Thursday, May 14, 2009

No Picture, No Pork

In the days I self published little 10 page tomes, I'd send them off at anywhere between 55 cents and a dollar in postage to friends. One couple who lives on the outskirts of our former city would respond with a comment, "Oh the pictures were really neat." I referred to them once as The Living Dead and grew to regret the comment. One had to admire their sense and stability. Once visiting them, a drunken neighbor's wife burst into their apartment in the central city walked through their living room uttering, "boring, boring, boring." The scars of that association run deep.

When we pass by the road to their fancy suburban, architecturally unique, hilltop home Dawn and I wave. The old man retired at 55 from a teaching position. His middle school art classes must have been unusually loud because he wears a hearing aid. The health insurance after 25 years in teaching game was good enough to pay for a sub-miniature model completely hidden in his left ear. You'd never know that he wears one, except when driving with the couple. Then, the wife in the front seat as a back seat driver, points dramatically with her index finger in front of the dashboard to the direction he is supposed to follow.

Even now, I feel like no one will read this drivel if I don't include a picture. The time it takes to down load a medium format picture is quite long because of my miserly refusal to have have high speed Internet. In the fifteen minutes it takes for the download, I lose my train of thought and think of one thousand different tasks I should be doing. I plan carefully for the lag time by brushing my teeth, feeding the cat, washing dishes or taking a dump. So today's picture treat will come at the end of the travelogue. Because of the blogger format it initially is placed at the beginning of the blog. That's fine with me.

The morning whizzes by. When I come in for a ten minute break, it's already lunch. I've transplanted cabbages and completed the varmint protection procedures, except for baiting the live trap. In the afternoon, I plant Kandy Corn, the name for the extra sweet hybrid of sweet corn. Twelve rows running east to west, approximately 30 feet long takes me three sweaty hours. The denim jacket I'd worn earlier is too warm, even though there is no sun and the temperature is in the mid-sixties. I plant two seeds per 4-6 inch spaceing following the helpful hints on the package. If they both propagate, one plant will support the other in our strong, devil winds. Until dinner, I putter as the day's blog title suggests. Approaching dusk I call the Pooch. "Wanna go for a walk?" I ask. His raccoon tail is up and he's ready for adventure. I don't tell him it's a con to get him inside. The hills around us are shrouded in that ethereal, yellow light and mist. It's going to let loose any minute. We circle the property, say "hi" to the horses and are in the home stretch when big drops start falling. "Come on Pooch let's run." I dash for the back entrance. He runs for shelter under the deck. His paws send clumps of mud flying as he skids around the arbor vitae and ducks for cover. I open to deck door calling him. He knows he'll be drenched if he tries to come inside. The highest gutter on the second story is clogged. Rainwater cascades over the edge, splashes off the roof of the addition and floods the sidewalk. When the deluge turns to mist, the Pooch strolls inside.

Today is Chicken Day. The Amish will be butchering chickens ordered two months ago. They'll have thirty to forty ready by the time I finish breakfast. Ten are for us and the rest go to a long list of customers. I'll need to clean and prepare the summer kitchen for cutting and freezing. There are remnants plant trays, potting soil, fertilizer and mud clots on the floor from the hot frame in the south window. Overflow from the kitchen remodel needs to be organized on the old counter and cabinets I moved to this back of the garage enclave. I walk to the garden twice. Once to check the live trap( no varmint) and once to check cabbage transplants. The cabbages are wilting slightly. I look at puffy billowing cumulus clouds in the east and wish for more cloud cover, but please, no more deluge. The poor sots are wrenched from their happy home where they raise their leaves every morning to the sun, thrown into another hole with half their roots, almost drowned in water and then baked by the sun. I worry about them. I boot up the computer and the National Weather site for Lacrosse.

I look at a forecast for a 50% chance of rain Friday and-no it can't be- a low temperature of 35 degrees on Saturday night. More dumpster diving for plastic milk jugs. When I scan a back-to- nature magazine Dawn brings home, you know the ones that tell you how to make a root cellar, raise goats for fun and profit and how to live off 25 cents a day, the weather forecaster says possible frost after May 12Th from low fronts that drift across the Mississippi River. I scoff. Scoffing is only part of what I do. I wonder why I do this.

Addendum:If I ever wondered whether there was/is a God, I'm sure my faith is secure now. I click on the "add image" icon in the menu bar above the post. Nothing. Nada. Click again. Nothing. I have approximately 30 minutes to clean the summer kitchen. Fifteen of those thirty would be wasted waiting for the download. This is way to weird for me. I'll hit "publish post" and be on my way.

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