figurative language [and alcoholism!] is alive and well

Well, my parents are visiting from California. My dad used to be a contractor, so when my parents visit, Deb and I get lots of free home improvement help. This morning, we were working in our little backyard shed (it’s a cute little cottage structure, actually, which the previous owner made into a little workshop). Anyway, we were removing part of the interior ceiling. The previous owner had stored lumber up there, and well, obviously, he was storing other things there, as well.

Under a bunch of 2x4s, we found a dozen or more empty bourbon flasks, some still in their brown paper bags.  Deb said it wasn’t even good bourbon. Obviously, this guy figured his significant other wouldn’t find his stash up in that little attic space. And actually, no one did — not until twenty years later.  (I’m guessing the bottles were up there since about 1987 because we also found two Washington state license plates with 1987 registration stickers.)

Before that, we spent sometime figuring out how to concrete over an area on our back porch that used to be a planter.  I thought some holes in the concrete were mistakes or damage of some kind. But my dad said, “No, those are weep holes.” I said, “weep? as in cry?” “Yes,” he said. “It’s so the water can drain out.” What a cool term, I thought. Weep holes!

Reminds me of “bull nose tile” — a phrase I learned two years ago when we remodeled our kitchen. It’s the tile you put on the edge of a counter. It has this little upturn which, I assume, is there so that split water or other liquid won’t drip off the edge.

Oh, and while we were at Lowe’s (spending over $500 on concrete mix, roofing, fencing, etc), I learned the term “dog ear fencing.” But, actually, I’m not sure why it’s called “dog ear.” I assume it refers to the shape of the pickets?

Heheh, anyway, figurative language is alive and well! Everywhere.

And now I have to smile to myself because… what do I remember out of my long and full day? The phrases “weep holes” and “dog ear fencing” and finding those dozen empty bourbon bottles.

Remodeling, building, fixing things — these are fun. But words are even funner.


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