Monday, June 22, 2009

On re-shingling The Lantern Inn...

This weekend we were fortunate enough to be able to help out some friends of ours. They had been neighbours of ours at our previous address. Like many of us, they are of limited means and he has some physical limitations as well. They have a little cabana which they built in their back yard, some 12 years ago now and which they christened: The Lantern Inn. From this vantage point, they enjoy surveying 'their little kingdom' and interacting with their neighbours. The roof which had been constructed of aspenite sheeting and cedar shingles, had pretty much had it.

My better half and I had volunteered to help them rebuild it. We picked up the materials we would require for the first half of the job, prior to coming into town that morning. So the first part of Saturday was spent stripping off the old roof and removing any old nails from the trusses. Our neighbour had already cleared a good quarter of the roof away, from a pretty inaccessible spot which has a maze of cherry tree branches directly overhead. As I mentioned, this lad has some physical limitations, but he never lets them stop him from doing what he sets his mind to. We then laid on some brand new 5/8" tongue and groove plywood sheeting and covered it with tar paper. Halfway through the day, they treated us to a marvellous little lunch. We started a little after 0915hrs and ended the day at around 2030hrs.

Arriving home that evening, my wife was sweet enough to fill the whirlpool bath for me and we both enjoyed the luxury of a nice soak. We were both a little sore and stiff and she had not brought knee pads for our bout on the new roof. Our bed felt even more comfy than usual that night.

Sunday was spent simply shingling the roof. Again we started around 0900hrs, but due to soreness and some stiffness occasioned by the previous day's efforts, I wasn't quite as nimble as I might have been. I would have to say that neither of us were. Still my better half acquitted herself very well, as she single-handedly shingled most of one side of the roof. I simply cut the pieces for her while standing on a stepladder at the roof's edge and helped her align them properly. Once more, they provided a delicious lunch for us, which again provided a very welcome break as well. We ran a chalk line for the cap at the end of it all and I set the pieces in place while my wife tended to the cutting chores. By 1630hrs we were done and ready to call it a day. Just in time to make it to my step-daughter's, who along with her hubby, were putting on a Daddy's Day supper for me.

I will probably be feeling the effects of this weekend's work for the next couple of days. But the physical exertion was good for me and the biggest payoff was the look in my neighbour's eyes as we shook hands before parting company. The sincerity of his words of thanks and the knowledge that we were able to assist in maintaining the integrity of "their little kingdom", was all that I could ask for in exchange for our time and effort.

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