Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, August 10, 2012

Clerk of the Works

Several years ago, we performed some major renovations on our home.  We added on a new living room and drastically changed the configuration of our existing kitchen/living area.  We are very lucky to have a good friend, Martyn, who is a carpenter.  For several months, our home was filled with noise, dust, footprints, and contractors.  Were we worried about having contractors roaming around our house?  Nope.  That’s because we had the Clerk of the Works on duty! 

Scott’s dad loved any activity around the house.  Whether it was his other son or daughter coming by for a visit, or Scott and I doing some kind of yard or house work where he could “supervise” and tell us we “missed a spot”, he loved having a front row seat to it all.  But best of all was when we had Martyn working at our house.  Those months he and his crew were here were some of the most fun months my father-in-law had!  This is where he earned the title “Clerk of the Works”.

Sometimes, he would sit out on the deck and watch quietly.  Sometimes, he’d pull a chair up really close so he could hear what was going on, ask questions and crack jokes.  Always, he would be armed and ready with cold Budweisers for Martyn and his crew.  Martyn might have preferred a Bass Ale, but he always happily accepted the Budweiser, knowing he was making my father-in-law’s day. 

Only a couple of months before he passed, Scott’s dad announced he wanted to build us a new deck.  The old one was really showing its age and was in need of replacing.  He poured over a deck book we bought him and together we designed our new deck.  Of course, he wanted it bigger than the house itself, but we talked him down to a more appropriate size.  Even though his health was already declining, he perked up as Martyn and his crew arrived to disassemble and then rebuild our new deck.  Out came the chair and out came the Budweisers.  Most people are happy when the work is complete; he was happiest when the work was ongoing.

Over the last two weeks of Project Septic, we’ve reminisced quite a bit about those times with Scott’s dad.  Our septic peeps have been working their butts off in very hot and humid conditions, so we’ve filled a cooler each day with water and sodas.  And beer.  The beer comes out at the end of the day of course, but it’s become a tradition around here whenever there’s major work to be done.  And with the beer come the stories.  The stories of our favorite Clerk of the Works.  It’s not the same without him, but we’re keeping the tradition alive.
Cheers to the original Clerk of the Works!


  1. We got to enjoy watching a new septic being put in this week while at my parent's camp. Their old septic finally shit the bed (haha) and we had to get a porta-pottie in. It was pretty cool to watch. Even without a Clerk of the Works.

    1. It's definitely a pretty interesting process.

  2. Nice tribute to Barry. He sure was a special guy.

  3. I loved this--great way to remember someone who must have been so special to you.