Monday, February 29, 2016

Delivery Adventures

          We've survived our latest adventure. Truth be told, our adventures are pretty tame most of the time, but they can run to events like delivering a chest of drawers to our daughter an hour and a half away in Boston in a blinding snowstorm, a storm so bad that all the rest stops on the Massachusetts Turnpike were closed. 

          This adventure was another one of the motoring variety. It sounded simple enough, taking some lengths of wood to our son in Rhode Island for the carriage house he’s been restoring, a project lasting about as long as the construction of the Great Pyramid. 

          Through Mark, a cabinetmaker friend of ours, we tracked down the kiln-dried pine needed.

         Next, we contracted for the manufacture of a special cutter that would mill the boards to match the previous strips from the original 1890 ones. Our kind friend then produced the fifteen lengths necessary and we were ready to hit the road.

          No adventure so far. 

          Except the boards are twelve feet long and our only vehicle for transport was our rust-riddled 1998 SUV, whose biggest trip for the past ten years has been to the dump and back. Would it survive the eighty-five mile trip? Would we survive the eighty-five mile trip?

          That morning we met Mark at his shop, which is housed in a barn that’s well over a hundred and fifty years old. 

          We figured out how to bundle and secure the boards so they wouldn’t 

a)     go hurtling through the windshield

 (reminiscent of another adventure in which my husband borrowed his father’s truck, and loaded a canoe and two 8-year-old boys. Halfway through the trip, he stopped too quickly and guess what happened to Grampa’s windshield. Needless to say, our son drew great entertainment from his father having to explain to his father what happened.)


b)     decapitate us or maim us in some other colorful way 

Since the lumber took precedent, I was pretty much ballast, and sat in lonely splendor in the backseat, enjoying the exhaust that curled back up into the car through the hatch, left open to accommodate our load.  Added to that was the heady aroma of mothballs coursing from the heater. In the hope of deterring the chipmunk and mouse population, the engine compartment has a collection of mothballs and peppermint-doused cotton balls.

Much of the way there I was running scenarios in my head of being stranded on the side of the road while smoke rises from our car or while we attempt to change one of our aging tires. As it turned out, the trip was pretty uneventful, except for one or two hills where the automatic clutch decided to stop being so automatic. On the plus side, the smell of burning rubber kept us alert.

The adventure ended with a nice lunch with son and fiancé, and a quiet ride home. I even got to sit in the front seat.


  1. I see the molding samples from the tool. Now that we have got you back safe and sound, we need to know about the Great Pyramid of Carriage Houses.

  2. Nice that you got the wood delivered safely, but aging tyres are definitely a health hazard. Worn rubber, little or no tread left, is a sure recipe for an accident. You really need to get the auto clutch fixed too. Cars are very expensive to maintain aren't they?

  3. I am very glad to hear that the ballast got a nice lunch and a ride in the front seat.
    River is right about cars. Like houses there is always something... Usually an expensive something.

  4. So the adventure was the tension and stress of apprehension about the old bomb's performance.

  5. Mini Van turned lumber hauler! Glad you made it there and back:)

  6. Well, I'm glad you didn't get decapitated, anyway. That seems like the MINIMUM one should expect from a successful outing. :)

    I love that barn. Great photo potential!

  7. It might have been uneventful, but it sure made for a good story! Glad you made it there and back without mishap. Breathing those fumes doesn't sound like much fun, though. :-)

  8. well, I've lugged a canoe around plenty but I always carried it on top of the car, not in it. glad the clunker made it.

  9. Your son's project sounds like an interesting one. And what a beautiful barn! I'm glad you and the lumber all made the trip safely.


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