After some thought, we decided against doing our own concrete work. The guys managed to dig, gravel, and move the concrete by wheelbarrow from where the 'rete truck backed into Jeff's velvet field of green in a single day.
(PS, it took us only a week or so to fill those ruts and overseed the area with clover. The scars on the field are nearly invisible.
I meant to just put a couple of flagstones into the ground, but then the stones started piping up and the hill was asking for more...
Foodies have "amuse-bouche." Readers have flash fiction. Writers make up little stories about whatever comes to hand.
She wasn't Betty Boop, not exactly, though that unsettling glint in her eye suggested she warn't no Campbell Soup kid.
She'd maintained an over-the-shoulder flirtation with any old observant gaze for –– let me count this out –– more than 75 years. Didn't a glamorous little thing like her just get tired of her role? Didn't she want to shake out her hair, shrug those shoulders square, and frown from time to time?
At least she was out of the closet. Nobody likes to spend a lifetime –– a literal lifetime, if you do the depressing math –– holding on in the dark. And whether she was the vivacious creature she appeared, or if, like Jessica Rabbit, she was just painted that way, that face made it harder to shut a bifold door.
So she there she hung in the window. Peeping. A coquette such as she must peep, surely. With that coy, art-deco fan of cloth –– a peignoir draped over her shoulder, I think with matching wee mirabou mules on her off-screen baby feet.
Maybe seven decades gave a gal perspective along with a few chips and pallor. She might have burned as wooden matches, or splintered as a chair polished by generations of school-children's sit-upons. She could have backed a mirror or a dresser drawer. She might have moldered in an attic or ended in a bin.
Instead, she waited liminal, looking in. A few characterless companions for company. The time passes.
It's getting to be that time of year -- when we return to the ongoing adventures of Captain TwoBeers and Moresailesaid, on board their strange and mighty steed, Spawn.
As many of you readers know, each March brings the Everglades Challenge, which is an unsupported, human-powered adventure race of some 300+ miles along the left coast of Florida. Vessels of astonishing diversity push off the beach at Fort DeSoto at dawn on the first Saturday in March and make their various ways south and across the Everglades to Key Largo, Florida.
My favorite skipper built his own boat, a 21-foot-long light-weight, shallow-drawing sloop for this event, with help and a design from the cool OH Rodgers, plus the assistance of a village of friends. Over the past few years, sailing Spawn, TwoBeers and Jahn Tihansky (Moresailesaid) set a course record, spent time upside down in the Gulf, rowed for days, and punted on the last leg.
After half a dozen of these challenges, our Spawnsters aren't bored, but they are ready to expand their challenge.
So in March 2022, the guys will attempt the Ultimate Florida Challenge.
What is the Ultimate Challenge? Just a lot more sleep-deprived, salt-encrusted, navigationally puzzling ooey-gooey goodness!
Spawn will (knock wood) depart as usual from the beach, but instead of ending in Key Largo, their race will continue for another 900 miles, up the right side of the state, across the top of Florida, and then back to the beach where it started.
1200 miles in a small boat.
The big twist? Once they approach the Georgia border, they'll switch out of Spawn and into a canoe. (I know! Jeesh!). There's a long paddle through narrow and skinny water (possibly less skinny, but still narrow, depending on the preceding weeks' rainfall. There's even some Class III whitewater.), which prohibits both Spawn's mast and her generous width.
The event's rules permit sailors to transform into paddlers mid-race, as it were, and, naturally, requests they change back when the course permits...which will happen AFTER the 40-mile portage.
Forty miles! Pushing their canoe! On a country highway!
Training started this past summer.
This will be a world of difference from the two-day sprint of past Challenges.
The team's goal is to get it done. In under three weeks.
Myself, I'll keep fingers crossed and hope for a good weather window.
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