Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pergola: Done

I finished the last bit of grouting early this morning, working on the part of the walkway that is not shaded by our big oak trees.

Grouting a stone pathway is the most peaceful sort of work. Cement and sand is mixed together with just a little water and the clock starts ticking. My red bucket holds enough for about 30 minutes of work. The commitment of focus during those 30 minutes is absolute, like meditation, because there's no time to get distracted, no time for second guessing or dawdling, no time to check email, no time for phone calls, no bathrooms breaks, no coffee, no Facebook, no time for anything except focus. Just continue grouting until the bucket is empty.

Cheryl called me from the back porch, "Fred, can you come here for a second?"

"Sorry, I can't." My bucket isn't empty yet. (Cheryl had found some nice patio furniture for the pergola.)

The pergola project is finished, but I still have about 700 more square feet of stone patio (around the big bamboo) that I could grout--I put down the stone several years ago and swept sand into the cracks, and of course I fight the weeds every summer. If I really love grouting, then I have plenty more that I can do. Maybe I don't love it that much.

For years this part of the yard was completely wild with vines and cherry laurels. It is struggling now to reinvent itself. Unusual looking vines and bushes are popping up--were they always here? Like always our goal is to find a natural balance in the yard, with plants that belong and that can survive through long periods of neglect, which I am certain to offer.

Next project: the new grill area.

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