Being home-bound leads to undertaking a multitude of projects

1934 military fire truck

— Photo from John R. Williams

Karl Remmers restores tractors, and rescued a 1934 military fire truck.

The weeks seem to fly by; it is time for another column, and soon it will be time for another one, etc. etc. As we all grow older day by day it is nice to have a project that keeps us busy; the old men have many of those.

The scribe has reported on these over the years. One project that is rather constant is the restoration of old things, as in the case of the bridge builders, removing, repairing, reinstalling and even starting from scratch with their bridges so hikers can safely enjoy the paths that wander through the Hilltowns.

There is a group of OMOTMs that restores and preserves old equipment — stationary or mobile. These types of projects require movement (body), study (mind), and execution (satisfaction of a completed job).

Put all these together and with the OMOTM it makes age, and attitude, just a number. To show what these OMOTM have accomplished through their own work, or work to be done, and even purchases that have to be maintained, here are just a few of them.

Some projects that the OMOTM start now take much longer than when the interest was first initiated.

Usually this scribe does not name names in the column to protect the innocent, and in our case it may also be the guilty. For this, the scribe will name names but only in this one category. The OMOTM also have many more in the group that have interests and talents which require clear heads: musicians, pilots, artists, gardeners, etc.

The OMOTM have Pete Whitbeck and his cars, one a running Model T; Bill Lichliter and his restoring old military vehicles; Karl Remmers restoring tractors, and rescuing a 1934 military fire truck, and maintaining it; Roger Chapman and his tractors plus a 1933 Hudson to be restored. The OFs live what they talk.

Now that many of the OFs are enjoying the extra time at home, things are getting done around the house. One OF said he did two things. One was eventually learning how to use and then using a smoker he purchased quite a while ago. The OF said he bought it because he thought it was the thing to do — everyone else was buying them.

In this time while at home, and not running all over the place, he has learned how to use this specific piece of BBQ grill, and now uses it all the time. The OF has made special trips into his woodlot to cut hickory sticks to use in it and the OF said that food from this cooker is real gooood.

Another thing that is getting done is yard work, and exterior and interior painting of the ole château. This should help the paint, and paint-accruement manufacturers, but can lead to some surprises.

For example, one OF who was pulling weeds in plantings around the house had a huge surprise. After pulling the weeds, the OF said he had a pile of them and so carried them out to his compost pile. Just as he was ready to throw them on the pile, he saw the biggest snake he has ever seen in his compost.

The OF said the snake had to be three inches through and at first he could not see the head, so he carefully cleared away some of the compost and saw that it was a round head with round eyes and round pupils (if anyone cares to get close enough to check this out), which generally means it is harmless.

The vipers generally have an arrow-shaped head with flat eyes, which can have slits in them. (Again, if anyone wants to go eyeball to eyeball and check it out, go ahead. Lesson for today).

The snake must have been logy or full because it did not scurry away. It stayed still in the compost long enough for the OF to take a picture of it and send it to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

The OF said they returned with information on the snake. It is quite uncommon in our area; however, it is a northern water snake, and the water snakes are one of the most common snakes in the lower 48 states and are very beneficial and harmless.


Exercise for seniors

The scribe, after perusing the net for more activities for the home-bound, found the following helpful advice on exercise for seniors:

— Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side;

— With a five-pound potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them as long as you can, then relax;

— Each day, you’ll find you can hold this position longer. Try to reach a full minute’

— After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-pound potato bags and then 50-pound potato bags. Eventually you will be able to lift 100-pound potato bags and hold your arms straight for a full minute. (I’m at this level now);

— After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.