Thursday, September 30

I just love hard work!

Contractor Kim is ready to fill a 5-foot-deep by 18" footing!

Hard work—I could watch people do it all day. Karla and I took off at around 7 this morning and drove down to the neighbor’s where there was going to be some concrete pouring going on. (Hey, it’s more exciting than watching paint dry!) We were interested in seeing how the real pros do it, since in our lives we’ve poured and finished a lot of concrete foundations and slabs ourselves. Turns out they do it pretty much the same way, only with such coordination and teamwork and skill that we feel almost stupid. Kim, the contractor, put together a team of guys who worked like a well-oiled machine; no missteps, no blunders, just relentless hard work and supreme craftsmanship. We were mightily impressed as the workers kept up with the relentless chain of six or seven ready-mix trucks that came in and poured their “mud.”

A really skilled team impressed us with their professionalism

The contractor is acquainted with many of the people we know around the area, and was the person who built the new handicap access ramp in front of the post office up at Huntington Lake, where Karla picks up hiker resupply packages for the high ranch every week during the summer. “So that was you,” they almost simultaneously said on recognizing each other. “You’re the woman who was rolling out those big bins of 5-gallon buckets.” “You’re the contractor who put in that beautiful ramp!”

Smoothing, smoothing, smoothing…

He knows Randy, the man we will very likely hire to pre-build the panels that will make up our new house, and has done the final construction for him on many projects. “I’ve known Randy forever,” he says. “I put up a near-impossible huge house for him in Oakland where we had to use a crane with a hundred-foot reach to lift those panels up to the top of a hill.”

Some of Randy’s pre-constructed house panels have been shipped clear off to Lebanon and Japan. “Randy’s the most honest man. He’ll give you full value for your money, and he uses the very best stuff in all his houses,” Kim said. I think Kim will be the man who builds our new house. But first, we have to re-do the plans for something smaller than our designer did for us a few years back. And we’ll have to figure out where we want some beautiful concrete work done outside around the place.

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