Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Most of us spend money on junk. Junk food, junk magazines, junk gadgets, junk clothes, filling up our minds, bellies, homes and cars. Junk.


Yesterday, I watched men work from 5:30 in the morning until after 4:00 in the afternoon, mindfully pouring and perfecting the foundation for our home. They slogged in wet concrete up past their ankles, so thick it almost sucked their rubber boots off. Trucks came and went, transferring their loads into the pumping truck with its high boom. I brought out thermal carafes of coffee and hot biscuits with thin ham tucked inside, but these mostly went to the drivers and bystanders.


Buck and a couple of USA Pensacola Ready Mix drivers are good-natured with the paparazza (that would be me. . .)



Mike, Eddie, Reggie, Bob and Mario — the artisans working against time, contending with a hot sun and drying concrete — were feverishly pushing and smoothing, so busy they never ate even a bite of lunch until after two o’clock.



Here’s Reggie and Bob just as the pouring was about to begin.


Eddie (in blue) and the other guys in their rubber boots in a sea of concrete.

The last step was to run their finishing machines, a sort of mechanical buffer, over the entire surface, smoothing it to a glassy finish. Buck and I took Maggie for a long walk, then returned to grill a chicken on the patio — what used to be the screened porch — and enjoy our first sunset on the slab.

What these guys created is the antithesis of junk. The word that keeps returning to my mind over and over is value. We watched the raw materials arrive, and we watched as these skilled workers turned it into a strong, solid foundation. We observed their physical labor, and sensed their pride. It was beautiful to experience.


Mario lays down his trowel for just a moment to pose, still smiling after nine straight hours of hard work.



What a day. What an incredible day. I am one seriously lucky woman.

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