A week ago, my colleague and old friend came, Stephen Svenson, who is doing his PhD in sociology at the University of Waterloo, but is from the Okanagan Valley and has had many past lives: park ranger, sushi chef, geological consultant, research assistant to Gerard Kennedy, arborist and university instructor. He came over and we built the foundation for my backyard shed. A few Kronenbourgs and Holstein Festbocks later, we had a base. It was sunny and hot and so good to catch up. Afterward, we celebrated the base with steaks at Outback Steakhouse in Ancaster.
Today, my parents came over to help me finish the job. My father and I worked on stabilizing the base Stephen and I had built – laying rock dust underneath the cinder blocks and cement slabs and carefully levelling the base out. My father is meticulous and has a very careful attitude towards work. He has the French tendency to perfectionism and the desire to do things the right way. The French have a concept of métier (craftmanship) that has made them produce amazing high-end luxury goods, as well as build great sheds.
The ground had settled quite a bit since we last worked on it, so the base required quite a bit of levelling. While my father did that, I constructed a solid, latticed plywood base. Once that was all done, we had a beer and planned the assembly of the shed itself. That went quite quickly – it is built of pvc and snapped together. I was skeptical of its solidity, but the final product is rock-solid. Very cool design went into making it structurally rigid.
Meanwhile, little did I know that my mother was cleaning my house from top to bottom inside. I am a clean person, but I am not always as tidy as I ought to be. She put some order to my heaps of books, technology and magazines. I felt so relieved to see the place clean. So unexpected – but I am so grateful.
I must say that living in a house on your own can be pleasant, but it can be lonely too. The every challenges of cleaning and building sheds and gardening are so much more fun when there are others around to share them with.
I am so grateful to have such supportive parents – I never ask for anything and they give me everything.