Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't fear the reaper

Well I've been quiet more than chatty in a lot of areas of my life these days, this blog included. It's mainly due to my own icky feelings, ones which I hoped would just go away on their own but which, as it turns out, I need to air in order to deal with.

After a much briefer pity party than usual, I spent the rest of the time the sun was up on Christmas day walking in the woods with my new binoculars and the animal tracks field guide I bought at the remaindered bookstore. I ended up using the former more than the latter and found the expected squirrel and deer tracks, but also a nice set of male turkey tracks, and what was possibly a critter from the weasel family.

Now I find myself wanting to go the ocean to look at what the tide brought in post-blizzard but unlike walking in the woods I don't like being alone on the beach, and I'm not sure why. I miss KBH especially as I have fond memories of walking Rye beach in NH post-hurricane several moons ago and finding all sorts of neat stuff, including an incredibly ugly googly-eyed fish that KBH seriously considered bringing in to show her students.

Anyhoo. Back to Christmas. After walking in the woods, I rode shotgun beside PolackPappy in the dress Volvo out to my hometown, where we visited his one-good-eyed fisherman friend Dennis the Menace and his swell wife. (Pp has started delivering them leftover roast beast and other treats from our Xmas Eve festivities because they're alone on 12/25 and they like the company and the food.)

While Pp loaded the trunk with firewood, Mrs. D the M politely answered my questions about what it was like spending 70-plus years in our shared hometown, and then bemoaned the "people from South Boston" that had moved in in the last 30 or so years. (Pp is one of those "people" but he was a real trendsetter, showing up 40 years ago.) "They just don't understand country living," she said, as she rocked in her chair in front of the hearth her husband built by hand.

By country living she meant that sometimes - whether to eat them or to put the kibosh on things - you had to shoot animals, or catch them in traps and then shoot them. I totally got what she was saying. And I felt lucky to have had a childhood where I learned those things, followed by an early adulthood where I've been taught city lessons.

Then she told me the guy from the fire department who'd ridden around the entire town every Christmas Eve on the back of an alarm-blaring fire truck shouting "Merry Christmas!" through a bullhorn had felt ill this past fall, gone to the hospital, and died a few days later, and wasn't that a great way to go. Nice and fast, and neat. She also shared that her sister, who was the town librarian (though I don't remember her) and she hadn't spoken in 40 years, and she couldn't exactly remember why.

Before Pp and I headed back to the McPolack homestead, D the M showed me the blood-and-fur speckled sawed-off skull slice with antlers from one of the bucks he shot this year. The antlers were both snapped off almost completely owing to the buck having been in a heck of a fight at some point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:47 AM, January 28, 2011


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