Mondays, maybe it would be best to skip them altogether. Go right to Tuesday. Since it’s the beginning of the week , it’s a good time to start a plan. I will admit I am not too good with plans. I am a free spirit, a liberal arts major. That’s why I am not too good at carpentry.
Okay. I realize that needs some explanation. This morning started with a plan. My buddy Duane and I were supposed to get back to our logging job. We were supposed to go to the woods. We took a break in mid December to do sleigh rides. During the holidays one must make hay while the sun shines. Then came the cold spells in January. It’s not fun to log when the high for the day is 5 below. Besides it is down right dangerous to cut trees when the wind is 20 mph, not to mention the wind chill is 30 below. The truth is, it is a pretty rough blowdown salvage job. It’s hard work and we are feeling our ages. We will get it done. We are just being reasonable and becoming very good at rationalizing. Besides we are both retired. There is a storm on its way. We can do it next week. No problem.
The last minute plan change left me with a whole day. Time to regroup, look for a meaningful plan. I mentally fumbled through my list of undone projects. It is a long one. Spontaneity struck when I went to feed the rabbits. They came in small cages. The rabbits of my youth had big cages. My list had ” build new rabbit cages ” on it. Today I would build a new rabbit cage!
This led me to recall that January 28th is my brother Duane’s birthday. There are 8 kids in my family. I am fourth from the oldest. Duane is third from the youngest. I connected the rabbit cage with Duane because he was the rabbit raiser in the family. In fact he carried this skill into his professional life, diversified dairy farmer. He builds a pretty good cage. I don’t.
When I was seven or eight years old, I got a rabbit. A brown and white buck. I named him Bosco. My younger sister Roseanne got a white doe named Ice Cream. This was my first venture into carpentry. I found some old chicken wire. I recovered some old boards from the wood pile. I found a coffee can of nails in the tools house. I found a ball been hammer and set to work.
Now there are differences between carpenters and farmers. My uncle Art was a carpenter. He did beautiful works of art with wood. Dad was a farmer. Farmers do carpentry out of necessity. Get it done and move on. I took after the farmer side of the family. Real carpenters actually measure things and use tools like squares. My buddy Duane is a pretty good carpenter. He actually plans things out so they are square. I hammer things together and hope for the best. I use a lot of nails, trim and paint.
Anyway, I built a cage for Bosco and Ice Cream. They escaped. I added boards over the holes where they had wriggled out. They found new exits. Winter came. I remodeled the old outhouse for a shelter for the rabbits. We had indoor plumbing by that time so it was not being used. My lack of carpentry skills showed when Bosco escaped. It’s a good thing (maybe) that I was a skinny little kid when I had to dive in for the rescue.
When I was five years old my parents were in an automobile accident on New Years Eve. Mom was in the hospital for six months. My brother Duane and sister Rosanne and I went to stay with my dad’s sister, Lila. When your five, you don’t remember much. I do remember my little brother and my aunt Lila. Birthdays were always special in our family. When it was your birthday, you were the center of attention. January 28th was Duane’s first birthday. My dad and older brothers and sisters came to visit. It was a special day.
Being one year old, Duane had just got his legs and boy could that kid could move. Lila had a set of Lincoln Logs that I loved to play with. Just about the time I would be ready to put the chimney on, here came Duane. At first I was very upset until Lila turned it into a game. She nicknamed Duane the “Tornado”. I’d build something and in would come the “tornado”, smashing my structure to pieces.
Today, Duane is a successful dairy farmer, carrying on the family tradition. He is a proud grandfather and runs marathons for cancer research. I hope he has a good birthday and I hope my new cage holds the rabbits.