It’s rained or threatened to rain every day for the past two weeks, as is the monsoon’s custom. This has had its usual startling effect on the air humidity. Humidity isn’t a problem I normally need to deal with, and it always catches me by surprise. My problem is that I’ve got a number of wounds that never entirely healed; lots of old broken bones and of course a missing leg. The normal dry lets me forget most of them. Till Monsoon.

This morning I hit vertical with the intent to get a bunch of stuff done. A minor water leak in the pressure system has over the past few days turned into a major leak, and a real fix will involve things I truly don’t want to do. But I woke up with an old-school idea to stop the leak. Gathered tools and went out to try it before I was even fully dressed. Didn’t work (Sigh.)

I’ve been clearing space in the storage side of the barn for the lumber left over from Landlady’s house, and this morning Claire and I were to move the lumber from the meadow where it’s been getting pretty seriously weathered-in to nice dry storage. I loaded most of the trailer while she was doing walky with her dogs. She gave me hell for that, but loading the trailer’s easy. I mostly needed her help getting it onto the barn shelves. Then while backing down the driveway slope the OSB sheets slid and dumped most of my load right out of the trailer. So…we pulled the dimensional lumber out of the trailer, except for the 16′ 2X4s that were strapped to the sides. Rearranged the OSB, backed to the barn. The 16-footers went up in the attic and the OSB made a nice neat stack on one of the newly-cleared lumber shelves. Back to the driveway, re-stack the lumber, back to the barn and unload.

By this time, with all the backing and forthing, my stump was singing to me like Mick Jagger trying to perform Aida. But it’s shit-shoveling day, and I was already four hours late. I normally like to get it done early before it gets hot, but yesterday never got hot and today I don’t think it’ll get very hot.

I kinda like shit-shoveling, to tell the truth. The horses are good company when the mares aren’t in heat and the work is light, except for the part where I have to pull the loaded shit-wagon a couple of hundred yards and then drag it up the manure pile to dump it. That’s not fun even when I’m feeling good, and by this time Ol’ Mick was really hitting some sour notes. Fortunately, due to the flies I’m on a three-times-a-week schedule, so I only had to do it three times. But still – thought I was going to have to crawl back to the Jeep. And just when I was filling the last load, H came home with two of her lady friends. So naturally I straightened up, stuck out my chest and pretended I was Conan the Barbarian. Is nothing! Wagon only weighs a few hundred pounds, ladies, I could carry it on my arm. Yeah, right. You know that scene in Gattaca where the hero is pretending to be a superman on the treadmill, till he gets alone in the locker room and can have a private heart attack? Like that.

So now I’m sitting inside with my leg off, letting the sweat dry and working up the nerve for my last chore of the day. That won’t take but an hour or so, then I can shower and collapse for real. Landlady’s due in tonight and wants to work on plumbing, and I need to be able to walk.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to Ouch.

  1. Joel this is totally unrelated to anything. You are from Detroit, so northern US, lived in California and God knows where else.

    Is there any kind of landscape that you miss? My knowledge of the desert is limited, I am sure it has a beauty that any person could learn to appreciate and love, but I’m with Clair I think I would hate it (most) days. I would miss the taste and smells of the ocean or the thousands of lakes I live near, the birds that live in and by them. Oh and the trees that hurt your neck trying to see the tops from under neath, the soft tall grasses,the animals that populated my days. I would be home sick for those sights….

  2. Joel says:

    It’s all pretty much one thing or another to me. I lived in Eastern Oklahoma when I went to tech school and like it there. It was fairly dry without being arid, and had lots of trees. Michigan’s a big swamp, Florida’s a big drained swamp. Socal’s basically a coastal desert – I’d have liked it there if it wasn’t in California and there wasn’t so damned much city. I liked the hills west of San Jose quite a lot.

    But as for some one sort of place I’ve been and especially miss? No, not really. I’m happier here than I think I’ve ever been, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t climactic changes I’d make if I were king of the universe.

To the stake with the heretic!