precise fits aren't essential
Saturday, August 27 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
I awoke early this morning from a dream in which I was living back in my modest 700 square foot childhood home with a younger version of my mother (my father didn't make an appearance). I'd just hooked up some sort of small-scale drainage system that connected into a system (somehow) with a neighbor, and I was explaining this to my mother. And it was making her angry, because, while it was doing something useful for us, it was also doing something useful for the neighbor. So we got into a shouting match and then my mother told me that I had to move out. I was so irate at this that I went to slap my mother in the face, but she expertly pulled out of the way, like one of the characters in the Matrix, and she didn't even acknowledge my attempt at violence. At that point my brother Don came out and said something either unhelpful or beside the point, and I told him that he was fucking useless. After I startled awake, it took a few seconds to realize that not being able to live with my mother was not going to be a problem, especially since Gretchen and I now live in two houses (as do my mother and brother, though my childhood home is essentially uninhabitable at this point).
While waiting for Gretchen to get up, I drank some coffee and did more work with the bluestone pathway. Part of that work involved unloading all the triangle pieces from the Bolt and spreading them out in similar-shaped groups so I could easily find required shapes. Interestingly, though, despite all the triangles I'd brought, few actually were close matches to the holes in my existing design. Some were near matches, and this eventually caused me to bring out the wet saw. I didn't want to simply cut the stones that didn't quite fit, as any cuts made with a wet saw would look out of place given that all the other edges are the organic result of fracture and erosion. So I cut into the pieces about half way from the side that would be the bottom to limit the damage of any hammer-inflicted blows and then broke off the unwanted pieces using either a cold chisel or a sledge hammer. Doing this, I was able to achieve very tight (but natural-looking) fits between stones, but it would've been very labor intensive to do much such work, and precise fits aren't essential for a bluestone pathway.
Meanwhile Gretchen had gone down to the lake, and eventually I convinced the dogs to come with me to join her at the dock. Checking out the lake and removing the mold from the concrete work I'd done last weekend, I went up the trail to further grade a patch I've been working on with a mattock. In addition to improving the trail, it made me hot and sweaty, which was important if I wanted to be in the lake. Temperatures today were only in the 70s, meaning it would feel cold to be in the lake after having been sedentary.
Socially, it was a fairly busy day on the lake, with a lot of activity at the public dock and a couple fisherman making a slow clockwise circuit in those low-profile kayaks they like to use. When I arrived, they were near Madyson the Beaver's lodge several hundred feet south of our dock, and Gretchen was upset that they were bothering her. I was afraid Gretchen would make another scene, and I didn't want to be around for that, so I climbed in the innertube and paddled eastward across the lake to near where Joel used to do his target practice. As I did so I, was drinking a big sixteen ounce Russian Imperial Stout. The fishermen continued in their kayaks past Gretchen and the dogs on our dock (the latter did considerable barking) and continued into the outlet bay. When I returned to our dock, Gretchen said this had been a different pair of men from the ones with whom she'd had an incident a couple months ago, which explained why they didn't seem to have gotten the memo about bothering the beaver or boating too close to our dock. They were younger, Gretchen said, and she insisted that she hadn't been hostile, though she'd let the dogs bark at them as much as they wanted to.
While we were there, someone else went out across the lake and back on a paddleboard with a dog as a passenger.
Back at the cabin, Gretchen mixed some roasted vegetables into her leftover curry and rice from Maharaja, and it was more than enough dinner for the both of us.
The guy (or is it a woman?) with his/her dog on a paddleboard today. That's Joel's dock in the background.
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