Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In the vortex

With summer break rapidly coming to a close and many important deadlines looming, our house has become a hotbed of various types of activity, creative and otherwise. The Kentucky kid came home from her camp-counselor job on Sunday, and she has been busy cleaning her room, sewing a quilt from old marching-band T-shirts, and holding the ladder while her dad climbs trees so he can tie ropes around them to guide their descent when he cuts them down.

He's cutting down three or four damaged trees, which will provide enough wood to heat the house all winter, and when he's not cutting trees or baking bread or weeding the garden, he's moving sheds, two ugly little garden sheds I've wanted to move out of the backyard as long as we've lived here. I've long harbored a fantasy about nudging the more battered shed off the cliff and letting it fall down into the creek, but that would be evil, so he moved the better-looking shed down next to the garden and moved the battered shed back toward the woods so it doesn't obstruct the view from the kitchen window. Now we need to get all the stuff that we took out of the sheds back into them.

Meanwhile, the Texas kid has been busy delivering pizzas, pulling weeds, staining the deck, and folding laundry, a chore he tackles with a sort of quiet passion approaching nirvana, while I've done my share of weeding and picking vegetables and, of course, working on my summer writing project, which is just about done. Hopeful the stray dog we haven't decided whether to adopt has been taking great interest in the proceedings, but she knows how to stay out of trouble. The "Found Dog" ad is in the paper and if there are no responses, the deadline for making the decision about the dog is Friday.

The deadline for everything else is the following Friday, when my parents, my two brothers and their wives and children, and my daughter's boyfriend will descend upon our humble abode to celebrate 125ish years of marriage (50 for my parents, 25ish for me and each of my brothers). That big event will mark the official end of summer, the last big hurrah before we have to get the young people back to the classroom and get serious about earning a living. Meanwhile, things are hopping. You'd better look out or you just might get sucked into the vortex and find yourself with a hoe in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

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