Twelve hours of writing brings me to a short, bleary-eyed respite before bedtime. Our brittle grass is soaking up a dose of gentle rain, after a day of gray skies threatened to pass without a drop. A deer had been visiting my dear young American Chestnut tree, so yesterday I enclosed it with a couple cattle guards Karen had fashioned into a temporary dog kennel. Its branches already seem to be taking leaf.
Yesterday was neighborhood visiting day. I stopped twice during my early morning run. First, I visited three men who were waiting. For what? A logging truck. They claimed Thunder Ridge is too wet to drag giant logs from the woods. If it's too wet now, then I can't imagine when it'll be dry enough. One of them was Magic's dad. Magic, a springer spaniel, often races next to me, nipping so close a slight misstep could draw blood. I always maintain a continuing monologue with her, but if I stop she won't come near. With Dad nearby, she let me pet her. A first.
I suppose if you wanted to know who in our Valley has begun an exercise program because his or her doctor recommended it, I could introduce you. Yesterday's newcomer was Dalmus, a handsome and friendly man whose Aunt Ruth plays Scrabble with Karen. He's walking 1 1/2 miles each day and isn't happy about his doctor's opinion that his usual two glasses of milk daily isn't good for him. Why? Because of the salt. Although we haven't had an analysis done of our milk, I suggested goat's milk. He gave me the same weird look 8 out of 10 people offer us whenever we mention goat milk. When they finally taste it, they inevitably say with a certain amount of shock, "It takes like milk!" Does it now.
Eight hours later found me on the road to town. The mayor had invited us to "drinks and conversation." Karen remained elbow-deep in a plumbing project, so I was on my own. I left 2 1/2 hours later with a few new friends and a reputation for boring conversation about the financial reform bill.
"But they kept asking you questions," says Virginia, like Amahl in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Maybe they weren't bored.
Throw back Thursday, a day late
4 days ago