Friday, November 14, 2008

Amish Underwear

Subtitled: Life in Kickapoo Center at the Turn of the Century

This is my friend, daily companion and political adviser. After a grueling day of composition at the keyboard and chain sawing black locust, I learned a few new things about "the Pooch".
He's not afraid of the noise made by my Stihl. At one point I had to chase him off the pile of smaller cull logs my son and I set off to one side of the mountain of logs Stan the firewood man delivered and dumped on our south fence line. I am uneasy about him being so close to me while I'm cutting logs. I also learned he's not afraid of water. On our daily walk before sunset,we skirted the partially plowed corn field behind us and cut across into marshland. There's a set of tire tracks through the tall grass. The neighbor's son-in-law drove his truck over the dry marsh during the first part of the deer season to pick up a deer he'd shot. The tire tracks collected recent rainfall in low areas. The Pooch walked through elbow deep( on him) water if there was no alternative. He is one smart puppy, however, keeping to the high ground middle of the path whenever possible.
At the end of our walk, there's a tree near our driveway which is also the town road. It's an old box elder leaning at a 65 degree angle toward the driveway. In the fork of the tree I added a wood shelf for the Pooch to survey the countryside. When my neighbor, Ron, found the second wooden folk art crow washed away in our June flood, I added that to the perch. The Pooch climbed the tree, first testing the bark for slipperiness with his claws. When everything was to his satisfaction, he began a quick ascent to the farthest limbs. My guess is that he was about 15 feet off the side of the hill, further if he fell toward the road. I'm nervous. He chews at few of the branches, looks around and watches the cars on the highway. Then he decides to jump from one small limb to another. "No Pucci," I yell. The best way to get him down from the tree is to walk away. " I'm going in now, " I tell him quietly. "Goodbye." I don't look back. After he realizes his best buddy isn't kidding, he climbs down in the same manner as he went up. He hugs the tree with his front paws and slowly slides down catching the bark with razor sharp claws. I'm relieved.
So what does this have to do with Amish underwear? When there's only a 16 month old cat to talk to from 7 am to 5 pm, my mind wanders. Pulling weeds in the garden in the summer, the craziest tunes pop into my head. Where they come from, I have no idea. A recent book I borrowed from the library suggests that ideas and inspirations come from the spirit world. When you are inspired with an idea, the book suggests that you are acting as a medium. So why am I wondering whether the Amish daughters of an Amish friend wear thongs or old fashioned bloomers? More crazy thoughts to follow.
Keep your stick on the ice;we're all in this together.

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