May you live in interesting times.
Never a curse for an editorial writer but nobody wants to read polemics today. Not even me.
I tried to get some personal interest going about the kerfuffle over the new Muppet movie. Yawn. Rufus chewed on the rugs about the increasing threshold for itemized medical expense deductions. Ho hum. Election news. Who cares?
2011 was an interesting year in Puffin Land.
The birth of my unexpected first great-granddaughter and my friend Bob’s expected second grandson added joy but we also experienced the death of Anne’s most-favorite cousin and Nancy’s father.
Bob beat back lymphoma.
Anne now has a removable cast.
I got back to North Puffin in January, just in time to shovel us out of a record snow year. We should get an average of 67.4 inches of snow each winter which means October through April or so. We about doubled that and most of it waited for me to get there. Great, white gobs of greasy, grimy, icicles, and me without a spoon — I did all the plowing with the bucket loader because my snowblower was buried behind the construction materiel in the barn.
The record snows led to record melts and record high water in Vermont’s lakes and rivers which led to record flood claims. Then Irene rampaged through the state and did it again. North Puffin was exceptionally lucky. The house is more than 20 feet above the new Lake Champlain flood stage so we merely lived on an island until the early flood waters receded. And the hurricane which devastated southern Vermont just watered our apple tree.
Anne and I did a bunch of telephone diagnosis on the pellet stove when she was next to the stove and I was next to the beach. The stove was recalcitrant in January and rebellious in November. There’s good news. The early estrangement turned out to be a cleaning issue and the Fall failure a broken brain. We were able to get the stove running both times, all thanks to the phone and pictures-by-email.
Technology helped Bob and me when I had to pack up his tons of gear down here and drive it home for him. That was my first use of Skype which meant he could see what I was describing and we got all the astronomy parts in the right boxes.
Anne and I will definitely use Skype the next time she has to disassemble the pellet stove.
Broke: I made the boat payments for our body shop when the Honda collapsed right in front of a very patient cop. Got to do it a second time when a steel pipe (the kind that supports a parking meter) jumped in front of the Camaro. Then Anne had the apple tree trip her and break her leg and we started making payments on the orthopod’s boat.
He has a bigger boat than the body shop guy.
A commercial client told me they “weren’t inclined to pay [our] bill” this fall. I’ve run both a small business and an arts council for more than 20 years and I’ve met plenty of slow payers — and some actual deadbeats — but I’ve not heard that one before. Looks like I’ll find out how collections work.
I suspect bill collectors have a bigger boat than I do, too.
My back porch project moved along nicely but slowly. I closed in the north wing and did most of the finish work. It looks good and breaks the worst of the winter winds coming off the lake.
An interesting year.
I had my toes in the ocean and my ass in the sand yesterday. It was a very quiet Christmas. The beach was overcast but the water was quite nice. A girl named Nola skipped through the waves and was part of about four generations there. A 2-1/2 year old, a young couple, their parents, and the parents’ parents.
Life goes on.