Sustainable NE Seattle

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WORM BIN 101: A BEGINNING COURSE EVEN FOR THOSE MALADAPTED TO HAMMERING AND SAWING

The last thing I ever constructed was two Xs with an attached bar, supposedly made to hold a large terrarium jar: it collapsed upon first use, breaking the jar and spilling the startled inhabitants across the floor. The only hammering I accomplished was in our kitchen 30 years ago while living in Antwerp, Belgium: I hit a water pipe and succeeded in flooding the kitchen on a Sunday morning, requiring an emergency call to a plumber friend who chuckled incessantly at my ineptitude with tools.

So, given this known dexterity disability of sorts, why would I present myself publicly to ridicule at the pro-offered “Worm Bin Building Session” offered by Susan and Joel at their attractive home in Seattle on Sunday, 19 April? Well, my best friend and ex-wife, Eleanor, knowing my lack of skill with tools volunteered to accompany and take hammer and saw in hand as needed. What a wonderful person!!!!

Arriving twenty minutes past the appointed hour on a gloriously warm and sunny Seattle day, we were greeting cordially by all—Leo, Guy, Linda, Margaret, Maia, Christina, Sarah, and, of course, Susan and Joel. Karen joined us a bit later. Sheets of plywood lay at the ready, along with Worm Bin plans, looking initially like some complex NASA rocket diagram. Nails, 2 X 4 boards, and tools, tools, tools were all available.

Guy strapped on his carpenters vest, laden with various and sundry tools and began competently marking off divisions of the large plywood sheets; Leo proceeded to cut 2 X 4 boards to the appropriate lengths. My job initially: hold the end of the marking chalk string (Hey, I could do that!!!!) and move the cut boards off the non-cut plywood stack, marking them in pencil with their position (end, top, bottom---see, I’m not so incompetent!).

A routine set in the back garden of Susan and Joel’s place. Laughter and chatter abounded. Eleanor—my lifesaver ex-mate---was pounding away on bottom boards adding the required 2 X 4s. Everyone joined in; everyone had a task; everyone contributed to the finished product. I advanced to Chief Bottom Hole Driller (a certificate attesting to said proficiency is ‘in the mail,’ I am advised).

We put together (note the ‘WE’) 8 worm bins for the attendees at the friendly cost of $24 per Worm Bin. What a bargain! And what a good time was had by all. I never touched a saw or a hammed but I contributed to a wonderful afternoon and now have a Worm Bin happily doing its thing in my back garden. Every time I look at it I think---hey, I made that thing---well, with a lot of help and a lot of fun.

Thanks to Susan and Joel for organizing this great event and to all the other participants for their forbearance with my ineptitudes. And special thanks to Eleanor, who knew my skills and still went with me and participated to the full. Memories are made of this.

Milton D Jones

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