Sorcerer’s Apprentice

I had just finished morning chores yesterday when D was leaving his hunting camp. As I had just collected fresh eggs, I offered to cook him a quick “thank you” omelet in the apartment while I warmed up with a cup of coffee.

I discussed my plan for the day, moving Mike’s wood, burning it, and spreading the sand in the barn paddock.

“I could bring my tractor out, spread that sand in a few minutes,” he said, between bites.

“Oh, no,” I said, thanking him. I hate to be beholden and he has already done me many favors.  “I’ll get it all spread by hand.”

“I shoulda brung the sand out early, when the mud was froze. Ground’s hard now — I could get it close to the barn.”

“Yes, but I’m just really grateful to have it in there at all.”

He left, I took the milk home to strain it, and I was just climbing back into my truck when my phone rang.

“Me and Emma are at the dump, gettin’ you another load. We’ll be there in ten minutes.”

The second load of bank sand was just as large as the first but with the ground like iron D was indeed able to back right on top of the mud next to the barn to dump it. I held his granddaughter in my arms and she cheered, “Yay, Papa!” as the new tons slid heavily off the dump truck.

Of course I was thrilled by his kindness but looking at a total of about sixteen tons of sand to shovel, I also secretly felt a little tired.

The sky turned dark, the wind kicked up, and my nose was streaming in the cold as I plodded all afternoon between tending Mike’s fire and pitching sand.

I got a little more than a quarter of the sand spread by the time I had to quit to make supper. DH called to say he was stuck in a snowstorm in Connecticut on I-84. The traffic was moving so slowly it took him four hours to drive ten miles. He stopped for the night just before midnight.

With luck DH will be home this morning and this afternoon I will finish spreading the remaining eleven tons of sand. I haven’t been drinking much recently but I think by evening we might both be ready for a medicinal glass of wine.

* * * * *

Addendum and Correction: DH just called. I had misunderstood his last email. He was still stranded on I-84 in unmoving traffic at midnight and the road block was not unsnarled until almost 7:00 this morning! He spent the night stuck in his car in the snowstorm, cold and hungry and hoping not to run out of gas. I cannot imagine. What an epic! He hopes to be home in time for lunch.

One Response to Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  1. Missy says:

    I’ve been thinking about your sand and all the shovelling you have to do. It’s got me concerned – you work so hard. So… do you have a bull bar on your ute? oops, truck? What if you attached a large piece of wood to the top of the bull bar (assuming you have one) the width of the bar and almost to the ground and used it to push the sand. If you only attach it at the top it will lift up as you reverse over the sand, and not pull it backwards. Failing that, could you whip up something similar on your old ride on?

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