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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sometimes you can do what you can't


So I've siphoned something into twenty-four wine bottles and corked and stored them, labeled '09. With any luck it will be wine; we'll know in a year or so.

Halfway through this activity I went to get more bottles and discovered that a windstorm had arrived. I hadn't really finished securing the polytunnel and the poly wrap was doing its best to draw my attention to the fact.

As in flapping about and dumping bricks off its skirts. The whole shebeen was preparing to do its Kitty Hawk debut.

I have friends who regularly tell me I underbuild things; I know they are right, but because there are so many other jobs to be done, I get distracted and then time has a way of bringing my failings to my attention on an ad hoc basis. I've too often had to rely on last-minute adjustments in the face of hundred-year floods and the like -- as if anyone else around here was ready for the flood of '97 ...

I dropped winemaking for the next couple of hours and ran back and forth in the --quite alarming by now -- wind and rain, gathering basalt cobbles from the dry wash, lugging them around the corner of the house in a Little Red Wagon, and throwing them at the base of the polytunnel all around.

As soon as I'd distrubuted my four hundredth pound of rocks, the wind died down.

Ah, well. Job well done, stand back and admire, neh?

Here's the thing: I'm not strong enough to do rocks any more. Age: sixty; back: bad, cardio: so-so. I gave up lifting plastic buckets of rocks about six years ago, and have been trying to recruit others to this engaging and interesting task ever since.

"No, actually."

"No."

"Nope."

"No!"

And yet, this morning, with our winter's veggies and a hundred bucks' worth of polyethylene at stake, I found myself leaping into the creekbed, chucking rocks into the bucket, hauling the bucket over to the footbridge and heaving it shoulder-high onto the bridge with a resounding thump.

Sometimes you can do what you can't.

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