Sunday, April 3, 2011

Working memories

I love it when a name drifts up from the deep memories...Rusty. (I even remember his last name but should probably keep it to myself. I suspect there are a few people out there would not care to be associated with me in any way, shape or form. You'll see why in a moment.)

Years and years (and years!) ago I spent a summer doing volunteer work at a camp for inner city kids. (Yep, I'm one of those damned bleeding heart liberals after all.) A church camp even. This was before Pat, Jerry, and Newt had a private meeting with God where it was revealed that he (god) is the world's Leading Conservative, liberals really are damned as well as having the whole thing wrong, and money shouldn't be spent on camps for inner city kids when those same funds can be invested in Wall Street and weapons. Not long after the country went stark raving mad, soon to be followed by a good part of the rest of the world. Religious leaders quit pretending to care about much other than keeping young women and gay people from having sex, (and in some parts of the world blowing each other up) and I quit pretending to believe anything religious leaders said.

But in the day's before we knew any better, Rusty and I worked that summer Church camp as the "stump pulling team." A forest area had been cleared to make a dirt track so the kids could learn to ride and race a batch of off-road motorcycles donated by Honda. (This was apparently before us damned liberals invented tort law and environmentalism, just to put a twist in the Big Guy's shorts.) Clearly the stumps had to be removed. I'm not sure why Rusty and I got the nod though he was a varsity wrestler and I on the varsity swim team, we were just 16, hopelessly enthusiastic, and near indestructible. (A good trait when one is spending 12 hours a day in the Pennsylvania summer hacking out tree stumps by hand.)

I thought of ol' Rusty yesterday because I was once again hacking away at a tree stump; this time in my back yard in Missouri. About half way through my right wrist gave up and I traded jobs with Deb. (My days of being near indestructible are long years past as well!) The stump eventually fell over, we planted a baby tree in its place, and thus the last of the really high effort tasks needing done on the house was complete. There is still stuff to do but it is easier, evening work to dress up the yard. It looks like we will make the May first date for putting the house on the market after all. (If you know anyone who wants a nice, 3 bedroom Condo in the Central West End of St. Louis, you might mention that you know of just such a place.)

With the house to-do list nearly under control we headed to the lake this morning. Alas, as much as I would like to feel Nomad under sail again the winds were steady at 20+ and gusting near 50 at times. Thinking it would be silly to break her now, it seemed best to leave our little Com-Pac tied safely to the pier. In addition to the wind the Corps has let all the water out of the lake in anticipation of spring floods. Well, no quite all of it, but at least one boat wasn't tied to her pier so much as stuck in the mud next to it. Makes it a bit hard to get underway, that.

With a little luck and some cooperation from the IL D.O.T. The Tartan may make its way from Chicago to Carlyle late next week. Add a little cooperation from the weather and the Army Corps of Engineers to raise the lake a bit, and she may even make it to the pier by this time next week. Its getting pretty close to exciting.

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