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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 4th To The Present

Had the place all spruced up.

Our friend, Gil, was there from July 1 through July 3. Then She-who-must-be-obeyed went to pick up Mother, and she arrived that afternoon.

Various desultory family stuff occurred.
My wife and I decided that we would pretend to be the butler/gardener/chauffeur and the cook/maid/charwoman for the weekend just for a lark. Well, we had a dry run in the previous week, but this would now be a full dress rehearsal with an audience/full house.

She-who-must-etc. had to leave early on the 4th, so she made the dinner, then ate her own at 5:00 PM, and took off to go home and get ready for a trip to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island the following day.

That left Mater and me, the butler, to deal with a dinner fully prepared, and an audience that was not quite half way through the cocktail hour.

My nephew corralled them all into dinner.

After all had eaten, there was surprise that Cook had not made preparations for a fine dessert.

A good time for all.

I came back later to do repairs on the dock. My friend gave me advice on how best to replace a series of upright columns that supported the hand railing, and I made plans. We would have to stand in the water - ruling out electric tools - and drill new holes in the 4"x6" boards that supported the planking on the dock, and line up those new holes with holes cut in 4"x4" posts, then stick a 1/2" carriage bolt through them, put a washer and nut on the end, and tighten with a deep socket.

Checking Lowe's, Home Depot, and Lumber Jack, I found everything I needed. I bought augers and drill bits, but soon discovered my grandfather and father had a complete array of augers from 1/16" through 20/16", all about 10" long.
I also found drill bits,  but they had not been sharpened, so I used a new one.
(nb:  4"x4"x8' posts at Lumber Jack were $3.18 less than anywhere else!!)

I also found 2 hand drills,  one was the kind that uses circular motion of the hand to a circular motion of the drill chuck:
 example of a hand drill

the other was more ancient yet and was a gear driven manual drill with a breast or stomach plate allowing one to apply force with the body as well as the left hand while turning the gears with the right hand:
 an example to show what I have termed the breastplate (the red curved plate on the upper left)

The actual tools:

They worked very well, and the repairs were done in 3 hours.

two of the new posts

There is more to do. Much of the planking has to be replaced. Now with high water, the waves thrown by passing freighters knocks some of the old planks off. 
They are old. My father said they were from wood rescued from old Detroit Western High School when it burned back in 1935. I believe it. They could no longer hold paint over the winter, so porous they'd become.

I found myself experiencing an odd feeling as I used my grandfather's tools. I mean, I had done many, many chores around the old pile, but I had never really used these old tools. And now I felt very much knocked out of time a  bit, and sort of wavering in the world between where the everyday-ego put me and where the memory-ego put me.

I was in the realm of the ancestors.
For the first time in my life, I had a glimpse of what power ancestors may indeed have upon the present; not just memories, but feelings that are strong and which remain strong unless we trivialize them with popular psychological nonsense.

I tried to just go with the feeling. This is the exact time when people say things like "I feel at one with my grandpa" or "I am channeling my grandfather" or "I am communing with the past", and then feel all very inspired to some very blurry and undefined end.

I think it is better just to let the feeling or intuition - whatever it is - flow along while you bob up and down on it like a rowboat filled with lazy fishermen sleeping after lunch in Muskamoot Bay... returning home at 5:30 PM smelling of strong drink, and not having the truth in them!

Gandalf stopped by to have a beer and try to get me to go on another adventure. This time I turned him down quite definitely.


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