bunt sign

Sunday, June 17, 2001

The hot wind that blew through the area this afternoon reminded me what a tenuous position I'm in. With all the dry grass and high weeds surrounding my house and garage, I could be done in by a single spark, at just the right (or wrong) time and place.

Despite my best efforts to keep the weeds down in the area just around the buildings, and to keep the garden and side yard watered, I'm in over my head here, I think. In one way, I know I'm over my head, because I can't even walk through my back yard without disappearing.

So I guess it's time to call the mower people again. The trouble with this is that the tractor or mower could be the source of the spark that touches everything off. I'll just have to rely on the good judgment of others to make things work out, because I don't have enough experience living in the country to make these decisions. I just know something has to be done.

A couple of weeks ago the mail carrier delivered a package to the house and went on and on about the snake that was crossing the driveway. She waited for it to clear the path before driving on through to the house, she said.

As I told her, I've lived here nine months and haven't noticed any sign of snakes. I suspected that they were a possibility, but I didn't worry about it. I only half believed that she had really seen one.

Then Friday as I was walking out to get the mail I saw a snakeskin in the driveway, at about the spot my mail carrier had described. I don't think the skin had been there earlier in the day when I drove through. It was brown and scaly, and dried out as if it had been abandoned for weeks.

It was about four feet long. I tried to pick it up, but it crumbled in my hand, so I just left it. I don't know what it means, exactly, but I'll be just a bit more alert as I walk around my yard from now on.

I slept better last night and thought I might get out today, maybe to a movie, but I kept finding more to do around the house. And it's just as well that I stayed home and got a few things done. It's always good to start the work week with one or two items already crossed off my to-do list.

The trouble with spending Friday doing next to nothing is that it leaves a huge pile to dive into at a later, possibly less convenient time. A Saturday, for instance, when I'd rather be playing outside than trying to round up insurance certificates. Or a Sunday, when there's no chance of reaching anyone at the insurance company anyway.

It's too bad these people will have to wait for Monday morning before I can act on their demand. On the other hand, the request was faxed to me at 4:25 on a Friday afternoon, and I'd already committed myself to leaving for the ballgame at 4:30.

Just because I work at home doesn't mean I have to be at the 24-hour beck and call of every customer and supplier. Even the Boss leaves me alone on the weekend (which starts fairly early Friday afternoon, if I play my cards right).

I completed the task of gathering samples for the doctor today. I don't really want to go into the disgusting details again, but I now have a full card of my own making, to present to the doctor's office tomorrow morning. And I don't have to monitor my food intake as closely (although I'll still be careful what I eat, since I haven't had as much stomach trouble lately).

It wasn't easy following the sample collection instructions. I had to perform natural acts in an unnatural manner. I'm very happy to have this problem behind me. (Oh, dear. There I go again.)

my old oak

Many people don't like the hot weather, and it does have its disadvantages. I couldn't do as much work in the garden as I wanted to, because I just couldn't stay out in the heat that long. But there's some pleasure and comfort in being able to sit out on the porch and read until 8:30 at night. I could have stayed out even later if not for the bugs.

The wind was so strong today that it blew a hummingbird right off the feeder. (Not for long, though. I can't believe how much nectar these little birds can consume. I guess they must metabolize it quickly, if their hearts beat as rapidly as their wings.)

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