Let’s test my relationship with my neighbors…


Mornin’ folks.

And what a great one it is, too! Beautiful weather. The kind of weather that takes away the sting of winter, and makes you forget that a NH August is right around the corner with its leaf-drooping oppression. Sunny, gentle breeze, happy fluffy clouds that promise a lazy day.


Only, it’s not a lazy day. I don’t have lazy days right now. If the weather is nice, that means I’ve got to be outside working on the cars, or the garden, or the lawn, or the house, or….

And let’s not even talk about writing. I’m trying to get a short story book out. I’m on the last story, but keep getting interrupted by swirly thoughts. The busier I get, the less I can concentrate. I’m like a monkey…bright lights and shiny object distract me.

“But Bethie, you’re writing right now.”

Nah. I’m just chatting while waiting for it to be light enough and loud enough to go work outside. This isn’t real writing. It’s just checking in with friends. I don’t have a plot line to remember. I don’t have to flip back in my notes to make sure I didn’t accidentally off a major character, or call the same lady five different names, or destroy all plausibility by tearing a plot hole in the very fabric of the work. This is just chit chat. No stress. No worries.

At least I’ve got some tall people hanging around all summer that can give me a hand. Yep, the teens’ vacation starts today. So far so good. They’re playing video games and texting friends who are also too excited about not having to be up this early to actually sleep in. I’m tiptoeing around them, so as not to disturb the calm. One of them will lose at a game and shatter the peaceful morning. I mean, it’s bound to happen. They’ll lose, say the game cheated, and that’ll start the same old debate on whether or not games have the sentience and morality needed to cheat.

Now, I’m not challenging the educational value in the mind-expanding exercise of anthropomorphizing computer programs in a lively debate. However, I have the feeling this one would turn the way it usually does, and I just don’t feel like hearing perfectly intelligent honor roll students resort to, “nuh-uh”, “yessuh”…or worse, “You just suck.”

Because seriously, when you lose at a video game, it really is your own damn fault, no matter how many times I’ve argued against that myself while a controller was haplessly flying through the room towards the handiest wall.

So we’ll just tiptoe around the teens and let them play quietly until we can escape outside and create a forcefield around us by working hard. No teen on summer break would intentionally get sucked into the work zone. I’ll rope them in when I have to, but otherwise, I’m sure they’d be happy to keep their video game arguments well out of my range lest they remind me they exist.

Can we make there be 36 hours in a day during the summer? Time is arbitrary. Let’s put that law to work for us. I certainly could use the extra time to get everything done.

I’ve got body work to do today on two of our cars. We have two old diesels that we’ve mechanically restored. Now it’s time to fix all the rust. We dabbled in body work last year, but we’re working out of our driveway and everyone always made it sound so damn hard. However, the cars gave us no choice at all. One winter on these NH roads and that salt works like anti-matter on any little crack or chip in the paint like you wouldn’t believe. If we don’t fix it now, we’ll be Fred Flinstoning it next year. While that’s an amazing mental image, I question both the legality and the practicality.

…though, I suppose we could use poles to push ourselves along. Like an Italian gondola. Hmm. I do know a bit opera….

Anyway, I had been scared of really getting into body work. You talk to another shade tree mechanic and they’ll tell you it’s too hard, as if you’re talking about performing brain surgery instead of repairing a rust out.

I think it’s a lot like the food industry. No, now hang on. This isn’t a, “Oooh…shiny…” brain track jump. It’s a legitimate comparison, thank you very much.

I love cooking. I also am one of those rare cooks who also truly enjoys baking. I love it. I even make fancy cake for probably too little money. However, most cheffy types are dead set against trying to bake. They think it’s too complex, treat it like a different animal. Watch any cooking competition and you’ll see what I mean. “Bake? You want me to try and BAKE? *gulp* I’m going home for sure.” Mechanics vs. body work is a lot like that.

However, I like crafts. And what I’ve recently realized is that body work is just extreme crafting.

And I have the added bonus of literally not being able to make it any worse than it is. Right now, there are rust outs all over the place. Air and water have chemically bonded with the iron of the steel and a plague has begun to spread. The metal is being eaten away. If I do nothing, the molecules will continue to be broken down into their base components and separate, leaving air in its place. It’s actually a liberating revelation. I can’t make it any worse.

So I gave it a go. I have to say, while there really is a huge learning curve, and it will take me a long time to master, it turns out that it’s not as scary as it seemed. The work could not in any way pass for professional. But, it is stopping the rust. And it follows my husband’s “20 20” rule: Any body work has to look good from 20 feet away or going 20 miles an hour down the road.

Bondo is a lot like cake icing. Fiberglass filler is like fondant or clay. Sticky, sticky clay. Welding is like using a glue gun, as long as you remember it’s actually nothing like that and far more dangerous. Though I totally think if I timed it right I could throw some glitter at the fresh bead of molten metal it and make it stick…

The neighborhood daycare center is open and the kiddies are out and yelling. Though I normally wait to start work in the summer until I hear someone else use loud machinery, one of the kids is upset and bawling. I can’t believe a side grinder would be less grating than either the crying toddler or the frustrated daycare worker who’s trying to sing to calm the kid down. In fact, some of my neighbors will probably be happy I blotted out that cacophony.

When you look at it like that, I’m doing everyone a favor. *whine of the side grinder* See? You can’t even hear that kid anymore, can you?

…What did you say??

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Friday, June 20, 2014. I think I’m going to consider that bawling little kid my work alarm clock for the summer. When he’s out screaming, I can be out doing my part to drown out the noise. I’m sure I’ll have neighbors knocking on my door to thank me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s