Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black Ice

Skully and I walked along a busy section of the trail that they keep free-ish of snow all winter only to find, quite by accident, the few patches of black ice. She found it the most, twice she lost her balance and went down on one knee. The first time wasn't so bad, the second time she skinned her knee. Ouch! Now she looks like we all did in grade school. I spent most of my childhood (in the days when little girls wore skirts) with bandages on my knees, didn't you? I wasn't much of an active playing kid (the neighbor kids called me "house plant" when we moved up here) but I still managed to fall and scrap my knees almost on a daily basis. I went back to Skully's house to visit more for a few minutes and look what she gave me. She made it. Isn't it pretty? I think it looks like amber. I love it. Thanks again, Skully. We had the basement guys here to give us an estimate on fixing the crack in the basement wall. We were surprised that fixing it from the inside is the recommended plan. We were sure they'd want to come in with a backhoe and make a mess of my fern bed and have to dig down, screw up the drain tile, and the attendant mess and cost. No, I mean COST. Turns out there's a kind of stuff they can put in the crack from the inside that will bond to the concrete and be a permanent fix, better than fixing it from the outside--and for less than a grand. I know! I nearly fainted. And they can have it done by the end of the week if we call today. Sheesh, totally unexpected news. Now, if the gutter & leaf protection people are having a mid-winter sale my life with be complete. *knock wood (or particle board covered with wood-grained Contact paper)* Time to get this posted and find some lunch.

January 30--Peter Bruegel the Elder, The Harvesters. It's the lowest kind of stoop-labor hand cutting wheat and bundling it into shocks that stand drying in the autumn sunshine. Around our part of the state, bands of migrants come to work the harvest. They camp down in the groves of trees by the river. Pa put up a few shelters so they'd have cover from the rain. I asked him why they didn't live in houses and he said they liked to live under the sky but that might have been a lie. I saw the looks on those kids' faces. I saw them work so hard for a bit of money and not have one minute of time to play all day. They spoke Mexican all the time and I didn't understand so I couldn't ask them to play. One or two of the men, the dads, they spoke some English so they did the business for the group.

I looked at the painting and thought of the migrant housing I saw when we'd drive up to Door County on the weekends when I was a kid in the mid-1960s. I always wondered what their lives were like.

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