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I’d rather be hammering nails

… into the side of my head. Okay, I exaggerate Not into my head, but certainly into my house. There’s painting to do! Dirt to dig! Trim to trim!

Instead, on this fine late-summer day (the kind of day that reminds you to savor every moment because there won’t be many more), I’m headed off to — ugh — socialize.

Yes, I’m leaden with dread because (oh, I’m sure you’ll pity me so), I’ve been invited to spend my afternoon hanging out with a bunch of local artists and their friends at a gathering whose main purpose seems to be to shoot replica cannons. In a toney gated spot. On the water.

Yeah, I suffer.

But seriously, I’d rather be painting and trimming the house. I’m dreading this as if I were going in for surgery. On a sensitive spot. Without anesthetic.

I’m fine one-on-one with people, though I generally prefer my own company. The friend who invited me (owner of said cannon) is one of the few people, along with his equally charming and witty wife, who makes me feel brilliant in more elaborate social situations. But crowds and I — even small crowd, which this will likely be — are not a heavenmade match.

Oh please don’t make me go! I want to finish painting that back wall today.

But I really like my friend with the cannon. He’s bringing a flintlock rifle, too. And he invited me because he saw that grand champion ribbon at the fair and thought “artists!”

I do need to connect with local artist/do-ers. I used to know a few of them when there was a little gallery here, but the gallery owner closed shop and moved away to a houseboat on the Columbia. Since then, not so much.

Pick yourself up and paste on that smile!

But I could be enjoying the scent of new-sawn cedar as I paint the belly band for the north wall.

Go! Smile! Enjoy! Connect!

I think I’ll at least try for an hour of therapeutic painting first.


  1. Pat
    Pat August 26, 2017 11:25 am

    I remember reading a blog once about learning how to say, “No.” 🙂

    Am not sure of the connection between art and cannon (and flintlocks), but only in small-town America would you find it.

  2. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack August 26, 2017 11:36 am

    I can loan you a cannon…

  3. Claire
    Claire August 26, 2017 11:57 am

    I remember reading a blog once about learning how to say, “No.”

    Point taken. But this wasn’t a case where I felt I should have said no; it’s a case where yes was the right answer, but I’m still not looking forward to the event.

    And ditto on the art/cannon connection. If it turns out to be an interesting connection, I’ll let you know.

    R.L. — Thanks for the offer of the cannot, but with just an hour to go before the party, it might be a hair too late. 🙂

  4. just waiting
    just waiting August 26, 2017 12:09 pm

    I’m with you on the whole crowd thing, but look at it this way Claire, any event with a cannon can’t be all bad. At least you get explosions.

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 26, 2017 12:45 pm

    I understand completely, Claire. 🙂 I don’t willingly do crowds at all. But twice a year, March and August, I gather up what pitiful social skills remain and head to a gun show. Today that was about 30 miles away. No actual crowds there, it’s a small town, but I’ve gotten to know a number of the vendors over the years and lots of my friends go, so I enjoy walking around the tables and looking at everything. Actually wanted to find a new CC holster for my revolver this time, but the few that would fit the gun did not cover the trigger… so I didn’t buy anything. Next show is in March, put on by my own gun club. I enjoy that one the most.

    But I must say I’m very grateful to be home again, all by myself. 🙂

  6. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews August 26, 2017 1:08 pm

    Who could say no to cannons? Especially ones that shoot!

  7. larryarnold
    larryarnold August 26, 2017 1:29 pm

    I think this “opportunity” comes under the “Medicine Rule:” If it tastes bad, it’s good for you.

    Shooting over water is something of a no-no, since you don’t know where the projectile will end up. Ever skip a stone across a pond? But if there’s enough distance and he’s using round shot it can be really interesting.

    Harvey’s eye is still moving our direction, but the storm is dissipating a bit, so we’re just seeing clouds rotating in from the north. The coast, particularly the area our refugees came from, is getting hammered, and it’s days from letting up. I have shifts at one of the shelters tonight and tomorrow night, and the relief group at my church is assembling clean-up buckets as fast as they can. Our gas stations are running out as everyone fills up, and no more fuel is on its way from the costal refineries.

  8. just waiting
    just waiting August 26, 2017 3:19 pm

    I think art and cannon and can’t help but thinking Donald Sutherland as the lovable tank commander Sgt Oddball in the classic Kelly’s Heroes.

  9. Claire
    Claire August 26, 2017 4:17 pm

    I should note that we were not shooting over water for the reasons you cite, larryarnold. Indeed the place had a spectacular waterfront location and view, but the property was vast enough that we were able to shoot far away from all that, on a logging road through a meadow with big hills for a backstop. More later on that.

    Good luck with even the side-effects of the hurricane. It sounds like a nasty one, the way it’s expected to park and dump rain for days. Thank you for volunteering at the shelter.

    And thanks all for the offers of both cannons and empathy.

  10. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson August 27, 2017 5:05 am

    I hope the social was fun. The anticipation of difficult things is usually worse than the actual thing. Shooting muzzle loaders and cannons should have had some appeal.

    Unlike my wife who revels in going to parties and giving parties, I go dead inside thinking about the burden of making small talk for several hours. When I actually get to the event, however, I usually end up having a good time. I’ve met some very interesting people during those parties…as long as I can keep the conversation focused on them and not me. (If it turns to me, I inevitably say something I shouldn’t in a social setting.)

    I have one of those big birthdays coming up. You know the kind…you get to change the first number to something bigger. I don’t really care, but it is a good excuse for my wife to invite everyone she knows, and some she doesn’t, to our house for a good bash. She’s been planning the menu for weeks.

    I’m beginning to feel catatonic just thinking about it.

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