Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ski chair

This week I got the best birthday gift ever!


A SKI CHAIR! 

It's been a challenging few weeks over here in Eastern Oregon, with Survivor: Malheur Refuge playing out daily. I don't live in Burns anymore, but I did for five years, working for the BLM, and I know the whole history of where this began. I know a lot more than what is being reported, but let's leave it at that. There's a rally to protest the death and arrests this weekend in a tiny town south of us, along with "government overreach." There are senators (I'm looking at you, Utah) proposing bills to turn public lands over to the states, which would change them forever, especially recreation access. (States would have to run the land for profit. Who is going to lose in that scenario? Not the miners or the ranchers). It's hard to be universally hated for the agency you work for, especially when you have dedicated your life to helping people enjoy the outdoors, with many toilet cleaning jobs thrown in.

There were many times when I thought, why am I even doing this job? Why do I even live here? There are places to go where life would be a lot easier. Hawaii comes to mind. But every so often something appears in life that makes you realize you belong somewhere, like a ski chair showing up on your deck.

I have long coveted these chairs. They are a rare species, adorning the porches of a few residents lucky enough to know how to make them or win them at a fundraiser. They just make me smile. Though I am sure they exist in some form in other places, something about them makes me always think of this town. 

Turns out that J has been hoarding skis for years to make me a chair (I think he may have used an ex's skis to make part of it. Oh well, we all have a history).  It's too cold right now to hang out on the deck and it will  be for months. But who cares! I have a ski chair! I belong here, and I'm not going anywhere. 

31 comments:

  1. Judging by how California manages their state parks, I really, REALLY don't want the states to run all federal lands. So many stupid rules. I like disappearing to USFS and BLM land whenever I can.

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    1. Wasn't there a time when the CA state parks had to close due to lack of funding? So there is that.

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  2. I love your chair. I can understand your concern for the future of your parks.

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    1. It's a treacherous time and this election could determine what happens, or if I stow away to Australia

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  3. J. is really talented!...and caring. Love the chair, and where you live.

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    1. And here you thought he was just collecting skis, the way you collect backpacks and tents! What a nice long-term surprise.

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  4. happy birthday!
    i would love to hear your background stories….

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    1. Suffice to say nobody in this tale is as innocent and unjustly persecuted as they are portrayed.

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  5. What an AWESOME gift!!! And the fact that you had no idea that he was making it for you. My sister-in-law makes those and promised to make us one if ever we get a permanent address. She made us a ski coat rack that is now sitting in storage. Enjoy (once summer comes)!

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    1. Oh cool. I thought other people probably made them. A ski coat rack? I must have one!

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  6. Ohh....so awesome! I want one too!!! And your chair is made of "bad bitch" skis! Yes, I've been very peeved about the yahoos taking over the Malheur Wildlife refuge....Those spoiled whiners need to shut up and go home.

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    1. Those skis are funny. And yes,they need to go protest in their own communities I believe.

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  7. Hi Mary, that's a very kool chair, I'm sure you will enjoy it. I'm not fond of states managing park land. Here in Alaska, the CONservatives would blacktop every inch of Alaska they can.

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    1. John, I was also thinking of the native corporations up there and how they are forced to do things to make a profit for their members. Not the most scenic choices in some cases.

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  8. Happy Birthday! I've seen those chairs on front porches. Now I know both someone who has one and someone who made one! Living nomadically as I am currently, I've definitely been rethinking the whole 'furniture' thing. Right now it's just a pain, having to store it, pay to store it, all that.
    But yours looks great on your front porch and soon you'll have some weather that will allow you to sit in it in something other than ski pants!

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    1. Yes...furniture...for a long time I had none. Definitely a small house keeps me from going overboard in that department. The chair is a keeper though.

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  9. I love your new chair. You could sit in it now with a cup of hot cocoa to keep you warm.

    Yes, I agree the protesters need to protest in their own community. Attention seeking yahoos. I bet they were all bullies in school too.

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    1. It was almost 40 today and J sat in it. So the time is coming...

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    2. Photo of J. in ski chair (with a cat)?

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  10. Cool chair!!!
    I don't think anything has gotten me upset in such a long time as the business in Malheur. I have lived in eastern and central Oregon ages ago and now reside in Montana. My heart will break if we lose our federal lands. Hopefully sanity will prevail.

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    1. I agree, it has really broken my heart. The fact that people are willing to die for this seems so unbelievable when we have so many other avenues.

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  11. Love that chair! Gets me thinking of things that might be able to be made from old hiking/snowshoeing gear.

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    1. If only I could figure something out for all my old running shoes!

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    2. Maybe that's how those shoe trees get started...

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  12. The ranchers need to be careful what they wish for. The same "turn the land over to the state" movement is here in Alaska.

    States would likely sell off as much land as they can instead of paying to manage it. So huge ranches and corporations will buy it--relatively cheaply, of course--then lease it back to the smaller guys now using it, but at full market rate. Much more than they're paying now.

    Concerning the Alaska Native corporations--no, they aren't being forced to do things to get money for their shareholders. They choose to do various business dealings, but most have not been very successful, they employ relatively few shareholders, and most pay very little in yearly dividends--I think most are a few hundred dollars a year.

    Of course, there are some well paid executives and board members....

    Tom
    Fairbanks

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    1. Good to know about the corps. I was under a differect impression.

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    2. I don't mean to imply that they haven't done things that have caused damage. Like the clear cutting that SeaAlaska and Shee Atika have done in SE. It just hasn't benefited the shareholders much. --Tom

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  13. OMG, we've been talking about trying to build a bench out of old skis, but this is soo much cooler! Someone knows you well.

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    1. I now have ideas for a ski side table and a ski coat rack....!

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  14. Wish we'd known about the new ideas for using skis! Recently donated L's old X country pair to Thrift Store...it would have been fun to see them in a table or coat rack!

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