A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Tyson’s new paddles from KayakWays

May 2, 2011
Emilie Phillips

It looks like we may be done with skiing for the year. Weather and snow conditions were such that we could have gone these past two weekends, but the todo list loomed a bit too high.

Saturday a week ago we performed paddle transmutation. We started the day with two paddles in the car and ended the day with two different paddles in the car. One of the paddles was a shiny new fancy paddle Tyson had won at a raffle that neither of us really wanted. We donated that one to the Maine Island Trail Association for their fundraiser auction. The other paddle was a loaner from Turner who was building Tyson two new paddles. The new paddles had taken longer than expected for various reasons, but they were to the point where they just needed sanding and oiling. We got the tour of Cheri and Turner’s barn and workshop, and then we spent the afternoon sanding with some instruction here and there. At the same time, there were three people skinning their boats so we watched that too.

On the drive back, Tyson had picked out an alternate back roads route. The only problem was it had snowed a couple inches up in Maine whereas it was only raining in southern NH. Thus we had brought the Honda Fit with 3 season tires rather than the Subaru with snow tires. At first the back roads were ok. But then we got on one with less traffic and it started heading downhill. Not liking the look of it, we slid to a stop. We got the car turned around with some effort and pushing. Even with pushing, we were not getting back up. Scraping a path clear in front of the tires and pushing was making slow progress. Luckily, some locals with a pickup truck came by and were nice enough to give us a tow back up the hill. From there we headed to bigger roads.

Back at home, I started sanding and staining the garage stairs. They were unfinished from construction and were in danger of being one of those projects that never gets done after you move in. So I am happy to report that as of yesterday, I have gotten two coats of stain and two coats of polyurethane on them and consider myself done. I dithered a bit on how to stain them. At one point I had been thinking I would just varnish them, but after they had been walked on all winter, I wanted something to camouflage the marks I did not sand off. During sanding I also discovered that the risers were a different wood than the treads. The risers were also paint grade or worse. I debated for a while what to do that would look reasonable. I ended up deciding to stain the risers a dark color and the treads a light color. My hope is that the tendency to look at the lighter color object will make people not pay as much attention to the risers even though the dark stain brought out a bunch of character in them.

Spring, flowers, and greenery have been sprouting up pretty much everywhere except our yard. So we did something about it this weekend. Tyson borrowed the neighbor’s tractor and we picked up a lot of the logs lying right around the house. There is still tons more to do. We got one patch on the east side of the house completely cleaned up and turned into a delightful patch of green blueberry bushes. We also went to the local plant nursery and bought a few plants to put along the garage.