big day at the dump
Friday, September 2 2011
Though it was looking like the post-Irene power outage was going to last into the weekend, we would nevertheless be entertaining another set of houseguests, this time Gretchen's childhood friend Dina and family (her husband Gilaud and two young children). Gretchen had warned Dina about the primitive conditions to expect, but she said she'd be coming anyway. Dina and family recently moved from Tel Aviv to Boston and Gretchen is very happy to have them back in the states (even if it does mean they will be going to Jewish Hell).
In preparation for our houseguests, Gretchen went down to Ray and Nancy's house to bake cookies and do a couple loads of laundry. Meanwhile I ran a series of extension cords to the generator and used it to power our vacuum cleaner so I could clean up some of the sawdust and cat dander down in the basement (Dina is highly allergic to cats).
I also continued with my garage cleaning project, organizing a large amount of stuff to be taken to the dump. I've been sweeping up all the leaves and sawdust and dumping them onto a rock formation just east of the driveway. Since the sawdust is contaminated with chemicals from app the treated wood I've cut, I didn't want it finding its way into our vegetables. The preservative in such wood used to be arsenic, which, despite the fact that it is an unalterable element, is rendered biologically inert fairly rapidly. Now the preservative is some sort of copper compound, which is probably a good bit safer. But I still want it downstream of my garden plots.
Gretchen came back in the early afternoon to help me load up a massive dump run. We deployed both of our cars, each of us having one dog riding shotgun. Eleanor was with me, though she was a little freaked out by a rusty old exhaust pipe reaching out over the gear shift lever from the back.
Like us, the Town of Hurley facilities on Dug Hill Road are still without power. A small generator was providing what little power was needed by the dump employees. I've never in my life seen so many people simultaneously at the dump. It seemed everyone else had grown bored in the absence of television and decided to clean out their garages. Perhaps some of them had come to the dump to throw away spoiled food from their unpowered refrigerators and freezers. Not everyone has dogs or a compost bin. (In the fall, a lot of what people haul to the dump is dead leaves, representing nutrients that they later have to buy to replace; it's one of suburban America's many irrationalities.)
Gretchen had DVR'd a women's basketball game on Ray and Nancy's television, and this evening she went down there to watch it, leaving me alone with my kerosene, my snifter of brandy, and a book I started "reading" about Objective C.
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