I’ve had difficulty keeping up the blog the past two weeks. Since I write about what’s on my mind, if I’m thinking about things that must be kept secret, I have to come up with something less pressing to write about for the blog.
But, now the secret’s out, and the story can be told.
Some years ago, I “gave” Michelle a birthday gift she requested: a garden swing. I committed to make it, but never actually built it, until now.
When Michelle went south to help with family issues, I knew I’d have an opportunity for a gift project. I cast about for a Christmas gift to make her, at first. Then I realized that this would be the perfect time to finally build that garden swing.
Any other late April/early May would have been an ideal time for this project. Usually, we have warm, sunny days, often calm. I could have built it outside over several days, leaving my work in the yard each evening.
This year, however, our spring has been severe, making the construction far more challenging.
Early in the project, I had a dry day to set up the table saw outside, fire up the gas generator, and cut some lathes for the seat. Soon after, rain and snow returned, so I moved the job inside. I built it in time to hang it between two trees at the edge of the garden on the next sunny day.
Unfortunately, the weather turned very sour after that. I had to leave the project alone so long, I decided that I’d just have to leave it as it was, and finish it when (if?) the weather improved, after Michelle got home.
The next day almost no rain fell. I rounded the swing’s edges and sanded it. I finished it with linseed oil, which soaked in pretty well before the rain increased.
Hiking home with Michelle the day she returned, I hoped she wouldn’t see the swing from the trail above the cabin. She missed it, focusing more on her footing than the view. When we got to the cabin and dropped our packs, I asked her to put on a pair of rain pants, and grabbed some sheets of newsprint. I took her by the hand and led her out to where the swing waited.
She was surprised! And very pleased. She didn’t care that before she sat down, I had to wipe it all down with a rag, then lay out the newsprint to keep the not-quite-dry linseed oil off her clothes.
The weather has not moderated yet. It may be days or weeks before we can sit together in comfort, but she’s waited this long for her garden swing, she’s willing to wait a bit longer.