Ella, if you're reading this on your lunch break over at the prison farm, you've done this 130 times. Blame it on Del. He's the culprit for suggesting I create a blog. I can't help but smile at Del's wry comment in a recent phone call. At the stock car races a few weeks back, he didn't crash, bump or sideswipe another car. Del is blind( sight impaired). He drives stock cars, skis and cuts wood with a chain saw. The wry comment is directed toward Jenna who crashed the family car. After Ella told me that Jenna got new contact lenses, I understood the basis for running two curbs and setting off the air bags on the Toyota.
I'm at the doctor's office for an $82 re-check of blood pressure. That's what it costs me to take the elevator to the fourth floor of the clinic, wait for twenty minutes in the outer office. Wait another fifteen minutes for the doctor. He asks me ,"How's things?" " Hunky dory, " I reply. I thought about telling him "swell" and wonder what century he thinks I came from. Actually, I consider, "I'm good," and "I'm well." I still don't know the correct grammatical form. Hunky dory works for me. OK, describing myself as "hunky" is pushing it but what about the "dory" part. Isn't a dory a small watercraft? Word play.
Dawn's sister-the sisty ugler-makes a disparaging comment about a cherished Christmas present from Dawn. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology is a tool I use as often as my weeding hoe. If you're squeamish about insects you may want to skip this part. "Insect fear" is a reality for lots of folks. An M-Team (multi-disciplinary) meeting when I was a teacher gets postponed when the woman presiding spots a spider in the room. Earwicga from the Old English ear + wiggle is the derivative of a bug I spot on the paper towel dispenser in the kitchen. I know, I know. I promised not to write about bugs the other day.
I'm not afraid of earwigs, yet I despise the little buggers. I pick up the sprinkler on a wooden ladder used to water the corn and the things drop from the hidden crevices of the yellow, round pulser. In the summer kitchen they hide under appliances. On the paper towels? This is war. In the cartoon version of life here at Blackbird Farm, Uncle Bob shoots earwigs with a shotgun. The newly remodeled cabinets are peppered full of holes. I need to move on.
The eldest daughter is arriving this evening from the city. The drive is three and a half hours. To complicate matters, the granddaughter gets carsick. Traveling becomes a challenge. Thirty seven, no, I'm wrong-thirty nine years ago-we traveled the country with our first born. Yikes. She's almost forty. Nynah, Nynah ( image of me sticking my tongue out at my "honey girl" ) if she's reading this. I told 'ya we'd get to this point:You are getting old, but I'm still 21 (in my mind). Am I addled? Probably due to the wacky tabacky we smoked, camping when you fit on my lap at the state park in Minnesota.
Wow! We traveled the country in our Volkswagen van. Removing the middle seat and substituting a playpen, you were a perfect traveling companion. In Illinois we camped at a rock- fest and a thunderstorm blows our tent down. My wife and I and two friends stand in the corners to keep you dry. You don't remember, but there was the infamous Arkansas trip culminating in a dog bite. Thirty nine years later and I still cringe. Trips to western Wisconsin, Lake Mary campground, Cranberry Bog Lake( I forget the name) and never a bit of car sickness. In many ways our life then was easier. I substitute the worry.
The Pooch and I take a late evening walk. The evening movie is repetitive. I can usually con the cat into coming inside before dark with the promise of a walk and a tasty treat. On the last leg of the walk, we're at the tree stump in the front field. A rabbit is grazing at the edge of the field. "Psst,Pucci. There's a varmint in your field." He turns in the opposite direction. "No, dum dum. Turn the other way!" He picks up the excitement in my voice and dashes toward the fence line. The rabbit disappears into the high grass. As we near the spot the rabbit disappeared, I point to the hole. The Pooch inspects the site, sniffs the ground and disappears into the brambles. What have I done? At this area of the front field we are ten yards below the highway and about twenty yards of six foot high marsh grass separates us from an eight foot high culvert under the bridge at the highway. Now who's dumb?
I walk away. "C'mere Pooch. Here, boy." No Pooch. You must remember that this cat has a sense of humor. I'm cutting onion tops under the tent. I walk to the new compost pile with a tub of tops. At the east entrance to the drying shelter, I install a blue tarp to protect the onions from blow-by rainfall. At the bottom of the tarp, I clamp an eight foot section of PVC pipe to weight it down in high winds. The Pooch waits until I walk by, darts out and swipes at my leg with a paw. He takes off. It's his version of gotcha. I guffaw. He plays the same game at the site of a tarp covered wood pile behind the lawn shed. There's a hole in the tarp at the ground level. I know he's hiding on the bare ground under the stacked oak planks. I get about ten yards away and he bursts out from the wood pile shelter, through the hole in the tarp which is only big enough for a cat or squirrel. I guffaw. What a cat.
Now I'm worried. I'm on the hill near the butternut squash garden. No Pooch. If he follows the rabbit through the maze of weeds, he could be disoriented and end up on the highway. I watch a red tandem wheel pick-up coming down the highway. At this point of highway 131, cars and trucks pick up speed. It's a long straight stretch after an easy coast down Freymiller's Hill. On the opposite side of the bridge is the memorial to the high school girl killed at the bridge.
You can hear the cat snickering in the weeds. A head pops out from raspberry canes. The raccoon tail flips up and he trots toward me. "Come on, " I tell him. "Do you want a treat?