why I build stone walls
Thursday, October 24 2019
We're entering that time of the year when the sun hangs distressingly low in the sky, always getting in your eyes whenever you're not looking north. This morning the rising sun was so blinding as I approached US 9 on Rokeby Road (
that I almost hit a trash can on the side of the road.
Later, in the middle of the day, I was almost continuously blinded by the sun on my walk back to work after eating a burrito at Bubby's.
Finally, this afternoon as I drove homeward on Middle Road (41.975255N, 73.897212W), the sun's glare switched off briefly behind a tree to reveal a cyclist in the road. I've been so worried about hitting muscovy ducks hiding in the shadows that I wasn't going particularly fast.
At the end of the workday, I had a brief landlording chore over at the Brewster Street house. For some reason, my visits to that rental unit are plagued by telephone-like communication issues. For starters, Gretchen always gives the time that I will arrive as 4:00pm, as if I can teleport across the Hudson in an instant. For most renters this wouldn't be an issue, but the renter at Brewster Street always draws attention to my lateness. Today's visit was to fix my tub caulking job from a week or two ago, which was supposedly peeling (it turned out that it wasn't) and to re-install the drain lever face plate (which had been removed by the guy who had resurfaced the tub; evidently this was something the tenant thought I would be doing). These two tasks took only about five minutes, which was enough time for the tenant to come up the stairs and bitch about Angie, the contractor we've hired to fix the porches. It's a good thing I'd thought ahead and bought a pair of quarter-inch stainless steel screws after it looked like one was missing from the tub drain lever faceplate. I'd selected this size after looking at a tub drain kit for sale in the hardware store in the middle of Red Hook, and it turned out that quarter inch was the correct size.)
Back at the house, it was warm enough for Gretchen to be out on her library porch, where she was grading papers. I had a little time before dusk to go add buttressing to my stone wall in the forest.
For dinner tonight, Gretchen and I cobbled together a meal of pre-packaged vegan junkfood. This included vegan White-Castle-branded sliders (complete with little buns), "chicken" poppers, and macaroni & "cheese." Charles the Cat, who of late has been craving foods like oat milk and anything oily or cheesy, was very excited to lick the container in which the macaroni & "cheese" had been microwaved.
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