i went to the river last weekend. me and the girls. lucy and bertie were absolutely no help around the property, but they did gift me with comic relief and dead animal parts.
there were a few glorious trees still sporting their fall colors, but by and large the trees were bare. one of them shocked me- looking like an amber lollipop against a background of pine. my uncle would have captured this scene, had he still been alive. in pastels with brilliant yellow standing out in the foreground.
by late october, we have turned off most of the utilities at the house. no more running water. no more hot water (gasp). gone is the refrigerator and indoor toilet. the propane is easy enough to switch back on for lights and stove. it wasn’t cold enough for free ice, but i kept my small cooler bag outside, it was cold enough to keep my perishables from perishing. the woodstove always delivers, and the wood indeed warms us twice- once when cutting/hauling/stacking and then again when it’s burning. if anyone can love a woodstove, it’s me. i love the way this one lights a fire. with just one match and a homemade firestarter and the door left ajar. just long enough to draw the oxygen up the chimney and get the flare going. it burns all night if you are careful, and restarts easier with a few coals. it heats the entire house to contentment. the ceramic tile is another story. you need socks in the summer in the kitchen. especially in the morning. i will share my recipe for homemade firestarters in my next post.
i read an entire book. bad tourist. a series of short travel essays.
i hiked up to a ridge across the river, dogs in tow. it is a special ridge for my family. i basked in the october sun, risking sunburn in a tank top with my flannel tied around my waist, just in case. i remember those whose ashes we have sent into the wind from that ridge. good dogs, friends, fathers, and uncles. i said a prayer, gave thanks and counted my blessings. it was a glorious bluebird day.