Thursday, June 22, 2017

What's Next? Part 20: Gazebo Move: Part Two

When we last left this saga, we had failed at moving the gazebo, but almost gained a permanent garden installation.
 I sent the picture below to Ann at work when she was on her lunch break with the caption, "That didn't go well."


 Ann's hilarious reply:

"Oh wow." 

A few minutes later: 

"Is it stuck forever?"

A few minutes later:

"How are you going to landscape that in?"

I was reading my text messages while we were waiting for Warren to arrive with his rescue tractor and I busted out laughing.  Carl wanted to know what was so funny, and I told him what Ann said. 

Even though this was a stressful situation, Carl replied, "How many marigold seeds did you plant? It's going to take a lot of them to go around this thing."

Thankfully, I did not need to up my order of marigold seeds, and the machine went back home to wait for a better day.  The only thing it left behind was its tracks.
 After Warren left, David had to go home, too.  Carl and I walked around the yard, once again kicking clods of dirt around.  

"It's too bad it didn't work," I sighed.  "If it keeps raining, we'll still be waiting to move the thing by the time the snow flies.  Do you think we could move it with a trailer?  If we could get it out of the backyard and into the driveway, maybe Warren could lift it from there?"

"Our trailer isn't big enough," Carl said, "But the old hay wagon running gear out back in the Eight might be."

Without another thought, we walked out to the field and with Carl pulling and me pushing, we walked the running gear out of the white pines, down the lane, onto the road, and into the driveway.  Carl set to work immediately to separate the front wheels from the back wheels.  I went in and made supper while he worked.  

When he came in to eat, he was slightly optimistic; he'd have to make a few changes to separate the wagon in the middle.  In a few days we should be ready to try moving the gazebo on our own.  
As I said Carl doesn't like to borrow equipment or bother people with our construction projects and I feel the same way.  We already felt bad about how much of Warren's time we'd wasted.  

On Friday, April 28, Carl's sister, Mary, and her husband, Tom, came to help us, too.  Everyone  is busy, and when people volunteer to help, we are deeply grateful.

Carl's ingenuity has never failed to amaze me; his plan was reasonable. He took the siding off the bottom of the gazebo, and  with Tom's help, cleaned out the decades-worth of accumulated junk.  

 The next step was to put the front wheels of the running gear on one side and the back wheels on the other side.  


Then he had to climb back under the gazebo and join the two halves back together.  

Once we had the running gear in place, the next move was to take some steel beams and fasten them to the running gear as a deck. We've had the beams lying around for at least ten years (yes, though I grouse, the junk does sometimes come in handy.  As the boys always say, "There you go, Mom, justifying the hoard.")  But it is true, we do use the stuff once in awhile.  

With the deck in place, Tom and Carl tied the posts of the gazebo down to the beams, and by five pm, we were ready to roll.  Except Carl wasn't.  He felt it was too late in the day and if we had problems, what would we do with the gazebo perched on a wagon overnight?  No, better to wait until Saturday morning.  I was leaning toward 'just do it' as my instant gratification impulse was surging, but Carl was right.  Haste makes waste.  We should take our time and do it right.  Mary and Tom joined us at a restaurant for supper and after a call to Joel and David, we were all in agreement to meet early on Saturday morning.

Joel was the first to arrive on the cold morning.  There was a brisk breeze from the west which worried Carl quite a bit.  How top-heavy would the gazebo be?  We really had no idea and there was only one way to find out.  The hard way.

Carl and Joel cut off the deck posts one at a time until only one remained.  Mary and Tom arrived and Carl attached a pair of ropes to the top of the gazebo to use as support ropes in case it would start to tip, though mostly it was for looks.  He said, "If it starts to fall off the wagon, just make sure everyone gets out of the way." 

In order to make the extremely short corner, Carl and Joel hooked up our rusty, trusty old Manley Wrecking Crane to the wagon and hoisted the front wheels off the ground, enabling the front of the wagon to be airborne and turn effortlessly.

 Everything was in place, it was now time to cut the posts off.

Joel started up the Stihl chainsaw and one by one, five posts were cut. With a feeling of now or never,  Joel cut the last post and the gazebo was free of its moorings.  Using a jack, Carl and Joel eased the building onto the wagon, and I caught my breath as it swayed ever so slightly as the weight transferred from the posts to the beams underneath.  So far, so good. 

 Joel climbed onto the 574, started the engine, and inched forward ever so slowly, turning the gazebo to the north.  The wrecker held the front of the wagon off the ground perfectly, thank goodness.  The turn was made without a problem.

 As soon as the gazebo was turned in the right direction, Carl removed the wrecker and the wagon wheels were back on the ground.

 And off we go, around the Quarry, to the lane. 
 Joel driving the tractor, Mary holding the guide rope.  

In a remarkably short time, we reached the road and finally turned the corner into our driveway.

As soon as the gazebo was moving, I had called my friend Gloria, Warren's wife, to ask if there was a chance they could bring the telescoping forklift back again.  She said yes, he would be there soon.

While Carl and Tom readied the gazebo for lift-off,  Joel had to leave for home.  Dave arrived to take his place and Mary and I retired to a park bench to rest.  It seemed so surreal to see the gazebo sitting in the driveway.  

We made it this far.

Next step:  Flying Gazebos!



outlawgardener said...

Oh my gosh, I've always enjoyed your humor and now you add your flair for writing suspense! Looking forward to the next installment! You are lucky to have such willing and able friends and family to make this happen (or not, we'll find out.)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

This story and Carl's ingenuity reminds me so much of my husband, complete with stashed junk, that does indeed come in handy at times, (more than we'd like to admit.)

I love it and can hardly wait to see the next post! I'm sitting here with a huge smile on my face. Way to go all of you ~ FlowerLady

Karen said...

Thank you, Peter, I'm sorry for the delay in getting to the point. I was up until the early hours trying to get the time-lapse videos to upload (they really are cool!) but no such luck. Maybe I'll get Joel to figure it out for me. If I'd posted the silly videos the story would be over with in under five minutes. :-)

Karen said...

Rainey, your DH and Carl would have been an unstoppable team, wouldn't they? Carl specializes in making something out of nothing and even after all these years, I still marvel at his skill. I am so blessed to have him; he's the only reason this garden exists, truly. I know how much you miss your dear Mark; he was your everything. I feel the same way. (And yes, the junk DOES come in handy, no matter how much I complain.) :-)