Life is full of adventure. Sometimes adventure comes into our lives uninvited. Other times we set out to find it. And then there are the times when we stumble upon it unintentionally and it takes us by surprise. Yesterday was one of those times for me.
The day began normal enough. I got up and did my mail and wrote my blog here and did all of my regular morning routine. I had planned on finishing the two new candle trays and photographing them and moving on with other projects.
My partner and I were talking about stuff and work in general and then it happened – we had an idea.
The adventure began.
I am unable to claim credit for this ‘brilliant’ idea, nor do I bear the full responsibility for it. All I knew was that between us and our conversation it was decided that we would take the day and drive to Halifax to go to Home Depot and purchase a Rigid Oscillating Spindle Sander and also a Rigid 6.0 hp shop vac. We had our sights on both of these things since Christmas and had received some money toward them and it seemed like a good time to jump in and take the plunge and buy them. After all, we had recently acquired some extra storage space due to the organization project last week. My partner had just finished building another beautiful basket which required several hours of hand sanding and the sander would have come in mighty handy, as would the shop vac. I am sure you all as fellow workers know how it is. All of a sudden, the ‘want’ turns into the ‘need’ and depending how good you are at justifying yourself, you find yourself in the car and heading out to acquire your new tool(s).
Now of course, we called HD first. Not the one in Halifax, as that was a three plus hour drive away, but the one in New Minus, which was under two hours on the road. We were saddened to hear that although they had the Vac in stock, they did not have (nor did they carry) the Oscillating Spindle Sander. Excitement turned to bitter disappointment as I listened as my partner relayed the information.
“Oh, well” I thought to myself. “I will be better off finishing up these trays anyway.”
But then I heard a note of hope in his voice, and he said to the clerk “Really?” My ears perked up.
After he hung up, he informed me that in both the Halifax and Dartmouth stores, they had no less than five (yes, FIVE) of the sanders in stock.
With my hope rekindled, before I knew what I was saying, I blurted out “Let’s go!” That was all it took.
Like two children heading off to an amusement park we fed the cats some extra food, packed up our necessities and headed off. The sky was overcast but calm and snow was lightly falling. It was going to be a fun day!
We drove for about an hour and a half, stopping for a quick bite to eat in Digby, as we were so excited that we left the house without eating and it was already after noon by the time we got there. We continued on our adventure perhaps another 45 minutes or so and the snow began coming down a bit harder. I believe it was at this time that we were fist aware of the weather, as the windshield began getting icy, to the point where we had to stop the car and clean off the wipers. The roads were getting nasty also and we slowed our speed to well under the limit.
I mentioned the obvious change in weather to my partner (sometimes he refers to me as “Captain Obvious”) and it seemed we both had checked the weather forecast for the day. After all, we live in Nova Scotia and don’t want to really be on the roads during a storm.
“Light Flurries”, the forecast said. Surely it would clear up soon. We forged on.
As we approached Windsor and began the turn to cross the province, we were barely able to see. The “Light Flurries” turned into a full-fledged white-out and we were lucky to see 100 yards in front of us. We crawled on, and both agreed to share the blame equally for our stupidity.
We were fortunate enough to follow the plows most of the time and by the time we reached the city our nerves were a bit frazzled but we decided that it would probably be best to stay overnight and come home in the daylight the next day.
It was nearly 5pm when we arrived in Dartmouth, and the snow had turned to a steady rain. We were starving again and stopped at a place for a bit to eat. We had our supper and planned our route to Home Depot and pondered as to what to do about getting home (“Beam me up, Scottie” was somehow stuck in my head at the time.)
We got a map and figured out how to get to HD, which was no easy task. Halifax/Dartmouth area is a nightmare of tangled streets. It seems that no matter how many times I have been there I still am unable to figure out where I am. Everything always looks familiar because I am sure that I have been driving down each street at one time or another in my quest to get to another destination. I grew up in the Chicago area, where everything is set up in a grid. You can go from 100 North Cicero Avenue to 250 South Cicero avenue and the route is a straight shot. As long as you don’t turn, you will be fine.
Not so in Halifax. It is a tangled mess of streets that lead in circles and it is further complicated by the fact that Bedford Basin and Halifax Harbor divide the two areas and the only way across is via one of two bridges, unless you go around.
In any case, we finally made it to Home Depot and I have to tell you that being there was the most positive part of our day. (That alone should put it in perspective!) There was even two helpful clerks that came up to us to help us out and beside the fact that the one nice man told us that they didn’t sell the 4” x 24” extra sanding belts for the sander and we found no less than 16 (yes, sixteen) boxes of them among the sanding belts, everything went fine. We were even able to (barely) fit the two large boxes in the back seat of the my partner’s Sunfire.
While we were in the store, another miracle happened – it warmed up and actually stopped raining. The pavement was actually clear, albeit wet, and the roads were much better. We decided to try to get home after all. We made a pact that if the weather changed again, we would stop along the way and wait it out. We also agreed that time was not an issue and even if it took several hours extra, we would go slow.
We arrived home close to midnight. The conditions went from average to somewhat poor in the valley, where snow was still falling, but from Digby on it was just normal wet. When we finally pulled into the driveway around midnight, I wanted to kiss the ground like the pope does. I was really, really glad to be here.
It was a LONG day, but now it is behind us and today I plan to get some serious work done. I have some pictures of the new additions to our tools.
The new Vac (or the “Mega-Monster” as Pancakes calls it):
|From Shop Pictures|
And the new Oscillating Belt/Spindle Sander:
|From Shop Pictures|
These both have good reviews and will be wonderful additions to our work. I can’t wait to play with them! I am very happy that yesterday is behind us though and we are safe and sound in our little place.
“There’s no place like home!”
Have a great Saturday. :)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"