Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Three Hour Cruise

Sunday, May 10, 2009
York, SC.

During our stay with our good friends, Tim & Chris, we help out with various maintenance and upkeep projects around the house to earn our keep. This past week the big one for Tim and me was cleaning the rain gutters. They have a big house, most of it on one level. That means lots of roof, and lots of roof means lots of gutters. And then, being in the middle of a pine woods certainly adds to the problem with millions of pine needles shedding almost constantly. It all adds up to a job that Tim will ideally do twice each year. But due to an ankle injury this past year the job wasn't done for over a year. It was certainly due.

A garage-full of equipment is used to do the job -- ladders, ladder stabilizers, a power washer, hoses, scrapers, bushes, buckets, and more. On one side of the house there's a walk-out basement, and that means the gutters are a full two stories above ground level. There's a lot of effort involved with moving a heavy fiberglass ladder every few feet when it's extended that high.

But we got the job done and that's what counts. And I got some needed exercise of rarely used muscles in the process. I enjoy helping with projects like these if for no other reason than to remind myself that keeping the bus-house in good shape isn't as big a job as it seems.

Another job we tackled yesterday, Saturday, was the annual spring clean-up of the boat. Tim keeps their big pontoon boat in a slip at a nearby marina. So with the use of a hose and bucket, some bleach, various soaps and cleaners and sealers, sponges and rags... we finished the clean-up quickly and had time to drop the boat into the water, start it up, and confirm that everything was working A-OK. He was thinking that Sunday, the next day, (today), could be a good day for the four of us to take a lake cruise.

The boat is on Lake Wylie, a dammed up portion of the Catawba River. It's one of 11 lakes in the Catawba River System and is managed by Duke Power. The purpose of the system is flood control, power generation, and fresh water reservoir. It has a surface area of more than 13,000 acres and a convoluted shoreline that measures 325 miles. The lake sits on the border between North and South Carolina.

So today, packing freshly prepared light and healthy eats and plenty of water and soda, the four of us headed out for a three hour cruise... “just a three hour cruise”. The weather was good and the winds mild. A few early clouds reduced the amount of sunscreen that was needed but by mid-day there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

From Mom's Day Boat Ride

The normal routine is to slowly cruise along the shoreline and check out the homes and other improvements that people make. Properties range from the completely unimproved and natural, to trailer camps, to old cottages and very modest seasonal houses, to very nice average or slightly above average homes, to the ostentatious mini-estates, to ridiculous mansions. Viewing how people spend their time and money on these things is fun. It also prompts me to think about what it all means.

A very enjoyable day.

T

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Gumption

Initiative. Resourcefulness. Aggressiveness. However we define it, there seems to be too little of it among teenagers these days.