Friday, March 25, 2011

Black and White World

I'd been feeling very much like Bob Cratchit, asking for just one more lump of coal.  My supply of split wood for the stove was dwindling fast and I've been very frugal with the fire.  Rain was pounding down in sheets and the wind blew hard enough to rattle the chimney pipe yesterday morning.  Dan Rowen and Dick Martin on Laugh In used to hand out the Fickle Finger of Fate.  I was apologizing to the girls in the barn for the Frigid Fingers of Farview.  Judy and I were commiserating about the thoroughly nasty weather in the afternoon, and I mentioned I was down to maybe two more little red wagons' worth of firewood.
The epitome of the adage "A friend in need is a friend, indeed," Joel drove up a couple of hours later with three of his crew and a pickup load of wood.  It was freezing cold, the wind blew Joel's hat off, and those guys were moving fast.  In what seemed like no time at all, my porch was stacked high with wood, and I stoked the fire high.  For the first time in days, I was able to take off my jacket in the house.  How do you say thank you enough for such an act of kindness?
Just as it was time to go down and put the big girls to bed (the chickens had been cooped all day), it started snowing, and it was coming down hard and fast.  I reluctantly geared up, thinking that I should have raised hamsters (difficult to milk, but at least they live indoors), and headed out the door.  A flock of miserable turkeys was clustered under the feeding oak, trying to find a few leftovers from breakfast.  Taking pity, I threw out a scoop of feed and went on down to the goat pen, where I had to scrape a layer of snow off Poppy as she went into her room.  Goats shake off water just like big, overgrown dogs, and each one gave me a shower as they passed by.  Goody.

Back in the (warm) house, I glanced out and saw that in the thirty minutes or so since the first flakes fell, the turkeys were coated in snow as they ate dinner.  As I was taking their picture, quail came up from the woods to join in the feast.  If it weren't for the one or two red turkey heads, these look like black-and-white photos.  Within an hour, the satellite dishes went out, and the snow kept coming.  By dark, I'd measured over four inches.  The power stayed on until ten o'clock.  Like Mrs. Danvers, I drifted through the house with an oil lamp held high as Bessie Anne, the cats, and I made our way to bed.  How nice to see the blinking clock this morning.  I have so much for which to be grateful.


Kathryn said...

It just DOESN'T seem fair!! But how wonderful of Joel and Judy - if the whole world acted that neighborly and we all took care of one another, wouldn't it be a grand place indeed! Bet the turkeys are sending up prayers of gratitude that they stumbled upon Farview way back when...some deliver wood, some deliver grain, and some of us wish we could deliver sunshine!

Linda Cox said...

J&J - Priceless friends and neighbors without equal.

Cally Kid said...

Nice pics, pretty setting, great read. The bottle of sun I have ready to send you has lost its shine. Rainy & cloudy now for the entire week. Our once-every-two-weeks plane is today. New outcasts arrive as excited detainees leave, if only for a while. No parole for Dirk & I. We are here till completion and I'm determined to enjoy the stay. Your blog is an integral part of my enjoyable day. I would guess that the neighbors and crew are due for some fresh goat cheese, homemade pasta or one of your other specialties.