Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just A Ramble

Yesterday's weather surprised me. When I stepped outside I'd expected temps well over ninety degrees but instead found light eighties with a stiff breeze off the river (west) and within seconds realized my breath consisted of water vapor instead of air. Instant sweat.

In spite of it there was music; cicadas; always in late summer the little and very old bugs provide a background beat. A squirrel chattered above me. The little sucker was busy with his meal of pinecones which they cut this time of year to then drop on my lawn. Several redwinged black birds, deep in a cove off the river, sang their beautiful unique song and it brought forth intense memories of my youth. Summer....isn't for wussies, and I dislike it very much, but it has its moments.


My yard work took several hours, a gallon of water, two or three sessions of milk crate rest stops, and a couple of breaks just to dink around in my garage. On one of those water breaks I noticed a wood box I'd liberated from my elderly father's old gunshop.

For some odd reason the color didn't appeal to me. And the 'target loads' just didn't cut it. So I changed it. The lawn mower sat and cooled.

Better, nice shade of Coleman green. Lord knows the age of the box. Now it will hold spent ammo brass. When I slipped it into my truck it had a nice bundle of .45 casings. Treasure.


Ten minutes into the yard work my shirt was soaking wet. So, I stopped, again, and changed shirts and the bandana I'd tied around my head and took another break.  My butt took on the pattern of the milk crate. Boredom took hold so I stood and stepped over to my cluttered reloading bench and fondled another piece of history I'd rescued last Sunday.

This old Hot Pot was manufactured sometime way back when by a C. Palmer. It was found on my Dad's workbench next to a pile of lead. It really serves no purpose, I'll never use it, still I put it to a wire wheel and plugged her in and within a few minutes her element turned blood red. She'll melt lead for sure.


Finished the mower work and took the gas trimmer to the edges of the lawn. Found a fireant bed and played with them for a few minutes until I realized the trimmer string had slung the little demons all over my pant legs....I'm sure the Good Lord had a plan for the pint sized evil sonsabitches but I'll be damned if I can figure their purpose.

Took yet another break. Fixed the broken garage ceiling fan, moved a few items around and remembered another one of my 'finds.'

She's a very old Lyman Ideal lube and sizing press. Bit rusty but I think she'll dress out well indeed. The lube around the shell extractor is still pliable. Probably manufactured sometime in the late 1950's or 60's. Doubt I'll ever use it, still it's a part of my father's life and I'll never part with it.

While in the gunshop last Sunday I found another Lyman single stage press. It was firmly bolted to a long bench and I've plans to return and rescue it too.

Above is the little pile of lead I brought home...only about fifty or so pounds. He'd offered me a hundred pounds but I didn't want to appear greedy. Next time I'll take two hundred.

I did find three sets of dies, didn't need 'em, took them anyway as I wanted to clean and keep them as backups.

Most of the old gunshop has been cleared out, moved to his new homestead, but so much remains. The interior of the shop was heavy with heat which made it very difficult to work inside. Still, I packed out quite a bit of stuff.

We found several old bags of paper and cork shotgun wads, tons of various gauge shotgun hulls, and an old shotshell press I'd purchased back in the early seventies since dismantled and stored high on one of the shelves....why I left it I'll never know but it will come home. Sucker was expensive, then. Can't imagine what a new one would now cost.


I've a headache and need another cup of coffee...back in a second.

(Two hours and two customers later, I'm back.)

This blog sure eats my time....anyway, when I work I tend to daydream, write short stories, think about problems. My body switches to autopilot. I also, often, remember the past, my youth. Perhaps you too do the same.

When I dream or write or remember I most often wish I could stop and pull a notebook from my pocket and take pen to paper; capture those flitting sparkles of my mind...but alas it never proves out.

So many great diamonds lost to the weakness of my memory. I too often write when I take to my bed for a nights rest. There too I write short stories or the first few words of that great novel I'm sure will make the New York Times best seller list. Never happens. Daydreams usually cost me sleep, and  travels in the universe of my dreams are instead wasted under cotton sheets.


Afterwards, when the mower had been cleaned, the yard and drives and walkways blown clear of debris, I sat in the garage soaked to the skin in sweat and had sucked down most of a gallon of cold water - too darn tired to rise and walk inside to a cool shower.

She arrived home to find me in my sad state. She parked the car, said, "Are you okay?"

I smiled. "Yes, just lost in thought."

"I see the ceiling fan works."

"Nice of you to notice."

She walked over and placed her hand on my forehead, "You shouldn't work on ladders when you're alone, you might fall."

"No big deal. I always have my dreams to keep me company."