Life during COVID-19

14 07 2020

7182E753-3467-4A87-B1E7-2DCA3FA6EA01_1_201_aThis entry is about what I’ve been doing to keep from going INSANE while social distancing to avoid COVID-19. I don’t like having nothing to do and would rather be outside and busy.

In the middle of March my wife and daughter urged me to stop installing Life Alert systems and to stop going in the homes of other clients. I knew they were only thinking of my health but I just did not want to stop working. Later that month I told Life Alert I could no longer install their systems until the corona virus backed off. Here it is mid-July and the corona virus is still going strong, maybe even worse than back in the spring.  I don’t know when I will be back working.

To while away the hours I’ve been working in my shop and and in the driveway in front of it. I’ve started making hiking sticks and had no idea I would enjoy it so much. I started with a couple limbs I picked up years ago because they looked unusual. One has a crook like a walking cane and another is taller and very straight. I started a by stripping off the bark and seeing where that led me. I’ve never been much of a wood worker, so I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. After spending some time on this stick — the tall one  — it seemed to show me what to do. After the bark removal came lots of sanding. I wanted it smooth. I didn’t want to use polyurethane, but I wanted to protect the wood and make it look nice. I am not going to stores these days so I came up with something I already had on-hand to make it work. It is a well know brand of hand balm. It works great and it is fairly inexpensive. It has wax in it so it protects the wood and if you scratch the finish you can apply more balm on to restore the luster.

I don’t go out into the woods and cut something down. several of my sticks have resulted from pruning shrubs and small trees in my yard. I don’t want to cut down trees just to make hiking sticks. I do the next best thing. I use what someone has cut down or pruned. There is something satisfying about recycling or reusing things that would otherwise go into a landfill or be ground into mulch. I can hardly bear to throw away anything! A hiking stick rescued from the mulch pile…


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