To say it was frigid was an understatement given the allowance that low thirties on the upper Oregon Coast is tooth-rattling, bone-chilling, bitter cold. Add to this that there is no longer a back to my home and that the newly dug basement is currently open-air and occasionally resembles an old fashioned swimming hole.
However, it was the construction workers that had me in stitches, and there I stood without my handy, dandy little notebook. I finally gave up and tore off part of a paper bag, found a flat builder's pencil on the floor, scraped the mud off, and began to write as fast as I could.
When offered a garden rake to move around gravel, one worker declined, stating, "The bigger the tool, the harder you have to work." This quip, among others that will appear in the picture book to come, was funny as the person speaking was one of the hardest working men I've ever met. It was also funny on different levels but I won't go there at this time.
The point is that I now have a piece of torn bag with three quotes, one of which is not exactly printable on this site, that offer me insight into men on the job, blue-collar camaraderie, not to mention memories of a fun albeit cold afternoon. Quotes which I wouldn't have if I'd tried to remember them all. A pocket notebook is invaluable to a writer. It is a second brain, a pocket brain if you will. The next thing you need is a pen. I almost had withdrawal on a plane over the weekend when my favorite pen ran dry.
Remember that the shortest pencil truly has the longest memory!