Tribute to Trees

Good morning everyone. Hope all is well for you folks. We are enjoying another blast of winter here before the rain comes tomorrow. Zero degrees this morning and quiet as can be out in the door yard. I have been feeling like we have turned the corner on winter. I have seen robins and even a catbird yesterday. The days are getting noticeably longer. I walked out to the barn last night to load the wood stove and was struck by the brilliance of the moonlight on the snow, the chill in the air, and how quiet the woods can be. My heart leaps with joy on nights that catch my attention like that. I think I have been spending way too much time inside this past week. I am healing well from last week’s surgery. My mind says go but I can feel it if I overdo myself.

Varnish is the word of the week around here. Varnish, varnish, varnish. This kind of work is unforgiving. Jen and I once had a boat with all bright finished cabin houses. A fella came walking down the dock one day as we were spreading the amber liquid over the acres of mahogany cabin trunks. He pointed out that paint would be a heck of a lot easier. I can’t repeat here what it is I said back to him. Maybe I contained myself and thanked him profusely for his kind words. But I have never been know to take the easy way around much of anything.

Varnish work is one of those things that mirrors the soul of the varnisher. You can’t hurry through it. Poor preparation shows in the results. You can’t cut corners. You can’t go back to change the past. You gently lay it down with the best brush possible and you get what you get. If you missed a spot 2 minutes back you cannot go back and fix it. You just sand it all down and start again. We call those little blemishes holidays. Maybe like Christmas, the anticipation and the reality don’t always match up. The disappointment feels the same. But when right mind meets right technique under the right conditions the outcome allows the nature of the wood to lift our spirits and there is no better tribute to the life of a tree.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

One comment

  1. I just can’t believe no one has written an insightful commentary on varnish. I have been checking daily to see if someone would provide the history of varnish or extol the virtues of bright work. Personally, the last time I applied real varnish was to a mahogany book shelf in wood shop class during my senior year in high school. Let’s see, that would have been in 1965. I can remember quite clearly hand sanding that thing to get the bristle that the cheap brush we had left behind. Then of course I had to varnish it again. There were several coats with steel wool rub downs in between. What fond memories of breathing the intoxicating fumes during class.

    Thanks for all you do to make and keep the Mary Day a beautiful schooner which adds so much pleasure to my visits aboard.

Comments are closed.