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July 28, 2012: Frog Song

Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. In the real world, one pushes to complete the weeks’ work on Fridays. And one relaxes on Sundays. Saturdays are someplace in between. Saturday mornings are also my favorite time of day. You can make plans to get stuff done on Saturday mornings, but not be under obligation to do so. Here, in the summer, Saturday is really just another day. In fact, I often lose track of what day it is because I don’t have to adhere to any societal expectations. Right now, my days are pretty much my own.

Pete and I begin our summer days by telling one another our day’s plans. (We’ve learned that it doesn’t work to plan to do things together.) Then, after breakfast we spring into action. Well, we don’t spring; rather, we ease into the day slowly, doing more sedentary things first. For instance, right now, Pete is in the hoop house, weeding and I’m upstairs, writing this. I often wonder how our habits would differ if we were coffee drinkers. I suspect that I’d initially get too overwhelmed for my liking. Then, a few hours later, I’d crash. Nothing would get done. The day would lie in shards, at my feet.

We’re more energetic after lunch. Pete’s now putting the board and batten siding on the cabin. I have to say, it looks good. I’m not a big fan of Tyvek – it seems to me to announce to the world that getting the siding up on the house or cabin is a low priority. And Tyvek covered houses usually coincide with junked cars in the yard. (This is not the case here, but it could be.) When he finishes this, Pete’s going to finish the hay shed. Right now, it lacks sides and a door. It’s fine for drying hay. Today I’m going to ride Raudi. I’ll go up the Jim’s Road trail and see if it’s safe for a later expedition.

Upon my return, I’ll do some house or yard related task. Yesterday I sifted some compost and turned a station. As soon as I finish sifting, and get the last station turned, I’ll begin disassembling the old compost facility, and start working on a new one.

In the evening, after dinner, we’ll go for a ride, taking the dogs and the three remaining horses. Last night, as we were crossing the creek, Pete remarked that we don’t hear frog sounds in these parts. It then occurred to me that the sounds of frogs croaking on hot summer nights are, at heart, the essence of summer. I equate them with sitting on porches and reflecting upon the day. What they’re saying, and what’s missing here, are the words “relax, relax, relax.”

I remember Pete and my camping at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. At night, frogs surrounded a large pond, and one by one, croaked. It was like a football stadium wave. It would be interesting to get a tape of frogs croaking. I wonder, if I crawled into bed and shut my eyes, if I’d get the sense that I was again in a world of frog song. This begs the question – are there frogs in outer space? The space brothers have been mum on this one. I guess they want some things to be a surprise.

Well, the day has now begun.

For most, this is how the day begins –
a sip if not in a hurry,
a gulp if in a hurry,
a swig if whiskey is to follows.

Sip, gulp, swig, the post-drink chatter
is deafening, jackhammer-like.

No coffee here; instead I look out the kitchen window
and see cow parsnip, on the verge of heading out.

The question, where do we go from here?
hangs suspended in the still morning air
like cottonwood fluff.

I grab at it, close and then open my fist.
As always, I’m too late for anything
                              of consequence.

Next: 233. 07/29/12: Going Places far and Near