Set Aside Biology for the Day

NOW I HAVE A PHONE IN MY HOUSE AND YOU CAN CALL ME ANY TIME YOU WANT (unless the advertising people start calling again and I stop answering — that’s why I never bothered to have it run in, what’s the point when the only people who call are machines –) and I will answer if I am there and not using it for the computer.

But that’s not the best part of this day. The best part was the installer, who came to my house exactly on time at the crack of dawn. The person in Philadelphia who took my phone call after I had waited on hold for an hour or so being reminded every 15 seconds that Verizon phone company cares about me and wants me to be happy — he almost panicked when I mentioned dogs, horses and gates. “Wait,” he said, “I have to put some notes on this order.” I thought, “Oh yuck, I will definitely have to supervise.” But that was before I met the installer, who is a man of the community; he knows everything. While he was working and I was watching, we talked about: pit bulls, horses, dogs, rabbits, God compared with Jesus, crooks (Pres.Bush, preachers, precinct politicians, House of Representatives and animal control officers who have the right to walk into your house without a warrant and aren’t even officers of the law). Fire ants, cotton, boll weevils, TAMU, and the Brazos Valley Civil Liberties Union that meets day after tomorrow and I am on the Board. Mowing, electricity and how to wire up an oven and why I don’t have to run away from wasps in this weather. Plumbing, old cars and trailers. The fluctuating water level in the tank, trees and their maintenance and where the crooked precinct politician lives just down the road from me. Pigeons, Equine Senior, hoof trimming, mowing and pastures and their maintenance. Goat weed. Taking responsibility for one’s own behavior, rats in the insulation and why I should not chase away the snake that lives there. I told him about the time I ill-advisably opened up the heater floor vent while the heater was running and looked in, and the snake skin flew up from the vent into my face. And then he told ME how it was, complete with pantomime of the snake wrapping around my neck and choking me, and me running down to the barn to telephone 9-1-1, with the empty snake skin and my scream trailing in the wind of my panic.

I love a good listener. It sets up the whole day, but he had to leave.

So then I laid out the dead rabbit that Bitsy brought me, in state on the top of the car.

And drove into town for an in depth search for fly swatters that work (as opposed to rolled-up magazines). The feed stores no longer give them away. They clearly are more interested in selling me some “perfectly safe” poison to spray liberally throughout my house. “I’m a biologist!” I say to the sweet young thing.

And succeeded (go the poor people’s supermarket and when you find the swatters buy a handful, it’s still cheaper than the poison and if you live as long as I will you will enjoy the time more than most people get to. These poisons are very subtle or they couldn’t sell them. They just take the edge off the joy of your life, so little you don’t know it would have been there, and they take their time — years and years to generate some ailment that nobody can prove what caused it), so I can open my doors to this gorgeous day.

Spent some time evaluating the clever design of the flyswatter. The reverse of rolled up magazines, it is concave, so if the fly tries a last-minute maneuver the outside edges prevent its escape. Very nice piece of technology.

Bought a bookshelf. The current plan is to use it for all the books that I reference in each of my books, and perhaps an artifact if there is a space on a shelf. One shelf for book 13, one for book 18, one for book 11, and the panoramic front/back covers of 21 overhead. As I continue to fix up the studio, I’ll make it available to people who want to spend a day or a weekend or a week on retreats, with or without the odd evening of discussion. It’s nice to think how they will enjoy the peace and quiet.

Meantime, it’s my sweet retreat, and by the time I got to there I was ready to go to work.

Tomorrow is a blue moon rising exactly at dusk, Saturday, Halloween and perfect weather. Will we ever again see all that in one day in our lives?