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Saturday, June 16, 2007

If The World Had A Front Porch

I really did spend most of my week in the garden. Boy oh boy, do weeds grow like… um… weeds. That crazy rich soil I told you guys about in the last post hasn’t just made for some purdy flowers and a bunch of weeds, I’ve also found… bones? And teeth??

Apparently, Wilbur was buried right where I wanted more flowers and I dug up some of him. Oh, Wilbur!

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I should have known I’d find something like this in the ground. I mean, that’s where dead things go, right? Plus, way up high in one of the old trees that hangs over my garden, there is a horseshoe mounted onto a branch. That must have been his tombstone.

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I would like to publicly apologize to Wilbur and those who loved him, whilst thanking Wilbur for providing such good nutrients to my soil. I had to keep what I dug up to show you guys so my sister Angie didn’t think I was telling a Bubba Senior story. He is the ex of Ang, and a bullshitter extraordinaire. He once told a story at a family gathering, about his boss making him put a horse out of his misery with a 45 caliber. Smelling bullshit, my sister said to her former husband, “Oh Wilbur!” We still laugh about her calling him out on that one, which happened 15 years ago. And to this day, when someone is telling a lie, I always think about ol’ Wilbur.

Anyhow, the teeth and bones will be back in the ground as soon as I am done blogging. (Priorities, people.)

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Lois Lane does not stand on rickety old ladders. So, I climbed out of the second story window after part of the roof was up. Mr. Lane was smiling at me and Lane 2 captured her dad watching me. She said, “Oh, Mom, he was smiling so cute at you!”

He said he likes my ingenuity. Ingenuity hell. I am afraid of heights. Just being up there gave me a case of the woozies. But by the time you’ve been up there for five or so hours hammerin’ away, you forget yourself.

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Now, what this post is really supposed to be about is the porch. Mr. Lane’s dad thought he was just coming to visit and see our house. But we put him to work right away. Here’s three generations of Lane boys proud of their accomplishments. (Little girls who touch camera lenses leaving behind fingerprints should be shaken, not stirred. Sorry for the blurriness.)

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Lane 2 is by far the happiest painter on the planet! She had more fun than the rest of us combined. There is still some paint in her hair, three weeks later.

Recently, Ross Mathews, a Tonight Show correspondent, was talking about how he has a really bad habit of telling people what great bargains he gets. For example, if someone says, “Hey Ross, nice shirt!” He’ll say how much the shirt cost him. It is a habit he said he wished he didn’t have. Well, Mr. Lane and I have it too. For whatever reason we feel compelled to say, “We had a couple of estimates and the guys wanted over $9,000 to do the porch. We said, ‘To hell with that.’ and did it ourselves. So far we have only spent $1,400 in materials.” And Mr. Lane always adds, “Not too bad for a trucker, a retired guy, a couple teenagers and a writer, huh?”

Not too bad at all.

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There’s still a lot to do, like adding railings, real stairs, gutters, beadboard (ceiling) on the underside of the roof and a porch swing. That thin white strip (flashing) toward the top also needs to be added the whole length. We just put a tiny piece up to see how it is going to look. Since the photo, I have stained all of the wood. I could take my lazy ass outside, move my car and take a new photo but … you get the gist.

And because we are in a tiny town, everyone who drives by, goes really slow. People (many whom I’ve never seen) have approached me at the grocery store, pharmacy, city hall, teen center, nursing home, everywhere about the porch. And Mr. Lane is so proud of our work that he smiles, waves, and quietly, to every passing car, says, “I saw you looking at my porch. You are checking out my wood. And you like it!”

Happy father’s day to all of you daddies, and mommies who have to play Daddy. My birthday is in three days, on June 19th. I think this porch is gift enough for me and the old man, don’t you?