Monday, April 6, 2009

From the Ground Up

I take you back now to the time when the foundation went in. We were fighting the coming of winter as it was to be poured just about Thanksgiving time, leaving us precious little time to cap the basement before the snow would fly. Thank goodness Pete had introduced us to the power of air guns! There were to be over 8,000 nails in the decking boards alone, a crazy job to do with a hand-held hammer. Larry Hallowell of Chester Rice Co. had done a great job with the excavating allowing us the largest possible basement despite hitting ledge; 8 foot on one end and 6 foot at the other. Randy McClintok followed right behind putting up the foundation forms and pouring the cement. What a thrill it was to see it go in. Then, it was time for Eric and I to swing into action and get the rear above ground basement wall up. The whole gang arrived soon after to help us get the floor joists and sill boards in place so the long and grueling task of getting the decking boards on could be accomplished. The snow had already begun, so each time we worked we spent half the time removing snow from the tarps which covered the joists and whatever had been laid of the floor. I remember more than once when the snow had mixed with rain and we were left with enormous chunks of ice which made the tarps sag between the joists and proved exhausting to get out. Naturally, the tarps did not completely prevent snow and ice from getting into the basement, so by spring we were left with a frozen skating pond in what would someday be Root Cellar Pub. Our hands would get so cold that we would use the exhaust of the generator to try to warm them.

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