Thursday, December 13, 2012

4H - Jumping Right In

Leaving our old 4H club was really tough. Our daughter was on the board, the leaders were dynamic, the kids were active, and there were some tight-knit friendships blooming. Rather than mourn our loss, however, we opted to jump right in to the club in our new community.

First up, after signing up for projects, of course, was our first community service project with our new club - rejuvenating the club's community welcome sign. No one was jumping at the task, and while I'd intended to sit back this year and just learn how the operation ticked, it seemed they needed someone to jump in.


So, one fine, sunny day, the girls and I pulled up on the side of the road just outside town, climbed through the barbed-wire fence, and ripped off the old sign from its incredibly sturdy framework. We had plenty of looks, but not a soul stopped to ask what the heck we were doing defacing the community's welcome sign. I guess a woman and two girls climbing out of a minivan hardly look suspicious.

While the club was prepared to replace the wood and pay for paint, we discovered that the original plywood had been pretty well sealed by that old peeling paint. We finished scraping off the loose stuff, then were joined by one of the club's other newest members and his mom for a stencil-and-paint session.

The following day, the girls and I returned to the scene where I discovered a few things:
- nails which have had the tips ground off are VERY tough to reuse;
- said nails are particularly difficult to use when they don't align with holes;
- I hadn't checked the holes before orienting the art/text (it never occurred to me they might vary from one side to the other - whoops!)
- we hadn't taken into account the space the frame would take away from our sign.

The end result: we did get the sign hung, and no one will be able to tell dull nails worked their way into the wood, but rather than being spaced out in lovely fashion, the bottom edge of the frame serves as a bold underline to the meeting dates and times.

But it's legible, it's autographed, and it should serve just fine for another decade.

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