Firewood

It was almost two weeks ago when it suddenly hit Attila that the house was not likely to sell this year, and that we would need a lot more firewood than we have in the woodshed, to get through the winter. Not a good feeling.

I decided that a lone visit to the little house in the city was in order, to free up Attila’s evenings for the firewood project. When I am home Attila likes to spend his time with me, so he had been postponing the huge firewood project in hopes that the house would sell. The added bonus for Attila is that a period of time opens up, when he has no one to please but himself, he can work on projects, sleep, and eat, whenever and whatever.

Sunday night I packed my bags for a lengthy visit to the little house. Monday morning we both drove off, Attila to an early work day, and I to my five hour drive to the little house.

My trip was uneventful, which is always a relief. It took me an extra hour though, due to the frequent stops for road construction. When we travel on Saturdays and Sundays the road construction is usually at a halt for the weekend. But on weekdays the work continues, and there are frequent stops to wait in turn, for passage along single lane traffic past construction workers.

By the time I arrived, near noon, the heat of the day had set in. The interior of the house was cool and comfortable, so I left it closed up until Tuesday morning.

After arriving I let Attila know I was safe and sound at the little house, and sent a text to Terra to let her know I was around. She just happened to be in town when I texted, and to my surprise there was a knock on the door, which I opened to see her smiling face. We had a lovely short visit, then she was off to tend to the dogs. She invited me out to her place for a visit, but I had had enough driving for that day!

After unloading the car, I donned my had and headed out to the garden. Things were a bit dry out there, and the plants seemed little changed since our last visit. I found six mature cucumbers to pick. I brought them in, washed them, sliced them, prepared a dip with sour cream and garlic and pepper flakes, then enjoyed my fresh snack.

I puttered in the cool of the house for a while, then ventured forth to the grocery store when the temperature outside began to drop a little. I didn’t need much in the way of groceries, milk, a tomato, cheese, some salami. Those supplies will last me for several days at least. The evening meal consisted of a salami, cheese, and tomato sandwich, with a nice cold glass of water on the side.

Then I called Attila to see how his day had gone. He had come home for lunch, set his alarm clock, and taken a long nap, in anticipation of a late night working on the firewood project.

Over the course of the summer a squirrel had moved into our garden shed at the country house. Apparently it was quite a mess in there! The entry point was eliminated a few weeks ago, with several two by four pieces of wood. But the mess remained. That was the first step in the firewood project, to clean out the garden shed, and store the random items that had ended up in the wood shed over the summer. A mask and disposable gloves were needed, and the debris from the squirrels was burned. Problem number one solved.

When we said goodnight, Attila was heading back outside to split the wood we brought back from the camp, about three hundred pounds of it, enough to keep us warm for three cold winter days.

My first night in a new bed is almost always a difficult night. Monday night was no exception. I slept little, feeling alert at every little noise. What I did not realize was that a storm had moved in, and the noises were related to the gusty winds, that moved the chairs around on the veranda at the back. Then the power began to go off and on, which affected the lighting in the yard across the street, so that the lights would suddenly switch off. That is enough to keep me from falling asleep. When Attila is here with me, I notice none of these things. Within a few nights I will be familiar with all the little noises and creeks, and will sleep soundly again.

When I arose Tuesday morning, feeling far from refreshed, the world was a stormy place. My first priority was to give Attila a call. I could not use Skype, because the internet connection depends on electricity, and the power was still out. So I used the cell phone to call him, which made for a brief conversation. A few hours later the power supply was restored, so a more satisfactory chat with Attila took place in the evening.

Tuesday morning the much needed rain misted down, at times pelted down, and the wind gusted, bringing down a fair number of green leaves from the trees in the yard. No wonder the verandah furniture was moving around on Monday night! I opened the windows to the lovely brisk morning wind, allowing it to sweep the stale air out of the house, leaving it fresh, vibrant, and a little bit cooler inside.

After breakfast it was time to take stock of what needed doing on this visit. Time for a list! Lists work for me, as my visual memory is strong.

Tuesday ended up being the “take the car to the garage” day. There is no convenient place to take the car in for an oil change near our country house. There are multiple options for service near the little house in the city, so I called in the morning, made an appointment for later in the the day, and was home again by mid-afternoon. The way I looked at it, waiting at a garage is as good an activity as any on a rainy, stormy day.

Here it is, Wednesday morning already. I have eaten my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and am now sitting happily in the living room, coffee in hand, looking out at the blue sky and relishing the morning sun.

I have been reading this morning, three articles written by my Uncle the geological engineer, who is also a Prospector. The articles arrived this morning by email, sent by Cathy the Genealogist from Kirkland Lake. My Uncle is an accomplished writer, the stories of his youth are interesting, and the information completely new to me! I first met my uncle when he married my Mom’s sister, my sister and I were Flower Girls at their wedding.

I called Attila early on, at 5:30 a.m., to see how his morning is faring. He seems relieved to have the opportunity to catch up with the firewood, and putter about with the myriad of other tasks that arise when maintaining a house and property in the bush.

What will I do today? Something from the list I suppose, unless a surprising opportunity presents itself!

A few more images from our five day excursion to Kirkland Lake.

Walking along the shores of Lake Timiskaming.
BereavementLAKE
“Canadian Business magazine listed Peter Grant as one of the top 100 richest Canadians in 2004, then at the peak of his wealth, estimated at $381 million. With an eerie prescience it wrote: “But watch out, Peter: the darling is already starting to slide.” Source: Temagami News And slide it did. We thought this building was a new hospital, or huge government building. Wrong. It is the abandoned lakefront mansion of the Grant dynasty, lost to bankruptcy before completion, so we were told by local people. Many a labourer and his family lived on meager wages, to provide the profits for this empty monument. But for the plight of those unsung families, who gave so much to amass this fortune, I would experience Schadenfreude. Too much sacrifice here though, by the men and women behind the success, for me to garner any pleasure from the sight. From what I gather the new corporate owners of the mills are not an improvement for the area.
BereavementGRANTmansion

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 19.7°C
Dewpoint: 19.1°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: S 27 km/h

Quote

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Yogi Berra (1925 – )

3 Comments

  1. It’s interesting how enjoying someone’s company can get in the way of doing the things that need to be done. DH and I often have that problem, too. We enjoy being around together and it takes some effort to overcome inertia and start doing the various chores we’ve earmarked for days off.

    I hope you’ll find some enjoyable and productive things to fill your time, though I’m sure you’ll be missing Attila quite often.

  2. Thanks Teri, we are hoping to reduce the chore factor in our lives, by selling the country house, which represents a tremendous work load for Attila, with wood heating and snow removal. We have ideas on how to reduce both of those time consuming chores at the country house, but all would involve a considerable investment in time and money. Since I do not want to live there, it doesn’t make sense to throw money at the problem, better to resolve it at the root, sell and move somewhere temporarily near Attila’s workplace until he can retire, then move to the little house in the city.

    Thanks to Skype, Attila and I can chat several times a day, all for the price of a high speed internet connection and the $30 annual cost of Skype. It isn’t the same as being in each other’s compnay of course, but at least we touch base daily.

    The Skype solution is truly handy for multiple residences, so that I can call locally in all locations, even from the library near the camp lot. This is very handy when trying to negotiate the administrative aspects of maintaining three properties that are miles apart.

  3. TopsyTurvy

    DH and I have never investigated Skype, though now that we both have laptops it would be feasible. But as DH has a workgroup around him voice communications wouldn’t be very private, so we make do with talking through Yahoo Messenger off and on throughout the workday. It makes for a much more enjoyable day, being able to talk to him about things that pop up during the day.

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