Tuesday, August 9, 2011
From RV Repair to Hacker Work Camp
When Chris and I first started dating we took a road trip to Oregon. On our way we were stopping off at his Mammoth house to do a "few" repair things and then we would continue on our leisurely road trip. It was a good thing the promise of the trip existed and that I had known Chris for quite awhile, otherwise this fix-up work might have been enough to scare me off for good. We repainted the outside of two sides of his house, rebuilt the framing around windows, sanded, dug, planted and generally did some massive physical labor for all the daylight hours three days in a row. Not all bad, but Chris does not like to stop for lunch or dinner, so I was a bit surly by the end of each day. Of course we made amazing progress and were both happy with the finished product. I dubbed the few days as "Hacker Work Camp" which was apparently my "dues" for getting to go on vacation. The rest of the vaca went extremely well with a Shakespeare Festival, White Water Rafting, Water skiing and jet boat riding so I decided Hacker work camp was worth it.
It has been a yearly summer event with the exception of last year as we were preparing for the wedding. We dove back into Hacker work camp immediately post RV repair only this time with a mandate from the forest service. Due to the Station Fire, there are a number of new rules regarding clearance around the house, branches, wood piles, etc. Needless to say, Chris on a ladder with a chainsaw is not my favorite sight. Of course having the branches of super tall trees thrown directly at my head is not exactly awe-inspiring either. Ben asked if I was a lumberjack camp when he heard the din of the chainsaw in the background and I am pretty sure Chris almost fell 15 feet off the top of the ladder at one point, though he says he was in control. Of course the chainsaw was still spinning, so while I was diligently holding the ladder steady I was also thinking of where I could duck for cover should the whirring chainsaw come flying down at my head. We definitely did not need a live action replay of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," as I like my head in one piece. We raked and piled, cut and dragged, pulled and pushed, loaded and unloaded until the yard was well above code. We had a pile of branches taller than me by the end, filled three dumpsters, taken two other trips to the dump with bags of yard waste and a beautiful yard to show for it. For those keeping track, this was 4 12-hour days of RV repair, followed by a 5.5 hour drive hauling motorcycles, and 3 12-hour days of yard work and stone piling. (I got Saturday off for good behavior and for being the one willing to drive the whole way until the 3am arrival.)
Chris is obsessive. He gets an idea in his head and it is pretty much impossible to get it out. I normally wouldn't be worried but we were heading up to Carson for his pre-employment physical on the 4th, so he did need to be able to move. Can you imagine him going in for his physical, moving like an 80-year old man and beat up to boot? He was already worried about his fingerprint cards for his license as he had gouged a pretty significant chunk out of one of his thumbs. Not as dramatic as removing your fingerprints with acid or anything but still suspect. Luckily I did convince him we could split the wood he had gathered in the forest and from the trees we downed later as we were about to enter our RV pulling marathon. But if it hadn't been for that, I think Hacker work camp would have continued for at least four more days and ended with at least one hospital visit. I left camp with a tan/burn, stronger, definitely filthy and sap covered. I am pretty sure I finally found the last bit of sap in my hair with this last wash, mind you camp officially ended on August 3rd and it is the 9th. It should only take a month or so for my nails to grow back, at least they are finally white again.