Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Zen of Lawrence

If Thursday sucked (and it did) yesterday was its polar opposite. I got off to a slow start but awoke to a bright, sunny 70-degree day. PERFECT for fence installation!

My motivation level was a bit low and I took my time getting charged to work. I got up as I planned starting caring for critters and ran and got breakfast. When I got back, I started setting up for a workin' day. I wanted to mow the patch of grass where the new fence was going up before we got going. I wanted to have the sawhorses set up and the guide post and next post waiting.

I didn't get that far. I'd pushed the lawnmower to the edge of the alley and was preparing to start it when Lawrence pulled up, promptly at 9. You can always depend on Lawrence to arrive, but usually when he says between 9 and 9:30, he means BETWEEN the two, so he caught me off guard. He unloaded his truck and patiently waited for me to get my act together by starting to mark off the fence line after saying, "Good morning. Welcome to this beautiful day!"

Because it was a truly beautiful day (a few degrees over 80 ultimately, SUNNY, warm for a while in the sun but not roast-you-alive hot, blue skies, HUGE clouds) we seemed to make progress at an alarming rate. By 1, the fence was up. This included stopping to dig out all the materials for the porch rail from the shed, a trip to Ace for more screws, and a short lunch break.

While I ran to get more screws and lunch (apparently I was shorted a bag in the fence hardware), Lawrence sketched out the dimensions for the porch. When I pulled back into the driveway, he was sitting on the porch with spindles, handrails, and posts laid out around it. I was looking at his 3-D sketch.

As Lawrence was packing up, Lawnmower Man (not to be confused with Stan, Stan the Lawnmower man who fixes lawnmowers including mine)zipped across the half-lot on his rider and stopped to talk to my neighbor. I prayed he didn't have the blade down. Lawnmower Man cuts grass CONSTANTLY. His own. My neighbor's. My other neighbor, who, like me, finally made him stop. He makes HUGE messes. And sometimes, he does this job drunk, and it reflects in the finished product: Grass of varying heights. Twice this week already he has littered our sidewalk with grass and twice it's been cleaned up.

I quickly explained the situation to Lawrence. "That's the kind of guy that needs something to do ACROSS TOWN," was his response. It made me laugh. No malice in that. You have to love Lawrence's outlook.

God, why can't you have made more Lawrences than a**holes for this diligent DIY set? I thank you for him. Perhaps you could send his separated-at-birth brothers to help out Liz whose drywaller is a creep. Or to help Jen in her never-ending battle with Cabinet Guy. Or to help out any of the DIY brethren and siztheren who so desperately need an honest, reliable, and kind handyperson.

When I spoke to Lawrence last weekend to schedule yesterday, I was worried by the forecast then. Thursday and maybe Friday called for rain. "It won't rain," Lawrence said nonchalantly. "It rained today already (refering to last Sunday's soaker)so it won't rain Friday."

So I said to him yesterday that the day was like he had special-ordered it. "I did," Lawrence said. Yes, I believe you did, Lawrence. I believe you did.