Nothing like a morning of slush to sour a mood.
Yesterday turned into a mad rush to get things done before the snow ended our lovely open winter. My youngest son loaded up a U haul to head back to his first apartment down in the big city, as he enters his last full year of college. He has odd taste, when it comes to interior decoration, and took some junk from the farm, including an old coca cola cooler that dates from around 1960 and must weigh 200 pounds, even with the refrigeration unit removed. Believe it or not, he’s turned it into a bedroom bureau. I don’t ask questions, as the first four kids have trained me well.
When I got home I discovered the two cord of wood I had ordered had been delivered. Unfortunately the young fellow who operates the dump truck is not too deft, when it comes to dumping wood, and he had only managed to get half of the wood where I wanted it. (He was nowhere to be seen. It was a dump-and-run delivery.) A lot of the firewood spilled out into a driveway I share with a neighbor, effectively blocking it. So I faced a change in plans, and spent an hour chucking logs off the driveway.
By then the sky was purple and lowering, and the first flakes were wandering about. I headed off to Peterborough to grab some feed for the goats and chickens, some “cubed” hay (because the goats are utterly wasting the ordinary hay, playfully tossing it into the air, poking around for a stray raspberry leaf, and trampling the rest). I also grabbed three sacks of coal. (150 pounds—$27.00.) I figure we’ll be needing it next week, when its below zero.
Then I rushed to the farm to unload it all before the snow got heavy. It was still at the point where it swirls around the surface of the highway, but the tar is dry. Ar the farm the goats were agitated in the growing gloom of the early evening. They know when bad weather is coming.
Then at last I could head home to unload the final three sacks of coal and hurl some wood in the cellar, for the third wood-stove down there that I only light when it gets bitterly cold, and the floors need warming. I was in a wry sense of humor about all the physical work I’d done. It seems to be a sort of rule that, whenever I get most pathetic and pitiful about being old and decrepit and unable to hoist and haul and grunt the way I used to, reality conspires to prove I am a liar, because I’m forced to do it.
As dark descended it got snowy out and we got a swift two inches. I sat down in front of the computer to work on my novel, but my eyelids got in the way. I decided I’d lay down for an after dinner nap before amazing the world with great art.
The next thing I knew it was five in the morning, and I could hear water trickling off the roof. It sounded like a good day to stay inside and work on a great novel, so I headed down for the aspirin, which comes before coffee after a day like yesterday, and as I passed by the computer I noticed by feet were abruptly cold and wet.
The roof was leaking. It is something that seems to happen on a regular basis when you have a 250-year-old house, even after putting on a new set of shingles. The irony was not lost on me that this particular leak (from an surprisingly tiny ice-dam by a dormer) dripped right beside my computer.
My first response was to simply place a pot on the floor, but the incessant “ploink, ploink, ploink” sound makes even the most dedicated artist stray from inspiration to creative cursing. So, once I was sure I wouldn’t awake my wife, I headed up to the attic to track down the leak. I stuck a couple of pots up there, and will clamber out onto the slushy roof once the rain stops.
Great art will have to wait a while. As I look out the window I can see that, even though the three inches of snow has settled down to around an inch of heavy glop, with battleship gray patches showing where the puddles are, the plows have raised a barrier at the end of the drive that looks to be a foot tall. That has to be about the most miserable stuff on earth to shovel.
The exercise will be good for me, I suppose, but my creativity will be limited to cursing. “Slush,” seems a good curse, right now. “Slushing shushity slush!”