Friday, April 13, 2012

Home Stretch in Spring Storm

I’ve been writing for four days straight, like a racing filly thundering down the home stretch, with the wind at her tail and the bit in her teeth. The manuscript for Fiesta of Smoke now numbers 959 pages, with a few dozen more to go. One part of me is really excited to write FINI, and another will miss these characters desperately. They’ve been part of my life for so many years!

The weather has certainly been cooperating with me to get this book finished. The mountain has been shrouded in clouds, and rain, hail and snow have alternated throughout the days. Wind has pounded first the western walls, then the eastern. Practically the only exercise I’ve gotten, besides the workout for my fingers on the keyboard, is hauling firewood up from the woodshed.

The animals are all in semi-hibernation on these cold days. Maclovio didn’t get out of bed until noon, yesterday. He dashed out into the rain and wind to do his duty and then huddled in David’s chair, looking miserable until I covered him with the Mexican blanket, at which point he went straight back to sleep, again. The cats are exhibiting states of waxy flexibility in various venues about the house. Sophia favors the Chinese rug by the door, where she lies on her back spraddle-legged, or the round footstool, which perfectly contains her, in her coiled form, or the kindling box where, in her waking moments, she endlessly rearranges the sticks of wood. Panda’s favorite haunt is the foot of the bed.

Last night, David was downstairs, planting seeds in pots, to go under grow lights. He passed through to get a glass of wine, saying that he’d planted 8 tomato seeds of various varieties and 8 giant sunflowers. His faith in the eventual arrival of planting season is touching, given this wild weather.

That just leaves me, tapping madly away with the hiss of the fire and the sigh of the wind in the background. Sometimes, a torrent of hail hammering the metal roof. It’s a good life, if a quiet one, which suits my tendency to introversion and my need for concentration.

My friend Charles called from Sacramento to say that TV weather reported a red cell headed our way. David and I dashed out to cover the pea seedlings he just planted during the last sunny spell. As we were hauling two sheets of plywood to teepee over his babies, doves were cooing in the woods. A frog trilled his spring warble under the front stairs. The smell of wet earth, mingled with that of manzanita flowers, was dizzying. And in the gully east of the house, there was a chuckling whisper of running water.

Now, snow is falling thick and fast and is starting to stick. None of us has any complaints, on this Friday the 13th. I hope you are able to say the same! 

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