The Tao…

Of Sportsmen’s camp.

You can never get anything done on your list of things to accomplish cause you see things you want to fix on the way! And unexpected pleasures too. I was going to stain the beach chairs and finish the repairs on the pizza oven. The installation of the the rebuilt jet pump (I did the rebuild) and by-pass system for the submersible was completed yesterday. I was only drenched a couple times! So I was going to enjoy the sunny warm day with an easy list today. The Evil one suggested that I sweep out and clean up the showers today on the way. So as I was sweeping out the showers I noticed that there was some rot on the entry way to the shower and the floor under the drainage grate outside of the shower was in shit shape. So I ripped out the floor and sistered some new floor joists and refloored it. I also ripped off the rotting fascia and replaced it and put new tile on it. The tile glue is curing tonight and I will grout it tomorrow.

Needless to say I didn’t get to the easy list. But since we are in conservation mode (no power) I did all the cutting for the lumber with hand tools inclusive of the plywood and paneling pieces. With cross cut and rip saws. This was very fun for me as I was taught by my favorite Uncle Edward how to efficiently, accurately and quickly use a properly set hand saw. It was like he was with me saying “Mark your line jack – no heavier than that on the line – now work the saw down the line – dig the heel of the saw into the line on the downswing eating up the line to direct your cut using a shallow angle – blow the saw dust off or you’ll loose your way – yes yes like that but don’t force the saw let ride on its way it’ll do the work not you – just coax it yeah you got it – no too hard the saw will bind – get a rhythm and follow it….” Yes he was a great man and an artisan in wood. This man made a living as a pattern maker for metal casting forms – this requires a master pattern maker to work in thousandths of an inch in wood! Excess metal on castings require vastly more machining to get them to specification. Aside from this he was a philosopher, cosmologist, naturalist, gentle man and lets just say he was a giant in a land of midgets. He gave me a box of books when I became a “cognizant human being” saying “Read these, if you haven’t already, they will stand you in good stead”. The books included eastern philosophy, atheism, big bang cosmology (before it was accepted) ground breaking science fiction, naturalist methodology, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and so many other seminal works. The work proceeded well with my uncle’s help today and it was a delightful time spent with him. Needless to say he is missed some 40+ years after his passing.

As I was finishing the work Janet came past after collecting the plastic from cabin 10 and cleaning. I was informed that she and Kevin would be down at the beach in minutes with a drink. I told her I would soon follow. And I did. Along with a delightful gin and tonic laced nicely with Hendrix Gin. We sat on the beach with no bugs as the slight  northerly breeze came off the lake bringing us life’s air of mother Firth.

Is this heaven?

yeah, I think it is.

8 thoughts on “The Tao…

  1. I worked as a carpenter’s helper for a guy named Dick Storey back in the early seventies. The extent of his advice was, “Let the saw do the work”. I think Uncle Edward was a bit more elegant and enthusiastic.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Yes – some of his attributes that I forgot to list – instructor and mentor – but only to people ready to absorb it. No one was ever force fed.

  3. I didn’t realize that you had posted on the blog, Jack. It’s hot and muggy here, too cloudy and too light polluted to sea the comet. We’re all inside and getting sick and tired of it! Your posts took me up to Sportsmen’s and left me wishing we were all about to head up north. Post more pictures if you can. Next year has got to be better!

  4. Reading your most recent dispatch made me feel as though we were sitting in the newly stained Adirondack chairs overlooking the lake and you were sharing over drinks. I may be the only one in the camp who does not know what the “submersible” is, so I need to use my imagination. Perhaps it is your well-kept secret submarine and, as Captain Nemo before you, you use it to explore the depths of Firth Lake. Perhaps there is even an underground passageway to other lakes and you can travel all the way up to Hudson Bay. Who knows? And I loved learning more about your fine Uncle Edward, a very unique and special man indeed. It is easy to see his influence on you that lasts right up to the present. Here’s a toast to Uncle Edward!

    • Apologies I shortened submersible pump to “submersible”. But I like the idea of tooling around Firth in a small Nautilus! Essentially I now have two pumps on the water system. I only run one at a time but the redundancy will keep the water moving in the event of a problem with one of the pumps.

  5. Okay Jack, you have me curious about Hendrick’s Gin, I will have to give it a try. A couple guys that I worked with give it a thumbs up.

    However, Mr. Hendrick does not have the same ring as Mr. Beefeater…

  6. LOL I just realized I spelled it with and “x”. Yeah Mr. Beefeater will always be our friend but Hendricks is distilled in Scotland and as we learned from SNL years ago – “IF IT AIN’T SCOTS ITS CRRRAP!”

  7. Uncle Jack, the first thing that I want to do when I get up to camp next year is sit down with you (perhaps with a gin and tonic, though gin for some reason makes me kinda sleepy, whereas I can quite well hold my bourbon, so you stick with you gin and tonic and I’ll make myself a Kentucky Mule) and learn all about your Uncle Edward. I don’t think that he was just with you when you were sawing that wood in the shop that day, he was with all of us too as we read your blog post, and he sounds like just the most beautiful, wonderful man. I can’t wait to see you on the Camp Zoom a week from tomorrow 🙂 love you xxxxxoxoxoxoxoxo

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