harrowing tails

AS usual, Gentle Reader, the past “holiday weekend” was filled with excitement.

You may remember we were facing the looming certainty of no water.  Let’s just say that in fact, we did have no water for several hours.  It was over 110.  There were a few terse exchanges, such as:

“The water’s going to be off another two hours, OK?”


Ultimately it got wrestled to the ground to a certain extent: not finished, but wrestled down.  I resorted to vodka and limonata and mystery novels, after the snake episode but before the posse of horsemen arrived on our driveway.   We were, perhaps foolishly, commenting at the end of that day on what a good thing it was that the ELECTRICITY wasn’t off at the same time as the WATER, which is most often the case.  Maintenance and all that.  As we were being all jolly about it, the Partner, who had been looking out the front window, suddenly grabbed his hat and the shotgun.  Gunfire ensued in the garden.  It turned out to be our Annual Dispensing With Poisonous Snakes.  A rattler, as usual.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the snake that bit it, our water hose was in harm’s way and sadly met its end.  This was the occasion for a challenging trip to the hardware store, but even that finally got completed.  We were both, in the end, able to remain calm.

Until the next morning, when as the sun began shining brightly and hotly through the dome, we heard the noise of a huge Harley Davidson, which drove up and down the gravel road in front of our driveway for about forty minutes at top rev and noise.  Nothing caught on fire in the brush and dried grasses, which was a good thing.   Shortly after that, once again pulling ourselves together, we look out the window to see?  A group of people on horseback riding up our (private) “driveway”.  They claimed to think it was a hiking trail, and, additionally, deposited a rather large amount of horseshit, LIKE THERE ISN’T ENOUGH ALREADY.  The Partner did his most imposing Crazy Bastard Impersonation and they finally left.  Given that we are several miles in country on a ghastly dirt and rock road, it’s hard to believe there’s all this activity, but there is.  Mostly it’s people who don’t have any business being back here which is strange enough in itself.

Often I wonder what WE’RE doing out here, although we know more or less how we came to travel through the freak wormhole of economic diaspora and arrive at our present agrarian setting.  It’s mysterious in a way how totally uphill things are here, but we’ve kind of decided it is a lot about the weather.  It’s beastly, in short, and we both think it contributes to loss of mind over the long term.   However, on the good side:  we have a lovely quail family in the garden.  This is, I believe, Mr. and Mrs. Quail who strolled so companionably up the driveway in the spring.  They have several small balls of fluff who never come when called.  Last evening, Mr. Quail led the brood up to the bluff after everyone had- well, gorged themselves it looked like,  and Mrs. Quail stood for a moment on a mound of soil in the garden.  She fluffed up to the point where she looked like a much bigger creature.  She stretched her legs.  She appeared to sigh contentedly and went off after her family.  It was a strangely moving pastoral moment.  I also bought a gardenia, which perfumes the dark nights, unexpectedly all around the yurt.  It’s really wonderful, and reminds me always that you really do have to stop and smell whatever’s blooming.


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