Monday, November 18, 2013

Loft Ladder

On Friday we took an excursion to Leroy Jordan Lumber Company in search of a less than run of the mill (arr arr) type of lumber for my loft ladder.  While I dearly love Leroy Jordan, they didn't have a ton of selection for this particular project.  They did however have a referral for me that was nothing short of spectacular, and just around the corner.

Allow me to broaden your horizons as mine were broadened yesterday, and introduce you to Hardwood Lumber Company of Dallas on Goodnight Lane.  If you have any appreciation for lumber and woodworking, this place will make your eyes cross.  And the staff - customer service like you have never seen it before.  But let me back up.

When we pulled up, it was an unassuming garage looking type place in an industrial part of town.  Details were hazy as to where the front door was, and parking was initially elusive.  We were greeted when we wandered in, and after explaining what I was looking for (talk about hazy!) we were turned loose to wander.  And wander we did.  We poked around dusty planks stacked to the ceiling, the names noted in a Sharpie on the board ends.  We admired the enormous mill work machinery and the obvious works in progress - butcher blocks, counter tops - we touched and inhaled the aroma of freshly cut lumber and our eyes rolled back in our heads.  The warehouse ended and we passed through what was akin to a portal to yet another warehouse.  Exotic woods I'd never heard of raised up in neatly stacked albeit dusty piles many feet over my head.  

After a bit a kind gentleman approached us and asked if anyone had properly welcomed us.  He exuded the joy of someone who truly loves what he's doing.  He toured us around the warehouse, full of stories and anecdotes, ideas and advice.  Time flew by.   He had great ideas and I willingly followed his lead, adding in my own stories and ideas, and ultimately pulling out my construction plans to share.

He was patient and so informative, and all the while very aware of staying within a reasonable price range and scheming for me to be able to get everything out of one board to be economical.  The final choice?  African Mahogany!   Seriously!

Tom discussing lumber details
Once we selected the type of lumber, we went into the office to discuss details.    Tom and I in an animated conversation when I heard snickering from behind a computer monitor.  I peered around it and saw another employee.  He had a customer, and then there was another young lady waiting for someone to help her.  Word was out that I had photos of my project, and I pulled out my phone for show & tell.  The room turned into a tiny house love fest - and I got that buoyant feeling that carries me when I tell my story.  

We were there a long time - a much larger part of the day than I had planned to dedicate to my loft ladder, and even though the stop was VERY FUN, I was a little discouraged that we had "lost" so much of the day without tangible progress.  Our plan was to zip into Leroy Jordan, zip through Home Depot and then go back to the house and frame out the kitchen closet and cabinets.  Going to a third, unplanned lumberyard and spending that much time there was not in the plan.  But here's what I've learned:  enjoy the journey.  Embrace the opportunity to tell my story and share my dream, and allow others who want to be involved be a part of it.  My days don't always go as planned, but I've learned to go with the flow, and I've learned that there is always a reason that things happen.  I may not know what the reason is at the time, but it's always revealed to me in time.

We left Dallas Hardwood Company with the agreement that Tom would call me on Monday or Tuesday to pick up my lumber.  Tom would mill/plane the lumber to my custom sizes, sand all four sides, and cut the rungs for me.  Exciting! 

On Sunday morning I awakened to an email in my InBox, sent to me via my Google+ Profile.  It was from the young lady who was in the lumberyard office Friday morning.  She works for a major local news publication, and she wrote, "I don't know if you remember me, but I met you briefly ... on Friday.  I was so inspired by your story and told my editor who also thinks [your story] is great.  I'm wondering if you'd be interested in doing an interview for a story.  We'd love to come out and take some pictures of you and your house and get the word out about the tiny house community you are looking to start."

And so on Thursday afternoon... I'll do my best to speak coherently, and be camera ready.  I am just astounded and am really really excited!  When the story comes out, I'll be sure and link to it. : )

Tom standing in front of an entire stack of African Mahogany lumber

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