Yesterday I stayed home from work for no other reason but that the idea of not going to work heavily outweighed the idea of going. It was an incredibly gorgeous fall day. The sun was shining so brightly that it was making the trees in my yard look like they were glowing bright red and yellow and orange. The Seal and I spent the whole day outside. Our big project for the day was to get the rest of the fire wood chopped up and stacked.
I don’t know if it was just a good day or if it was the universe attempting to validate my choice in ditching responsibility, but my whole day was filled with sweet little moment after moment. I met several of the neighbors that I had yet to properly introduce myself to, including a four year old named Jeremy, who while walking by with his mom, just plopped down on my steps and started asking more questions about chopping wood than the sky has stars. He and I started trying to decide, “before I hit the wood with that axle”, if it would totally split or not. We did this by holding the wood and looking at the rings. We decided together that the less heavy the wood or the more grainy the wood, the easier it would be to “chop it up!” We were right 4 out of 5 hits with the axle.
A few minutes after Jeremy left the old man that lives two houses down came walking by. He was wearing a blue US Navy sweatshirt tucked into his jeans with suspenders, a beat up Navy hat, and holding the leash of his tiny little Jack Russell dog. He and I have had quick ‘hellos’ in passing but this time he stood on the sidewalk and chatted away while I hacked away at the fire wood offering an ‘oh really?’ or ‘wow, that sounds really interesting!’ now and then. He told me he was about to go to his friend’s farm “to visit and pick up some goods.” He asked me, “Hey, you ever heard a such a thing as blueberry jelly? Well, cause my friend has it, makes it himself.” He also claimed that his friend grew the tastiest corn you could find… and he means anywhere!
Right before he left we had a quick exchange that won my heart:
Old man: I’ll tell ya what, it’s not very often you see a woman choppin’ up the wood. Normally, I mean, you see the man doin’ it.
me: Well, if I had a man, maybe I’d have him do it.
Old man: Why dontcha?
me: Don’t want one.
Old man: Well, you don’t say. Happy choppin to ya then.
A few hours later I left for my woodworking class and got home around 9. Violet was inside cooking up a storm of several incredible dishes to have a late night dinner together. In the midst of juggling all four burners she asked, “Hey, why is there a bag of fresh corn by the front door?”