Back Porch, Front Porch, Deck, Breezeway, Landing—?

I’ll be the first to admit I know next to nothing about residential construction. Any “house-y” type things I need to know about, I ask the Crankee Yankee. He has been an excellent carpenter all his working life, and continues to use his considerable skills in repairing and renovating our circa 1953 home.

However, the terms often confuse me. The other day the Crankee Yankee announced that he had bought a couple of brackets for hanging flowers on the “deck.” I said that I thought we were going to put hanging flowers up on the front porch roof (when we have a roof, that is). He replied that, yes, that was the plan once he puts the roof on the front porch.

“So where exactly are these brackets going to go?” I asked.

“On the deck,” he replied. “Won’t that look good?”

“Hmmm….the deck; do you mean the part of the front of the house where you walk up the stairs to get into the breezeway?” I asked. (I told you–terms confuse me.)

“Yes, that would be the ‘deck,’ ” he replied patiently.

“Ok, so—the hanging plants will go on the deck then?” I asked. He nodded, hoping I finally got it.

“Yes, that would look pretty nice.”

Now we are speaking the same language.

This is just a sample of what we go through at least once a week. When he tells me he is going to clean up the back porch (which, by the way, he built himself a few years back and it looks great), I now know that he means that he is going to bring out all the shelves of seedlings he planted weeks ago and plant them in the gardens….not actually ‘clean up’ the back porch.

When he says that he is going to put a ceiling on the breezeway and sheetrock the walls, I now know what to expect and I plan accordingly. This means I either go to a movie (a LONG movie) while all the banging and sawing and hammering is going on, or I take a book down to the pond and read for hours. Or do something else to get me out of the house. I know he knows exactly what he’s doing, but he also understands that I can’t help him and that the noise will drive me nuts.

The Crankee Yankee also knows that I have absolutely no vision when he describes what he plans to do on this or that part of the house. Long ago when he told me he was going to put “dormers” on the second floor (this used to be two small bedrooms with a half bath in between.) Now it is one open space (still with the half bath) which will eventually become a small guestroom and a storage/crafts room. What I see from what he’s done is that there are now two cute little windows facing the back yard. Yup, those would be the “dormers.”

The Crankee Yankee also knows that my house repair knowledge is just a few degrees of understanding past your average caveman. When he explains in detail how he is going to do this or that and my eyes start glazing over, he just says, ‘trust me–you’ll like it.’ And I usually do.

The man is both handy and handsome (a line you will no doubt understand if you watch “*The Red Green Show”).

*The Red Green Show is a Canadian television comedy that aired on various channels in Canada, with its ultimate home at CBC Television, and on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in the United States, from 1991 until the series finale 7 April 2006, on CBC.

The Red Green Show is essentially a cross between a sitcom and a sketch comedy series, and is a parody of home improvement, do-it-yourself, fishing, and other outdoors shows (particularly The Red Fisher Show). Reruns currently air on CBC Television, The Comedy Network, and various PBS stations. It was produced by S&S Productions, which is owned by Steve and Morag Smith. Directors on the series include Steve Smith (who plays the main character, “Red Green”), Rick Green and William G. Elliott.

Red Green’s ending line of each show is “if you can’t be handsome, at least be handy.”


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