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that obnoxious uncle

January 19, 2011

The weather here is family — the blustery sibling who takes yet gives

back more, the delightful grandchild you wish would never leave, the

obnoxious uncle who never does.  When I lived in the city I would go

all day withough thinking about the climate du jour.  Here it compels

or cajoles constant attention.  By rimshots of rain on a window.  By

earnestly warm evenings that urge you to linger even longer in the

maple tree swing.  By a stout breeze whistling through the floor

boards of the back  yard deck.

We recently had 4 inches of rain in a two-day span.  The saturated

ground coughed up countless trees.  Three that we could count

fell across our driveway.  After that I followed Jude to work  a mile

or so early one morning, just in case.  The headlights of our scrap-

heap-eligible truck go off and on at their own caprice, so I stopped

to turn back when the main road looked clear.  On my own whim,

I went a bit further when the lights chose to come back on.   Around

the next bend Jude was blocked by a sizable alder.

We brandished our chainsaws and quickly made new firewood, me

stumbling several times to avoid the mud and downed power lines.

I tailed her slowly to the paved road, where she could count on the

mixed blessings of civilization.

Winter here, with its many reminders to slow down, is a time to

rest, read, regroup, plan the spring garden and pursue seemingly

frivolous projects.  I hope to learn harmonica so I can appear at

Carnegie Hall like my first musical hero, blues titan Jimmy Reed.

That should keep me busy well into February.


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