June 20, 2009
I had spent a part of last week gathering big white pine branches that had come down in the last big snowfall, and mending the fence sections that they had wiped out. I took the brush and piled it in our barn arena, where I lop off the green needles for the goats. It's like candy to them. I cut the small branches into chunks to burn in our chimenea. And the bigger branches I buck into fire wood for the winter's woodpile. It's a lot of work, for a little pile of stuff, but I hate wasting btu's in a brush fire.
Today is the first of the summer weather in the 80's, and I am suffering. I'm just not used to it. Our Missouri relatives think I'm crazy, but I seem to sweat at the least exertion. The sun is intense. And I'm crabby from the stickiness and lack of progress on anything.
So I went out into the barn. It's a big metal pole barn with an indoor arena, and it was hotter in there than out in the sun.
Our llama, Olivia, who should be having a baby soon, was laying in the arena in the shade, but right in front of the open back door. I went over to see her and discovered that she knew exactly where the most pleasant place on the farm was. The open door formed a wind tunnel, and it was blissfully breezy and pleasant. Plus it was right next to my big brush heap.
And there it was. My relief from the doldrums. I set my chain saw case down at the base of some split cedar rails that my wife wants made into a hitching post, making a perfect seat and backrest. I pulled our little Daihatsu utility vehicle up to use for a work platform where I could cut up the brush. Then I went in and got my current book (The Parrots of Telegraph Hill), my reading glasses, and a go-cup of iced coffee.
It's lop up a few branches to whittle away at the pile. Then sit in the breeze tunnel, reading a few pages, listening to the barn swallows chatter away and the llama humming, soaking in the fragrance of the sappy white pine boughs, sipping my iced coffee, occasionally reaching down to pet the barn cat that is weaving in and out between my legs seeking attention, and stopping occasionally when my mind wanders from the page to daydream a bit. Work a little, play a little, work a little, play a little.
Now I'm retired.
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