Sunday, November 1, 2009


it rains a lot in Syracuse. Which we all know, and knew going in. But then, I have never had a big pile of hickory slabbed up and sitting in the rain before, so I have been worrying about that. There has been a constant hum in the back of my brain about what the water is doing to all of that beautiful wood, and how irresponsible I have been letting it sit under a tarp and stay wet for three weeks. This morning I decided to do something about it.

Getting up at 6 as usual was a special treat, because of course it was five, so I got a free hour of work. A lovely gift. I went down to say "good morning" to the lumber, which has indeed already started to show the effects of too much water hitting it. Not good.

I spent the next few hours erecting a drying shed. The place that I am storing the lumber had given me a rusty old steel frame to use as a structure, and this is what the tarp had been thrown over. But water pooling in between the steel had caused the tarp to sag to the point that it was sitting on the wood, and the water had condensed through the tarp, and part of the tarp had blown away, so all in all it was pretty ineffective. So I got some two-by-fours and some corrugated steel and set to work.

One of the things I love about building things is that at the end of a few hours (or days or weeks, depending on what you are building), it is possible to step back and see the fruits of one's labor. At around 11.30 I stepped back and saw this:

Feels pretty good.

Now all of that lumber has a place to slowly dry, to become stable enough to become usable for furniture and to move on to a new life. When the sophomores that I am teaching are graduating, that hickory will be ready to graduate, too. And it will.