Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on August 24, 2012


Have you noticed the skill of the fellows on TV who show us each week how working with wood is so easy? The work yields uniform shavings when they create a perfect mortise with a set of chisels. When I try it, I wonder whether I can find an exterior grade putty that will hide the void I just created. Despite my chisels being sharp, my skill with them is akin to creating a key hole in pottery after it is removed from the kiln.

I am building a 4×5 porch and stairs to my “barn,” a gambrel-roofed storage building. The deck will have railings and all the goodies; the materials alone cost just under $500 at Home Depot. I know I am getting old; my estimate would have been half that, based on the prices we paid 20 years ago. Those are the prices that are firmly ingrained in my memory. I will post a picture once the stain and putty are applied.



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