I left off last November. I finished clearing out the straw and muck from the building site and dug out the dirt that had semi-collapsed the retaining walls. By then, the day was heating up. I took off some time for lunch in town and went to Lowe's for some mortar mix and other stuff.
By six o'clock, the building site was finally cool enough to do some more stuff. I spent an hour and a half working with blocks and string levels, trying to figure out why I was coming in high on the last run of block. (My biggest challenges in any building project are called square, level, and plumb.)
This morning, I was up early and at it hard and heavy. I mixed up two batches of mortar and finally finished the last run of block. I now have one full course all around the foundation of the undercroft. This means that when I start slapping block up, I won't have to worry about mud and water and whether it's going to meet up where it's supposed to. It ought to go a bit faster now. My hope is to finish the block work by the time the snow flies.
It was getting very hot by the time I finished with the block. I had been at it for just over three hours. I took a little time to rest up, drink water, and munch some food. Then I finished the wooden braces on the retaining wall and left everything ready for my return. Cleaned up the cabin, put away my tools, and it was back to B-town. I'm tired and I'm sore, but I have accomplished a bunch.
Now we're getting somewhere
First course is finished all around the undercroft
In other news, our search for a church continues, in a desultory fashion. Deanne asked me if I would consider any possibilities other than Methodist. I said there were quite a number of denominations that I would not consider, even on a bet, but I wasn't opposed in principle to finding a home somewhere else.
Meanwhile, I find it bizarre -- but wonderful -- that I have no work guilt at all. I feel perfectly happy to not have to go to work. And while I want to be part of a church, and I want to make a contribution through my continuing ministry, I really have no itch to take up a pastorate or other staff position at all.
I read an article on Baby Boomers finding that their children don't want all the stuff they've spent their lives collecting. That's where we are now. There's all this precious stuff, with memories attached, but it's become an impediment to me. I've been a regular contributor to the Salvation Army all month, taking stuff in that I don't need and don't want to find room for. As the Preacher says, "A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together" -- except I think he got the sequence backward. We have spent over forty years gathering our stones, and it is now time to give them away. It's an on-going job. Maybe by the time I get our retirement house built (if I ever do), we won't have to do any more downsizing to fit into it.