Keeping Sane While Being Cooped Up!
He just appeared one day. There was this man sitting outside his Class C motorhome chipping away at wood. I walked by his rented site every day. Soon there was a table and wood statues with a sign “4 Sale.” The carvings were gorgeous.
Turns out that his name is Herbert. Trained as metal sculpture artist, he said that he can’t work in metal at TGO because he needs a lot of tools. His first home was in Vienna, Austria. (WOW, at TGO!) Migrating to the United States in 1970, he held a lot of jobs. One of them included creating a home for boys. For years he lived on boats that ranged from sailboats to yachts. Life was sometimes perilous because he had to fight drug smugglers in the Caribbean who wanted his boat. In tense situations when smugglers were trying to steal his boat, he shot a machine gun in the air. He claims he never shot anyone. The machine gun kept him and his family alive.
Says he sold his last boat to purchase the RV. Carving statues supplements his gas budget for their next adventure out west. Sometimes he spends from 50 to 100 hours on one statue. But he is happy and loves his work. Who would have thought that I would run into a person at TGO whose first home was so far away!
Only recently did I discover that Herbert was an author. You can find his book on Amazon.com
Sparkling Giants in the Sky
Have you ever thought of a telephone pole as a work of Art? Here in Florida, they are replacing 40-foot wooden poles with handsome concrete poles that are six stories high. There is a metal tip on the end that acts as a lightning rod. They say that most telephone/power poles are really only (at best) 32-34 feet high because six feet of the pole is in the ground. (I am sure that these statistics change for area to area.)
The new concrete poles weigh 8,000 -10,000 pounds and must be installed with a crane. At the moment they are erecting them at TGO. The equipment is so heavy that they have to place concrete slabs on the ground, so the cranes do not sink. The poles are supposed to withstand winds of 145 miles per hour. Florida Power and Light is spending about three billion dollars to upgrade the entire electrical system. We feel safer.
I could not find a recent video about the installation of the poles. Some of the older concrete poles were shorter and weighed less than the recent ones they are installing. Here is an interesting video!
Across TGO people love to decorate their driveways. Some are painted with designs and others use all types of pavers to create interesting patterns. Painting the driveways takes several days. First there is cleaning and prepping for the first two coats of the foundation paint. Then there is mapping of the design, and finally they spray paint the driveway with a variety of textures. For a couple of years, the driveways look stellar. Homeowners must clean them every year or they turn into a dusty dirty mess.
Summers can destroy concrete driveways in Florida. Pelting hot rain with intermittent scorching sun turns concrete to dust. Honest! One of the first things we did at our hut was to put a solvent-based acrylic sealer on the aging driveway. We have gray stamped concrete that looks like pavers. Upon arriving this year, most of it was gone. We will have to do it again. I don’t think the previous owners had it sealed for many years.
Some people opt to take out all of the concrete in their driveways and replace it with pavers. This is a job for strong mighty people because they have to jack the concrete into pieces and carry it off. Then they have to dig down further to add the pavers. Of course, there is the same problem here. If you don’t spray the pavers with bleach regularly they turn black and ugly.
One of our neighbors just had his painted.
I asked the workmen if he was going to paint bricks around the edges. They told me that he wanted it plain. It could have looked like this below.
Busy Bee Art. The Sawdust Club and Hobbyland
On site TGO has designated certain buildings for people to create Art. The Sawdust Club charges a fee to participate.
Building is their theme. Most people join for a while so that they can use all the tools to complete a renovation in their home. Their ad in our “Happenings” newsletter reads, “We offer a full woodworking shop, 3D printer and scanner, a lathe room, and a metalworking room. Selected hand and power tools may be borrowed for 48 hours. Sawdust Club Members have helped other TGO groups by making items they have needed.”
Hobbyland hosts all sorts of people doing everything from carving to quilting. The building is not as busy right now because of Covid, but last year I was invited to join a few times as I passed by the place. You will find people weaving, rug hooking, sewing, knitting, scrap-booking, crocheting and more. To keep insanity at bay, I have also indulged in creative projects.
Home, Home on the Range!
I am not much for pounding, sawing, or risking my life for creativity. I usually paint. Here are a couple of things I have spent using my Covid time.
Next blog will take us to Okeechobee in the heartland of Florida! At the moment we are residing our hut with new hurricane windows.
As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge