Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Object at Rest will Stay at Rest

Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, April 27, 2014

For no good reason I wake up in a grouch. It’s 26 degrees outside and snowing. I should be happy. Maybe my mood is growling because I’ve got a lot to do today and my motivation is leaning me towards sitting on the couch all day. By a lot I mean I have to water the plants and chop wood.

I sit on the couch.

I’ll feel motivated once I get moving, I’m sure.

I get moving. I water the plants.

At 10:08, after checking the generator shed’s lights, I put on the skis. Conditions are completely unfavorable for cross country skiing. My mal humor is not helped by sinking, skis and all, practically knee deep into snow that should not be this soft when it’s this cold, again and again. I only make it as far as the fence at the culvert before calling the whole thing off. With some swearing I turn around and head back to the Lodge. This jaunt was not exercise enough to release any endorphins and I breathe deep to still my fuming. “I’m not in the mood, Cat,” I say in response to the cat’s meow as I approach the porch. I take the skis off just after 10:30.

It snows from 9:00 to about 2:00. I chop wood with the snow falling over me. I chop until I have what I hope is a week’s worth of wood.

When it’s stacked and I’m finished with my chores, all two of them, I sit on a front porch chair with my legs stretched out before me as the snow blows over me, around me, on me. The cat jumps on my lap. She starts up toward my face and I push her gently down. “Not that close. Not that personal, Cat,” I say. She turns and makes herself at home, occasionally kneading her claws into my leg.

My bad mood dissipates as the sun comes out, briefly, and warms me through my snow gear, as the snow falls like cold magical stars around me. Spring. Winter. Spring. Winter. Winter.

I stir up the last of the gluten-free pancake mix and have pancakes and coffee for my 4:00 lunch.

Despite the consistent snow of the day there is only a trace amount left on the ground, the roofs, the tree branches—not enough to measure. Where did it all go with it staying so cold all day? It’s a thawing spring mystery.

Inside, I stoke up the fire so hot that I have to go outside without my coat on to cool off. It’s dark and I don’t have my flashlight with me. Behind me, I hear a loud splash in the river. And then a second one. The cat, twining around my legs, is unaffected, so I am too. Mars is still brightly red in the east, southeast sky.

It’s still really hot inside.

I eat the last avocado half from Todd’s care package and a can of pineapple for dinner.

I expect to hear from my brother, after all it is Sunday night. But there’s no call. He messages me to say he’d called and I hadn’t answered. I must not have heard the phone while outside. But no, the phone is dead. There’s no dial tone when I pick it up. Spring messes with the phone lines. I’d been warned.

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, April 28, 2014

I wake up tired after dreaming about chasing down lost luggage all night long.

It got down to 7 degrees and the snow is solid again.

The phone is still dead.

Taking advantage of the cold and the hard ground, I clip into the skis at 10:51. It’s nothing like yesterday. My pace is fast. I take less gasping breaks than I have on previous runs. I make it to the ice-slick top of the eastern slope at 11:33. The quick moving dark cloud coming from the north brings snowflakes with it. The snow swirls around me and I feel like I’m in some perfect winter capsule. The snowstorm passes and leaves me alone. 

The wind, left to its devices, pushes the trees who creak with eerie disconsolence (which should be a word), and chases snow devils along the ground and up the hills.  

After a five minute respite, I lace my boots up tighter for the downhill run and at 11:38 with a second snow cloud making more winter around me I turn for home.

The ground is slicker than it was two days ago, three days ago. I don’t feel the grip of the skis underneath me as I begin my tentative descent, and then the iced down snow propels me forward. I have two spectacular wipeouts with flying snow, tumbling me, and air-slicing skis! I have several other less impressive falls, and one long great semi-controlled speedy downhill run. Successful in that I am going about 8000 miles per hour and don’t fall at the end to stop. My eyes are shedding water like tears as the snow blows in my face, freezes my ears, and fogs up my sunglasses. I feel alive. What a run.

Back at the Lodge, I sit on the porch for almost an hour in the sun, in the snow, in the wind. Snowstorms come in from the north like they’ve got appointments in the east they’re running late for. The sun plays in between them. I sit there on the porch, content like the cat who’s sprawled out nearby, thinking, “A body at rest stays at rest.” Thinking that I could sit here all day without moving, an inert object, unacted upon by any external force. 

There’s no reason to move. I’m solid with idleness.

My face, below my sunglasses and my winter cap, gets sunburned.

I Skype with my sister Michaela. It’s her 33rd birthday.

Then I work a 500 piece puzzle and finish listening to an audiobook I’ve turned on here and there over the past few weeks. The night gets away from me this way.

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It’s 57 degrees in my room when I wake up. The blue sky is visible through the skylights. So many times I start off my mornings by singing, “It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.” This day is no exception.

Through the bathroom window I see that some creature has left a line of fresh tracks in the front yard snow. Maybe it was the cat.

I open one of my two cans of coconut milk to put in my coffee. Because there’s no time like the present. There’s nothing like having good coffee in the morning.

The phone is still out.

I get an email from Karen with some possible solutions to fixing the phone problem. Part of that is checking to see if the walkie-talkie receives a dial tone. It does. Neither the manual nor the emailed instructions actually tell me why this is good and how it can be used to fix the problem. I read it all over three times to make sure I’m not missing some step. I email Karen about the walkie-talkie dial tone success and the incomprehensibleness of the information from Loring (the former owner and troubleshooting expert). She emails me back that she hadn’t understood either and that maybe we’ll just wait a few days and see if the phone fixes itself.

I watch a red tailed hawk soar.

For lunch I make a decent broccoli, spinach, green bean with rice sauté. I was needing some variety and it hits the spot. Person cannot live on pink soup alone.

I save, at least temporarily, one of the ground squirrels from possible demise by the cat. The foolish thing is taking residence awfully near the porch.

The geese are in a frenzy.

I settle on the couch to read and fall asleep for half an hour.

I start a new 500 piece puzzle while listening to P.G. Wodehouse’s The Inimitable Jeeves.

I’m going to go to bed early tonight.

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