Tuesday, January 06, 2015

From Start To Finish

Sometimes, you become unsure of your surroundings - but in the end, you will become more familiar than you realize. 

In September, on the day of my actual birthday, I took up work at a lumber yard I had not worked at since I was in my early mid-twenties. Much has changed since those youthful days, but in other ways, much is still the same. The yard has become a much more prestigious place with a large raft of employees, but some of the strange characters I left in 2002 have stayed and have bulilt something interesting there. 

In my twenties, I was always in a rush to leave. I never wanted to stay anywhere or see anything through. When I worked at the yard back then, I despised every moment I was there. Hard work was my enemy and I wanted a luxurious life with friends and camp and sleepovers. And most of the time, I wasn't even doing gruelling labour - I was driving all over the city as a delivery guy. 

In my recent return, I've had more of a slow burn in my view - a desire to learn and pick up skills and to not be so afraid of slivers. One of the most tedious jobs I've done is sticking cedar. Basically, when you stick, you're putting layers of thin sticks between every row of western red cedar 2X whatevers. The point of sticking is to dry out the wood completely before it can be milled. It takes a long time and there is always buckets of it to do. It's awkward, fairly backbreaking and you never get to see the end result, even though you write your initials on every pile that you stick

Today, however, I got to see the end result of some earlier work. As I was pulling strips of Laff (lattice wood) through a machine, I saw something on the side of one of the pieces: WR CEDAR - OCT 17 - MM. 

And so there you have it - in an odd and uncanny way, I got to see the very end result of sticking - and from a pile that I personally stuck and prepped three months ago. I showed the guy (Ryan) who was running the machine the engraved evidence of my handwork. Although not nearly as jazzed as I was, he smiled and I knew that he understood the importance of seeing something though to the end. 

Sometimes, we are awaiting the massive payoff to crest the horizon - but more often than not, the little victories are already there and waiting to be seen. 

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