I realized today that I'm not the only creature that's energized by sunshine. For the last couple days it's been overcast and dreary and no birds have come to visit. This morning, for most of the day actually, it was sunny and the birds were out and visiting.
First came the Mourning Doves. They are the most skittish of birds. One landed on the rim of the birdbath and flew quickly away when I reached for the camera. These doves stayed put to have their picture taken.
Next this squirrel leaped onto the suet feeder and made itself at home. It and its pals have just about eaten the whole suet cake.
Then the male Downy Woodpecker arrived to cling to the suet pellet feeder for a snack. When the woodpecker left one of the squirrels climbed up but didn't stay long. The openings are so small I can't imagine they get much of a bite.
As intended, I finished October Preemie Hat #4 after lunch so that I didn't have to change its name to November.
31 October--Barbara Malcolm, The Seaview.
He came back in about ten minutes with a policeman who looked so young that he might have been a kid dressed up for Halloween. Officer Micah looked around at the mess, took notes, and shook his head a lot. I could see that he didn’t really have any hope of figuring out who broke in. In fact, he seemed to be accusing Silas of not locking up properly. “Are you sure you had the doors locked, Silas?” he said.
Silas took offense. “Micah, you think my father would stand for me being careless like that? How many times has some fool tried to help himself to a bottle or two from Johnno’s back bar?”
Officer Micah shook his head. I could see that he had been hoping to offload responsibility for not securing the place onto Silas and was glad that he wasn’t foolish enough to try it with me. “I know that Johnno does not tolerate carelessness when it comes to doors and locks. I suppose someone jimmied the lock, it would be easy enough to do especially in the dark of the back garden.”
My tears began to flow. “We threw that tub away the other day,” I said. “It was in the kitchen but had a hole in the bottom so out it went. I think I’ll keep it and plant some flowers in it and put it by the back door to remind us all to lock up tight.” The thought that the doors were so easily forced made me glad that I had to stay at Sydans where there were at least people to hear me yell if someone broke in.
“Wasn’t last night the bible group’s night to meet?” I said. “It’s a wonder none of them noticed anything. The flicker of flames would be a give-away, I think.”
Officer Micah said, “Last night was Monday; the bible group meets on Thursday. Everything was very quiet down here in Sandy Ground last night.”
“Unfortunately,” I said, “even the police must have taken the night off.” He had the grace to look ashamed.
“It will not happen again. I will go and make my report, and then I will see about tracking down who might have done this terrible thing.”
I wasn’t ready to let him off the hook. “Terrible is right. What if the fire had gotten out of hand? You see that the ceiling was burning? What if it weakened the floor joists? Are you going to guarantee that my guests will not fall through the floor?”
I head my voice rising and saw a frown furrow Silas’ forehead, he shook his head ever so slightly. “I’m sorry, Officer, it’s been a shock to find this. Of course, I don’t blame you or the police that someone broke in. I’m confident that you will find whoever did this.” I held out my right hand. “Thank you for coming down so quickly and I’m certain that you will keep me posted on how your investigation is going.”
He shook my hand with one strong up and down motion and, touching the rim of his cap, left.
Silas looked at me. “You were a bit hard on Micah,” he said. “He is not a bad sort and he was not even on duty last night.”
I dragged my fingers through my hair trying to tug out the ache that had started at the base of my skull and was working its way up to my forehead. “I know. I saw the officer on duty last night when I was coming back from my swim and he was much taller than Micah. Thanks for saving me from running my mouth off any more than I did.” I leaned over the tin tub stirring the remains of the fire. “It looks like our partiers used some of my reclaimed wood for their fire, damn them. I had plans for that wood and I’ll bet that all the paint on it made a merry blaze indeed.”
Silas looked at the ceiling, walking around in a circle to examine it from every angle, and then he went out and got a stepladder from his truck and climbed up to poke at the charred area. Pieces of what looked like charcoal rained down. “I do not think that the fire burned the joists, but I would feel better if we tore this down and made sure.”
I was nodding as he spoke. “Me too. Pull it back to clear wood. I’ll feel much better with that burned stuff gone.” I tried to push the tin tub aside to examine the flooring under it but it wouldn't budge. I had to lift it up out of the hole the hot metal had burned in the floorboards. "Look at this. We were about three minutes from having the whole place on fire."
He bent to look at it too. “I agree. It smells like someone poured their beer on the fire; that probably cooled it enough to keep the floor joists from burning all the way through.”
A thought crossed my mind. “Silas, how well do you know Shaggy and Bo? I hate to accuse an innocent man but I got the feeling that both of there were real partiers, especially Shaggy.”
He looked surprised but not offended. “You know, I do not know them very well. Bo is from East End Village, way down at the other end of the island and I think Shaggy might live in Island Harbour. They were a couple years behind me in school and ran with a different crowd. I will talk to Edward to see if he has any ideas about whether they might be the kind of guys to pull a stunt like this.” He kicked at the beer bottles again. “Maybe I will bring a bedroll and start sleeping here.”
“I was thinking the same thing myself but then I realized that there is no electricity or plumbing, no bathroom that works. How could you stay here?”
He patted his pocket. “I have a key to Johnno’s remember. I could use his place to wash up of a morning.”
Remembering that young men seldom have to make middle of the night bathroom trips like middle-aged women, I agreed. “I want to pay you for staying here, though.”
He protested and we went round and round for a bit before deciding on a flat retainer added on to his construction work pay.
Today's toss was a stack of long-sleeved tee shirts and a clock. It's one of those fancy clocks with the four gold balls that twirl around as a pendulum. It was a sales award that Durwood won but it was never my taste. We had it on a table for a while but it's so finicky about being balanced and not jiggled that I put it away. Now I'm giving it away.
Speaking of clocks, don't forget to fall back an hour before you hit the sack tonight. That means that sunset goes from 5:30 today to 4:30 tomorrow and it'll only get earlier until late December when, on the winter solstice, the light starts to come back.
Happy Halloween! Did you have any trick or treaters? I didn't. I saw one mother and kid walk down the street but I don't know if they were just out walking or not.