I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Sounds of Silence

The Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

You know how sometimes a song just springs up in your brain and sticks there? Well this one did that to me today as I was walking down to the boats to get a can of gas. Though the lyrics don't really fit the circumstances, the title sure does. Silence. The sounds of silence was everywhere. Not a peep. Not a squeak. Not a rustle.

When I go on these walks, I like to stop and just listen and look around from time to time. I do, after all, like my life and my surroundings. Most times there's the chitter of little birds as they fluttered from tree to tree in search of seed pods waiting to drop next summer, or those that didn't drop last summer.

The only sound I heard was the far-away hum of some sort of motor. It might have been a snowmachine, or a generator; it was too far away to tell - almost too far away to hear at all. I might not have noticed at all if it weren't so quiet otherwise.

Though I didn't see or hear anything, I did see a few tracks. A martin came down from the rough vicinity of the guest cabin, ran along the trail for a few yards and then was off further east. Then I saw moose tracks. Sometime yesterday or last night, he came up the trail and then circled around the edge of our yard, eating the small tree branches and whatever brush tips he could find, before wondering on, also in an easterly direction. Who knows how long either of them kept to that direction. Down at the boats, an ermine made lacy loops along the bank in search of a route down onto the river. It looked rather comical; I wish I could have seen him.

I do love my walks and taking in my world, but I do wish it would warm up a little. Or maybe I should say, I wish it would warm up a little more. I woke up to -28F (-34C). It was -11F (-24C) when I went for my walk and that was the heat of the day. For us to get a runway packed, it would be really nice if it would warm up above 0F for a few days. If this is Global Warming, I think someone needs to go back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


As some of my long-term readers may recall, I tried to get into town last winter too. Mostly poor planning was the reason for the delay last year. This year, Mother Nature is purely against the idea of us getting out of here.

For the last many years, getting out onto the river before December has been one of the 'gee-I-wish' things, so I was thrilled when the river froze in November hard enough to walk on and soon to be hard enough to drive a machine on, all that remained was for there to be enough snow to shovel in a ramp down off the bank.  That happened soon enough and we were planning to be in town by Thanksgiving. I was excited, not that I like town, but I had plans to talk to people and get my book on some shelves, maybe have a book signing or two. Don wanted to get some firewood laid by for when we came back out and needed to thaw things out again. No sooner had we a couple standing dead trees in and were looking for something more dense than the temperature plunged and Don ran out of tobacco. He gets so dizzy and even ill when he's trying to quit.

The cold hung on and on, and it didn't look like we were going to make it to town anytime soon, so we ordered an airdrop of tobacco and continued our struggle with the cold temperatures. Those of you who are my friends on Facebook know from a couple comments I've made, that old folks and machinery tend to break when it's so cold, so we don't move around much.

It's been in the -20s for the last couple weeks, or at least it sure seems so; I'm not kidding about the temps though. And now that it finally warms up some (+8 this morning; +11 earlier), it's dumping snow by the foot. I bet we've accumulated two feet since this morning. By the time it stops snowing I'll be snowshoeing the trails again - back to square one, and we haven't even been able to pack a runway yet. We did make it down to the river, finally and Don has driven out, made a turn-around and made it back up the hill. The worst part is, Don's out of tobacco again.

We went down there day before yesterday to get gas and he spun on the switch-back coming back up. When it snows at these temperatures, the snow doesn't have enough moisture to pack well. It's like packing sugar. It'll pound down solid enough, but the moment you disturb it, it shifts around and becomes sugar again.

The thing about going to town is, what do we want to leave here for the frozen months? What can we leave and what will be ruined? I ordered supplies to last until December even though Don said November would be enough. Past experience said November would never work. Now, here it is January and we are running out of everything, and I do mean everything. The contents of my freezer now fits in a cooler sitting outside on the picknick table. I have like a quart of cooking oil left. Vegetables have been gone for a while now, as have anything that resembles fresh food like potatoes. We're down to assorted Romin, various kinds of noodles, an assortment of gravies, canned fish and chicken, dehydrated hash-browns, and bread baked on top of the wood stove so I can stretch the propane as far as possible.

At this point, I'm so bummed. It's snowing my favorite kind of snow - all pretty and fluffy - and yet it's another set-back to us getting to town. For two winters now I've been looking forward to getting together with a few of my readers. I even started an event on Facebook offering my book on sale for $10 giving an address for a check or money order to be mailed to and I'd mail back a signed book. It looked so good for us to get in by the first of the year.

Ah well. So much for spending any quality time in town. It'll all be a rush once again. I've books to order, and maybe even NEW books to order. Here in a couple months, I'll have a new book coming out, and if I can, I'd like to have a box full out here to sell. Who knows, I might even have a third book published, or close to it. Just click on the sword tab to the right and you can read it. It'll be finished in April, but I'm not sure how long the publishing part will take. I'm looking into getting a cover made for it now. That's not all I need to do. Since I lost 50 pounds last summer, I need clothes for work this summer. Last spring, I bought three pair of pants - I so needed something. They now fit only because of the elastic in the waist. I also want to set up a PayPal account, but I don't trust my computing skill, not to mention my understanding all the paperwork wrapped around doing that.

My trip to town will happen even if I have to go by myself. I simply have to go. The worry now is, what with all the really cold temperatures, breakup could be really bad, meaning our boats might be in danger if left to their own devises. A few years ago I had to spend breakup down there in the boats watching the ice grind past (wishing I had a camera with me), keeping the boats from turning sideways and drifting half off the bank. The water was well over our bank. I paddled a tiny boat out to the other boats. Don came down at dark to check on me and he couldn't even wade half way to where I was in the boats and he was wearing chest waders. So that concern means we'll have to be back out here sometime in late March or early April.

I love my life out here, but planning a winter in town is such a pain.