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Another Reason I Love My (Small-Town) Gym May 17, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It wasn’t til last night, as I was preparing for sleep, that I noticed that my water bottle was nowhere to be found, the one that travels everywhere with me during the day, the one that sits on my nightstand at night, the one I bought in spite of the fact that it says klean kanteen on it, because on principal I do not patronize places/companies that spell things funny, and you will never catch me eating in a Kountry Kitchen unless (a) I am starved and cranky and there are truly no other options or (b) someone has somehow convinced me of this Kountry Kitchen’s exceptional—and I do mean exceptional—kulinary merits, but I did buy the klean kanteen because I liked the design and the color and I convinced myself that at an all-too-quick glance I could mistake one of those words for my name, so klean kanteen, against all odds, got my money, and, as I said, that bottle goes everywhere with me, so when I couldn’t find it late last night in the bedroom or in my office or in the kitchen or in my gym bag I realized that I must have left it at the gym, probably on the treadmill, and I was sad because I get overly attached to things for no real reason, but I figured I had a shot of finding it there this morning, although I hadn’t planned to go to the gym today at all—I was going to work out on my own elliptical while catching up on some taped TV—but go to the gym I did in an effort to be reunited with my klean kanteen, and as I walked in the door both of the gym-owning twins greeted me, and one already had my water bottle in his hand and was holding it out to me, saying “Look what you left here yesterday!” and I was so happy to see it again, and because it’s such a small-town gym I’m OK with feeling warm and fuzzy at the fact that they knew that this water bottle was my water bottle, because I do feel warm and fuzzy about it, instead of creeped out.

Clubhouse May 7, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Hey, gang.

I write to you today from the clubhouse. I’ve left the comforts of my office, grabbed a lawn chair, and hunkered down in here. The clubhouse is right behind my real house. It’s almost as big as my real house.

The clubhouse began its life as a carriage house. The back half of the first floor is horse stalls. The front half, where they used to park the carriages, is where I park my cars in the winter.

The second floor is where they stored the hay and the feed. There are openings in the floor/ceiling for easy transport down to the stalls.

The basement used to have built-in chicken coops. But no more.

Several years ago, as you may recall, I had to make the decision whether to save the building by putting in a new foundation. It cost tens of thousands of dollars, but I had to do it (that’s when we lost the chicken coops). The alternative, which would not have saved the building, would also have cost tens of thousands of dollars.

When we decided to buy this house, I think I loved the clubhouse as much or more as the house. At the very least, I had a huge crush on it. It’s the kind of building I wish I’d had in my life as a kid so I could just hang out in it. When buying the house, I envisioned myself hanging out in this building. Inviting my friends over. The clubhouse.

But I never did that.

Last fall I had the Pest Control Guy over to take a look at what the powder post beetles were up to. Looking around the basement, he told me I probably had a couple more years before I had to do anything. But when he saw the first floor, he said I better do it this spring. Especially after all the money I’d put into it already.

It was going to be a lot of money to spray. And I would have to empty the first floor.

I did it. I emptied the first floor. It was sprayed on Friday.

Oh, how beautiful the first floor is right now—so empty(ish), so neat. It makes me want to hang out in here. Like a clubhouse.

So I grabbed a lawn chair and now I’m hanging out in here.

The best thing, of course, was being forced to clean out the barn. We took stuff to the dump. We took stuff to hazardous waste drop off, which happened at just the right time. I hauled things up to the second floor (which was not getting sprayed)—tools, toys, tires. Most notably, all those roof slates from my house that came down when the snow pans went up. That was last year’s big expense—all that roofing after those ice dams took over during the winter of ’10–’11. I hauled roof slates, five or six at a time, up to the second floor. I reckon there were between one and two hundred of them. I hauled them up there during those freakish 85-degree days.

The worst thing, of course, was Tim’s back going out (in a horrible way that it hasn’t done for twenty years) after he’d singly lugged some stuff upstairs that should have been a two-person job. He is still recovering. I got a couple of neighbors to help me with the last bits of lifting. I got other neighbors to drive me to my colonoscopy, as it was scheduled for a day Tim couldn’t even get out of bed. (Yes, my neighbors are pretty much the best neighbors on the planet. They can hang out in my clubhouse any time they want.)

Have I mentioned what an interesting week last week was? One bad back, one colonoscopy, one barn sprayed.

Toys and tools are hung back on the wall. One small room is designated car/yard stuff only. The canoe is back in its stall, as are the bikes.

Much heavy stuff remains upstairs to be sorted through when someone’s back is better.

This spring, Tim added a clubhouse element to the second floor. Back in our college days, when we’d go maple sugaring, the sugar shed had a ring game we’d play while waiting for the boiler: a metal ring hanging from the ceiling on twine, which one swings toward a hook on a wall.

We are totally into our ring game. It’s a happy-hour thing, or a break from the moving things up and down the stairs.

Here’s the other good thing about the sorting done and the sorting yet to be done: The gals on Route 153 might actually participate in the townwide yard sale this year. I am never able to pull this off because I never seem to know in advance that it’s happening and I never make time to go through all my shit and I’m sure I don’t have very much worth selling anyway. But now we have an idea—in advance!—of when it actually is, and a bunch of us who just have a little stuff can all get together and set up in front of Lynda’s house (the best yard for this) with spillover into my yard if need be. I am hopeful that this will be enough incentive for me: a date, still in the future. A goal. Maybe I’ll go through stuff in the attic.

I cannot imagine having a clean carriage house/barn AND a clean attic.

One of the piles upstairs in the clubhouse is already designated yard sale. So is a pile in the basement.

It’s just so exciting.

Now: Who wants to join me in the clubhouse for drinks?