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Sunday, August 6, 2017

The year so far...

As Lemony Snicket might note, 2017 has been a series of unfortunate events. I think/hope that these are now over, but it has not been a good year. Here is a brief summary of the most notable mishaps:

A resurgence of a disease that had been in remission since 1981 was literally life-changing. Thanks to the wonderful Cleveland Clinic, I am now well, but until quite recently the effects of the illness and the side-effects of the miracle drugs put all writing and most everything else on hold. Not writing was about more than a loss of income for me. It was a loss of identity and that was much worse. Now that this unpleasant stagnating chapter is behind me I look forward to resuming my work and reclaiming my identity.

 Of all the things I've loved about this old farm, the huge Norway maple tree just outside the kitchen window was perhaps the most cherished. The massive tree sheltered and cooled the house, provided lodging for countless critters and was a favorite gathering spot when I hosted music parties. Musician friends would make a circle of chairs under the big tree and their songs mingled with the birds and all seemed well in my little world. Now the tree, like some of those dear friends is but a memory, but one that will keep this old house warm for many winters to come.

What sounded like rapid rifle fire was actually a large section of the tree splitting and falling onto my truck. The insurance company deemed the truck ‘totaled,' but ultimately agreed to have the damage repaired. After more than three weeks in the body shop, the truck is like brand new, but the tree still loomed as a dangerous threat.


 That incident happened the same week the well at the barn went bad. The words of the water experts were prophetic; "It don't look good, honey."  Indeed. There were a few options, but the most logical one was to tap into the well at the house. This required a crew of professionals with big equipment who trenched a new 200' water line to the barn where they installed a standing hydrant. Imagine, after decades of braving all kinds of weather as I pumped two five gallon buckets by hand and lugged them to the barn each day, I now need only to step outside the door, lift a handle and in a matter of seconds the buckets are filled. It feels as if I've died and gone to heaven! Such a luxury, but an expensive one.

I procrastinated, but the tree could not be ignored, so after consulting a few arborists it became clear that it had to come down. The rot was extensive and damage was irreversible. The decision was devastating. I engaged Lucky Tree Company to do the job and it was a ‘lucky' choice. Oh sure, I could have hired a couple of bubbas with a truck and chain saw for less money, but the Lucky crew was outstanding! They worked like a team of heart surgeons and when the job was finished I was left with only a memory and cordwood for years to come! The last log was split and stacked today, but plenty of work remains. A friend with a Bobcat will come on Tuesday to re-contour what now looks like a moonscape.

The week of the tree-truck incident and the well collapse was also the week I lopped off the end of my ring finger. The good ER doctor stitched it back into place and aside from a slight numbness that will probably be permanent, that injury was no big deal.

There have been other events that might have once been blog-worthy, like Baby the trophy-hunter cat who decided to share her snake-hunting prowess by bringing them into the living room; eight altogether. Being met by a serpent in the middle of the room at 6:00 AM is not a good way to start any day. The clever girl was bringing her prey through the kitty door in the basement, pushing the cellar door open and depositing her slithery gifts for me to find when least expected. Locking the upstairs door to the basement stopped that fun, but this week she caught the bat that had been zooming around my bedroom and delivered it's bleeding body to me. Thankfully I was asleep, but knew from the bloody spots discovered on my clean sheets the next morning what had happened. By the time I found the corpse it had been moved to the guest room. Such a busy helper....


And so, for those who have kindly inquired why I'd abandoned this blog and seemed to have taken on a hermitic way of life, I hope this explanation will suffice.  Here's to better days ahead!





5:05 pm edt          Comments

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