In the field north of this farm, construction of yet another new house
is about to get underway. Pink flags mark where the driveway will be and further back more flags define the position of the
proposed house. The sign at the edge of the road identifies the builder as Old World Homes.
In three years my own house will be 200 years old and it's as sturdy today as it was when John Grog (Graugh)
built it in 1821. I like to think about all the people that have called this place home since it rose from a landscape I can
only imagine. The stair treads are cupped from countless feet that have trudged up to the still-unheated second floor and
in the winter icy drafts creep across the floors despite my efforts to caulk the leaks. All of the doorways slope at awkward
angles, but that's okay. Sturdy though it may be, it's far from perfect, but it's perfect for me.
I look at the exposed post and beam construction with its hand hewn timbers, mortised
joints and big whittled pegs and wonder how long it took to build this simple shelter. I'm sure it took longer than it will
take to build the new Old World Home.
"Mouse? What mouse? I'm half blind," says Henry.
There is a mouse under the floor of the bathroom shower and the scratching
skittering sounds are making the cats crazy. I suspect this is the same brazen rodent that ran fast as a race car through
the living room last week with three cats and one dog in hot pursuit. He successfully evaded all of them and made his escape.
Based upon previous experience with shower dwelling
mice, the problem is that once under the fiberglass floor, the not-so-clever fellows forget how to get out and eventually
expire there. FYI: It takes about three weeks for eau de death to dissipate or for me to just become nose blind to the stink.
I suspect that Miss Pittypat, (the most recent feral feline to show up here) is a better mouser than the four fat freeloaders
currently in residence.
I first saw the calico
a couple of months ago crouched in the field north of the barn. It was one of those rare sunny days and what first appeared
to be a round rock was actually Miss P. trying to warm herself. I spoke to her and she bolted, not to be seen again until
this week. The poor creature was eating bean nachos that I'd brought home from a disappointing dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
She ate the entire Styrofoam container of the dismal fare (rejected by the hens). She was later seen fleeing from the
garden shed where I'm now putting more appropriate cat food. The plan is to trap and spay her and then if she is so inclined
she can live comfortably at the barn. To be continued....