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Never a Dull Moment

September 24, 2007

You may have wondered if a new post would ever appear . . . but when I tell you what’s detained me, you will wonder only at the foolhardiness that led me to begin a blog at all.

 The story begins with my generous and delightful parents giving me, for my birthday, house paint.  The weather was then warm and pleasant, and the prospect of a bright red house (as opposed to the faded toad color it was then wearing) was irresistible to me.

I take it back.  The story really begins with the construction of my shed room–Papa enclosing half the porch which runs across the front of the house so that I can have a tidier, less musty version of a root cellar for the vegetables he and Tuxedo Boy have grown all summer, not to mention all the paraphernalia associated with canning, and miscellaneous crockery.  We’d gotten as far as siding the outside–the sheetrocking and building of shelves was scheduled for last weekend.

Which is why I spent all of last weekend but one canning tomatos, salsa, plum jam, and chutney, making and freezing applesauce, and dehydrating apples–with the able assistance of Baggy, Papa, Tuxedo Boy, and Little Sunshine.  We worked like dogs, bringing in the first stages of our harvest and attending to it.  We were tired, and the dining room was filled with boxes of fruit and canning jars, dehydrator screens and labels.

The weather remained bright and pleasant.  After work last week, we painted the exterior of my shed room, and were delighted by its cheerful appearance.  We went on to finish the front of the house, and a bit of the east side.  The west side, as visible from the drive, is resolutely toad, still, except for a vivid splash of red where I wanted to try it out.  Expiring toad who met a violent death,  as you might say.

Then, impelled by some sportive demon, Papa decided to ride Little Sunshine’s scooter down the front sidewalk.  He assures me that he has done so several times without incident, which may be why he didn’t notice the garden hose stretched out across the concrete.  (Little Sunshine, it seems, avoids the hose through some adroit footwork that allows the scooter to leap over it.) 

 And thus it was that he broke his rib and scraped merry hell out of his elbow.  We should be grateful, I suppose, that it wasn’t his neck.  He refused medical treatment for three days, but at last went to the doctor and received instructions not to lift anything, carry anything, stretch his arms above his head, or persist in any action which resulted in pain–specifically to include painting, sheetrocking, building shelves, taking out the trash, or harvesting vegetables.

The pathetic fallacy being what it is, the weather turned nasty right after that:  cold and windy and lowering.  Two hard frosts in a row killed the winter squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pumpkin vines, and played merry hell with the tomatos and summer squash.

If not for Handy Andy and Hoe, faithful siblings in times of trouble, this tale would end in tragedy.  But instead, they gave up most of their weekend to superintend the finishing of the shed room.  And so, while Tuxedo Boy labored back and forth with a laundry basket full of squash, we were able to go to bed tonight with this pleasing sight fresh in our minds:

The weather’s still nasty.  We probably won’t finish painting the house before spring.  We may not get all the vegetables put up.  And poor Papa’s rib, although mending, remains troublesome.  But all is not lost.

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