The guys working on the road above my front pasture got busy at 7:30 this morning. Every time they backed up one of their pieces of equipment, the beep-beep-beep floated out over my cabin. Heck of an alarm clock, and with no snooze alarm I could reach. I finally got up, rustled up some breakfast and got ready for the day. By 8:30, I was setting up my block lines.
They call to each other, beep-beep-beep
I've been getting better at laying block. After a while, you get an eye for setting them, and a feel for how to put them down with minimal fussing. So, each time I've laid block, I've gone faster. Today, though, I would start out by laying 10" block, which are significantly heavier than 8" block. Still, having finally leveled my courses, I thought I could really cruise. Boy, did I ever! I had 12 10" block laid, and ran out of 10-inchers until re-supply would come. So, I started on a course of 8" block on the other long side.
I had 17 block laid when I ran out of mortar and decided it was a good stopping point. I cleaned up my tools, and was thinking of lunch, when I heard the sound of a truck backing up. The beeps were a little different tone from the County Highway Dept's vehicles. I walked out my road and there, backing away from my gate, was a delivery truck. I yelled, but he couldn't hear or see me. He had my block on his bed, and he was blessedly early, but he couldn't follow directions (none of them can). He backed down to my neighbors to see if one of them might have ordered block. I had to walk halfway down the hill to meet him and tell him he'd missed my gate. Anyway, I heated up some soup for lunch while the delivery guy unloaded my block with a little fork-lift buggy. It was only 12:30.
As useful as pockets on a t-shirt
I want one of these, don't you?
After lunch, I did some painting chores. Then I looked up at the sky. The day was bright, but the sun wasn't over-hot. I thought, "How often am I going to get a day like this to work in?" And I got all my gear out and mixed another batch of mortar and laid into the block that had just been delivered.
Big boy play
I finished the whole run of tens, and got half the long side of eights done before I ran out of the wire mesh that goes between the courses. By this time, the sun was over the trees on Akes Hill, and things were cooling off. I decided to call it a day. I dumped the remainder of my mortar in some of the cells holding rebar, and cleaned up. It was just coming up to 4:30 p.m. I had finished laying 36 concrete block, a personal feat that astounded me. It gives me hope that one of these days, I'm going to finish this job. I took a creek bath, cleaned up the cabin, and was on my way home by 5:30 p.m.
Pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down
The long run of 10" block I laid today
All day, I kept thanking God for things: for the beautiful day; for the strength to labor; for the amount I got done; for the freedom to set my own schedule; and for other things, too. I do a lot of praying throughout every day, but especially out at Wilderstead, I talk with Jesus all day long.
I've only got six weeks before Thanksgiving, when I need to shut down block-laying for the season. I've also got to hang the new door on the cabin and set up my newly-painted fuel locker. And surely, my tractor is about done with repairs by now. I need it to get my road back in order after all the spring erosion. Much to do, and it's all a joy. God is so good to me.