W.A. Coolidge Company is a full service construction company serving the Seacoast of New Hampshire, Maine, and Northern Massachusetts. The owners, Wayne A. Coolidge and Wendy A. Wentworth Coolidge have been partners for over 30 years. We specialize in high quality residential and commercial building, renovations, and restorations.
The Coolidge Company is about flexibility, innovation, and results. Our company will focus on your precise wishes in order to deliver cost-effective solutions to any project. We strive to offer superior quality by using and overseeing the best and reliable subcontractors and suppliers in the area. We believe that every project that we undertake will be completed within a timely fashion as if it was our personal home. We offer first class craftsmanship and attention to detail from start to finish. We want to make your dream project a reality along with providing a fun and memorable experience.
The existing pressure treated deck system was stripped down to the framing members and then finished with Azek decking and Azek railings to create a beautiful pool party deck. (Dover, NH)
By: Wayne Coolidge
Happy spring! Yes, I know, the ground is still covered with snow and more is in the forecast. But it is just a matter of time before the days warm up and it all melts away. When it does, we will be faced with a yard that needs the annual spring clean up, which reminds me of what happened last spring. So, I thought I would use this opportunity to write a helpful public service announcement.
After a long winter of plowing, it was maintenance time for my tractor as I had a fuse that needed to be replaced. As I was laying there checking the fuses, something ran out from the engine compartment to my right, brushed against my head, and was gone. In that flash of a second, my ‘fight or flight’ instincts took over. Maybe because I wasn’t sure what had just happened - flight was my paramount reaction. Did you know that ‘flight’ is often accompanied by a sound emitted that resembles the scream of a frightened little girl? I sprung up from the floor board; I let out a scream; and stood there wondering what the hell just happened.
As time passed and I didn’t see anything moving, I decided to take a closer look. I peered into the engine compartment, under the seat, and through the backhoe hydraulic lines – there was nothing there. I convinced myself that maybe I had just imagined it. As my accelerated heartbeat subsided, I laid back down to finish the job.
Within a minute - damn if it didn’t happen again. But this time I saw it was a mouse. I was able to choke back a scream (well maybe a little sound came out…) and I watched it scurry into the backhoe machinery. There it sat, looking up at me, mocking me. I made a lunge at it in hopes that it would jump off and run away. No such luck – it ran back to the engine compartment. This cat and mouse game went on for a few minutes when I came to the realization that I was being outsmarted by a mouse.
Oh I don’t think so, this was getting personal, game on! I grabbed my leaf blower and figured I would blow if off the tractor. Damn – that didn’t work either. That little mouse was always able to hide behind something as a wind break. Hmm… no way was I giving up and admitting defeat. I had one more trick up my sleeve. We live on a dirt road, which at this time of the year, was full of pot holes. I put the tractor in high gear, headed off down the road, and aimed for every pot hole I could find. I know the neighbors saw me speeding down the road, bouncing all over the place, and laughing like a crazy person. I’m sure they just shook their heads and said, “Oh there goes Wayne again…”
But it worked – I never saw that mouse again! Oh sure, I may have overreacted to the mouse incident, but it was probably because of what had happened to me the previous year... The lawn needed mowing so I got out the riding mower. It was a very warm spring day and I was wearing shorts. You know the kind when you sit down, the cloth bunches up and kind of creates a cavity along the inside of your legs? So I drove the mower down to the front section of the lawn before I engaged the mower blades. I had my headsets on, a bottle of water, and I was going to kick back for a couple hours and just enjoy mowing the lawn. I reached across the steering wheel, pulled back the lever to engage the mower, probably even increasing a space between my shorts and leg a little – when it happened. It happened so fast I can’t remember all the details, but I remember that feeling against the skin on the inside of my leg.
Just as the mower blades roared into action, something inside the engine compartment got startled and came flying out of that slot. In that instant I felt something very unfamiliar on the inside of my leg. As I quickly looked down, I saw the body and then the tail of a snake as it disappeared into the cavity of my shorts.
I can’t recall the exact sequence of events that happened next because it was complete pandemonium and chaos that happened simultaneously, but I know that I catapulted out of the mower seat, somehow pulled the snake out of my pants, and hysterically screamed like a girl.
Oh sure, I can hear the jokes now… “So you have a big snake in your pants…” Well, that punchline was not very funny at the time.
So take it from someone with experience - when you take your equipment out this spring, check inside the engine compartment, under the seat, and anywhere else a critter could be hiding. You'll thank me later.
Tip of the Month: July
Household Tip: Fold your sheets and put them in one of the matching pillow cases for a neat and tidy shelf. Next time you need a change of bed sheets, everything is easily accessible!