Step 1: Design & planning. I sketched some ideas and Nick made them prettier. We walked out some rough dimensions in the garden then finalized a list of needed lumber and hardware. Oops: we're in Korea, so things like "12-foot 4x4s" all needed to be re-calculated into metric. *Sigh.*
Step 2: Lumber: We scavenged enough good 2x4s from discarded benches on campus (hooray!) so we could take those off the list of things to buy. We then drove to the lumberyard and wandered around a bit (even though we maybe kind of knew Korean store owners are not fans of that American behavior -- hey, remember Little House on the Prairie? The customer would give the clerk a list of desired supplies and then waited for the items to be fetched. Pretty much like that here, too.) Before we got accosted (I mean, waited on), I took great pleasure in now being able to read some of the Korean signs (오크 -- pronounced oh-kuh-- means oak!). When Lumber Guy saw my design sketch he said "나무" (nah-moo), which literally means "tree." (I had secretly hoped he'd say "wood" because Koreans drop the initial "w" so it's pronounced "ood." Which cracks me up every single time for no very good reason, but I think of the effect on that old tongue-twister: "How much ood ood a oodchuck chuck if a oodchuck could chuck ood?" See? It's funny. And it's the same with words like "woman" and "wool." But it's not a Korean issue with "w" per se - the word "wow" is typically pronounced "wah!," which also cracks us up. And while we're way, way off track, we noticed a restaurant today called "Sushi Wa" which means "Raw Fish Wow." Is that a great name or what?)
|Secret pic of Lumber Guy; our lumberyard (across from Hanaro Mart); Nick reverse-engineering the ood tie-downs.|
|Awesome Torque Screw vs. what we can get in Korea.|
Step 4: Lunch. No good project is complete without (a) regular refreshments. Twenty years ago (ok, 5 years ago) I would have also said "no good project is complete without...(b) a trip to the hospital," but I'm now far wiser about announcing my pessimistic safety forecast and Nick is less accident-prone. (Ok, to be completely fair, WE are less accident-prone. I showed my mangled index finger to a young neighbor girl today, who wondered if our circular saw was a toy. Ah, no. Stand back, child).
|(photo source: http://eatwithnat.com/)|
|Nick measures; salvaged benches; Nick's students recruited to |
put said benches in the van; tools at the ready.
Step 6: Friendly Advice. What I did not mention yet was the significant amount of neighborly commentary, advice, warnings and dire prophecies offered by folks passing through our project. I love my neighbors (especially the Korean who saw me working and sent her husband straightaway to help), but this scenario was not quite the private Husband-Wife Project Day I had initially envisioned. We're not in Kansas anymore - why do I keep forgetting that?
Step 7: Where were we? Oh yes, back to the garden. We put in the posts, made supports and did lots of measuring and leveling, then Elisabeth and I filled the 3' deep holes with rocks and beach sand, using plenty of water to cement it all in there. Tracey and Alex wandered by and got seduced into helping with measuring, leveling, and general encouragement via stories of various Australian characters (besides themselves).
|Elisabeth packing the ground around the corner posts; a documented family project; |
Tracey & Alex Banks lending their assorted assistance