Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to the Classroom after Ike

Today Nathaniel resumes his classes at the local community college. He got a lot of good experience while classes were suspended because of hurricane damage.

He learned a lot about generators, portable gasoline ones and fixed propane ones. He and Herb spent several hours working on the portable gasoline generator before it would run. They built the foundation for a whole house generator and helped get the unit set up.

Herb finally let him use the chainsaw, which Nathaniel has been longing to do for several years. Herb made him wear all the safety equipment, including the regulation Husqvarna helmet with shield, goggles, and chaps. Too bad we didn't have something to protect him from the ants. Our yard flooded the day of the hurricane. Nathaniel discovered, most unhappily, that the ants had taken refuge in the trees in which he had to climb to cut out the broken branches. He has always balked at wearing all the safety equipment that Herb insists upon for every job, but after the first day wielding a chainsaw, he discovered "bite" marks in the chaps that had been in pristine condition when he donned them in the morning.

Not only did he clean up our yard, he worked two days for one of his lawncare customers in Crosby and two days at Mickey's house in Dickinson. Mickey, Herb, and Nathaniel all sing in the schola together.

There was even some inside work. Nathaniel chose the new color for the gameroom, which we are trying to give a more masculine feel. Happy with his choice, he proclaimed himself "a pretty good color dude"! He and Herb struggled with the granite paint. It requires very particular rolling, then very particular paint brush technique to keep the granite from leaving dark patches on the wall.

Oh, I can't leave out his first experience changing a flat on a busy highway at night. A policeman stopped to check on us and told me that he was glad to see I had a big, strapping boy to handle the job. Yes. Deo Gratias!

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