The Best Laid Plans

A huge number of bricks was the first acquisition of my evolving plan to do some work to my backyard, with the intent of turning it into a wonderful oasis of stress relief and happiness. I paid $12 for what was advertised on Craigslist as “about 150 bricks.” The actual count was 382.


Next up, I bought a LOT of stone for a very low price. My original intent was to buy stone to use as a border for the beds in the front yard, but upon seeing them (another Craigslist find), I decided they might not be suitable for the border, but SURELY I could find another use for them, considering the really good price. So, I bought them…two VERY heavy truckloads of stone are now awaiting their place in my evolving plan.


Considering that I would soon have a brick pad and perhaps a stone pad or wall, I needed something fitting to put on or near them, right? So, as a friend and I were chatting over coffee one day, she mentioned that she was trying to sell the BBQ smoker her late husband used to make his wonderful ribs and brisket, etc. She would have no room for it in her new place, she said. Well, it’s something I’ve ALWAYS wanted and as the two photos below show, I bought it from her and put in in my back yard.



Unfortunately, as I was driving home with the smoker in the bed of my truck, I spaced out a bit. My friend, who was helping move the INCREDIBLY heavy smoker said to me…”stop sign…Stop Sign…STOP SIGN.” I finally realized I was in the process of running a stop sign and hit my brakes rather hard, sending the smoker crashing into the piece of plywood I had placed in front of it to protect the back window of the truck in the extremely unlikely event of a hard stop. It didn’t protect the back window.

What you see below is a brand-new 3-piece window that was installed just this morning. The bargains I got on the bricks, the stone, and the smoker were instantly erased. Fortunately, neither of us suffered any significant injuries (though my friend got a sliver of glass lodged in his thumb when the back window exploded into the car). My pride, though, was badly damaged, as was my bank account.


Next up, my friend and I may jointly buy the equipment and ingredients to make beer. I’ll leave the driving to him, though.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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