The gap week between Christmas and the new year is time for reflection and a chance to catch up on things left undone. If you are a procrastinator you can skip this part. Piles of correspondence that is left when you put things in the heap that you will get to later, later is here. Get ruthless and toss out old magazines, mailers (you had intended to thumb through) junk drawer items and notes, piles of notes that have gone stale. Afterward it is time to reward yourself. Take time to treat yourself to a movie or outing with the family.
Gap week ideas can be as simple as playing board games or building something in your home workshop with a child or two. Search the web for kid projects, many have templates you can print out and often use hammers, they all love hammers, screws, measuring tape and pencils. Projects are ‘Kodak’ moments, do people say that anymore? You and your child will remember the chair they made with dad. When my son was six he built a wooden chair out of scraps I cut for him, power saws are not safe for a six-year-old to use. I left him with a box of nails to get started, he wanted to do the ‘hammering’ on his own. When I went into the shop to check on his progress, I was shocked at the number of nails he used. He had become obsessed with ‘hammering’ he had used up the box of number twelve box nails and started in on Sixteen-D vinyl coated sinkers, a large nail designed to use on board and frame. I left him to his hammering and went back inside, an hour later the sinkers were gone. We took his new chair outside on the lawn for a test sit. The poor thing had so many nails in it the wood was gone, when he sat down the whole thing fell to the ground in a heap. I looked it over and told him he might have used too many nails. I cut him a new set of wood pieces and showed him how many nails a chair should have. I helped him paint it after construction, the next day it went in the outdoor playhouse and lived there for years. At age thirty- nine he still recalls that project, his girls are six and twelve and know how to hammer.
There are a few outings you might enjoy; the Old Bale Mill SHP is a living history site and an easy drive from here. Be sure to check their holiday schedule before you go. Fort Point is a civil war era stone walled fort made to shoot any intruders, enemy ships that tried to cross the golden gateway. Today it is a museum and kids can imagine the cannon actually firing while climbing around. Another great ‘Fort’ visit is Fort Ross, the drive is an hour or two from home with lots of twists and turns. Once you get there, experience is well worth the time. Be sure to pack a lunch and dry clothes should you visit the beach. Be sure to watch them closely on the cliff edges, sometimes the ground breaks away. They can climb up into the watch towers and imagine shooting the cannon. The Bay Model in Sausalito is a good outing with only a forty-minute drive. Check their hours on the web site before you go. Close by in Tiburon is the Angel Island Ferry, a short ride later you disembark and are free to check it all out. It is OK to use your bikes, there is a paved road all the way around the island. Once you get on the south facing side the view of the city and bay are stunning.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.