Month: June 2020

Perfect Day

Yesterday was just about perfect.

The kids & I went to the beach, to try out a cheap inflatable stand up paddle (SUP) board I’d gotten. The kids have gone SUPing before, and I’ve been once, when I think Alan & I tried one out on Donner Lake a few years ago.

When I tried it then, I was kinda “eh” on it, because it was hard, and felt unstable, and was a ton of work. But having spent a few years thinking about it, and having seen a bunch of people paddling around Crown Beach and the surrounding areas, it’s something I’ve wanted to try again. Eric & Christy have a few inflatable SUPs, and while I’m sure they’d have let me borrow one of theirs, I figured a cheap one from Amazon’s not too expensive, and even if it’s blah as a SUP, the kids will get a kick out of riding it around.

So we went to the beach. It was a beautiful, fairly hot day, but totally calm. Perfect weather for this. The kids ran out into the low tide and played around in the muddy sand while I inflated the thing. A few minutes later, I walked the board out, and gave it a shot on my own. I was able to stand up and paddle a bit, but it was a lot of effort. The kids came running out as soon as I got back, and wanted to go for a ride. So me on my knees, with both of them sitting in front of me, we paddled out a ways. Turns out the low tide at Crown means you can paddle out for *hundreds* of feet away from shore and be all of a whopping 2 ft deep.

But it was great. The kids loved riding around, they jumped off it into the water, they stood up, they jumped, J paddled a bit. K hung his feet off the sides of the board, and would cackle every time his feet rubbed past some seaweed, laughing about how much it tickled.

They held onto the board & kicked, pushing it around. Every time we drifted towards shore, I asked them if they wanted to go in – it was close to lunch, and they usually don’t like doing these kinds of things for too long – but they kept wanting to go back out, so we paddled out to where it was about 6-7ft deep repeatedly. A family (a mom & two kids) were chasing us around, sorta, which was hilarious.

After we finally got back to shore, after something like an hour and a half on the board, the kids ran up a small (3-4ft) like sand “cliff” and would tumble down it repeatedly, laughing and laughing. Eventually, they finally got hungry, and we went to Burger King for lunch.

I wish I had pictures, but we were out in the water the whole time, and it was better to just spend it being with them. It was one of my favorite days of my entire life, though. Like snorkeling in Oahu earlier this year. Fantastic.


What’ve I been doing? A lot of cleaning up. Organization. Trying to find homes for things in our house that have never had a home. Cleaning up a decade of child-rearing entropy. It’s been a long project, and not anywhere near done yet. But getting there.

Today, I did a sweep through a part of our bookcase, and did some organization, and put a bunch of books into a donation pile that we’re unlikely to read again. Will be donating them to the organizations that support the Oakland Public Library.

Been making a knife, which has been fun – it’s slow going, but I’ve got the shape roughed out, and most of the bevels ground out. I’ll need to finish the bevels first, drill out pin holes for the handle, then figure out how to heat-treat it. After that, put on the handle, grind that into shape, then done.

Also doing some small home-repair/touch up projects, like patching up all the trim nail holes on the windows – some of which haven’t been patched in the decade since we got the trim installed. Done a lot of weeding, as well.

Mostly, though, trying to spend time with the kids, now that they’re on summer break. It’s a LOT easier now that they’re not doing distance learning school stuff. WAY easier. I think I need to get them to do a *little* bit of math or something so they don’t forget it all, but for the most part, we’re just taking it easy for a week or three.

So yeah. Pandemic. Racial justice. Those are also things, and we’re chugging along on that front. But the bulk of the day at this point is resting up from the three year long sprint of my last job, and trying to find a better balance in my life. So far, so good.