Monday, October 4, 2010

Just plugging away

Haggis had a bath the other day.

Generally, Haggis does not like having baths, but this was a definite must-do. He's a healthy dog and doesn't need a lot of work, but this time his coat had become matted and stinky.

This was, nevertheless a milestone of sorts since he's been in need of a bath for a while, but we've been too busy with schoolwork.

After the fair, though, and thank heavens for this, the pace drops significantly.

Other jobs that we generally can't get too in summer or early fall are slowly being done. We plug away, and things get better.

Deep winter is for relaxation, since we can't do much else. We live then on the fruits of our plugging. I look forward to the rest.

The Bale House is very nearly done, and I cleaned up most of my construction equipment and tools and brought it home. There are a few more jobs to do there. Getting those done will free up my time for fall jobs here.

It's amazing how much better I feel about this building now that the repairs are almost complete. I can still feel, if I think about it at all, the despair and dull rage I felt on first taking inventory of the damage and filth that the former occupants left for us.

But one day at a time, plug away at this and that for a few weekends, six or seven, and it's now a decent place to live again.

There's a life-lesson. One day at a time, one job at a time. Keep the faith, plug away, things get better, progress is made.

The most upsetting thing remains the cost, though. Never mind a couple-three weeks of work spread out over nearly a whole stolen season.

It's taken over a thousand dollars, and we still haven't replaced the stolen generator. I can find time to work on things, but money is harder to come by.

Yesterday I was testing the propane fridge for the first time, and when I couldn't immediately get it to work, I started thinking of how much propane fridges cost, and that dull rage at the former occupants came back. Eventually the fridge became cold, but not before I was reminded of how much our generosity to these folks has cost us.

The garden is not yet put to bed, but first frost was yesterday, so it's time to pull the remaining spuds and strip the tomatoes. Plug.

Our two wood stove chimneys need to be cleaned. Plug again.

There's an annoying clunk on the driver side rear of the Ford that I'm pretty sure is a rusted strut mount that needs replaced. The Toyota needs a coolant flush. Both need winter tires. Plug some more.

The pigs have about a third of a ton of feed to eat and then they're finished and off to Watsons', the Butchers. If they knew that we measure their remaining lives in feed tonnage, they might eat less heartily, or at least spill less. But being pigs they live in perfect innocence of such things.

Perhaps we should all wish for such a simple understanding of life. Or maybe we do. Plug away.

I do believe my life has simplified a good deal in many ways since I was a young man in the services. This is the time of year, with Veteran's/Remembrance Day coming up, and my work on the ex-servicemens' journal of which I am co-editor ongoing, that I tend to think of how it was for me when I was younger. In between plugging on my buddies' articles, the rather tortured prose of working guys who have something good to communicate but haven't had such great educations.

Pluggers, every one. Honor to them.

And I do think I take far more pleasure now in just getting jobs done that I did then. Back then, work was something that got in the way of climbing mountains and socializing. These days, with very little socializing or mountaineering to do, work is really what I do.

And as long as I can make progress, I tend to think I am happy in my life. Plug.

Aimee, for her part, has probably always preferred work to other activities. But she too was happy to get Haggis clean. She loves her animals.

Neither of us loved Shenzi-cat, however, when our predatory moggy brought a live chipmunk into the house and released it last night.

But reason and plugging prevailed again. The silly sciurid went to ground under my night stand. We were able to thread a sheet underneath and bag the whole thing, squirrel and nightstand, and let it go outside.

Just when we thought we were getting ahead. But plugged and set right, soon enough.

Bloody cat. A bit like the trailer trash former occupants of the Bale House really. They know not what they do.

And the rest of us have to plug harder to clean up after them.

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