wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Curse of the Camisoles

My mother-in-law had a box of my novels delivered to her place  while I was away in Montana. When I got home, I got the Captain to collect it and bring it home.

I was looking for scraps of paper to start a fire in the woodstove and noticed some tissue paper on the box of books. Might as well burn that. It would be perfect for starting the kindling.

That evening, m-i-l phoned and said she had sent two camisoles over for me to fix for her.

“Oh? I didn’t see any camisoles,” I told her. 

“They were wrapped in tissue paper.”

A heat wave swept over me, hotter than the fire I had made with the tissue paper. Could I really have burned those camisoles? Wouldn’t I have noticed that something was inside the paper?  I looked all over the house for camisoles wrapped in tissue paper and finally phoned m-i-l back. 

“I must have made a fire with them when I was burning papers. But I don’t know how I wouldn’t have noticed them.”

“Well … they’re very thin …,” she said. “But don’t worry about it.”

About a week later, my m-i-l phoned. “Guess what I found? Wrapped in tissue paper between two blouses in my dresser drawer.” 

We both laughed with relief. She’s nearly 97 and is allowed to have a senior moment now and then. But my laughing stopped short when I realized, Oh no. Now I still have to do the sewing repairs. 

Okay, well bring them over when you come for supper next time. DON’T wrap them in tissue paper. Just throw them into a plastic bag. Then I won’t try to make a fire with them.”

And that is what she did. She put them in a plastic bag and I had them in my hand the day she came over for supper.  I was very busy getting the meal on the table and putting food  away into the fridge.

The next day, the cursed camisoles were nowhere to be found.

I searched the house thoroughly three times from top to bottom. No camisoles anywhere and I had no excuse to have a senior moment.

Two days ago,  I took my m-i-l shopping, and bought her two new camisoles.

This morning, the Captain was making a sandwich and called out to me, “ANNELI! Guess what I found.”

“No idea. What?”

“I was looking for lettuce to put on my sandwich, and you know how you always wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a plastic bag? Well, just come and see.”

One bag has lettuce in it, and the other has … you guessed it … two camisoles.

And as much as I was relieved to find the cursed things, the next thought that popped into my mind was, Arrrgh…. Now I have to repair them after all.

I have decided to do that, and then quietly put them into m-i-l’s Christmas stocking (wrapped in tissue paper, the way she likes it).


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A Proper Prop

No wind or rain today! Here’s a chance for the Captain to put the troller on the grid and exchange the old prop for a new one while the tide is out.

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He’ll have to work fast before that water rises again and floats the boat. As soon as the tide has dropped enough to give him a working surface on the grid, he begins.

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The old prop needs to be pulled off, but that isn’t so easy. Nor should it be. It’s meant to be on there good and tight. Not something you want to have wobbling on the shaft or twirling right off the shaft and whooshing away into the deep. It’s hard work but the wheel puller (fishermen often call the prop a wheel) that he puts around the propeller puts physics to work and with a bit of elbow grease and a few grunts, the old prop pops loose.

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This boat is going nowhere until the new propeller is put on. You can see the gadget that helped pull off the old prop lying on the ground next to blue kneeling pad. The propane bottle on the left was used to heat and expand the hub of the propeller, making it easier to release it from its tight fit on the shaft. Like holding a stubborn jar lid under hot water to make it easier to open.

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The new propeller is placed on the shaft. It’s a bit like changing a tire only harder work. The blocks of wood under the bottom blade will stop the prop from wanting to turn as the wheel nut is tightened to hold it in place.

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Whew! That was hard work. The Captain drops the pipe wrench on the ground while he stretches his legs and gives his arms and shoulders a rest. But OH! Look at the back of his coveralls. Which washing machine will want that mess in its tub? Bottom-of-the-boat scunge and copper paint. So much fun for Ahab’s wife.

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The annual spring cleanup of the hull of the boat is yet to come. A proper shipyard will be needed for that job. For now, Ahab’s wife will try to enjoy how shiny the new propeller is and forget about how grungy her Captain looks after a hard day’s work.

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If you have made it to the end of this post, I would like to invite you to check out my other blog http://annelisplace.wordpress.com  and comment or follow it if it interests you at all. That blog is dedicated to writing-related posts, and introduces authors and their books. All of you are readers or you wouldn’t be reading this post, so why not see what else is out there in the reading world?


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Deflated

A day to remember from when I lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Women! Listen to Your Man

“Don’t use the truck while I’m away,” he says.

“Why not?” I ask. “My back is a mess from pushing the Beetle to start it every time.”

“I’ll have a look at the Beetle when I get back, but meanwhile, don’t use the truck.”

After he leaves, I grumble. Fine for you to say ‘Don’t use the truck.’  Your back isn’t a wreck. I’m working too. To hell with this. I’m taking the truck to work.

The next day I get dressed for work. I have a 30-mile drive through uninhabited countryside to teach at an elementary school in the next town.  Ah, yes. It’s so fine driving the truck, even though it is an old beater. I don’t have to push it to start it, and the radio works. It even runs quietly because unlike the VW, it has a muffler.  Yes, I thought, I deserve this. I’m working and I deserve this.

But I don’t deserve what happens next.

As I round a slight curve in the highway, the truck wants to leave the road. I fight to hang onto the steering wheel to avoid careening into the ditch. I pump the brake and get the speed down to something manageable. Still holding the steering wheel in a death grip, I manage to come to a stop, just barely off the road, but safely on the shoulder. A quick inspection confirms a shredded right front tire.

Now what? I ‘m about ten miles from town and in the middle of nowhere. I take my school bag, lock the truck, and start walking.

It’s quiet out here on this sparsely used highway. At least it’s not raining for a change. I’ll be late for school. Nothing I can do about that. Maybe someone will come along and I’ll catch a ride. But at this time of the morning, why would anyone be driving this lonely road? I’m having guilty thoughts about using the truck when the Captain specifically said not to. He hadn’t said why though. I thought he was just being chintzy, as the Beetle is much cheaper on gas.

But wait! Do I hear a vehicle? Will it stop for me? I get out on the middle of the road, hoping it won’t barrel right over me. It sounds like a big engine.

Glory be! What comes around the bend but the blessed school bus. The gods love me after all. I jump aboard explaining my near disaster and am delighted to be dropped off at the school steps. I’m not late after all. Everything will be okay.

I phone my brother-in-law, Vaughn, who works at the local garage. He says he’ll see what he can do.

After school, we drive out to the blowout site with a compressor in the back of the garage’s tow truck.

Vaughn pulls up to the back of the truck. “It’s the right front,” I say.

“Well…looks like you have a flat in the back too.”

Vaughn pumps up the back tire, removes the mashed front tire, and has to pump up the flat spare tire before putting it on. He gives me a hug and says good luck.

I drive home praying silently that nothing more will happen. I vaguely remember the Captain once saying something about the truck tires only being cheap retreads. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. My day has been as bad as it can get, hasn’t it?

I pull into the driveway at home and blow out a long breath of relief. I get out of the truck and it seems there’s yet another tire doing the same thing.

S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s!