The day feels charged with anticipation. The weather radio confirms this with high wind warnings, high surf warnings, and flood alerts. Twelve inches of rain are predicted for the Coast Range, and some of Washington has already been declared a disaster area. I asked some elderly neighbors if our street had ever flooded. They said no, but the land across the street is barely lower, yet it is in a flood zone.

The dogs run alongside as I bike around the 60-acre fairgrounds once or twice a day. This gives me a little exercise, and it gives them a lot. We usually go after 5:00 when the dogcatcher gets off work, but I didn’t dare wait today. Everyone else had the same idea. We passed dogs, bikes, toddlers, a man in a wheelchair, another man pushing a grocery cart, and dozens of ordinary pedestrians—a veritable obstacle course of people, critters, and machinery. Carpenters were at work beneath the entrance to the Lane County Museum, glad for the roof, no doubt. The smell of sawdust and the sound of hammers made me nostalgic for my father. We had some good times together, going to new jobs every few days or weeks.

A carpenter/handyman need never starve. Last week, for example, the fitting that held the drainpipe to the kitchen sink corroded in half, spilling a sink full of dishwater into the cabinet. A journeyman plumber wouldn’t want to take such a small job, would need two days to get to it, and would charge a bundle. A handyman would do it for a pittance and stay for coffee. It’s like the difference between a doctor and a nurse practitioner.

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