Oct 19

Catober, Day 23

Oct 19

Just add sawdust

That parking deck, I said to a colleague yesterday, is like a sundial. The topic was how you could tell the time of day just by what floor you wind up parking on. I usually get the second level. Yesterday he barely got the fourth level, and almost had to park in the rain, horror of horrors. The bigger issue was he had to trudge up two more flights of stairs because anyone that rides that parking deck’s elevator will only do it the once.

But that parking is also a clock looking from the outside in, as well. There, at the turnaround onto the second deck, you get this view just before you hang a right:

Those trees are telling us a story and, right now, it is the best part of the morning drive.

This evening I got in just over an hour of sanding, which means I got one piece of the current, and perpetual, project halfway done.

At this rate, in three more hours I’ll be two-thirds of the way through the sanding.

No one likes sanding, but it is acceptable to like the process toward the result. If anything it slows the project down, though, just because you have to work up the morale to sit down and sand the wood that will make the darn thing. (Plus there’s the rest of your life to consider … ) For me, to know you’re going to get an hour here and there doesn’t really fit the workflow. People that can steal a few minutes and make progress, on any project, are geniuses. I need big blocks of time, for any kind of project, it seems. This is a problem with sanding, though, because I am doing this project entirely by hand and you can’t sand for hours at a time without having a shoulder fall off. So the problem is the sanding, really. Which no one likes.

The idea, which is well more than a year old, and which begin in December, picked up steam in April and then lulled its way into a soft summer slumber, is going to gain momentum in the next few weeks just because I am going to grit (Get it? That’s a sandpaper joke!) my teeth and push through.

Why, the next time we talk about this, I might be three-quarters of the way through the sanding.

Sanding, I think, is the part of the project where you really get to know the wood. And this particular lumber, which is a Western White Pine, is telling me a lot about itself.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s run. I got in four miles, which is the longest run since my April injury. I guess I’m on the slow road to recovery. Emphasis on slow.

Like my shutter! She’s both almost in, and definitely out of, focus:

Some years back, whenever they were planning that particular neighborhood, some designer drew these on a map. And a purchasing agent filled in some paperwork and then a delivery guy dropped off the order and a few people dug some holes and put these in the ground, just for moments like these:

So what you do today may take a bit of time to reflect its beauty. We may never see it, other projects and parts of life and all of that, maybe you just forget to go back and check. Other priorities, and all of that. Maybe it just never occurs to you. But there it is, out there, doing their thing, because someone got the thing started.

The trees on the path running behind our house:

That first rain of the fall, the first few leaves:

It’s easy to love the moment. But there will be more leaves, and then perhaps more rain. And that’ll turn to who knows what. Those moments are less easy for me to love. But that’s just me.

Oct 19

Catober, Day 22

Oct 19

Just add weekend

A fine fall weekend we had. It wasn’t long enough, but it was perfect and I didn’t do enough with it. So, yes, perfect indeed.

One would think that after a certain number of autumns you would be able to solve this contradiction. First you’d have to realize, though, that it isn’t a contradiction at all. But it is very much a thing.

Those pesky things.

Anyway, we had a lovely little bike ride on Saturday. It was a nice and warm and sunny day. We did it in the little ring, the point being lighter pedaling and a higher cadence, or something. We took one of the very traditional routes and cut it in half. Just the beginning and the end, if you please. And somewhere pretty early on I got dropped, long before it was respectable to be dropped to be frank.

But then there was the turn around and just before I got there, we crossed paths:

And then there were six-and-a-half miles back to the house. I chased on for about five of those miles before I finally got to close her down. That last mile was spent trying to bridge the final bit of the gap and get on her wheel. It was probably 20 minutes of pedaling like crazy, I had no more to give. How racers do that and then attack over the top escapes me.

Saturday night we sat on the deck and made S’mores and looked at the stars, which was pretty perfect.

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Just saying.

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On Sunday afternoon … we went for a walk.

Here’s the maple in our backyard:

We have a fruit tree which doesn’t bear fruit …

And we have a little creek that runs through the woods immediately behind our house. And I love being in the woods. A straight branch here, an almost right angle there, there’s so much personality to slowly feel your way through. Tracks, sounds of critters, curious holes in fallen trees, it all makes for a lovely experience.

This is well down the road, and almost into the string of houses on the other side of the woods, which are just as peaceful and full of magic and possibility:

It’s hard not to be romantic about a place like this:

The colors are just starting to go, too:

And we met a new neighbor, too. Behold, the friendly green frog:

She said he was also having a fine weekend. We’d probably heard her the night before. I’d like to her song all year-round. Alas.

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Oct 19

Catober, Day 21