Monday, November 16, 2009


We all get so caught up in getting the best equipment we can get for the given activity. Want a better kayak, better bike, better vehicle, mixer, vacuum cleaner, musical instrument, computer, camera, clothes, sunglasses, electronic devices. I've always admired people that can take the different pleasure from another angle. Putting a higher priority on tradition, or beauty, or frugality than going for the best as far as function. I do it occasionally, but more often I want what I can get - onward and upward. Not that I’m purely materialistic. My stuff has a purpose. I’m not into showy stuff like jewelry or fancy clothes, expensive cars or furnishings. But I like my toys.

So this is a lesson in improvisation, as my new friend David says, "An old windsurf board pulled from a trash heap, a paddle made from a 2x4 and two scraps of plywood and a $10 seat from Walmart. Look Ma, no duct tape." It paddles quite well.

On Sunday we paddled the 7.5 miles or so to the gulf and back. Beautiful day. Sunny and the water was very calm. Had a nice trip and picked up a few edible passengers who were unable to run away, brought them back and fried them for lunch after a little laboring... what I call “part 2 of the upper body workout.”

David’s even more interesting story was the previous weekend, paddling this thing to Horn Island and back in one day. And on that trip he actually used the 2x4/plywood paddle shown in the bottom picture. Walter Anderson would be proud!

So don’t let a lack of the “right equipment” hold you back from life’s experiences. Sometimes it’s a lot more fun and rewarding to improvise.

Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

Well written. I couldn't agree more. That's frugality at its best. Reminds me of the cardboard boxes my bro & i would pick up at the local grocery to build forts. We would also visit the local lumberyard on saturdays & scrounge for scrap would to build destroyers & PT boats. We'd nail turouts & pound nails into the sides like they were big anticraft guns. The price FREE the memories priceless.

Anna said...

Good stories, Brent! Yeah that's good stuff. Seems a little too much of that has to be directed these days through boy scouts and the like. Not enough of kids playing outside, ineventing things.