“So, you just nail it on?” I asked him as he rushed out the door to school.
“Yeah. Then hook the next row onto the one below.” He made it sound so easy.
Once the kitchen was clean and Claire was down for her morning nap, Evelyn and I headed out the door to repair and replace the siding. I whistled while I worked–I couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather and Evelyn happily occupied herself at her toy kitchen.
I measured and sipped the pieces to fit together beautifully. I tacked them up and daydreamed about how Jack would be so proud of me when he came home.
He patronized me perfectly when he rounded the front of the house. “It looks nice,” he complimented me.
“Thanks,” I beamed. I’d only had one problem the entire day. How on earth was I supposed to keep the first row from flapping around? Though it had perplexed me since I put up the first piece, I figured Jack would be able to help me fix it later.
“How am I supposed to keep this bottom piece from waving around?” I flicked the first row.
Jack inspected my work and sheepishly smiled. “You forgot the starter strip and the j-trim.“
He explained in more detail than he had in the rush of our morning routine that the first piece weaved tightly into the starter strip and the j-trim hid the rough edges, giving the siding a clean-cut appearance. It turned out I was going to have to rip down all of my work and start anew.
I could barely contain my outrage. What a stupid mistake! I channeled my fury into ripping off the siding and stormed inside to make dinner.
Forking my food down as fast as I could, I rushed back outside in the failing sunlight to hurry and hang the j-channel and starter strip so I could line up the siding. More than I hate making a doofus mistake, I detest feeling like I wasted any precious work time.
All was not lost. Since the pieces were already cut, it was just a matter of fitting them back together. The next morning, Evelyn and I were back outside working diligently. After a few days, our progress was notable.
Siding is straight forward. Of course, I say that after I comforted myself in the fact that my frustrating blunder had been during my first attempt. At least now I know.