We are a few bricks short. Actually six and a half. And you are nodding to yourself, "yup they are a few bricks short..."
By sunday night we just couldn't muster one more brick. Its not that the bricks weigh eighty five pounds each, or that they are almost impossible to get down to the second tier level from the pallets...
its the leveling.
The painstaking part of getting this first course level almost drove me insane. If there is one pebble that is making the brick lean even a sixteenth of an inch you are screwed by the time the wall is four feet tall, because that sixteenth will get magnified. So this part is like the most important part of the whole process.
And it is soooo boring.
It is like the bottom part of an iceberg. You know, the two thirds underwater part that you don't see? You are unaware of it but it is holding the whole thing up. Apparently the same is true for dry stacked, pinned retaining walls.
And leveling these things is nuts. My little bullet level got full use as we placed brick after brick, testing, nudging, beating with a rubber mallet, brushing, and some of them we had to remove multiple times to get it right. There were moments that I wanted to chuck that level into the woods.
So after working through the heat and frustration, at about five oclock the mosquitos started to come out, and it was clear that it was time to quit. And a few rain drops provided us with the perfect excuse (again saved by the rain).
So we ordered a pizza.
And much later after the sun had set as we were drifting off to sleep I had to give Bryan a nudge because apparently in dreamworld he was tapping blocks into place using the rubber mallet. But in reality his hand was the mallet and my arm was the block. Kinda funny. But maybe a little crazy too.
It helps me to keep in mind what this stage represents: many weekends of digging, and hundreds of wheelbarrows full of dirt hauled. What we have got at this point is a very level portion of a first (the most important) course.
It is just six bricks short.
So you know what we will be doing next weekend.