Hanging around in the cloud…

Clear November

A soft blanket of fog had boiled up from the river and flowed over the prairie causing the pines and Mary’s willows to float on an ethereal ocean of wispy white against an impossibly blue sky.  The house sits above the fog, looking north towards the approaching winter, with the sun poking through the pines and into the west facing windows.   I stand looking out thinking how each day ferries me further away, as if the house was a spaceship. I drink my latte watching the world recede beneath me from this beautiful observation port facing north.  Perhaps that’s why they call these mobile homes, even though the wheels are gone.  The sense of motion seems to speed up each day, and I have to surrender because I can’t keep up with the dizzying rush of time and the complicating factor of my body becoming a heavy sludge encumbered lump wracked with pain.  A rustling noise breaks the foggy silence so I galumph and lumber on stiff legs back to the center room.

Ragneesh pecks and putters on the porch, his crop filled with Feline Science Diet K giving him a nutritional edge over the others that live across the road.   He’s itchy and not finished with his first molt, and several tatty tail feathers cling stubbornly despite his efforts to extract them.   Back in August, I would find the plumes here and there, and put the best ones in a vase filled with them in the living room.  He should have finished shedding all of them then, but not being a peacock expert, I don’t know if this is something to worry about.  I wonder if I should try to catch him and pull them out for him.  But I can’t move that fast, and besides, he would think I was trying to kill him or something.

I can’t not worry about winter.  The storms, the power outages, the creeping arctic air and our waterline not quite deep enough under the long slope up to the house from the pumphouse all crowd into my thoughts.  But today the sun is trying to burn through fog, and the air is starkly transparent bringing the mountains with their skiff of snow north of the river even closer and into sharp focus.  That snow line drops lower each week, and soon a big wet system will hit the dry cold air, and snow will be back for the duration.  Winter adds more distance, sometimes burying prairie roads with huge drifts that push the plows aside like toys, and the county has to hire bulldozers to hack their way back through.   I slide the door open and shut it behind me to gimp my way over to the woodpile still wearing PJs and slippers.  Ragneesh steps off the porch, which looks more like a drawbridge to a double wide castle than a porch, to watch me get an armload of split pine, and totter back to juggle with the wood and the sliding door before dumping the wood loudly in a metal tub next to the stove.  No matter what, this little stove will heat the house.  I wonder about some of the neighbors who don’t have wood stoves.  How do they stay warm during the frequent and sometimes lengthy outages?   Snow gets rid of the lightweights in winter, and fire could get rid of all of us one day, if it isn’t kept safely in the stove.




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