Gus & Bobby

Was up at the crack of dawn today for the roofers. While I was waiting for them to arrive I decided to take some of the tomatoes and cucumbers I had picked up at the farm stand in the park and make a salad; a little salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, yum! It should all be perfectly marinated by dinnertime.

Around 9:15 the roofers finally showed up…I had forgotten that “first thing in the morning” here is never before 9am. They both reminded me of my uncle Tony who worked construction since he was 16, they were your average middle-aged guys, but with that look of strength and power that only comes from years of sweating and straining for a living. Gus introduced himself and his brother Bobby who was throwing a ladder up against the side of the house. ”Give us a couple of minutes to look things over up there, Miss, and we will let you know how long it will take.”

Unlike Charlotte, where everything costs by the hour, I have a written quote on the work that is not contingent on time. Mercurio & Sons Roofing charges a flat rate for a roof, plus a set amount per gable, porch, and then the materials. After evaluating things for about an hour, Gus poked his head in the kitchen door and told me it would be about 3 days work, but he thinks they may have over estimated the materials in the quote and might be able to save me some money. ”You guys need any coffee?” I asked. He just smiled and disappeared back to the roof.

I decided to spend the morning excavating the gate to Logan’s, so I made for the side yard. It took me 10 minutes to find it again in all of the ivy. It was as if the vines didn’t want me to have access to the wall’s secrets, but I went to work with the nipper’s anyway. It took an hour before I could see one square foot of the iron gate clearly. A little winded from playing tug of war with the ivy, and wishing I had brought a lawn chair over from the house, I plunked my self on the pile of clippings to catch my breath.

I closed my eyes for a moment and took in the smell of leaves and listened to the high school crew team practicing on the canal. I opened my eyes to find Logan grinning over the wall. “You should have cleared off the bench first.”

”Bench? The only bench is around the oak on the other side of the house.”

”Actually,” he said trying not to laugh, “there’s one about 2 feet to your left.” Why does he have to have those dimples!? It is impossible to be irritated with that face beaming down at me. I was about to say something very witty, well not really but I wanted to, when a mini-van pulled into the lot at the boathouse.

”Duty calls.” And with that Logan disappeared again.

The next hour was spent clearing the bench and the wall behind it. When I finished, I sat down and leaned on the cool stone. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done, well not really “done” since I still needed to finish with the gate, so I got up and skipped back to the house for lunch. Yes, at 28 years old I skipped across my yard like I was 8 again.

I found Gus and Bobby on the kitchen porch, worn thermoses of milk at their sides, oily paper bags beneath matching ham sandwiches on their laps. After reminding myself that infact it is not 1953, I invited them in to join me at the kitchen table. Gus insisted they would be getting right back to work, so they might as well just finish up where they started. I was starting to think Bobby was a mute when he belched, “Tanks doh toots.” Suddenly feeling indebted to Gus, I wandered inside to make lunch.

Since it was such a busy morning I thought I would take a break after lunch and get it all down. Now that that is done…back to the gate. I am determined to have it looking perfect by the end of the day.