Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day of the Conduit

This morning, from the dining room window, I stood watching Tim Traub and his men working two machines in conjunction to delicately extricate a mess of boulders that were in the way of a trench they were digging for the conduit. I reflected on the profound significance of it, the many layers of meaning unfolding before me.

No I didn't! I just stood there enthralled with the spectacle of it. I have no theological insights to offer. Sometimes, a trench is just a trench.

I was away when they prepared the Arts and Crafts parking lot. Probably not as complicated because they did not have to lay conduit. They did dig up some mysterious pipes however. But that was last week. Today, it was all about the front lot.

They dug trenches, laid conduit, and filled the trenches up all day long. As you can see, we had to use caution when using the cenacle door. I am sure there is something profound about that, but I got nothin'.
Nancy had to dig up the carrots prematurely because a conduit had to run right through the bed. We had carrots for supper. Yum!

But the most exciting part came while we were eating those very carrots. The entire house shook with a deep vibration. It's a steamroller, baby!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

After Day One: Interlude

No work on the weekend, so this is a good time to post a few pictures.
This is a view of our current parking lot.
This is a view of the location of our future Arts and Crafts parking lot.

Here he is! Jack has just dumped some old plywood on the ground, and we are ridiculously excited about this.

The real work has begun: Tim is moving the tin shed out of the way of future paving. Vinnie emptied the shed's contents into the Stable Chapel. Sorry, but what else could we do?
I have many more pictures but I am holding back. More later.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day One: Preparing the Land

Day Zero consisted of Jack Traub arriving with a load of plywood which he dumped on our parking lot to prepare for the heavy machinery. It was a big deal to us because it was the first visible sign that we are about to have our parking lot paved, at long last.

Yesterday his dad Tim, the boss, came by to talk about plans. And today, the big machines arrived! I don't even know what they are called, actually. But they are big and they make a lot of noise and they beep whenever they back up.

The actual work on the actual parking lot has not yet begun. But the place is a mess anyway. They moved the little shed to the edge of the ravine, sending salamanders and frogs fleeing for their little amphibian lives. And they scraped up a foot or so of topsoil all around the firepit and playground equipment. The plan is to level that area with fill they scrape up from the parking lot, then they'll put the topsoil back over it.

So our world is changing. There is now a huge mound of dirt in front of Cabin 2. The Stable Chapel is now housing our snow removal equipment. The old tree stump on the way to Arts and Crafts is gone. But they rescued the flowers that were planted in it! I walked around and looked at the newly exposed earth, the white lines painted on the grass, the big machines parked randomly around the property. It's like seeing Trinita in its underwear. Awkward and undignified.

It will never be the same. But then
, it never is. Except where it counts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Eating peaches

I have been far busier this summer than I ever have been, except possibly 2007 when we had no dining room coordinator. I am doing things I never did before: the finances, pool maintenance, and my favorite, stocking the snack koop. The big hit this summer is the fruit chillers, only 50 cents! It's been so hot, eating those things slowly is very soothing. They come in mango and strawberry, but the kids think the mango ones are really peach.

What bugs me is not being able to spend as much time out with the people. Paying bills and vacuuming the pool are solitary activities. So I am working morning noon and night, as I always do in the summer, but it's a little less rewarding this year.

The other day I had to run to the store to buy a new blender, since our antique one finally conked out. I was so exhausted, when I parked, I just couldn't bring myself to get out of the car. I leaned the car seat back and napped for about ten minutes. As I drifted in and out of sleep, I reflected on my early days at Trinita in the 80s. I am running myself ragged now as I did then, out of pure love of the mission. I had never felt that way about any job I had before, which is why in 1984 I knew I needed to quit my job and find something I could be passionate about. I had dithered for years about finding something more engaging, but at Trinita, I finally became ready to let go, plunge in, take a chance on something new.

I woke myself up enough to get out of the car and run my errand. As I walked across the parking lot I found myself grinning, and I realized... I found what I wanted. I could have wimped out. I could have gone home and shook it off and kept my sensible job. I had a choice back then. Things could have turned out very differently, but here I am--totally exhausted and as happy as can be!

When I got back, I tossed the car keys on the countertop and grabbed a peach before heading up to deliver the blender. Suddenly the line from that old T. S. Eliot poem popped in my head. J Alfred Prufrock. Do I dare, do I dare to eat a peach? That was a hard choice for me in 1984. But I chose. Peaches are delicious. So are mangoes.