On Friday, I had a wrestling match with a vine. It threw me against our picket fence with such speed and force that I now have a big purple lump on my arm. All I really wanted was to cut it down a bit so we could restain the fence. Afterwards, it would have had our blessing to grow and multiply. I backed down for the time being because we were heading up to my parents' cabin in Wisconsin for my and my brother's birthdays.
Saturday, my birthday, I spent a good amount of time standing in rubber boots in the lake helping my dad put in the dock. Alan had on hip boots and my dad had full length waders, so I got the good deal, except that every time we found we needed something else, I was the one who had to run up to the cabin basement to get it. Climbing up and down the hill in those too big boots was really good for my rear end, though. Except for the dead squirrel, in good shape considering, floating in the water next to me for a good part of an hour, it was a lovely, warm day. I'm not sure where he went after that, although we did see a baby northern pike hanging out nearby. I get my accident-prone genetics from both my parents, but mostly my dad. We were working for a bare five minutes when my dad sliced his thumb. I think Alan realized then, comparing this with his own experience with me, that a Livdahl project isn't really started until blood is let. Dad was going to wait to put the dock in until my brother made it up, but when the afternoon rolled around and he still hadn't appeared, he gave in and let us help him. I'm shaking my head as I type this thinking, "Did he really think that Steve was that much better than the two of us? Sure, we're science fiction writers, and a little out of shape, but really, we are two people and I'm pretty handy." I believe that we will now be considered as able helpers for the annual dock removal. I'm not sure we set a good precedent, but my pride has been assuaged.