I woke at 5AM but I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was sleeping on the floor with the Brit. All six of my sofa cushions made the bed. It was reasonably comfortable. Mostly it was being in bed with someone, who I wasn’t in a hurry to get away from, was almost a gift. It felt really nice, so I had to forced myself out of bed.
I slipped into my bike outfit of shorts and a sweat shirt, with the sleeves cut off, trying not to wake The Brit. Even though I knew he was only faking being asleep. Why I had no idea, but I left the apartment and walked down to the stairs to my bike. It was five fifteen, so I would ride till seven fifteen without a break. I usually stopped at the Plaza for breakfast but not today. I was meeting Tomas at the site of my new house at 8AM. I had to admit I was excited.
When I got back to the apartment just after seven The Brit was dressed in Jeans and a cut off sweat shirt. I thought what the hell, I found my jeans and my scissors. I stood topless and cut off the sleeves of my winter running sweat shirt. Somewhere I had one already cutoff from previous years. It was in the pile of laundry to be done as soon as I got around to it. I cut the sleeves out of the winters sweat shirt every year. Every fall I bought a new sweatshirt to cover my pistol while I ran or rode the bike. Then I cut it off in the spring to do the same thing for the summer months. It was just that I hadn’t planned to wear one with my jeans, so the winter sweat shirt was the only clean one handy. I didn’t mind sacrificing it.
We went through the drive in window at Hardee’s before we went on out to the site. The Brit agreed to ride in the Toyota, even though he would have preferred the SUV. Since I wasn’t contracted to the Swamp Dog at the moment, the Swamp guys would be pissed if anything happened. There was no need for that. The Brit could drive my Toyota for coffee, if we needed it.
“Did you run this morning?” I asked while we ate biscuits filled with animal fat and drank restaurant coffee.
“Yes, but only an hour, after that I came home and bathed, then dressed for this.” He said.
“Did you hear yourself call my apartment home,” I said with a laugh.
“I realized, I had done it right after I did. I know it was a bit presumptuous of me, but it did feel right at the time.” he said with a smile.
“It most certainly did,” I said in agreement. Before we got to mushy, Tomas drove up in his truck. I had parked the Toyota at the end of the newly graded driveway. so Tomas pulled in beside me.
Since The Brit spoke Spanish, I asked him to translate. Between the two of us we managed to have Tomas move his truck nearer the house site so we could unload the blocks. We made a pile of them about ten feet behind were we hoped to set the container. I called Jerry when I was sure he would be awake.
“So Jerry when do you think you will be here?” I asked.
“I should be at the convenience store off the highway about 11AM. I am going to have my friend Sammy meet us there with his tractor,” Jerry said.
“Jerry, if you tear up my container, I’m going to take it out of your ass,” I said.
“Sylvia trust me, I know what I’m doing,” he said.
“Famous last words spoken by General Custer to his men,” I replied, but I let him go.
The Brit had Tomas start the trench for the water line. If I had a Ditch Witch or whatever they call those pipe burying machines we could have made short work of it but we didn’t have one. Tomas was digging it by hand. We had to go down two feet to get below the freeze line. It was the depth at which the earth about it would insulate the pipe and prevent the pipe from freezing. When the pipe came up from the earth, we had to do something else.
I had decided that even though it would be a little more work I wanted the house back about thirty feel from the road. So Tomas had a lot of digging ahead. But he didn’t seem to mind. I expect he was just glad to have the work. I didn’t rush him because I wanted to see what his natural pace was. If he worked steady at that shit job, then he had a job till we finished the whole project. If he fucked me then he was gone after we set the house.
I wasn’t too surprised that he worked at a slow steady pace on the trench. He opened the trench to the stub off from the county water supply and dug back toward the house site. He got about a forth of the way, when I left to go meet Jerry and his friend Sammy.
I saw a farm tractor sitting on a trailer attached to a pickup truck. It was all sitting in the very large parking lot of the Convenience store. I parked the Toyota went inside the store for coffee. Since Jerry hadn’t arrived I went to the farm tractor.
“Hey, you Sammy?” I asked.
“Yes Ma’am that’s me. You must be Sylvia?” he asked.
“Yep,” I replied. “Have you ever done this before?” I asked.
“A time or two out on the farm, We move and set Tobacco Barns all the time. The are just metal buildings on skids. These are pretty much the same thing.” he said.
“Why don’t you go on out, and brief my friend and the other guy out there helping us?” I suggested. “I can tell you where they are.”
I gave him detailed directions, then sent him off to coordinate with The Brit. I had complete faith in The Brit, even if I didn’t completely trust Sammy and Jerry not to fuck it up.
I finished the coffee and started another one when Jerry pulled in. The box was a terrible yellow color. I could not believe, I had not asked about the color. Well I had it now So I might as well learn to love it, or plan to buy paint.
“Jerry I need to carry my foreman some coffee, so give me a second and then we will be off,” I said.
“I got to pee, so you have time,” he said.
Twenty minutes later we were pulling on the site. I gave The Brit his coffee and we did a quick consultation. In the end Jerry maneuvered the trailer in the spot we had decided. It was a little crooked so he had to redo it moving back and forth for twenty minutes. I finally said, “Fuck it Jerry that is close enough.”
“It’s Okay,” the Brit said. “It is pretty straight. Let’s begin.” He said.
The tractor driver positioned his machine at the back of the trailer. He hooked a chain onto the bottom frame of the container and pulled it back. He pulled it about four feet from the trailer and stopped. Then Tomas and The Brit piled blocks up near the corners. The chain was tight on the tractor when the driver said “That’s it for me.”
Jerry pulled his truck and trailer forward sliding the trailer form under the container. When half the container was off the trailer Tomas and the Brit placed blocks and boards under it to match the height of the trailer.
Jerry pulled forward more until only about a food rested on the back of the trailer. At that point the guys blocked the container for the last time. Jerry pulled his trailer free. He walked from his truck to where was all stood.
“I do believe I completed my delivery as promised,” he said with a grin.
I removed a wad of hundred dollar bills from my jeans. I peeled off five for Jerry, and one for Sammy. Then I gave Sammy another hundred and said, “You guys go out and have a drink of two on me.”
When they drove away, I asked the Brit. “Do you think it is too high?”
“No you want to be above the ground some. Keep the ground water from damaging it. Also prevents the small animals from rushing the door when you leave it open a few minutes. When Tomas and I level it, the thing will be about twenty inches,” The Brit said.
“Alright, I’m taking lunch orders what should I get you,” I asked.
“I’m not all that hungry after that animal fat biscuit. But get me a sandwich of some kind, but just one,” He demanded.
“Ask Tomas,” I said.
“Tomas brought his lunch, but he would like an Iced tea,” The Brit said.
I made the run and came back with the food and drinks. We sat in the open doorway of the container and Tomas sat on a stack of unused blocks. During the meal it was decided that I would rent four house jacks and the two of them would walk the container down to level at twenty inches on the end with the door.
But that could wait till Monday morning. Since the next day was Sunday, I had things to do. Tomas took his family to church, he informed me. The Brit promised to tag along with me. So the day came to an end.
“Tomas before you leave put the lumber and door you bought into the container. Work a couple of more hours on the trench then we will settle up,” I said. The Brit of course made sure he understood.
When we were ready to settle up The Brit said, “There was about twenty five dollars left over from the door, and lumber purchase,”
“Tell Tomas I am paying him for a full day today and half day for yesterday. Make sure that is acceptable with him.” I said to The Brit. When it was agreed upon I paid him. “Tell him we start work 8AM. on Monday.” He explained it to Tomas and we all parted company at 4PM.
When we got home The Brit and I each took a laptop and began looking up things. I was surprised how involved he was in the house. He was looking up sewer stuff, while looked up jewelry making tools. I was trying to find a niche for myself. It was a bit difficult to find a way to hide money making jewelry. The hiding money was my first real concern. I just didn’t see how I could do that without spending way too much time manufacturing jewelry.
I switched gears I decided I could use my newly acquires skills in jewelry to buy estate jewelry. I could use a lot of gray money, and sell it on line. Even if I just broke even the money would be clean.
The plan was to replace the storage locker scam. That one had depended heavily on Mary Ellen and she and I were fighting. I was not planning to do anything with her again. That might change, but at that moment my feeling was to put it simply, fuck her.
Since I knew a lot about jewelry and how it was made I thought it might work for me. I planned to run advertisements that would read. ‘I buy estate jewelry, at 75% of retail’. It really was a negotiation tactic since I decided what retail was. I would have the people send me a picture on the computer. If it was a lot of ‘mom’ jewelry, I would send them an offer. They sent the jewelry to me, and I send them a money transfer, which I paid for in some cases with gray money.
I figured it would be people who had jewelry, which the local stores refused to buy. Some of them would be people who didn’t want to go to a pawn shop, or who had been to one and found the offer too low. The convenience factor might attract some of them. I made no guarantee that I would actually purchase the jewelry. I felt like I could tell enough from the photos to determine whether or not it was worth my efforts. If in doubt pass would be my motto.