Thursday, February 20, 2014

Respite from the Cold

It is the calm after the storm of winter, or make that the storms of winter. It has been so warm today that I have had doors and windows open to air out the house. Soft breezes followed a morning thunderstorm, and the mud is slowly drying up.

The snow hasn't left completely though. On the hillside across from our house, snow lingers; this is the north-facing slope and it gets only morning sun in winter. The woods around us are mostly clear except for patches of surprising white in the dense thickets and northern slopes. The melted snow has left behind the detritus of months: old bones the dogs dragged in, a piece of rope, scattered bits of paper, a broken flowerpot, twigs and sad gray leaves.

All of this is amazing to the new puppy, Blackie. Every found object is a new toy to be tossed in the air, chewed upon or growled at. We try to stay a step ahead of him, picking up anything likely to hurt him, but he's quick.

Not quick enough to get away from the cats, though! He's made a sort of peace with Charlie--she's the boss and he knows it.

He and Clyde seem to be buddies though. Blackie is learning quickly. He knows sit, shake, down, and No. He hasn't quite mastered Come yet, only obeying about 50% of the time but I'm well pleased by how fast he learns. He loves pumpkin spice cookies! And he is a happy boy when he can be outside with the big dogs.

But mud is everywhere! Little puppy feet have to be wiped when we can catch him before he tracks inside. Spring is always this way on our ridge where the soil is so deep we can lose tons of gravel in a few months, sinking away to China. I think where they pick it out of their gardens and curse us.

Larry's truck is a victim of the mud today; he drove it across the yard to take a cabinet indoors to be worked on, but when he tried to pull away the back tires went scootin'. He's leaving it alone for now, waiting for some of the mud to dry up, then he'll try a trick we heard from a nephew--put some old roofing shingles under the tires and see if that gives him enough traction to get going. We're careful about trying to get out of a stuck-up here; the mud is so slick that one false move and it's over the hill and gone.


I've been working on storytelling today, and you can guess which was more fun. Tomorrow I'll be presenting to 8th graders, talking about storytelling and writing. I spent today pulling together my thoughts and thinking about what I want them to get from the time I spend with them. I am looking forward to it; those 12-14 year old kids are my favorite age group, even though they can also be the most difficult audience. I have presented at this school for the past two years and it's been a great experience each time. It will be good to get back into storytelling too, after a month without any performances. I've been glad of the break with the kind of weather we've had, but it's time to get going again.

I've also been working on taxes. Bad words. Boring work. But it has to be done. I have moved that work into the log room where I at least have a big window and can enjoy the beautiful day.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

2 comments:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Lets hope that spring, if not summer, is on its way. Take care.

Brighid said...

We have red clay and when wet is slippery as anything, and when dry entombs what is stuck in it. lol They don't call this Red Bluff for nothing.

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