Summer Time

Writing isn’t a summer time sport.  When the weather is warm it’s time for travels with family, being in the garden, working in my shop, walking – almost anything other than sitting at my desk writing.

I’ve got tons of things I could be writing.  The daily notes of our river trip are still on my screen.  There’s a poetry collection I’m six poems into.  There’s my novel, blog posts, and a short story concept I’d like to try (the whole story is told with book titles).

Then there was this whole dental issue that slowed me down.  I had to have gum surgery and for two weeks I could only eat soft foods and was in a bit of discomfort the first week.  Didn’t feel like doing much during that time.  I was thinking about writing about it, but what can you really say about yogurt and cottage cheese?

I guess I should be able to come up with something amusing about yogurt.  I was able to eat scrambled eggs – eggs have more humor potential than yogurt so I guess I could have written about that.  How about brushing teeth?  I had to be careful about that right after surgery.  Let me think – anything amusing happen while brushing my teeth?

humm,  I’ll have to get back to you on that. 

But it is summer and last weekend I went out to work on the irrigation system in our front yard.  That was mostly just changing a few spray heads and adjusting things.  Because of the surgery I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavy for a couple of weeks.  A spray head only weighs a few ounces so I was able to talk Heather into letting me do that.

I did write last Sunday afternoon, but all I got was a poem for my lectionary project.  It was really hard to write with all the warm air blowing around and the smell of wood wafting in from the workshop.

This last winter I wrote a lot on cold Sunday afternoons, but became dissatisfied with my desk.  I don’t like my desk.  Not enough room to spread out books I’m researching.  No bookcase within arm’s reach and I don’t have enough room for all the financial and banking records I keep up on (when I do them and am not complaining about my desk).

So I decided that I should rebuild my desk, which turned into a, “Let’s rebuild everything in the office” project.  It took me months to do the planning and I now have detailed drawings in SketchUp, a real cut list, and notes on how to build the whole thing.

When done, it will be a great desk.

Heather told me it will be my last desk, as this is the third time I’ve rebuilt it since we’ve been married.  Really?  Only three times?  Maybe I counted moving the desk as a rebuild.

Anyway, yesterday I went over to the lumber yard and filled my car with red oak plywood and two different thicknesses of solid red oak lumber.  I haven’t decided if wood is getting heavier or if I am getting weaker, but that stuff was heavy.  I used to be able to lift a 90 pound 4×8 sheet of plywood with ease – yesterday it was hard work.  Strange.

All that physical labor left me too tired to type.  I did think about all the cool things I’ll write when I finish my new desk, but didn’t take notes.  There’s no room on the desk for a notepad in any case.

I don’t really have room in my shop for all the wood I bought so it had to be rough cut and moved into the atrium.  The new desks (Heather gets a new one too), and new bookcases required four sheets of oak plywood and something like 20 million board feet of solid lumber.  Okay, maybe a little closer to 30 board feet – let just say the ten foot long boards are heavy.

I’d say one board is about 40 pounds – at least that’s what it felt like when I dropped one on my foot. Any idea how long it takes for a bruise to show up on your foot?

Speak of feet, did I mention that we took the grandkids kayaking on Lake Tahoe? It was a fun day and I managed to get a sunburn – on my feet. Just my feet.  Seriously, just my feet. That was going to be a funny blog post about how my feet hurt.

So today, being a sunny day I setup the table saw on the driveway and started doing all the basic rough cuts for the desk.  This is the basic part of woodworking, cutting big pieces of wood into little pieces (later you glue them back together to make big pieces).  Once cut smaller, the wood is easier to move around, and less dangerous to my feet.

I was thinking of skipping writing today as now both my feet and back hurt after a day on the driveway in the summer sun cutting heavy bits into lighter bits.

But I thought that I should post a little something just to say that it’s summer time and I don’t expect to write much until fall.

Till next time,


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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30 Responses to Summer Time

  1. George says:

    Ice cream….you didn’t mention ice cream after you had your gum surgery. That would make everything better.
    It really is kind of sobering when the stuff you used to throw around when you were younger becomes a bit more difficult when we get older…:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • I wasn’t allowed to very hot or very cold foods … sigh, ice cream, ice cubes, tea, lattes, no – talk about torture. I think gravity is getting stronger I couldn’t possibly getting weaker (better living through denial).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dodgy teeth, crook feet. Sounds like you need glueing back together. Seriously though, I repurposed a large glass top dining table as a desk many years ago. I now refuse to part with it. It has done more years of service as a desk than it did as a table and its huge. Room for two computers, printers and all sorts of desk essentials. I go weak at the knees thinking about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ow, your poor foot! But despite the injuries, I envy you your new desk-to-be. I’m still using a third-hand monster I got for $25 back in 1989(ish), although I did splurge on one of those adjustable-height tables so I can work standing up part of the time. I keep meaning to pull out the drawers in the ancient desk and replace the wood-on-wood sliders with new full-extension drawer glides. But that’s been on my to-do list for a couple of decades now, so… hmm. Maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got one of those adjustable desks at work. Fortunately I still have a chair so I’m not required to stand. The slides will cost more that $25, so maybe just keep that project on the todo list…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra says:

    I’m glad you were able to share a little of what is currently holding you back, Andrew. I think the heat alone stifles creativity, and you’ve had more than that to contend with. We have a little bird, sometimes I’ll swear it’s the same one, a Black Phoebe that returns to our backyard every fall. She appeared yesterday after a summer hiatus! I took that as a very good sign. Take care of yourself and you’ll be back to writing soon, I’m sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So personally, I think you need to spend a little bit more time writing… It seems that it’s the only activity you do of late that doesn’t injure you! And I hope you put some ice on that foot after your dropped the board on it… I bet the bruise is really pretty! You know, I’ve been wondering how the buckets of cat litter I buy at the store keep getting heavier. I got excited at first because I thought they put more litter in it (bigger bang for my buck!), but, sadly, no. It’s me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. CJ Hartwell says:

    Remember the notebook I told you I bought — “Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams” — it holds all my writing ideas. Right now it holds three. That’s all I managed before I was distracted by the lovely weather.
    I’m hoping my first Minnesota winter will prove very productive for me, writing-wise, but I’m trying to keep my expectations down. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lorieb says:

    I hear you, my posts are few and far between during summer too!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think you should buy a car….get a Ford Focus…..maybe that would help you…lol. Sometimes writing is a dreaded evil and better to reorganize whatever we can to lessen the dreaded evil.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A very entertaining post, Andrew. I have found that as I have grown older, the ground is farther away and gravity has gotten stronger.

    I bet the smell of fresh-cut Red Oak in the air went a long way to assuaging the bumps and bruises in your back and feet.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Good grief–why would you have time for writing? I know what you mean about stuff that used to be light now being heavy. Lifting my dog into the car comes to mind.

    I’ve done nicely writing my novel but not so well on blog posts. I too hope with the fall, it will improve.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. dorannrule says:

    Good luck with those desks! And may you be happily engaged until winter blogging urges re-emerge.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. pommepal says:

    My desktop computer has just died and gone in for “diagnostics” it will be AWOL for I don’t know how long. So now I am lounging on the lounge with the iPad and the desk looks strangely empty and bigger…. Been there with teeth/gum woes and slushy foods, I lost 13 kilograms…..

    Liked by 3 people

  13. cath says:

    Changing desks seems perfectly reasonable to me. But then, I am forever moving mine around, and my office is tiny. It always seems like the perfect displacement activity for a writer 🙂 Now the dental work is out of the way, it sounds like you’re geared up for a lovely summer.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Make the most of the good weather. Recovering from surgery is always difficult.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Pied Type says:

    When I inherited a laptop from my son, I moved from my desk to the couch and never looked back. Still, a custom designed desk would be really nice to have.

    Liked by 3 people

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