Saturday, December 4, 2010

Black and White Day

Today was tough for this pseudo-ultramarathoner, thankfully today instead of a week from today.  This morning I tried to imagine running 25 miles by the time I woke and couldn't.  My stomach felt as if someone had kicked it.  I couldn't find enough handy blankets to get warm.  After 3 frigid trips to the bathroom, I felt better, but far from good.  Now, near the end of the afternoon, I've enjoyed a 9 a.m. rise and two long naps. For the first time in months, maybe years, I haven't been outside.  Wait a minute...there, cancel that!  I just let a few snowflakes melt on my tongue.

When Karen slammed the back door this morning to fetch firewood -- you must slam it or it won't latch --  I found comfort both in her willingness to pinch hit for me and Chy's foghorn.  Also, it must have been almost first thing, Karen put my overalls in the wash.  A few hours later, she delivered them to me, toasty warm from the drier.  Finally, there might be sweat somewhere on my body.  No hanging out the laundry today.  See why?
Lately, I've been thinking about how fortunate we are to live in this home, especially on a day like today. All but one of our walls, interior as well as exterior, are at least a foot thick, made of brick from clay harvested and fired on-site.  According to a neighbor, his grandfather lived for a while in a train car and walked across our field every day to bake bricks.  More than 140 years ago, someone knew a little something about passive solar construction, facing this house north and south with tall, wide windows that allow the sun to warm much of our living space, including the walls.  Nevertheless, on a cloudy day like today, it might be nice to build lofts up under our 9 1/2 foot ceilings.

"So what?" says Virginia.

Just being thankful.  No one other than perhaps me is going to be terribly disappointed if more snow and ice coats the Blue Ridge next weekend and I choose to stay in our little castle.

"Certainly not me," says Virginia.  "You might work on my life, as you did today.  Thanks."

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