Diary of a Small Contractor, Day 13
Saturday, October 11, 1986
Mr. K is the retired CEO of a Very Large Bank. He conferred with Presidents and had the power to rescue — or bankrupt — entire small nations. His wife rules the house, however. She has good aesthetic sense. She will also break off a business conference to admire a sunset, which drives Mr. K crazy and makes me adore her.
They want floodlights installed in an oak tree. Mrs. K offers me the use of their rickety old ladder. No thanks. I’ve brought my own. She doesn’t want the wires to show or the floods to be visible from the patio, and she wants them to shine there, there, and there.
Hiding wires is a challenge. I run Romex UF cable up channels in the tree bark. I scramble over branches. I hide the floodlights in crotches of limbs. It’s fun, working in a tree. More fun than banking, if you ask me.
Mrs. K also wants me to adjust a sagging door. Mr. K says, "I'll fix it myself."
Mrs. K says, "I don't want to wait for months."
It's a loose hinge. I say, “I can fix it in five minutes.”
"Please," Mrs. K says.
Without comment Mr. K watches as I drive long screws.
Next Mr. K asks me to look at a problem with their electric deer fence.
I look at it. “What’s the problem?”
“It makes a snapping noise,” Mr. K says.
“They’re supposed to. That’s normal.”
Mr. K puts his hand on the deer fence wire.
“Oh yes,” he says. “It’s working.”