Living on Borrowed Time

This camper build isn’t going quite like I thought it would, but that seems to be the case with any project I take on. There have been setbacks, like the roofing issue I mentioned last week. I thought I had it taken care of, finding a suitable replacement at a building supply center. When I went to pick it up, however, the people working there had no idea what I was talking about. Fortunately, one of them put in contact with a company that had exactly what I needed. There have been other problems, things like wrong cuts and getting ahead of myself. Because of that, it’s taking me longer than I thought it would, but I’m still on schedule to finish in time for Wild Goose.

Several times, I’ve wondered why the hell I decided to do all this. It’s a big job, the biggest I’ve ever done on my own. Like I said in All Week LongI’ve done things this size in the past, but I had help: my dad. I know that when I’m done, I’ll have an intense feeling of accomplishment. Hell, I already have that feeling. And, completing this will allow me to do things I’ve always wanted to do. Something that has become increasingly important over the past several years.

That last sentence might require a little back story. In 2007, I was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. It was rough, but I made it. Then, last February, a CT scan revealed my dance partner had returned. Surgery and chemo were, again, the order of the day. This time it was easier…, well, as easy as that stuff can be. After the first round in ’07, I was able to go back to work. Not this time; I retired on disability last December. That was an eye-opener.

Between my career as a firefighter and the fact that my survival in ’07 was a near thing, in one way or another, I’ve been facing my mortality for the last 23 years. And, since the end of my chemotherapy in ’08, I have a CT scan every three months to see if my cancer is making a comeback. I know that, one day, it will and it may return in a way that I can shake. The knowledge that I’m living on what is, essentially, borrowed time has led me to do my utmost to make that time the best it can possibly be. Taking on big projects is a part of that.

Spending the last week working with my hands has been very satisfying. And, it’s been a fitting tribute to the man who taught me how to do all the things I’ve been doing. It’s also taught me I’ve been living inside my head too much lately. I love reading and writing, partly because I can lose myself in both pursuits. While that can be a good thing, now and then, it’s good to get outside of yourself and live a little.

Now, it’s time to get to work and finish my camper. With a little luck, I’ll be done in the next couple of days. If you’re at the Goose this weekend, stop by and take a look at my handiwork. I’m inordinantly proud of it.