Monday, December 28, 2015
Falling Towards the New Year
We did make it through Christmas, and actually it was an excellent Christmas, with all the food and good cheer amongst our dwindling band, up in Greensboro. Work ended on a somewhat frantic note. We had a hurricane style rain on Wednesday last, which attacked our already battered driveway. Libby was aiming to head out and get a lot of supplies for her part of the Christmas cooking, but found herself instead bogged down in the driveway just as the serious upturn begins, where everything had turned either soft or deeply scoured. Usually we get stuck at this spot when there's a snow, not because of mere rain. So I took off early and got the mail and an extra large bag of cat food just in case, and got back home to find the Toyota just as she had described, and that's where I left it in the gloming, no reason to try to back up through the squish and hope I don't find the edge where a tree resides, wait till Christmas Eve. I did leave my truck out at the road side of the hill, so if we had to walk in and out we'd at least have some transportation once we got there.
The rains subsided some during the night. The local tv weather was dire, with flood warnings everywhere including where we needed to go. Christmas Eve arrived however, with just murk above and below, and no roar on the tin roof. Eventually Libby decided to venture out, and I backed the Toyota to a turn around I could see and drove to the house, so we were ready to pack things for Christmas Day assuming we could by then drive all the way to the road. Carrying Christmas out was in any event little better than heart attack territory, way too much stuff. When it snows and we're in such a fix, we've used a sled. No chance when it's mud and rocks. Either we'd go up to Greensboro empty, or we'd drive out. Libby went to Burlington to do the shopping she was aiming to do the day before. The clouds were so bad the Dish couldn't see the sat. That's pretty bad, particularly with no actual rain falling. I watched the Big Sleep again to pass the time. I hadn't recalled the pretty cabbie who helps Marlow follow that cab, and tells him to call her anytime but preferably in the evening, when she's not working. It was nice to think again of Doghouse Riley, an inspiration to all who try to keep a finger hold on the precipice.
It all worked out and we made Christmas, and while Libby did late night cooking we even finished up the tree.
You can see to the left the little Hindu shrine we built to the Houdahenians, which some of the more pragmatic would recognize as a fountain waterer. They've enjoyed the tree, and have grown mature enough to understand that climbing into the tree is a fool's errand. We avoided the glass ornaments as we have plenty of non-breakable ones, including crocheted snowflakes from long ago, and a little picture under glass of the kid as a baby, her first Christmas tree behind her, which was long ago as well.
After we got back from Greensboro in one piece, and with the company of a gorgeous full moon and clear if fleeting skies, we enjoyed the last of the day at home, and no need of a fire either, as it's been close to 80 and we even got out one of the fans that get put away when October arrives. In the morning I got to the post office, where I found presents from the kid and her hubby, which we opened in front of the tree once the lights were turned on. Day after Christmas we also opened a normally closed passage--a window, actually, that is now just an opening from the bedroom into the upstairs of the cabin. This was Libby's surprise gift to the kitties, a new route around the house, and it was enjoyed more than anything else we gave them aside perhaps from the little feather birds which they tried to eat whole, causing enough concern for me to "put them up," as parents say often after Christmas. Since the window was opened, all of them have spent a lot of time coming in and out in one direction or the other. After we retire at night we hear in the deep dark the startling "plop" of one of them, jumping off a shelf and onto the loft floor beside the bed.
Yesterday, the last of the Holiday for me, my old friend Mike, who taught philosophy and then went into grading work, came out to study the driveway situation with us, and offered proposals and suggestions which I think we'll probably take up pretty shortly. The dreadful storm--they've named it Goliath--devastating New Mexico and Texas seems mostly aimed a bit further north and we're hoping it doesn't decide to give us yet another hammering. The driveway isn't cut, but if that were to happen we'd be in a real fix. For now we'll fill ruts with bigger rocks and perhaps some Quikcrete patches. We're almost to a New Year. The general agreement is that 2015 was pretty awful. The Dish did come back on. Now it's time to go back to work.