Chapter 149: Too Damn Small
Gibbs has a problem.
What's new about that? He usually has several of them at any given time, and some of them come back over and over. But this is the first time he's run into this particular one.
His basement is too damn small.
He started on the Shannon back in '12, when he knew retirement was on the horizon and wanted to get her done in time to sail off shortly after they make him leave NCIS. He figures that'll be the best way to handle those first few months. Get out to sea, away from the job, and just let go, cold turkey, come back a few months later and hopefully find something to do with himself on land.
So, now, as January of '15 is coming to a close, with a year to go until retirement, Shannon is getting pretty close to done. He's got a year to work, and about ten more months' worth of work to do on her.
But he's got two more jobs ahead. He needs to have a Chuppah done by April 4, (3rd really, apparently in Jewish weddings there's some sort of ceremony the night before involving signing the contract, and then the next day there's the ceremony he thinks of as a wedding.) and while McSciuto might not be due until July, he wants the crib done by the beginning of May. On the off chance she...it... he shakes his head, hell she, ends up coming early, she'll need a place to sleep.
So, the question is: try and finish Shannon up fast, move his shop upstairs, or try to squeeze three projects into a space that was already tight for one...
The Chuppah is primarily lattice work. It's got to be light, beautiful, flexible, and, because it's got to get from his place to the park where they're having the ceremony, collapsible. But it's also got to be strong enough to hold all of the flowers, vines, and lacy fabric that'll get draped around it. Once he's got all of the pieces cut, he can get them screwed together upstairs. But it'll be a two-step finishing process. The real finishing will happen before he gets all the pieces assembled, but he'll need to do a good, solid post assembly clean up as well, and the basement is where he's got his ventilation system for dealing with the dust that goes with that.
Then there's the crib. That'll require real joinery, serious planing, every piece has to be straight and square, and he's sure as hell going to do some carving on it, though he's not entirely certain what.
Since Tim and Abby are talking about a forest theme for the nursery, he knows one thing, the legs of the crib are going to be unshaped trees. He'll take the bark off, mostly because he knows little kids are rough on furniture and it'll get knocked off if he leaves it on. He wants the look of natural wood growing up from the floor. And there'll have to be a space on the back for the picture Abby wants to paint, but beyond that, he doesn't have a set idea, yet.
He's been debating putting off any real design work on the crib for finding out if McSciuto is a girl or boy. Everyone thinks she's a girl. Gibbs does, too. And if he's designing for a little girl, that'll make some of this easier. But at the same time, they don't know yet, won't until the beginning of April, and he's fairly certain this crib is not only going to be used by one child.
'Course, they have more than one kid, he can make more than one crib. And if they are going to have more than one, those kids are going to have to be pretty close together. Abby might look the same age Tim is, but Gibbs knows she's not. So, anyway, McSciuto might still be in this crib when Baby B shows up.
Gibbs is feeling like he's just talked himself into doing a girl's crib, until he once again remembers that they don't actually know that McSciuto is a girl.
Damn it. Okay, he can pick out the wood. That's a start. And then he can move onto the Chuppah. By the time that's done, they'll know for sure if she's a girl or boy, and then he can go from there.
He's thinking walnut for the slats, dark, almost black stain, and then the cross pieces can be maple, almost white. He sketches that out, quickly, looks at it with the natural tree legs and crumples it up. That didn't look right at all. He spends a few hours fooling around with different ideas, not really liking anything he was coming up with, besides the idea that some sort of small dragon should be crawling up one of the legs, face perched on the top, looking into the crib. He likes that idea a whole lot.
So he puts those sketches aside, and goes to work on the Chuppah.
The Chuppah's easier. That should be oak, strong, solid, slow-growing, but long-lived. He can see the pieces in his mind, long, tall, strong. He glances over to his band saw, knowing he's going to be ripping a whole lot of wood soon.
Which once again brings him to the problem of not having enough room. The band saw is packed up in the corner, because the Shannon is taking up most of the space.
He stands up, places a hand on her hull. That part is done. Normally his next step would be building the interior, followed by the deck. But if he puts the deck on her first, or at least something to keep the rain out and the hull intact, he can move her out, do his current projects, and move her back in.
And, if he's willing to let go of the secret of how his boats get out of the basement, Tim and Tony will help him do it, which would speed things up even further and make getting her back into the basement once he's done with the Chuppah and the crib easier.
Gibbs checks his watch. It's seventeen thirty on Saturday. So, grab a little food, then come back down here and get four hours of work done. They're on call this weekend, and he's got a feeling something is going to happen, so he wants to get to bed earlier rather than later.
His plan set, and one more problem checked off the list, Gibbs headed up to the kitchen.