Sunday, May 3, 2015

On Solid Footing

I’m sure most people know what the footing for a building is but for those who may not be familiar with the term, I’ll give you a short definition. As it relates to building, a footing is (usually) the base that forms the foundation. And usually, though not always, footings extend deep into the ground, which is why we refer to it as digging a footing. In the old days, footings consisted of rocks, big rocks, that wouldn’t move. These days, we pour them in concrete—much easier than hauling heavy rocks and setting them in place.

The idea of a footing is so you can build your house (or whatever you happen to be building) on something solid. A footing anchors the building to the ground, barring a tornado or some other natural disaster. To dig a footing, you basically dig a trench around the perimeter of where your building will set. Depending on what is being built, additional footings may also need to be dug as well.

Okay, now for my story:

I was five the first time I helped dig footings. My dad was preparing to build a new house and as he typically does, he was doing all the work himself. By that, I mean he wasn’t hiring any help like a contractor. He did, however, have two sons who “volunteered.” My brother was three years older than I so he probably actually contributed to the effort. But I’m not sure how much help I was. At five years old, I was too young to be much real help, that I know. But I do remember scooping up dirt with a shovel and piling it off to the side. And, I remember getting my clothes filthy—so I must have done something. Still, I’m pretty certain my dad did most of the work.

That was forty-three years ago, which is mind-boggling to me. But that number is correct according to my brain’s calculations. Forty-three years. During that time, I’ve had many other opportunities to dig or help dig footings, though I’ll admit it has been a long while since the last one. As a truck driver, I do a pretty decent job of avoiding manual labor!

But recently, my parents purchased a different house so they could move closer to their children and grandchildren. The house needed a garage so, once again, my dad set out to dig a footing—by hand, and of course, by himself.

Well, I didn’t think he should be doing this all by his lonesome, after all, he’s older than I! (Profound bit of knowledge there)! So, against my body’s protests, I went to help one day. Yeah, just one day. Digging in rocky ground with a pick and a shovel is hard work! And then there are the big boulders that need to have a sledge hammer used on them. More hard work! But, I showed up and at least pretended to help. I’m now too old to be much real help, that I know. And yes, once again, my dad did most of the work!

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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