Hit the Road Winter

imageLast week, my wife saw a Robin in our yard. I think it was part of the advance team that came up to check things out. I’m sure he sent a text message back to the rest of the flock that said “this place is still covered in snow” but when there’s one red breast in the yard, you know there are more to follow. The guys in the picture to the right know it, it was 12°f at the time, but that’s an air conditioning unit they are hoisting onto that roof. They wouldn’t be doing that if it wasn’t going to be warm soon.

The pictures below make a pretty compelling argument that spring is on its way. Soft serve ice cream will be available in a week. It’s a scientific fact that once people start using the cold to make ice cream, there isn’t enough left to make snow. I’m sure I read that somewhere.

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I think the surest sign of spring is the fact that my daughter wantsimage to start a project in the workshop. It’s been too long since we were covered in sawdust. It’s been too long since we smelled fresh cut lumber and too long since we picked through the pile of wood to find the right boards for the next piece. The next piece, by the way, is a kitchen cart. For once, we are going to build something according to plans. Published plans. Plans that are complete with dimensions and everything. Of course we’re going to alter those plans.

The publishers of Woodsmith offered this as a quick and easy project to build in a short amount of time. Who needs that? We don’t want this to take forever, but we do plan to make this from “the pile” not from plywood. Plywood would be easy, there’s nothing like setting the rip fence at 28 1/2” and then 16 ¼” to get a 28 ½” by 16 ¼” panel, but we can do imagebetter. We can make panels from wood in the pile. Panel construction is an essential skill that Faith should master. It will be more work, but we will do it in such a way as to “add a signature visual element” to the cart. We say things like that in the shop. That sounds better than saying: “let’s see if we can make this harder than it needs to be.

Actually, the “signature visual element” is something my wife and imageI once heard on a home improvement show. We do a lot of home improvements, and while we don’t usually worry about signature elements, we did incorporate a few into our exterior renovation. The little flat sections at the peaks mirror a flat section of the porch ceiling and the interior ceiling in our family room.

The kitchen cart does need to move along swiftly though because the shop is part of the garage and the garage is slated for a renovation this summer. The garage wasn’t the best bit of work the former owner had done to this house. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the worst bit of work, but that’s a series of different stories. We’re making plans to improve the structure, replace a lot of the wall sheathing, cover the walls with vinyl siding and replace the windows and the roof. In other words, the garage door is fine.

This project reminds me of the country song “There ain’t nothing wrong with the radio” by Aaron Tippin, but just thinking about the work that has to be done is making me feel warm.

Everyone around here is thinking of spring. Everyone is sure that it’s coming. Even my friend in England is talking about spring on his excellent photo blog from Ipswich. It has been a hard week to remain confident about spring’s arrival, but we are standing strong. When I left for work on Wednesday, it was 23°, when I left on Thursday, it was 11°, when I left on Friday it was 9° but today at the same time, it was 28° and heading to a forecast high of almost 50°! The week ahead has highs in the upper 30’s and 40’s and lows no lower than 22. image

Of course this little guy will poke his head up soon, that’s always the definitive sign that winter needs to pack it up and go away. March may have come in like the proverbial lion, but everything and everyone around here is urging it to change into those lambs clothes and make with the warmth. I have to go now; it’s almost time for ice cream.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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11 Responses to Hit the Road Winter

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Pictures – I love cranes and coffee and donuts. Inside that store is a Dunkin Donuts but I had to stop and take a few pictures of the crane. That’s our local soft-serve ice cream stand, and I get excited when they open, even though we eat a lot less ice cream than we used to. Next is our daughter Faith, working in the work shop and under that is the next project on her list. Next is me admiring my handiwork after completing the front siding and last is the few remaining crocus that we planted back in the 90’s. These little guys always surprise me when they appear.

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  2. I walked all over the yard yesterday, hoping to find a crocus or hyacinth, but not yet. It was warm and sunny, so I enjoyed the walking anyway.
    Love the exterior of your home. The people inside must be cheerful and kind.
    Also, love the theory about ice cream and snow :)

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  3. We went down to Felixstowe a couple of weeks ago – remember the big container port Dan? http://www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk – It was around 36f and a howling gale. We ate breakfast and then stopped for ice cream. We had to convince the booth that we wanted ice cream and not a burger. The woman’s expression was a picture!

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  4. The anticipation for spring is so much higher on the East coast than it is in California. When you mention 50 degrees F and the ice cream, it reminds me of summer in Maine. People dash to the beach when it is in the lower 70 degrees. “It’s so hot!” they say, fanning themselves. And they eat ice cream even when it rains because after all, this is summer.
    I miss the four seasons, and you are right to embrace the new one. Coming soon, I hope for you, after this especially long winter.
    And the kitchen cart is lovely.

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    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks do much for reading and commenting. I’ll have pictures of the cart in progress once she gets started. It was 54 today. We worked in the shop on a small repair project with the door open.

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  5. I love soft serve ice creams, basically any flavor. It reminds me of my college days there was this shop and I would always be the first customer of the day. I had this pride in me that Oh, I am the first customer always, that’s a special feeling :)

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    • Dan Antion says:

      This is an independent little shop. They make a flavor of the week. Their coconut an their pistachio are both excellent. I miss college days, when you could start the da with ice cream :) – thanks.

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  6. Best wishes with the kitchen cart! Enjoy your projects with your daughter! The weather in my neck of the woods is beautiful:-) Have a great week, Dan.

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