• red sled •

• red sled •
I thought, and thought, all day, how to make a stain – all the stores being closed, it was a conundrum: what to do, how to make the old sled red. After all, renovation of a discarded downhill-racer needs the right colour to counteract the cold. It had to be ‘barn red’ – “old-timey” red – nothing else would do. Something to cajole the overweight would-be hill-climbing snow enthusiast into “just one more downhill run”, over and over again, namely me, only the right red would do.
Then, it came. Finding a few ounces of red paint in the bottom of a can in the basement from a long ago project, and adding a dram or two of vanilla extract to the mix, because it was brown, and available, to warm up the tone, I perfected the goo. It didn’t hurt, that it smelled good, too. Then, addressing the old sled, convivially, with the inexplicable reminiscent joy of a kid robbed of even a single “White Christmas”, with a sense of hope, and with the rush of vanilla extract wafting up my nose, giddily, I rubbed the colorful concoction into the thirsty wood, hailing from South Texas, as I do. Oh, how happily the eyes took it in: there’s no joy like getting a thing done to perfection, which has lived in your mind for a day, or two.
Tomorrow morning, addition of the hardware, the polyurethane finish, the runners, the rope “steering wheel”, the finishing touches on the sled.
Subsequently, the promised kitchen renovations, which I dread.
~ Tim Burchfield



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