Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Chores and Pleasures

The guys from N-Star were working on the street that leads down one side of our property last week, running new line to folks who had been out of power since the storm. There were up in bucket trucks, trimming trees and taking down half-broken limbs.  I felt kind of bad we never even noticed our neighbors had been without power for an entire week.  (We only lost our power  for two hours, not even long enough for me to run down the laptop battery playing FreeCell.  We had the oil lamps and board games and manual typewriters lined up, and everything, but the lights were back on before it even got dark.)

Anyway, a couple of the linemen walked around to our place. I thought they were going to tell us they were disconnecting power for a while so they could work, but actually they just wanted to chat about how old our house was and how old the trees were that they were trimming up. Answer to both: 300 years, more or less. Also, did we suggest they have lunch at the restaurant down the street. Yes. Awfully nice guys. (Or maybe they were just relieved to be talking to someone who hadn’t been without power for a week.)

They told us they’d be leaving all that wood piled up on the edge of our property outside the fence, so we go around and pick it up if we wanted any firewood.

So today I ran the extra-long extension cord over the fence to fire up the electric chainsaw again. The summer-campfire woodpile is all topped off now, probably enough to keep us going for the next three seasons. (The chainsaw needs a little bit of sharpening after all this heavy use, though. Time to ask the step-father for a refresher course in filing it. I know he showed me years ago, when I was much less interested in such things.)

Later we rode our bikes along the canal and to our usual beach, hoping for an end-of-season swim. But the Labrador Current must have been at it again, piping that ice-cold water back down from Greenland, such that standing in the surf for more than 30 seconds makes your ankles ache. Gussie dove all the way in, which surprised me, but she was out again within the minute.

It was a fine afternoon anyway, with a nap on the sand and some people watching. Plus, dogs are allowed on the beach again, post-season, which makes it a more humane place and encourages conversation. Then a stop on the way back at the hot-dog vendor with the thatched umbrella, two for me and one for the wife, and a stop again at the little ice-cream stand that opened up this year, quite conveniently along our bicycling circuit.

Rode home under thickening clouds to spend a couple hours smoking a pipe and reading out on the patio, watching the chickens and listening to the traffic out front crawling its way home from the three-day weekend.

Ha! We were already home!

Not a bad Labor Day, not at all.

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