Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bonding Moments

You know, I think every mother and son should plan a bonding activity every once in a while.  Joe and I had one just yesterday; we took down a chimney together.

The shared driveway on my new house is only about nine feet wide as it runs between the two houses.  There was an abandoned chimney, originally used by the gravity furnace (we think) on the north side of my house, taking up a good 16 inches of that valuable driveway real estate.

Joe was home for the weekend because he doesn't care for the St. Pat's festivities down in Rolla, so I took shameless advantage of his presence and asked for his help tearing down the chimney.  (Yes, I still have a fireplace - there's a second chimney on the south side of the house.)  He, being a good and dutiful son (or something like that), agreed to help.

Yesterday, I hauled him out of bed at the crack of ten and we headed to the hardware store to pick up a ladder and a few other things we needed.  (All good projects start with a trip to the hardware store.  For the best ones, you get to buy new tools!)  It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm spring day, and by the time we got to the roof, just before noon, the temperature was perfect.

I'd read on the web about how a hammer and chisel would be good to take out old mortar, and they were spot on.  Joe had a wonderful time with the upper three feet of the chimney - he got to tear things apart, make a mess, AND throw stuff off the roof.  How much more fun can a guy have?  He didn't even need to use his chisel much; that old mortar didn't need much encouragement to give way.

The job did get a little long about halfway down the wall, but we stuck with it, trading off stand-on-the-ladder-and-free-up-bricks vs. haul-the-bricks-off-in-a-bucket duty each time we lowered the ladder.  Joe got his second wind about the time he didn't have to stand on the ladder any more (he REALLY doesn't like ladders - or so he informed me, at least once...), and pulled the last 8' down by himself in about an hour.  I felt a bit like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, going in circles, bringing back the empty bucket and picking up the one he'd filled with bricks in the time it took me to drop off the previous load.

It was just after nine by the time we finished; long dark and beginning to cool off.  But, we got 'er done, sweeping the piles of debris off the driveway with an attitude of tired accomplishment. 

NOTICE:  bragging ahead:  And, I was QUITE pleased with myself this morning because it only took two Advil and I was moving around without undue stiffness or soreness.  I guess I'm not entirely out of shape, just yet...


  1. I hope Joe was as lucky. Glad it turned out well. I didn't hear how it came about.