Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Blue Hole

The area where I live is known as The Blue Hole. This is because it is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.
Because of the prevailing wind patterns, we get little rain here. The average is 16 inches a year. The weather pattern comes in from the southwest bringing a lot of moist tropical weather with it. The clouds run into the Olympic Mountains which cause them to pile up against them and the squeeze the clouds, causing them to dump their moisture. You can travel 100 miles from here, and land in Forks, Washington where the average is 100 inches a year..
If you rravel just a short distance,to say Port Angeles. a distance of 15 miles the annual precipitation goes up to 20 inches., similar if you reavel east to Port Townsend.
This is one of the primary reasons we chose to move here when we retired. The same mild climate as Seattle, but without all the rain.
As with all plans, there were a couple of things I did not take into account.
Mainly the temperature. For some reason it did not occur to me that blue skies in winter equates to cold. The cloud cover keeps it warn, the clouds a blanket to keep us warm.
So the difference isn't enough to make for a completely different environment, but the winter temperatures average  couple of degrees cooler.
It doesn't particularly bother me, as I have lots of hobbies to keep me busy. Nothing like sitting down with a good book in the living room with a toasty fire in the wood stove.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Out of the Hole

Back in the middle of November I fell in a hole.
Nor a physical hole.
A mental and emotional hole.
A hole so dark and so deep that no light penetrated it. No escape was possible.
Looking back on it, I can see no rational reason for it. I am prone to getting depressed in the winter anyway, but usually a little St. John's Wort gets me through it.
Some how this was different. More profound, and much deeper.
Oh there are lots of reasons. I am diabetic, have bad kidneys, am in constant pain arthritis. At the time my left shoulder was undergoing a bout of bad arthritis, limiting the use of my left arm, and that in combination with the arthritis in my neck keeps me from getting a decent nights sleep. Maybe it was a combination of all those things.
I am a creative person and suddenly the creative juices dries up.Although I had a number of projects that I had been interested in, suddenly they were sack cloth and ashes.
I have a beautiful 1977 Datsun 280Z with a color changing paint job that goes from purple to blue to green depending on the lighting and direction you are looking at it from.
It has a 160 mile an hour speedometer. I had it up over 120 miles an hour out on the track, and it was solid at that speed. I have always wondered what the top speed actually is. I figure it is around 140.
I began to  wonder if I could top 140. And what it would be like to take out a bridge stanchion at that speed.
The thought began to insinuate itself into my consciousness ore and more frequently. To the point where, when I was out driving, I would eye the approach to various overpasses to calculate whether they had the right amount of straightaway to get up to full speed.
The problem is that when you are that deep in the hole, t is very difficult to see any path out of the pit. One of the most difficult things I have ever done was make an appointment with my doctor to tell him I need help.
I have always been there for everyone else. Admitting that I needed help was a blow to what little pride I had left.
But I managed to drag myself up by the bootstraps and made it in to the doctor's. He assessed the situation and was close to having me hospitalized, but I talked him out of it, saying that I was self-aware enough to know when to ask for help, so the likelihood of me taking myself out right after that was extremely small.
He did refer me to the Whack Shack for further checkout. The Crisis Center was very understanding and professional, although they did insist I divest myself of my knives. I was carrying three. They were somewhat concerned about why I needed three knives, but I told them I was doing some wood working, and each on was for a different task. I'm nit sure they believed me, but at any rate they let me leave.
Since then it has been a long slow process to dig myself out of the hole.
I am back in the daylight, now.
Just today, I was struck by and idea for a project that has brought back the enthusiasm.
I was watching an episode of American Pickers last night, and they featured a chair with an elaborate back with a carving, that they called the "Green Man". Basically a human face with hair and mustache of leaves and branches.
When I was cutting wood last fall, I came across a section of a maple that was twisted ans scarred. About four feet long. I have been figuring I would use it as a test piece for using my Alaska Mill. slabbing it out. Now I have a plan of what I want to do with it when I cut it.
Today I made a preliminary sketch.
But I am not quite to the point where I want to take the "Z" out for a drive.