Brian Schaeffer

I feel bad for Brian because, while he’s probably put in the most time on the project, his work will be the least appreciated.

Finishing the outside of the Summer KitchenThat’s not because his work is poor — on the contrary, he does excellent work, and he approaches every job with such care and attention to detail that even Dawn is impressed. (And she’s not easy to impress–there’s a reason they call her “Sarge.”)

No, the problem is he’s gotten all the jobs that no one else wanted. Nobody is going to go into the basement to look at the cement floor he poured. And if they are in the basement, they’ll notice the sound of water running, but they’ll never appreciate how Brian had to deal with three springs when pouring that cement floor.

Similarly, they’ll appreciate the air conditioning, but they’ll never see the workshop that Brian cleaned out, sealed, poured a cement floor, and installed a sump pump, all to keep the air conditioning units clean and dry.

Nor are they likely to notice how beautifully the mortar is pointed into the stone. They’ll notice the stone, the paint, and the windows, but not the mortar holding it all together.

They’ll never even know we had a back porch unless they saw the original video.

And except for the folks that visited before, nobody will notice the stone stairs and pavers that have all been dug up and re-set. Now they are flat and perfectly positioned, and look like they always have been.

Brian also did the demo work on the Summer Kitchen, taking out six walls and seven layers of linoleum, and he cleaned out the Paymaster’s Office, including the basement.

Plus he helped clean up the fields, removing seven dumpsters full of metal, countless loads of trash, a boat, and a freezer. Our guests will notice how nicely the grounds are kept, but they’ll never think, “I’ll bet there used to be a freezer in the middle of the yard; I wonder who removed it?”

When it’s cold, they’ll have Brian to thank that the heaters are working; when it’s hot, they’ll have Brian to thank that the air conditioners are running; and when it rains, they’ll have Brian to thank that the ground isn’t flooded. Brian worked on both chimneys, the retaining wall, the wine cabinet, and just about every other thankless task on this project.

About the only thing that guests will notice are the beaded board doors in the game room hiding the air handlers, and I want to replace those with panelled doors. I feel a little bad about that, too.

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