far too much writing, far too many photos

During the invasion by my best friend’s clan earlier this week, I noticed that the bathtub seemed to have trouble draining. Suddenly, with no warning, having been fine immediately prior to their visit. Yesterday I step in the shower, turn on the water, discover that it had become completely plugged up. I pull out a plunger, get to work on it — no results. I finally call a plumber that Kit, the woman who housesat here last year, knew — no one’s there, I leave a message, wondering if I’ll ever hear back from the guy. I not only hear from him a couple of hours later, he suggests that I try the plunging routine again after I stuff some rags into the overflow slit in the bathtub, thinking I may be able to build up more pressure that way. It works. He offers me employment. I refuse, thanking him, then ask if he knows an electrician so I can get some work done that’s been on a backburner for months and months. He immediately gives me a name. Man, that was easy.

This morning my eyes opened early, something that’s been happening a lot lately. Early enough that it’s just getting light, the birds just beginning to shout back and forth. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be unconscious at that hour, so I remain in bed, drifting in and out but not truly asleep. Around 7 a.m. I give up, haul my carcass out from under the sheets. I shuffle into the kitchen/dining area where I see a good-sized doe out in the yard between the barn and the house. Deer have done far too much dining on plants of mine this summer, in particular tomato plants and sunflowers planted near the house. The tomato plants are just now coming back from having been a critter’s snackfood producing brand new, tender, bright green foliage and blossoms, so I decide to discourage the doe from coming any closer to the house/plants. I knock on the window, she starts a bit, looking in this direction but not taking off. I go to the kitchen door, open it, swing the storm door open — the doe gathers itself, bolting out of the yard and down the hill in huge, bounding leaps. There are muscles under that fur, and when they’re in use, those animals can cover some ground, powerfully, gracefully.

Shortly after that, I’m sitting here at the dining room table working at the computer. I notice something out of the corner of my eye, also in the yard between the house and barn. I look over, I see a thick cloud of smoke, apparently coming from the house, from maybe 20 feet further along, toward the far end of the structure. I jump up, run through the kitchen, pull open the door, lean outside — turns out the boiler had come on, sending a mass of smoke out the vent as the boiler’s cycle got underway. Why? Good question. A week and a half ago a character from the oil company showed up and did the annual maintenance [see journal entry for August 15]. Everything with the boiler should be A-OK. No sign of trouble since then. No sign of trouble before then either. Just like the tub.

Hmmm.

It’s been cool here during the last 48 hours, feeling distinctly autumnlike. The sun’s going down earlier, coming up later, the August days sliding more and more rapidly toward September. I went to a potluck tonight up here on the hill, accompanied by J. People were dressed for autumn, a lot of the food seemed to be autumn food — not that I have anything against turkey and cranberry sauce. I love turkey and cranberry sauce. It just feels like someone’s jumping the gun. Autumn will get here quickly enough without us pushing it along.

I found myself talking about Madrid a lot at the potluck, feeling a kind of melancholy that I hope did not seep into my voice. I think about that part of the world, dream about it. I want to go back.

In the meantime, life continues here.

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