Don’t Forget the Sledgehammer!

By , June 24, 2016

Aly recently completed a whirlwind packing project to empty her apartment before moving back to the homestead (see Solstice Maximus). She needed to box up and otherwise secure her household goods to hand off to her aunt and uncle, who will deliver them to Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle for shipment to Haines.

In an email sent in the middle of the process, Aly listed a few items that could not be boxed. One of them caught my attention: “I also have the sledgehammer.”

Sledgehammer? What does a suburban apartment dweller who works at a tea shop need with a sledgehammer?

The answer proves to me, yet again, that we raised our daughter well!

Aly used to belong to an exercise group called “Geeks and Gamers.” This ingenious concept, which goes by various names as it develops around the country, incorporates play into adult exercise regimens.

Each routine follows some sort of theme drawn from popular culture: science fiction/fantasy, videogaming, etc. So, for instance, participants may sprint through an obstacle course, chased by dinosaurs or terminators. It cleverly engages the participants’ imagination and sense of play as they complete a fairly serious workout.

When we went south to see Aly graduate from college (see Aly’s Graduation Day) we attended a few of the Geek and Gamer sessions. It was fun!

At that time they had the gym divided into various exercise stations, and participants went around the circuit in groups. One of the stations had a pair of giant truck tires and sledgehammers. The regulars were very solicitous, showing Michelle and me how to perform the exercise. Each person stood on the tire and whacked it with a sledgehammer, trying to hit the same spot between his or her feet for a set number of blows.

In other words, just another day on the homestead . . . . You should have seen the amazement when we both jumped up there and whacked the tire repeatedly, always in the same spot.

The program broke up when the fellow who set it up moved out of town. Before he left, he realized he had five or six sledgehammers. He didn’t figure he needed more than one, so he asked the participants if anyone wanted one. Aly spoke up, and got a free sledgehammer! She didn’t have an immediate need for it, but it didn’t cost anything, so why not?

It will cost me about $.60/lb to ship it home for her, but that’s a bargain.

Our old sledgehammer may be reaching the end of its useful life. I’ve been thinking lately about replacing it. Looks like the girl—and her sledgehammer—will arrive just in the nick of time.

3 Responses to “Don’t Forget the Sledgehammer!”

  1. John and Mary Helfrich says:

    Ahh…life throws many obstacles for us and this one seems like a benefit for sure…..please tell Aly the Helfrich family says hello, congratulations and a hearty Welcome Home.
    When you are ready, we would love to see some pictures of the “boat house” completed as a new residence for Aly.
    As an FYI….Eric will be marrying this coming Sept. in Park City, UT at the top of a mountain, and we are super happy for the new couple. Life is Good!
    All the best…..and ROCK ON!
    John & Mary

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi John and Mary, We’ll be sure to do that. We plan to take photos before and after in the cottage, we’re just not sure when the after will be! Doing the same for the cottage’s outhouse, that’s sure to come sooner.

    Congratulations to Eric and his bride to be! That’s got to be an amazing location for a wedding.

    All the best,


  3. Jon Marshall says:


    Congrats on getting her home. Sledgehammers are always a good tool to have around. If you need to pound something back into place or even feel like whacking something.

    Park City is a beautiful place to get married. I had the great chance to work for the Transit System in Park City driving the buses. One of my favorite areas to work. The scenery was a great view from the bus driving seat.

    Have a happy week of getting Aly settled. Be well.


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