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Hellooooo down there!

Hellooooo down there!

You guys remember that post last winter, right?  The one where Barry made me…I mean convinced me…to banish my fears and come up on the roof on roof-shoveling day.  Remember the shaking in the boots?  The utter fear?  The palpitating heart?

But I did it.  Stepped off the ladderand gingerly inched across the slippery roof to the chimney.  It was a day to remember. 

I did it for the Blog.  And later did it one more time for chimney cleaning. To overcome fear.  To reach for the skies, as they say.  And to have something to write about it for the blog.

Something happened on Saturday that brought those memories immediately to the forefront.

Barry is building an addition onto the garage to house his new 1976 twenty-four foot Sea Ray boat.  I shouldn’t call it “new” any more.  He’s had it for almost a year and a half.  It’s his baby.  Right now the boat is still at the fiberglass “doctor” up in Chassell getting medical attention.  (It’s been up there a lot this year.)

The boat wouldn’t fit in the garage, so guess what?  Several months ago the husband gets the smart idea he needs to build on to the garage.  So he can work on the boat during the winter months.  (Heaven knows how much this boat is going to cost us by the time it gets in the water…and then we don’t even want to think about what it will cost us then…)

So he’s been steadfastly building the little addition despite all the weather challenges this autumn.

The whole enchilada

The whole enchilada

The other day he comes in the house looking rather sheepish.  Oh no, Trouble.  You can just tell.

“Honey, can you come out and lend me a hand on the addition?”

“Oh sure,” I agree breezily, not really thinking what this means.

Out we go.

We reach the garage.  He gestures toward the ladder with his hammer. 

“Can you climb up there and hold the end of a board while I pound it in?”  he asks.

(Here’s where all my maturity, spiritual or otherwise, completely deserts me.  Here is where whining sets in.  It is terrible.)  I am back to quivering knees, a pit in the stomach, absolute fear.  At first I tell him “No way, absolutely no way, am I going to climb that ladder, what are you thinking about, I can’t do it, where are your friends?  No, no, no!” 

But then, sucker that I am for attempting to overcome fear, I climb slowly slowly up the darn ladder, almost to the top….and then scurry down to the bottom almost in tears.

“NO I CAN’T DO IT!”  I cry. 

“Yes, you can,” the carpenter says.  “Come on, Kathy, I really need you to help.”

Noooooooooooooooooooooo!”

But once again I climb up the terrible ladder, and with shaking sweating palms thrust the feet onto the scaffold.  Yep, I’m up there.  OK.  It’s been done.

Carpenter-husband starts to work, pounding.  I obediently hold my end of the board.  Pound, pound.  I start peeking around, wishing for the camera.  Where is the camera when you need it?  How could you go anywhere without it?

The Man with the Rafters

The Man with the Rafters

Then it’s time to descend the ladder.  Almost as scary.  It’s  a long long way down there.  OK, breathe deep.  Don’t think.  Just step down, one foot at a time.  (Excuse the crappy-looking shoes.  They are the garden/work shoes, not the dressy sneaker variety.)

Long...way...down

Long...way...down

So fast-forward to yesterday.  I kid you not, this is what happened.  Before we decided to drive to Silver Mountain (or in the middle of deciding) I realized I had no blog.  And remembered the scaffold incident.  And said to Barry, “Hey, give me the camera, I’m going up and taking pics for the blog.”

And proceeded to climb up the ladder, all nine and a half feet onto the scaffold, without even thinking. Without a moment of fuss.  With no fear.  Stood around and snapped photos and effortlessly walked down the ladder.

Looking down on our little house in the big woods

Looking down on our little house in the big woods

Which goes to show you.  When you need photos or material for a blog, you’ll do just about anything.

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OK, I’m warning you all.  This blog may get a little mushy.  And it’s not even our anniversary until next month. 

This blog is for my husband Barry.  Because he’s the best.  Seriously.  He has been one of the best supporters of this outdoor commitment.  Many days he waxes enthusiastically about how wonderful this is.  How it’s been one of the best years, ever.  How we’ve done more things than usual, visited more places than usual, experienced more adventures.  He loves to read these blogs.  (I suspect that’s because he’s a writer and photographer himself.)  He’s a newspaper editor who writes a column usually once a week.  He says: “I can’t believe it.  You have to write a column every night.” 

See why I love the guy? 

Therefore, tonight’s blog is devoted to show and tell about his big project.  What is exciting him. But don’t worry, I went outside today.  Mostly sat on the deck.  But for at least an hour or two. So I think that counts.  I also went outdoors to help him with his project.  Which you will see in the following photograph.

Can you guess what lies hidden under this tarp?

Can you guess what lies hidden under this tarp?

A show of hands now, please.  Anyone know what is hidden beneath the tarp, sticking half inside and half outside the garage? 

Well, obviously some of you know.

It’s his pride, his beauty, his love (besides me, that is.)  It’s his 24-foot 1976 hard top Sea Ray boat.  He purchased it for a lark as a fixer-upper about a year ago.  And he’s been fixing it up.  It recently returned home from the fiberglass doctor up in Chassell.  And he’ll soon be returning it for more work on the transom, as soon as the motor gets pulled.

And guess what happened today?  With the boat backed in to the garage and tarped, he pulled the motor.  It was a big day at the Drue household.  You have never seen a happier man. 

Would you like to see a picture of the engine?

The boat engine

The boat engine

There is a little strange story attached to this boat.  As he was cleaning up the area behind the swim platform (after taking it off) a face revealed itself where the screws were attached.  What do you think?  Does it look like a ship’s captain peering out at us from the fiberglass?

Who can see the captain's face staring out from the back of the boat?

Who can see the captain's face staring out from the back of the boat?

On that note, it’s time to sign off for the night. It’s been a full day.  A lovely weekend.  The temperature even reached 72 degrees tonight.  The wind stopped blowing like crazy.  Hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend!

Hidden beauty behind the condo

Hidden beauty behind the condo

Good evening.  I’m tempted to start counting days that remain here in southern Florida before the big silver & red plane rises through the clouds and soars toward the Midwest.  Tomorrow, Tuesday and then…heading back to snow country on Wednesday. 

But we won’t dwell in the future for more than a second.  Let’s stay here in the present.  I’ll show you some more random photos tonight, probably not embedded in any coherent tale.  The above photo shows the view you’ll see peeking through a curtain of leaves overlooking a backwater channel.  I love tiptoeing back there and peering in the underbrush. 

A wise person looks around for alligators and snakes.  Mom says there’s a small alligator sunning away over on the golf course, about a mile away.  Otherwise, you never see any of the scaly exotic beasts.  If I see one, I want an escape route, especially if it starts slinking this-away.

Close up leaf veins

Close up leaf veins

So, what was today’s outdoor adventure?  Let’s pick two.  The first really fun time happened this morning around the pool.  After looking for a manatee or dolphin for you for ten minutes (sigh…) I gathered a notebook and began writing down by the pool.  Oh can you imagine the joy to write outside?  No freezing fingers!  Oh luxury! 

I probably shouldn’t tell you about what I wrote.  You will scurry away from this blog and never return, convinced you’re dealing with a mentally-suspect person.  But it was such fun!  Since it was Sunday, I was praising life, the Universe, God and the swimming pool with gusto in the white notebook pages.  Trying to put it all on paper, you know. 

But then I got a little carried away and started imagining if inanimate objects could talk…what they might say.  When I started writing about the beach towel on the nearby reclining beach chair, and what it might say…it was probably time to close the notebook and take a hike.   We creative folks tend to get carried away sometimes. (This is an exercise in the book “The Artist’s Way” called “Morning Pages” where you write whatever stray thoughts wander through your mind…a fascinating and fun process.)

Tropical blossom

Tropical blossom

Later in the evening my mom, dad and I took cold drinks out to the boat, along with our books and magazines, and read.  The folks own a deck boat, which resembles a pontoon.  We’re hoping to go out on it tomorrow or Tuesday. It’s been so windy we’ve not ventured out on the Back Bay yet. 

As we were reading, a few boats motored by in the channel.  My mom uttered, “I wonder if there would be an interesting picture…” and just as she spoke a manatee surfaced!  I grabbed the camera, turned it on and focused.  The manatee disappeared.  Never to re-appear.  It’s going to be a gift of the Universe if we photograph one of these elusive fellows in the next few days. 

I bought three books today at Borders, using a Christmas gift card.  No lack of reading material now! 

Finally, one of the best parts of being in Florida:  enjoying the tropical fruit.  Oh look at this papaya cut open!  Are your taste buds salivating?  Leaving you all now and heading to the frig for a juicy morsel…

Yummy papaya (before seeds scooped out)

Yummy papaya (before seeds scooped out)

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