Ironically, the first pile of firewood in the driveway is still a sign spring is still springing. The day-lilies still so brilliantly blooming announce and celebrate summer, but for me, the Black-eyed Susans are the first color of fall.
They open just after the middle of summer and the orangey yellow is a reminder to stop complaining about the heat, but take the time to enjoy it because it won’t last.
The first wave of firewood arrived shortly before the heatwave. Conquering Mt. Cordwood is a family affair, and it has to happen quickly, as more is on the way.
It takes a little over 4 cords of wood to heat our earth-sheltered house. We don’t use any other heating source. Some years we cut more than others, but the Big Guy and I mind paying to have it delivered far less than we minded paying for oil in our old house. We know the woodcutters, and it’s nice to have the bulk of the money coming into the community.
The Big Guy discovered the treasure last night and sent the boys into the weeds with a bowl to retrieve it. Official sources say we may never know how many perfect plump berries were “accidentally” eaten on their way to the bucket, but the troops were able to bring back enough treasure for dessert. We have ours over Wilcox Dairy Country Cream ice cream. It’s local, so between the blueberries and the old-timey flavor, I’m pretty sure it’s approved on some diet plan.
I don’t know what the foal’s name is. I’m calling him Ralph. He’s less than a week old, tagging along after his mom, getting in her hair/tail. He was napping while his mom was recharging when I first went to grab a snapshot. I got this on the way back from breaking my diet at the Wayside.
Sunning himself in the grass, picking his head up every so often to make sure Mom was still there, he was playing out an ancient story of moms loving their kids (biological or not) and kids made strong in the shelter of that love. That story may as old as time, but it’s one rerun I can watch again and again.
I’m on wheelbarrow load number 10 or 12 full of dirt and fieldstone, Vermont’s unofficial state crop. I’m trying to level out an area where we’re about to put a deck or, rather, where the nice young man who lives at the bottom of the hill is going to build a deck for us.
It’s been hot and sunny all morning, but the clouds are rushing in faster than was predicted this morning. I’m trying to get a few more loads done before rain moves in.
I’m ridiculously out of shape, my belly resembling the shape of the more bulging clouds. I want to get the earth cleared so he can start after the rain, so I keep shoveling and rolling. As I’m pushing load number 14 to the edge of the woods, though, I push pause.
I step outside time and lie down on a pallet of lumber in the middle of the yard. I’m supine on the pallet, and the pregnant purple clouds seem to tumble through the top branches of the trees that border the yard to my bed. I could touch the sky, if I just reach out.
Wind starts to whip across the yard and the first gentle sheets of rain brush my skin, the smell of the rain infusing my brain with spring. The rain cools my sweat, restarting the world of work and to-do’s, but long after the clouds move on, it will still be spring.