Inhaling Stain Fumes

Troy had a dream of owning a house with a big deck in the back yard.  We bought a house with no deck at all and after moving in Troy was constantly talking about and wondering when we would get to build our outdoor living space that he so badly wanted.  I'm pretty sure he wished for a deck on every birthday candle he blew out for the past couple of years. 

This summer his dream finally came alive when we built a  12' x 24' deck on the back of our house.  When I say "we" I mean that Dad built a deck on our house with the occasional help of Brian, Troy, and myself (order of names is according to how much "help" we were).  While building a deck is not cheap, it does cost significantly less if you do it yourself (or bribe your dad with the promise of a steak and some shrimp).  It took the whole summer to complete the deck and Troy and I made more mistakes than anyone could keep count of. 

Today Troy and I brought the 6 month process to a finish when we stained the deck.  Our deck is not a showpiece.  No one is going to put a picture of it in a magazine, and when we sell this house someday I wouldn't blame the owners if they completely had it redone.  There are bowed boards, bent nails, and countless marks in the wood from the failed attempts at putting screws in, but it's up and we can now say that we have built a deck.

Working outside, pounding nails, inhaling fumes from the can of stain is not my idea of a fun Saturday, but when it's all done and I stand back and look across the 24' of dark brown wood it is all worth it.  It sure would have been easier to hire someone to come build it for us but then we would have missed out on the great memories, the never ending learning experiences, and the amazing feeling of satisfaction on a job (well) done. 

There is nothing that compares to feeling all the dirt and sweat wash off you in the cold shower after a hard day of manual labor.  My body hurts and I have brown stains under my fingernails that will be there for days, but we finally have the deck Troy has been wishing for. 

Sweet moment: watching Troy get to learn and experience countless new things in the pursuit of making one of his wishes come true.  In this case the final product is even sweeter when you have some cuts and bruises to show for it.