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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The old Adirondacks

A neighbor in Massachusetts was throwing them out - big, ungainly, wooden things weighing at least 30 pounds each. We rescued them and brought them to Maine and they continue to live and serve, some 15 more years now. Each year, however, they show their age and today, when I took them out of the garage, one more or less fell apart when I brought it down to the edge of the bay.

This is not the first time. For a few years now, I've been enduring smiles and laughs and discussions of liability. I keep wanting to repair these old chairs - I'm not interested in shiny new red things made from Coke bottles. I love these gray, heavy pieces of wood, all articulated together with dowels, not bolts. Well, there are a few bits of metal: each chair was originally made with a couple of large construction screws holding major parts together, but that's it, everything else is wood, except that now, in the course of their various rehabilitations, I've put in small screws in place of dowels, rather like surgical screws replacing ligaments. This year, however, the situation looked grim. Limbs fell off completely. I dragged the pieces back up to the garage and contemplated.

I admit I almost gave up. But the thought of just one chair down at the water, without companion, was too much to bear. With some effort and a few swears the Adirondack was repaired and joined its mate. I actually sat in it for a while, feeling the aches in its and my joints. It seemed solid but I knew that it might not tolerate sudden movements, or much more metal, or too much more of the modern world.

The wind down at the water was cold. But the sun was warm, and spring was here, summer was coming, the snow and hail and gales of winter were far away. We can emerge from our garages and sweaters, we are repaired. We might just last another season.

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