Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snuggle my girls back to sleep-in an extra stretch from 7 to 8:30 then up to greet Al Jones delivering a picture snapped on the girls' birthday. We talk wood a bit and he destines out my day with the idea of work well done, ducking home up the hill with promises of a tractor and chains in half an hour. Change diapers, load girls into car bound for Bremerton ferry, Seattle, aquarium, adventure land with mama for the day. Quick smoke then out to guide in tractor, wave arms like I know something an 87 year old farmer doesn't about backing up a tractor but it seems to please him. We spend the next half hour fixing chains 'round large logs and winching them out of the tall grass and into the driveway. Chat a bit about war and oil. I like his style. Caught him pissing in his yard once, fuh-getta 'bout it.

Tractor and old hound dog up the hill. I spark the saw and cut off and on for the remainder of the day, filling the odd chunks here and there with sweat and tiny tasks. Plant a dozen and a half bulbs. Weed. Water. Package up books. Nice old 9 volume Melville set going down to some school or institute in Portland. A few of the *ahem* more clandestine titles that pay my bills scattered across the rural midwest. Box of highly specific advanced chemistry books to Australia disguised as old picture books of London. Back outside to split some wood. Enjoy a beer and some smoke, book in the hammock for a short spell before a turkey-spinach sandwich and more chainsawing. Like an ant I work away the summer days, thinking of winter. Then, under winter's spell I sit huddled and dreaming of summer.

Check on Rietta, our injured lonely hen. She was just out and around the yard for the first time in weeks the other day. Feed her some scratch by hand, her nervous clucking filling the small room. Ivy and blackberry creeping through the cracks. Nature reclaiming the unnatural. Cosmic compost. At a loss I start raking leaves in the one part of the yard shaded by our house. After a few predictable minutes Steph and the girls pull into the driveway. We share a few fast words, I shoot off for charcoal and chips, little sugar fix. Then she shoots off for work and a night in Olympia, our fair city. The girls and I say hi, settle in, an easy comfortable routine for us now.

Under this waning pacific silver dome i grill a steak soaked in St. Peter's ale, raspberry mustard, black pepper, apple juice and thyme, throw an onion, and a mushroom on there for variety's spice for my daughters and i to share over a light salad, telling them to chew, chew, chew and make sure to eat some greens. Then a quick swing, scarleht in the chair, lyli cuddling with me, papa, in our hammock beneath the ancient apple tree I have named "Given." Swap spots and cuddle Scarleht for a bit, giggles in the June air. Some talk of mama's house and papa's house, our transition into this new jungle, how to be strong and different and whole despite the distance and troubles. Hopefully once we rip this thing up we can maybe do some of that foundation laying that never got done happened. shit. cheers. sullen and silent and strong. just like always. and damn it if it doesn't work for you.

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