Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Morning Thanks--Pears, etc.
This is a pear from one of two vastly overgrown trees that had none--that is, no pears--last year. This year, there were two. One of them is going to be history in about ten minutes. I should have pruned those monster pear trees last fall, but the job was so huge I needed advice. I didn't seek it, didn't prune the tree, and hence, this year, no pears. Well, two. And the trees are even more huge. Yeah, well.
The upstairs bathroom features a pink tub. During most of my life I've taken baths only when sick. I guess in the last 16 months, I haven't been sick because I haven't wet a toe in that pink tub. I've got nothing against pink--I think I've actually got two pink shirts after all; but the pink tub upstairs suffered no wear from this old man. And that's okay. I wasn't thrilled with a pink tub in the first place.
We're leaving this house but staying in the neighborhood because of a river out back, the Floyd, which is not much more than a crick right now. There's a woods within walking distance, two sweet ponds, deer, squirrels, coons, even a woodchuck. Here he is, looking somewhat disdainful at the strange bald man in his underwear, taking his picture.
The owner, moving in to this old house this month, promises that once he gets here, this guy will have chucked his last. They're murder on farm buildings, and they're not artists. I've seen their work.
But we love it here, and we're staying close by because it's beautiful outside, really is. We're staying for the landscape. Ironically, the upstairs bedroom west wall is (that's not a mistake, it IS) a huge blow up of some place in the Canadian Rockies. I'm serious--wall size. It's cool. It really is, but we didn't sleep there. We preferred what's here outside the windows, nothing against the Canadian Rockies.
The tiny downstairs toilet has water, but otherwise it's little more than an outside john. Every time I use it, I do so only while leaning up against the wall--there just ain't room for my shoulders (okay, mark that on your list of things you'd rather not know).
The basement flooded last May, but then so did most of the area. Thirteen inches of rain fell up river in two nights. Ye olde sump pump gave up the ghost working overtime right smack dab in the middle of all the flood--on a Sabbath, of course--and turned what's downstairs into unsavory wading pool. But a friend and savior came by to quell the storm with a new one, and all was well.
Some noisy August visitors clamoring between the old ceiling and the false one above our bed kept us awake nights both summers. This year, all that scratchy traffic turned into two bats, one of whom I swatted out of the air with a manila folder, the other I killed--sorry about that--with the door to that tiny bathroom--wham! dead as a door nail. Bats don't bother us much, largely because they bothered us a lot in the old house. Still, they're unwelcome guests.
Silver poplars in the front yard are almost a landmark--huge, white trees, a rarity in the area. But their lateral roots spring saplings like weeds, so by July they breed a couple of hundred kids popping up all over the place. I used an old weed cutter like a three-iron and whacked them back two or three times both summers.
We had friends, loads of them, a wonderful mix of songbirds, five squirrels at one time just outside our patio door, and a grouchy rabbit who chased squirrels around the lot and put my grandson in stitches.
It's an old house and an old barn with a huge machine shed where I spent more time in one year than I had in our old town barn through almost thirty years of life. I whacked weeds, cut down trees, cleared river banks. I went fishing out back, tried to catch one of those fat, ugly carp so that I could learn how to do it with the grandkids, who eventually got tired of a hundred fingerlings stealing the worms I put on.
I bought a four-wheeler and loved it. Still do.
Barbara had a great kitchen, huge and sprawling, and we loved sitting in the room I am now, watching more TV (House of Cards, London Hospital, Parenting, The Good Wife--dozens of others) than we ever, ever did, pre-retirement, most of it while snuggled up together like newlyweds on an old white couch.
Confession: while here, I didn't write a word in the basement. I sat here in luxury, in a room with a fireplace. It was absolutely grand, and the downstairs office in the new house is going to be something of a replica.
Our first domicile together was room #222 in Casa Mia Apartments, somewhere on Pinchot, 3200 block, I think, just off Thomas Road, in Phoenix, Arizona. It was furnished. We had nothing. Next door, the guy yelled so much he made us think his wife was someday going to die. I kept care of the pool and got a discount on the apartment. We were still getting to know each other--we moved in just seven months after we started dating. Yes, we were married.
Today we're leaving this old house we've been renting, moving to the new one that's just about totally finished. A chapter of our lives together is coming to a close.
A good one.
I'm thankful for this place. It's been a joy and even an advisor of sorts; it pointed us in the direction of where we're going, just an eighth of a mile away.
I won't miss the toilet, which can be read two ways, both of which are accurate, one of which, for an old man, is probably something of an empty promise.
Life is good.