A place to work

After having spent so many years tethered to a fixed address, these days I don’t find myself wishing I was somewhere other than out here with Deb. Now almost nine months away, much of it literally on the road, I don’t pine for Second Chance Ranch.

I’ll confess, though, that I miss having a workshop.

Deb’s cousin built himself a garage next to his cabin on The Mountain — a useful, respectably equipped space that allows him to do what he does. The garage usually is our first stop when we visit, and each time I look forward to walking through the door and seeing what he’s been up to.

I admire his battery of skills, acquired through a lifetime of experience that I can learn from but can’t hope to duplicate. I remain comfortable in my status as a certified putterer, always looking for knowledge and new skills within reach of my capabilities. And I’m gratified that over the years I’ve managed to develop a penchant, at least, for self-reliance.

Back at Second Chance Ranch I have two workshops — a “clean” shop and a “dirty” one. The former is in the basement of the house, and that’s where I clean, adjust, repair and maintain household items, sharpen knives and do some modest gunsmithing. It’s equipped with great lighting and includes a well-stocked fridge. For washing up I have access to a laundry tub in the next room.

The dirty shop is out in our unheated old garage. Any work involving vehicles — our Tacomas, the Bumper Bunker and Ernie (plus Mercy and the Ranger if they were in Ohio) — gets done there. Ditto generators and lawn-and-garden equipment. If it uses gas and motor oil, if it requires large tools or major torque, it’s a dirty job and is handled from my dirty shop.

To the extent that I do any carpentry (which I suck at, by the way), that kind of work is pretty much split between the two shops, depending on the size of the project.

When we come off the road and park Ernie in Ohio — and that’ll happen eventually — it’ll be good to have a workshop again. I think it’s safe to say that wherever I am, wherever we land, I’ll have a shop (or two) in my life.


“The only thing he’s ‘built back better’ is the Taliban.”

GOP talking point (and an accurate statement)

Monday was a great day. More than once over the last 48 hours I’ve flipped back through the photos, reliving our time on The (snow-wrapped) Mountain. If you’ll indulge me, here are a few more images from that day.

Now we begin a two-day slide toward some damned unpleasant weather. After sleet and freezing rain to end our Wednesday, tonight’s forecast low is 12°F. Tomorrow night it’s expected to get down to 6°F, with a predicted low of 15°F Friday night.

We’ll be switching over to the gas furnaces shortly here, and it’s looking like we’ll rely on them exclusively ’til mid-morning Saturday.

Sunday looks like our best shot at returning to The Mountain — coming off an overnight low of 26°F, it’s supposed to be in the mid-50s and sunny.

This is winter in The Ozarks. It’s all good.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon