Sprucing up, no trees required

Good to see new pads for picnic tables and benches around the lake at Oak Point. A new fishing dock is in place with tall posts. Those posts will let the dock float up higher in times of high water. My ever changing job situations let me learn about things like connecting dock systems. Prevents boredom, I guess!

New dock Sept. 5, 2015

In the May 30, 2015 flooding

The old dock March 20, 2012 after 4" rain.
Replaced pad and picnic table Sept.5, 2015

That picnic site in the flooding of May 30, 2015

New bench site. It used to be nearer the dam.

All of which brings me to the phrase, "spruced up". Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve will host the grand opening of the Nature Center/Parks & Rec HQ next month. So why do we say, "sprucing up", as opposed to some other evergreen tree. Does it have something to do with Christmas decorations? Does it have to do with the pine smell of many cleaning products?

Nope. "Spruce" is an old word from the 14th century, and related to "Pruce", an old name for Prussia. And Prussia is the home of blue crayola crayons if you are of a certain age. Nope. Leather and other items from Prussia were labeled "Spruce". You know how obsessive compulsive those heel-clickers can be, so by the 1600s "spruce" was connected with cleaning:

You didn't toss out broken crayons in the Olden Days!

Not me! I don't do that sponging and sprucing unless company is coming over, and maybe not then either. I would rather read the history of Prussia than clean. Just FYI, Crayola seems not to have ever had a spruce green crayon. If you are ready to be really distracted, go ahead and read about the color "puce". If you call in sick tomorrow you will have time to learn about the history of spruce jerkins.

© 2014-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Debra said...

I -love- the smell of spruce. When I lived on the coast I had a spruce tree in the front yard and I never got tired of the way it smelled. Congrats on the new picnic tables and benches.