Daydreams and Serendipity

imageJust a few days ago, I announced that this blog was going to be “award free.” Actually, I never made that announcement, I may have implied that, but I stopped short of pasting the “Award Free” banner in the sidebar. If that sounds like political-candidate-speak, well, it is the season. The reason I’m waffling a bit on the subject of awards is that in between writing that post and publishing that post, I was nominated for an award. Joey’s timing was amazing. It’s like she was sitting there thinking: “how can I mess with Dan’s head today?” If you follow Joey, you know that’s the kind of thing she might do.

I promised that I would comply with the rules of this award. That doesn’t really fly in the face of my previous post because the rules for this award are easier to comply with – Thank you Joey! That’s rule number one, satisfied.

Rule number two: “Complete the challenge they set for you.” In this case, the challenge was to “Tell me a daydream.” That should be easy.

I’ve been daydreaming forever. I was routinely chastised in elementary school for daydreaming. Notes were sent home. Comments were added to my report card. It seemed that almost anything could set my mind wandering. I wrote once about my love affair with doodling which, along with the daydreams, continues to this day. No sign of stopping. I’m not quite sure that I am anchored to the world like “normal” people. I was trying to remember a recent daydream to share, but then, in a bit of serendipity, a post appeared in my inbox that set me dreaming.

Unlike Joey, I’m not the warm-sand-ocean-breezes kind of daydreamer. I look at things and I imagine less romantic scenes.

In order for this to make sense, you have to pop on over to Lois’ …on Pets and Prisoners blog. It won’t take long, the post is the completion of a photo assignment. A single beautiful photograph. Take a look and come right back. But hurry, ‘cuz I’ll be onto something else if you take too long.

What did you think when you saw her photo? Did you think about the light? Did you wonder what might be in that brick structure in the center? Did you imagine hiding or being trapped in that attic?

I immediately started to daydream about building that building. I focused on those rafters. A little thicker than modern material and spaced a little further apart. I noticed that there are collar ties on every set of rafters. Usually, collar ties are added to every third rafter pair. I put them on every pair when I built our screen porch so I felt a connection to the builder of that barn.

I also noticed that the roof sheathing is comprised of individual boards instead of plywood or the composite material in use today. I used plywood on the roofs I’ve done around here, but I once worked on a historic house where the roof was sheathed with individual boards.

If you noticed the window, you probably focused on the brick arch. I was looking under the arch and imagining the effort required to make the curved wooden structure around the vent. At first, I thought that it might not be a true curve, but a series of small straight pieces. I zoomed in on the photo, and it is curved. I started thinking about the ways you could bend a piece of wood like that. I have no way of knowing if the window is original or a replacement, but mating wood windows to brick openings is not an easy task when the windows are rectangular so fitting a curved window into a brick arch had to be a challenge.

I got lost in that photo for several minutes. I set those rafters in place. I installed those collar ties. I stood on the roof, nailing those boards into place and I fussed with that window.

You might rather be on the beach in Florida. For me, turning a pile of lumber into a permanent structure, I think the pictures show that that’s my kind of daydream.

Back to reality, the reason I like this award is because I don’t have to nominate 10 or 15 recipients. It says in rule #3: “The amount you nominate is unlimited.”

My guess is that Lois has seen this coming, but I’m going to nominate her for this award. If she’s not much of a daydreamer, maybe she can share one of Teemu’s daydreams.

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51 thoughts on “Daydreams and Serendipity

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    1. Thanks Maggie. As for your question, you might need to put it in the Wishy Washy Writers department. I was about to go award free when I got this one. Then, I took Christine’s advice and started to set up an Awards page. Then I figured that I shouldn’t really accept them if I’m not going to comply. I still have the draft of the Awards page. I might go that route.

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  1. What a clever way to write about this challenge, Dan! All I saw in the photo: A barn with a window with light streaming through, the pile of hay in the corner, and some wood on the floor that looked like bleachers folded up. I didn’t see rafters or any of the other stuff you talked about:)

    About you daydreaming in class…that can be a teacher’s nightmare!
    How about if you survey readers through the voting thing that you do if you should set up an award page or put up a banner about No Facilities being an award free blog? It will be fun to see how we respond.

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  2. I must admit, this was my favorite award to receive, because it gave you the option to not nominate anyone :) But then, it’s such a nice award, I kinda wanted to share it.
    I must admit, I’m deeply fascinated by structures and how. I think it has to do with having a big imagination and being a Lego kid. And I do so enjoy some history and some old wood. But I can’t say I wanna build stuff!
    Thanks for playing! :)

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    1. Wait, Lego kid but doesn’t want to build stuff? I did like that I didn’t have to nominate anyone, but I did want to spread it around a little bit. I love building stuff. Thanks again for giving me the chance to write this.

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  3. Dan–this was such a fun read. Wow! You saw much more in my photo than I did–but that was the fun of reading this. Thank you. So, ball’s in my court, eh? Let me dream up my response–I am laughing over your and Maggie’s conversation.

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  4. I like how you approached this challenge. But, all I saw when I looked at the photo, aside from the light on the floor was the thing hanging from the rafters…what is it? A body? A wooden mannequin? A slaughtered cow strung up to let the blood drain? I went back and noticed the arched window and the rafters, but that object still kept my attention.

    Fondly,
    E

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    1. I had to go back and look at that Elizabeth. If you zoom in on it, it does appear to have a face but I think it’s just a burlap sack or some cloth. Thanks for adding this little bit of intrigue to this post :)

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  5. I don’t think everyone has to daydream about a beach in Florida, Dan. I don’t think you’re alone when you look at a photo and think about building and architecture. I look at the bottom set of photos and think how wonderful it would be to live that house with those beautiful windows and the curved room (don’t know what you call that). It’s a perfect room for morning coffee and sunshine.

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    1. That room was very nice. The section of the house was referred to as the “turret.” On the lower level, there was a window seat around it. I don’t know what the third floor looked like as they were renting that to another tenant. The 2nd level was the best part.

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  6. “I’m not quite sure that I am anchored to the world like ‘normal’ people.” No wonder you’re a Twilight Zone fan! I got an “After Hours” vibe from that sentence. At any rate, I admire how you can apply your daydreaming talents so practically, Dan. It makes for an attractive house, not to mention a good blog post.

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  7. It’s hard to say no to some challenges or awards when they come from bloggers you enjoy reading, no?
    It’s a fun post, as most of yours are. This balance between practical and corky is really your signature. The house made me daydream, too. The only difference for me would be to skip the building part and sit in this gorgeous semi circular room that would make a fabulous library.
    Which only proves that daydreaming is a personal thing!

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    1. That room in the turret would have been a great place to work Evelyne. I don’t think it was appreciated well enough by the owner. I also had a very hard time collecting the invoice for the final two windows, so looking at the windows brings back mixed feelings for me. On the other hand, the largest portion of the room we are planning to add on the 2nd floor of our house will be a library :) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I’ve read this one several times, Dan, and each time I can’t quite put into words why I’m enjoying it so much. But I am!

    Your craftsmanship, the beautiful picture of the trees through the open beams (too bad you had to add a roof), daydreaming that my ‘next’ husband will have carpentry skills (and I have a funny story to tell you over coffee about one of his ill-fated attempts). Don’t worry, I’m keeping the Hub I have because he more than makes up for a lack of building expertise, but we have fun teasing each other about what we’ll look for in ‘the NEXT Mr. or Mrs.’

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this Sammy. My wife was taking most of the photos during construction, She took the one of the tree through the rafters. It really is one of my favorite photos from that project. You might want someone with better building skills, but i’m not sure you want someone tearing the roof off your house – it was scary at times.

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  9. Just curious Dan. I come across many blogs that have an Award banner on the side. Some have one, some have more than five. You were recently chosen for the award, so how do we win this? Do we have to participate in some challenge or contest or what? Not that I am tempting for an award, but just out of sheer curiosity that so many bloggers now have this award banner pasted on the right side of their page. By the way, this post just flew over me. I am not that good into home building.I did take up mechanical engineering during my first year in college, but soon I realized that I had no interest in it, and I opted for literature and sociology instead.

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    1. I’m not totally sure how awards get created Sharukh, but once they are out there, people spread them around by nominating others. I’ve tended to back away from most. If there’s an award for travel blogging, you should have one because your travel posts are amazing.

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  10. Lately, I’ve thought seriously about taking my award page out because I haven’t accepted an award for well over a year now. The sentiment is nice but I really don’t think of them as awards anyway because there isn’t one that I’ve “won” because my blog is that good. They’re more like community events within the blogosphere. The “award” is just to say that I participated.

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    1. I go back and forth because of how nice people have been when they’ve nominated me. Such a crazy thing to think about, but I guess it’s better than people saying bad things about your blog.

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        1. I’ll probably procrastinate until someone nominates me for something else next year. I saw something yesterday that I liked. One of the people I follow had a slide-show widget in the sidebar showing their award badges. The title was “Awards and now award free”

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  11. What a fabulous daydream! It pulled me in and could see it playing in my mind. Very visual and beautiful!

    My father built my childhood home with his own hands and continues to add on to it 34 years later. I bet this is how he daydreams…

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  12. Congratulations again for the award. I visited your friend’s blog and I think it’s great. Daydreams are nice things. I get to visualize stories, especially the descriptions. One day we were stuck with an electrical design and I told the Senior Engineer to let me handle it at my own time. I went to lunch but somewhere along the way I figured it out. It just popped up, as if it had been locked up in my brain.I came back and finished it, lunch forgotten. Some days I am unable to hold my thoughts in check. They just wander off, sometimes too far.

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    1. Inspiration, ideas and solutions can come from anywhere Peter. I once left the office on a Friday with a problem. I thought about it all weekend and I was dreading going to work on Monday. At the end of the off-ramp, the solution popped into my head. I actually remember talking to myself, describing the solution over and over so I wouldn’t forget as I sped to the office. The solution was valid.

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