Maxed out 

Boomer syndrome: The disconnect between


As spring makes its astronomical transition to summer, two things weigh heavily on my mind. The first is the hope that summer arrives more than symbolically. Since four smokin’ hot days that bridged May and June, the sun’s been playing a wicked good game of hide-and-seek. I’ll be damned if I can find it. Late spring of 2007 has been one of those unsatisfying seasons — wet, cold, and wet — that used to drive me out of British Columbia and into the desert in search of epidermal Vitamin D. Everything in the garden has gone into a state of suspended animation with the exception of rare and formerly unknown visitors to these normally dry parts — slugs.

The second thing devilling me is the vast chasm, the yawning crevasse that separates planning and doing. I’m about to either step across it or fall in; it’s impossible from this vantage to tell which. All I know for certain is the planning part of this project is over. It’s time to start doing.

I’ve been planning in earnest since sometime in April. Like any worthwhile planning exercise, this one started with a blank piece of paper, or in this case, a blank wall. The wall is in my living room. The living room is in one of the townhomes at WHA’s Nita Lake development, the one my Perfect Partner and I were lucky enough to get a chance to buy after what seemed like an eternity on the wait list wondering whether any new housing would get built before the rental suite we’d lived in for 11 years got sold out from under us.

The wall needs something other than paint. I need shelves, shelves to hold books, a television, various antique stereo components, electronic detritus, gewgaws, objects d’art, dust collectors. I need drawers to hold the treasures only drawers can hold, including that most essential drawer that allows any household to look as though its occupants are, at best, only distantly related to packrats… a junk drawer. That the wall’s needs and my needs coincide in time and space presented an opportunity to do one of two things: buy furniture or make furniture.

For reasons too obtuse to go into, I chose make. That’s partly because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in my cursory and ill-conceived shopping attempts but it’s mostly because there isn’t enough grief in my life. Having chosen make, one might assume I know something about making furniture, in this case wall units. One would be mistaken.

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