I am having my back deck screened in. Three carpenters started two weeks ago. I've always heard that it helps to offer beer at the end of the week, so I decided to offer them some bourbon that I picked up on my recent KY trip.
The first week, we made plans for a drink after work on Friday. But, on that Friday afternoon, one of the carpenters fell from the roof through the open skylight (no glass in there yet) and onto the deck. Compound fracture above the ankle, shattered heel. As you might guess, the other two carpenters quit work early, so there was no toast that night.
I had set my sights on this past week, but I had been working overtime all week and had not had a chance to talk to the two original and one replacement carpenter. Unfortunately, one of the original carpenters dropped dead from a heart attack this past Thursday in the street in front of my house. He was having chest pains and was on the way to the doctor when the attack occurred.
The last original carpenter and the replacement showed up at work on Friday morning, very bummed but ready to work. The remaining carpenter mentioned waiting till the job was done until we had the bourbon; we would have a drink in Charlie's (the deceased) honor. I agreed.
But, I got home from work early on Friday. At quitting time, I looked at the carpenters and it was obvious that the time was now. I pulled out a bottle of Elmer T. Lee single barrel and we sat under the trees in the back yard.
We had planned on just a drink, but we got to talking and I could see that the good conversation (and bourbon) was helping them relax after a stressful week. We spent about 2.5 hours under the trees and emptied that bottle.
I realized we were all drinking alot of bourbon, but they had to drive (and I didn't since I was already home). I didn't want to turn them away, but I didn't want one of them to be the third victim, so I had more than my fair share. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice yourself for the good of your fellow man. ;-)
On Saturday morning, in retrospect, drinking less would have been more prudent, but doing so would have also created less of a memory. I really enjoyed the prior evening and it was apparent that they did too.