One of the first things that happened after I moved here into the woods four years ago was a visit by a friend from back east. Gerard Koeppel is a noted historian and writer who has specialized in the history of the infrastructure of New York. That is not a subject which immediately quickens the heart, but a book he wrote that was published in 2000, Water for Gotham, actually made the history of the city’s water-supply system exciting.
It’s something that folks who grew up around here have come to take for granted, in which many have participated since they were kids. Handled responsibly, they reason, there is little danger.
When the power went off, it woke me up. Of course, a sensible person would have looked around, rolled over, and slept some more.
So call me a Luddite. Fact is, calendar notwithstanding, I shall consider spring to have arrived when I can start the Gravely without risk of dislocating my shoulder. Part of this has to do with the lifting of heavy weights to build my strength and part has to do with the weather becoming warm enough that the oil in the thing is thinner than molasses.
Somebody’s bright idea is banging around in my chimney right now, and lest there be any doubt, I don’t much like it.
It’s enough to give you a headache.
A few years ago I was working on a book with Dr. Morris E. Chafetz, and in the course of conversation he said, “Maybe time doesn’t really exist. Maybe it’s just something we’ve created for our own convenience.” As a child of the space age, I’d heard speculations of all sorts and now, with a book to get out, I didn’t see where we had time to discuss it. “Yeah, maybe,” I replied.
There was no way to tell whether the old fellow thought he recognized me or would have begun the conversation with anyone who happened by. Nor, really, did it matter. Our meeting outside the store on one of the warm days week before last began with his question. “What do you think of that tomb of Jesus they say they found?”
Before it gets much warmer, I need to fetch out the ladder and put up an obstruction so the phoebes won’t build another nest over my porch swing.
If you’re new to this area and are even a little observant, one of the first things you’re likely to notice is the wave. You won’t see it in town, but on country roads it is almost a rule of civilized behavior.
One doesn’t hear a lot of complaining out here in the country, but a fairly consistent complaint is about telephone service. I think that this is unfair, because the phone lines seem in as good a shape as they were the day Alexander Graham Bell strung them.