Sunday, March 11, 2018

Really Sarge? More Water?

So, up most of the night manning the pumps, managed to snag three or four hours of sleep as frankly I just couldn't stay awake any longer. But the water seeping into the basement has slowed and will soon stop completely. A sunny and windy day on Saturday dried the ground nicely.

But in the midst of this watery adventure, I had some pleasant memories which also involved water. Family vacations when I was a kid always involved water, well except for the one time Mom and Dad thought a week in a mountain cabin would be nice. Well, it was okay, except that I was in a tent. (Not enough room in the inn I guess, not that I'm comparing myself to our Savior but growing up I did think that the Lord and I shared a name. Except that apparently my middle initial was "H.")

Dad knew guys at work who had cabins on a couple of lakes, one in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. The one depicted in the opening photo was a favorite of mine, Lake Contoocook. For a reasonable fee we could spend a week there when the guy at work wasn't using it. He also had two boats which we were free to use. Sweet.

Contoocook isn't a very big lake but I remember the water being crystal clear and just the thing for a hot summer's day. The cabin was very rustic, fairly good size as I recall because we usually had grandparents and uncles, aunts, and cousins spend a night or two. Plenty of room.

The cabin wasn't insulated, not even sure if it had heat, maybe a fireplace, but it was cozy and awesome. It was surrounded by pines and had a nice lawn running down to the lake. We spent a week there, two summers in a row.

I spent most of my time out in the power boat. Not a big one but it did have seats and a wheel to drive her. It was a sweet little boat and I wish I could remember the brand name. All wood she was.

The other boat was an aluminum row boat which my Mom liked to row around. Good exercise. One night my Dad and my Uncle Charlie took Yours Truly, The Olde Vermonter, and my cousin Joe out fishing in that row boat. We had an oil lantern and everything needed for a night out fishing.

I remember the lantern, I remember the lights of the cabins around the lake. I really remember the water lapping against the hull. I also remember that as we rowed back, it was bloody cold huddled up against that aluminum hull.

I remember the time we had just arrived at the cabin and I had made myself a bologna sandwich. Bear in mind, I liked lots of mayonnaise on my sandwiches back then (mayo is used in moderation these days). For some reason I stepped away from the kitchen and when I came back, my sandwich was gone.

Looking out towards the car, I saw my Dad. And my sandwich. Yeah, I was a little miffed, after all, I'd made the bloody thing. Then again, while I was making a sandwich, Dad was unloading the car. I suppose he needed the sandwich more than I.

But when he bit into it he almost gagged. Apparently I had put way too much mayonnaise on the sandwich. Dad was about ready to throw away the sandwich when Mom asked him...

"So where did you get the sandwich?"

"It was on the kitchen counter, I thought it was for me."

"Do your sons often make you sandwiches?"

"Um, no, not really."

Mom asked me if I had made the sandwich. I replied in the affirmative. My Dad asked me if I wanted it back...

"Honey, go inside and make yourself another sandwich. I'm going to make sure your father eats every bite of this one."

Which he did.

Funny the things one remembers from the distant past.

Dad's gone now, but I still remember the look on his face when he bit into that sandwich.


Now I'm off to check the pumps. Then to sleep, perchance to dream...

And try to remember to set the clocks ahead by an hour. Grrr...


  1. Clocks ahead one hour...aye!

    I still like lots of mayo on my sammies.

    1. When I was a teenager, a lot of mayo was about a quarter of the jar. A big jar. Not a COSTCO size jar but, well, you get my drift.

  2. Ya... growing up my family did the camping thing, big ole canvas tent, cots(parents used those since rank grants privileges), sleeping bags, Coleman stove, et al(pardon my Latin butchery). Lots of good memories and learned to fish....aahh...any day fishing no matter the results or weather was and still is a very good day. Good luck with the Battle of Drainage!

    1. The evil forces of the water table are starting to retreat. It's been a long couple of days.

  3. OK Republicans - start flying those American Flags if you want to win some elections!

    ps. would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

    1. Look under "Stuff I haven't placed yet", I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    2. Aye, and you've been there a while CC.

    3. Though I can't remember where I first saw a link to your place. Could be anyone of those usual suspects over on the sidebar.

  4. In the wake of your water problems and power outage I suggest that you consider a backup to your sump pump that does not need electricity.
    This link is the same principle as the educator system that we snipes used to dewater the bilges, and to remove water during flooding. Our house is on high ground and have neither a sump pump nor this system.
    Consider it or something like it in your planning.
    A coworker had a battery backup sump pump, but during a long storm he had to keep trading the battery and and recharging it.

    My Mom wouldn't camp, and I treasure the only two times that my father and I camped.

    Good post.

    1. Now that looks intriguing, thanks John.

      I was never bitten by the camping bug. Which reminds me of a story, or three!

    2. So, growing up, the family camped. We had an Army surplus alpine tent, which shed water like a duck's back. One year we went camping for 3 days somewhere in Central California's mountains, and stayed a week. A superstorm had moved in and flooded roads below us, so we were just stuck. Oh, darned, trout for breakfast, lunch and dinner, darned. Nothing better than fresh caught pan-fried trout. Yum.

      And then there was the time the family went sailboating in a nice cabin sailboat at Kwajalein. Headed north on the inside of the atoll, heading up towards the big pass about halfway up the island chain. Nice, slow winds pushed us north, until we saw a friggin evil storm brewing, like some evil djinn forming, and we turned around. Storm hit us, we were heeled over to the point that us in the cabin were standing on the walls, and the side porthole provided us an excellent underwater view of coral heads we were able to skim over, now that we were tilted so much. Got back to base, got home, and the PBJs supposedly for lunch were the most tasty I have ever experienced. I thought my dad was the calm, ancient mariner until after we got home and he hit, with shaky hands, the Scotch. Hell, he even gave us kids some Brandy. Nothing makes food and drink taste so good as escaping, well, death. (You know how dolphins chase boats, right? We had sharks chasing us and looking into our underwater window. Yeah, those orange lifejackets were going to keep us alive how long?)

      Good luck in the great drying out. You can rent those big blower fans to help de-moldify the basement, if you didn't already know. Not as noisy and powerful as those jet engine starter carts.

    3. Life vests:

      Orange so in theory an air search which flies directly over you, slowly, at low altitude, might find you.

      Floats so the sharks don't have to work as hard.

  5. We didn't camp so much as "pack in."
    The family packed enough stuff for a week.
    Then we drove 200 miles, loaded the stuff on horses and rode for 5 hours to the campsite.
    The first year we had a tent, a bic umbrella tent.
    It was a good thing, too, because the lat night it snowed.
    That was in the middle of August.
    Good times!

    1. Five hours on horseback? Now that's camping!

  6. Did you watch your dad gag down the rest of it? Your mom was a hoot that day! No interesting camping stories to share, but my family of 6 did "camp" in a 16 ft travel trailer for 2 years as we built our log cabin up in Oregon. I don't know how we did it, but we definitely appreciated the house once we moved in.

    1. Why yes, yes I did!

      Two years in a 16 foot travel trailer? Family of six? Dude, you're like a pioneer or something.

  7. Sarge/

    re your wooden power boat: Chris Craft??

    1. I did some looking around on the web, pretty sure it wasn't a Chris Craft. (I would remember that, me and the boat sharing the same first name.)

  8. Gar Wood? Hacker?--my machine is acting up..

    1. Did some searching, looked at those boats for around the 1965 time frame, didn't look familiar.

      Larson looked close, but it was a long, long time ago.


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