Now it’s March, and I’ve been hiding from my impending adventure. I’ve been playing music, enjoying the winter rhythm, ice skating, playing electronic games and...cleaning the barn. There is a connection. My boat needs a place to winter and I need a workspace to begin preparing fishing gear for the season.
A paragraph to set the stage. The barn could be accessed by walking sideways, stepping over, crawling under a tangle of garden implements, power equipment, tools, kites, boogie boards, lawn chairs, carboard boxes we might want to use someday, flower pots, lumber in every length and width, just plain trash, a dozen or so rental bikes, strollers, hula hoops, lawn decorations and a waffer-thin after dinner mint. So far, just an average family stuff depot. In addition, however, lurking darkly under and behind the fluorescent plastic kid and family items, are an assortment of industrial wood and metal working tools from the age of steam when everything was built locomotive style. The metal behemoths are accessorized with many, many bushels of metal pulleys, wheels, rusted auto parts, broken and seized tools, scrap iron, belts, hoses, two engine blocks and lots of things I can’t identify.
Cleaning out the barn was a worthy challenge. Many days were spent carrying, skidding, prying-sometimes just for that next half inch. Remarks got uttered. This island of Matinicus puts one in touch with two conflicting priorities which make me a Distraught Fellow. First , you shouldn’t throw away that axle because you might need it some day. Second, there’s no leaving things on the curb for the recycling truck. The cheapness of things and the work it takes to manage an overabundance of them. The dearness of space to move and function.
The bandsaw, drill press and one of the lathes have homes now thanks to Craigslist, Uncle Henry’s, John Deere and R.K.. The larger lathe, weighing a ton and a half give or take a quarter, is still standing like Eeyore at the end of the driveway. The totes of metals are off to be recycled. The town recycling program has experienced a surge in patronage. Goodwill got some things. A practice burn pile got a little larger. I owe some big favors.