Well, the switchboard here at the Chronicles has been lit up for a couple of weeks now, angry readers demanding to know why there hasn’t been a new post during that time have called our poor operators everything in the book. I’d love to tell ya that the writing staff has been in what’s known as “deep cover”, having infiltrated some Jamaican drug cartel or messianic cult. (Wait, do switchboards even exist anymore?) Sadly, that isn’t the case.
It’s been weird. That’s the only way to describe the last fortnight here at Coyote Creek. It started, I think, one late morning as I was slipping through the gate of the catch-pen after tricking the horses into letting me spray them for flies. The Primary Wife was filling the bird-feeder with whatever the avian equivalent of granola is, when suddenly she called out “Snake!” and I nearly soiled my cargo shorts as I high-stepped around in the tall grass surrounding the fence posts. I started gesticulating like Elaine dancing on Seinfeld because I didn’t want to scream and startle the snake. As it turns out, she had spotted a hawk flying OVERHEAD with a snake dangling from it’s beak, but all she could get out at that moment was the word snake. (It should be noted that around a dozen years ago, I was bitten by fire-hosed sized Georgia Culvert Pit Viper and lived to tell about it, so I had every right to be panicked.) Anyway, imagine my confusion as she’s pointing skyward and screaming about deadly things that are rarely airborne. I finally managed to snap to what she was saying and looked up in time to see the winged creature bank left into the trees with dinner for him and mama hawk.
It’s been raining here 24/7 for 39 straight weeks. The grass seed I threw out and covered with hay straw? Grew. Thick, lush neon green rye grass was everywhere…even in the back of Black Cloud Follows, as I must have spilled a few seeds in the truck-bed. This new growth is addition to the fescue covered peaks and valleys I must mow from around late March till my birthday in November. I changed the oil in my zero-turn, greased all the fittings, sharpened the blades and filled her up with non -ethanol gasoline purchased from Nervous Charlie, whose gas station doubles as a giant fireworks stand. (I kid you not. You may not purchase French Ticklers or ribbed, ahem, massagers in this County, but high octane dragster fuel with cheap Chinese compressed gunpowder? No problem. )
So for two days I mowed, stopping only to eat and sleep. I want to make it clear that I love my zero-turn. It is big and fast and easy to maintain, and goes wherever I point it. She is all horsepower and whirling blades, my friends, no fancy safety features like a roll bar or even a seat belt. She has no shock absorbing capabilities and a seat as soft as concrete. (it is a constant irritation that my friend Rock Solid has a zero turn with a larger deck, shock absorbers, rack and pinion steering, a full roll cage, a skydiver approved harness and an Ipod station, yet his mowing consists of lazy circles on flat terrain, indeed the most challenging part of the chore is keeping the beer in the cupholder from spilling) So yes, I mowed. From the tobacco barn to my back deck, roughly 7 seven thousand acres. Give or take.
On day three, pleased with myself and dreading any more work in 95 degree weather, I took my son swimming. One of our favorite pool activities (okay mine anyway) is to randomly pluck Noah from his raft and body slam him into the water. I believe it was only last week when I could do this with one arm. I’d snatch him up, hold him aloft and cackle like a madman while he screamed for mercy. None ever came. I’d plunge him into the depths, headfirst, all the while grinning as I watched his spindly legs follow him into the abyss. Huge fun. So, I patiently waited for him to be lulled by the lapping water and let down his guard, then I pounced. I immediately noticed that I needed both arms to even pull him into position, then I bent my knees, grunted, and yanked him up to about my chin, only to collapse in a heap in the shallow end as he rolled off my formerly strong arms and slithered back onto his inflatable. I believe I may have heard “old man” related taunts directed my way.
Since that day, I have been in so much pain, I’m pretty sure if I had a cervix I’d be dilated to about a 15. The muscle relaxers I got from a doctor friend did nothing but constipate me, thereby ruining my regular morning routine. Ibuprofen made it so that I could still walk, but the spasm was so bad I was locked in a Forrest Gump- like pose for nearly a week.
I’m on the mend, though, feeling more like myself but still a bit shy about lifting anything heavier than a shot-glass. I should probably let Noah out of the trunk today.
Oh, this is why nothings been posted here for awhile, between the back pain and medication I have just haven’t felt chipper enough to weigh in on the important issues of the day. So, yeah, it’s been weird.
What does this have to do with the title of this post? Not a damn thing. I read this morning that yet another “sovereign citizen” picked a fight with an armed policeman and lost, to become I think the third one this year to earn a chance at a Darwin Award.
We appreciate y’alls patience.