23 June, 2010

WONDERING WHERE THE STORY IS. It isn’t about me. No rambling chapters on strengths born having spent the first winter in my home. It doesn’t appear remarkable at this time; I’m not living in a hut made of bark, nor a hand built home marked by my own hand. The stories of people around me are what are rich. Finding the diamond in you. I love the dark hollows, and share the love of being surrounded by wildness from every angle. But I have no winter stories to write, except the kindness of good neighbors. I am nothing without you.

After the first big snow storm in December, I hiked out to get a new battery for the Jeep. Pine and poplar fell over the farm road every few hundred yards. Our neighbor, Ronald had come up few days before with his chainsaw, and cleared the road. We had been days without electricity, and I was a wild mess upon finding the biggest tree of all had found it’ way along the base of our driveway where the blacktop met the rutted out road.
Ice held piles of pine logs lodged deep for weeks to come. All I knew to do was stick out my thumb. Cuts haw picked me up in his old blue ford with that magnetic sign stuck to the side, claiming that I was not hitch hiking, I was getting a ride from a neighbor. We down to the Station to find a battery for my grand escape. His teenage daughter sat beside him, fresh and pony tailed. It took me a minute to realize she was his kin and not a young bride. I can’t assess age well around here, people age differently without all the smoke and mirrors and potions of city life.
Harold gave me a ride back up big pine where he left me with the heaviest battery I have known since a diesel battery. Cursing the whole way up the hill into our little valley space, slipping on ice and screaming for the freedom to do so. You have to love a place to do this sort of thing, knowing you will do something just like it again. Three acts of kindness from friends and neighbor.

I wish I was stronger, and didn’t feel the lofty siren call of art and contemplation. That I could set my sights straight like stronger woman would and travel the trajectory on it’s course, finding satisfaction and respite all in one smooth line. A hero, like wonder woman would come out of this half valley, shining.

Shiitake Mushroom Logs-
I have never fancied mushrooms nor been such a consumer as to hunt them in the wild. Yet, I have inoculated oak logs with thousands of boreholes and shot shiitake spawn into those holes. It almost insane, and it differently is nerdy. But people try all sorts of things out here in rural America. Some of the best fun I have had is
Delivering the inoculated logs to customers then helping them find homes for their brood of logs. I like to suggest a good spot then explain that nature will prevail. I have met all sorts of folks. Fussy types with long sets of questions and tarps to cover their spawn with, an evangelist preacher who tried to recruit me off to Africa, a Korean couple making kimchi, but the best was when I traded three logs for four goats which I put into the back of my jeep and hoped for the best. That was a crazy ride, fueled by my ignorance and quest for adventure. I drew out the trip by going through the drive through window at Arby's to get a milkshake then next door to the drive through carwash. After that I hightailed it home to deliver the beasts to the future home of fences they would jump and scrabble under.

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