Saturday, May 4, 2013

Abalone’s Birthday

“DOOOO you wanna go on an adventure?”-me talking to my dog.

Abalone turned six the day after Jessica’s Forager Feast and Birthday Bash, so we had to take our little four legged companion on a little adventure. Abalone loves being spoiled, playing Frisbee, hunting, going to the beach, her grandparents and uncles, but likely most of all she loves swimming! So we geared up and after a birthday ritual bowl full of bacon and eggs, we were off to a secret desert gem.
The hike in was nice through black sage, yucca and cholla cactus, but when we found the shade under the alders and willows creekside, we were in heaven. Abalone swam like an animal (ha) and did her best to bite every bubble that past by her in the rapids. Chelsea practiced her yoga on the granite boulders and true to my nature…I went and looked for a stick!

 I’ll admit it, I have a problem when it comes to rocks and sticks…but I have come to terms with it.

At age four, I was bored one summer day and when I heard my Dad say he was headed to work I got really bummed out. He saw I was sad so he told me to follow him for a minute. Into the old drawer, under the phonebook he pulled out two thick blue rubber bands that came standard around the newspaper each week. He grabbed a scrap of leather from the bottom of the rag bin and motioned for me to go with him outside. “we’ve gotta find the right stick” he explained holding me up into an apple tree. “Does that one fit in your hand?” he asked. I nodded and he put me down on the ground again pulling out his trusty Swiss Army knife and opening the saw blade. I watched with intent curiosity as he worked. He cut the leather into a rectangular strip and punched two holes in it with the awl on the back of his knife, he cut the rubber bands so they were long straps, and began to assemble the pieces. That’s when I realized the method to his madness…it was BRILLIANT! The Y shaped stick and scraps had just come together into a refined slingshot before my eyes.

Hunter chuckled and handed it over to me after walloping an apple off the tree with a high velocity pebble. I was stoked! And so began my fascination with upcycling. Dad went over the ground rules before he took off for work explaining that with great power comes great responsibility. He emphasized the use of backdrops, understanding trajectory, making sure I was always shooting in a safe direction, and most of all that this deadly implement was NOT a toy! I was no longer bored!

So the other day when I bought a three pack of boxer shorts and found a thick blue rubber band wrapped around it, I smiled deviously, set aside a scrap of leather, and today I was in search of a Y stick. The materials came together effortlessly, and in a few minutes back at the house we were ready. I snapped the band once to test the elasticity in the bands and Abalone jumped up, licking her chops in anticipation, whining and staring at the new source of unparalleled enjoyment (she really loves shooting as well).
We set outside and the whole family enjoyed walloping cans until the sun went down.

Happy birthday Abalone!
Waste not, want not. Enjoy the little things each day brings, and always strive to keep the old ways alive!
-Kevin Smith  

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