A week of vacation...
No beach, no trips, no plans...
Read, rest, visit, start Christmas. Catch up from Halloween.
Let the storms dissapate.
He should have died.
In the summer of 1983 my parents bought a two- maybe three- season cabin at Long Lake Provincial Park, north of Edmonton. The humble cabin eventually grew to include a large front porch, a massive back balcony and a metal roof which stretched the cabin into a four season cabin with room for 12 people to sleep.
The garage went from a tiny shack with wooden floors to a monster 40 foot long 25 foot high 14 foot wide garage built on a massive concrete pad in 1986. The neighbours watched my dad demolish the shack and start buiding the massive structure which eventually had room for a truck, boat, 2 trikes, a quad, toys and games. Above was a bathroom, two bedrooms and living room which held two fold out couches - room to sleep another 10-12 people. You could see the lake through the tops of the trees.
The metal roof on the chalet was a feat of engineering, perserverance, sheer luck, and good fortune. We hauled up metal roofing and wandered the roof oblivious to the dangers of falling. The summer was hot, the nails and rubber rings a pain in the ass, and the precision was overseen with appropriate diligence. It would quickly become prudent to work only in the mornings to avoid the afternoon sun.
Focus on the detail and high construction standards were common themes, and when the scaffolding went up on the north side there were ladders and reinforcements to ensure a safe passage for those helping to put the vinyl siding up. It was hot, sweaty work. We started from the ground and worked our way up. One group of helpers passed the siding, another group held it in place, and my dad would hammer with authority every nail. As we got higher up, a ladder was added on top the scaffolding to gain the next 10 feet. After that a second ladder was added on the scaffolding, then a plank between the two for support and security. Eventually a third ladder came up, placed on the cross support plank. It looked secure.
The very last piece of siding was being installed under the facia and next to the metal roof 25 feet in the air. This last piece would not accept the gentle prodding and coaxing from my father- exhasution had weakened him at the projects final task. My father, up the scaffolding, atop the two ladder plank support, standing on the third ladder lost his composure. He started to yell and thrash around. He shook and with all his fury he .... well, he fell. The siding hung askew as my father fell, the top ladder had walked off the support plank, which shook off the two ladders, which all collapsed on the scaffolding, which then exploded apart under the impacts. The crash had such fury that the neighbours came running. Somehow my father stood amidst the wooden wreckage with only scrapes and cuts on his legs. He shook his head, walked to the beer fridge, then went to the lake for a cooling swim and some medical attention.
The next morning we climbed to the roof and affixed the piece of facia from the top down. With a silent nod my father completed the garage, then we climbed down carefully and went for a swim in the lake.
And so it feels, my MBA, has also had me atop a shaky perch, screaming in fury. The last months have been rough, and I am now gaining the balance I need to recover. Then, climb back to the top- get this done. My beer, cool swim, and medical equivalent has been walking at lunch and spending time with family. I think I am ready for one more push.
It is time to get back to the MBA. Onwards. Shake off the surprise misteps and scrapes- get this done.
Dieter Wentzel, CPHR