The Beginning – on to chapter 4

The cover for my first novel, Book 1 of a Trilogy.

The cover for my first novel, Book 1 of a Trilogy.

Chapter 4
I wake up still slightly embarrassed by last night. Noah left right after he introduced himself and I went on in to bed. I looked at the clock and it is only 4:30 a.m. so I head on out to the woodshed and see what would be needed to enlarge it. I decide to make the shed roof into a peaked roof and just add another shed, slightly wider, on the other side. That will be simple and give me one wall already in place. I drag some concrete pier blocks over and set them up, 8 feet apart, opposite the ones I used on the current woodshed. I have some peeled logs behind the house, so drag them over, also. I will need 6 cut to 6 foot lengths. I cut them and notch the bottoms to fit the holders on the pier blocks. Then get a few peeled poles I had left from another project and I am ready to start assembly. I tack a couple of boards partway up a log to swing freely and use as braces when I get the pole into the block. Once the first one is in place, then I can nail poles across to hold it upright and straight. This will probably be the fastest woodshed I have ever worked on, since it does not require much actual extra work. The ground is already cleared and as level as it will ever be.
Noah shows up just about the same time Will and Shari pull in. They are all gaping at me like I am off my rocker. I have all of the logs up and tacked together. I will have to drag out a ladder soon, to fasten poles across the top and figure out exactly where I want a doorway. The walls will be open for ventilation so the wood can keep drying, but I do put uprights ever foot or so to hold the wood from just rolling out.
“What? Just fixing the woodshed.”
Everyone came back to life and started talking at once. Will and Shari thought Noah had built it and Noah kept shaking his head saying “No.”
I wanted breakfast so went on into the house and they wandered in behind me. They decided I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t know what they were so excited about, this was an easy job. So I told them sure, I could use some help, I really hate ladders and it was about time to do some work on it that needed a ladder. I pulled a pan of hot muffins out of the oven and asked who all wanted tea or hot chocolate. I fixed the tea and chocolate, started bread pudding from the leftover honey cinnamon loaf and we all sat down and ate while the muffins were still hot.
While we ate, we discussed my new project. Everyone volunteered to help, so after we finished eating and I had covered the remaining muffins, we went out to get started. I found out quite a while back it is easier for most folks to understand a project if it is drawn out for them. So I used a sharp stick and drew what I wanted to do, in the dirt. Shari decided she would like to assist and she really got a kick out of the first nail she pounded in. No one had the heart to tell her it didn’t go into anything. After all, it is the thought that counts. I found her an old carpenter apron she could carry nails in and she is happy. I turned off the oven while I was in looking. The pudding was almost done and it would finish in the hot oven as it cooled down.
By noon, we had the frame pretty much finished. When I mentioned food, everyone was more than ready. I washed up quickly and while they washed up, I chopped leftover roast very fine, added some chopped onion and pickle, added some ranch dressing and a dash of mustard and had lunchmeat ready to spread on sliced homemade bread. My early lettuce pickings were pretty much gone from salad last night, so just stirred the remaining salad into the lunchmeat mix. I had sweet tea made and fairly cool and the pudding set out for dessert.
Everyone ate like they were starving and the food was soon gone with everyone sitting back and wondering how they could eat so much. Physical labor does that to you, makes a good appetite. I cleaned up the crumbs and started some steaks marinating in a teriyaki sauce, scrubbed and oiled some potatoes and preps for dinner were done.
We were moving a lot slower on our way outside. A few sore muscles on the folks unused to working like this, had a few groans and moans. But as they moved around a bit, aches eased and soon everyone was looking at the lovely framework we had built and ready to put the roof on it. We used poles for rafters and old salvaged pieces of metal roofing on top. I did have new roofing screws to put it down with. We had a patchwork quilt affect from the different types and colors of roofing, so it was rather a different look for a roof. But to me, it was beautiful, it would work, it was paid for. Now my woodshed could hold more than double the amount it had before and since the doorway was 4 feet wide, I could also pull my small ATV in out of the weather if there was room. Since I planned on filling it entirely with firewood there would probably not be room, most of the time. I put a smaller opening for a door at the other end, so I could go in and out whichever end was handy.
I snipped some little chives on my way back into the house, started the oven and put the potatoes in. I was going to have to haul some water at the rate my rainwater was going down, unless it rained soon., I never expected this many people to be using it. While everyone again washed up out under the water tank, I fired up the BBQ.
While the potatoes baked and the steaks were grilling, I opened a couple of jars of canned coleslaw, drained them and added some dressing. I stuck some rolls I had made a couple of days ago into the oven the last few minutes the potatoes were baking and dinner on the table in short order. While we ate, a brownie pudding was baking in the oven. Noah said he had a little bit of ice cream left in his camper fridge, but wasn’t sure how much. I asked him to bring it over and was taking the brownie pudding out when he came back in.
A square of the brownie, a small scoop of the ice cream and some of the hot pudding sauce from under the brownie on top, yum. A lovely quick dessert. Noah got up and started on the dishes, Will looked surprised but went in and helped him. Shari was almost asleep. I doubt if she had ever worked so hard in her life.
Everyone was relaxed and yawning within minutes after dishes were done, so sleepy goodnights were said and all headed home after I thanked them very much for all the help. This would have taken me at least a week by myself.

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