Small words turn into big project

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 12:51 PM.

My wife Ann and I have a project taking shape. Like many endeavors, it began with one tiny offhand comment, which is in resonance with Lao-tzu who observed, "The longest journey starts with a single step."

While sitting on our patio as is our normal evening routine, Ann said she wished our patio was "a little larger." Those three little words were an egg of an idea that I promptly fertilized by responding, "What do you have in mind?"

We picked up our wine glasses and stepped into the yard to begin tracing an imaginary boundary for an addition. The more we sipped, the more appealing the project became.

The next day I called our "go-to" construction guy Francisco Ruiz. I asked if he knew anybody interested in a little job like this.

He did and came over to see what we had in mind. We sketched out invisible lines in the grass where it would begin and end. I mentally calculated that somewhere around four yards of concrete should do it.

He said he’d bring his guy over and we’d get some concrete numbers and measurements — pun inevitable. Who knew how big our little germ of an idea would grow in that short interval?

To lay out what we wanted, I dropped by Lowe’s for some spray stuff to mark our grass. Instead of buying an aerosol that our puppies could track into the house, I opted for a bundle of little orange flags on wire posts. These turned out to be perfect. We walked around sticking flags in the grass as we went. Voila! An outline of our patio extension began revealing itself.

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