Passing thoughts

Lucy and I had fun driving to Vermont yesterday. After a week of dark skies the sun was shining and she grabbed one of my baseball caps to shield her eyes from the glare. Lucy has her father’s tiny head. I glanced over at her, sitting in the passenger seat conscientiously doing her homework, biting the end of her pencil, with the brim of the giant baseball cap resting on her nose and her blond pigtails poking out from under, and my heart swelled with love.

*    *    *

She is easily entertained. We passed a big truck. Lucy inspected it closely and then sat back and said, sighing, “I wish I was related to someone like Allen who could tell me, ‘Oh, that’s just junk’ or whatever, because they all look cool to me!”

*    *    *

After the dentist appointment we drove to Shelburne to pick up an inexpensive secondhand stove and refrigerator for the apartment. I’d found the items on Craigslist last month and mailed a deposit to hold them. The owner left work and met us at his house to help me load them into the truck. (In the “small world” department it turned out that he had been Jon’s faculty advisor in his freshman year of college.)

The loading was accomplished with a minimum of stress. I brought out ratchet straps to lash the appliances to the stake rack, to keep them from shifting on the drive.  I threaded the straps over and around and then ratcheted them tight. The man’s eyes widened in appreciation. I don’t think he’d ever seen ratchet straps before.

“Wow, those are really neat!

I am mechanically ignorant and so often feel painfully stupid. Suddenly, successful with ratchet straps, I felt like a genius.

*   *   *

My friend Mike stopped by after work and fixed my lawnmower again. I don’t own a tractor so my mower leads a rough life. Last week a belt had been knocked off and the machine wouldn’t move. I was mucking the barn at evening chores. As he was leaving Mike rolled down his window and grinned at me.

“You’re all set, Sis! But you got to stop poppin’ them wheelies!”

I grinned back. “It’s not the wheelies, it’s the jumps!”

Mike crowed with laughter, flapped his hand, and drove off in a spurt of gravel.

*   *   *

The Brant, the small young saltwater goose, is back. I suspect he never left. He alternates between hanging around the barn and walking the back field.

I worry. His diet is supposed to be eel grass, not baby winter rye. We are heading into days of snow and freezing rain. The temperatures have been in the teens and will soon be colder. The coyotes are hungry. In a few weeks the mountains will be locked in ice.

I wish I could help him but I can’t think of a thing to do. I can’t get within fifty yards. I am afraid he is doomed. Poor little guy.

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