Saturday, December 11, 2010

Probability and Pincushion

The day was warm, so it was all the more tolerable to be outside, under the hood, blindly feeling about for the tab that disconnects the harness. A neighbor passes, shouts "not only does he he make gardens, he repairs cars too." A man of many seasons.

I would have rather been in the garden -it hasn't been prepared for winter at all.  Three gray cats lay in the side yard, like sunbathers, satisfied grins, chins up to the sun.

I dug a trench to place the potted perennials into, but not before stepping in cat shit. I emptied the compost bucket, moved the cold frame to a location less desirable for the cats, who like to sit on the lid, depressing it until it pops from its frame. I swept the poor man's patio, a name more apt today than last spring. I emptied unused pots and planters, the last of the vegetable boxes, and placed them where I would prefer the cats not to shit. I didn't prune, or chop, except for the sunflowers, which I broke, so they wouldn't hang over the fence. It is not without hesitation before one sets on removing a good amount of the parts under the hood, with the short days, the rain coming tomorrow, and then the alternate side dancing.

The problem with the van began yesterday morning. Everything was fine until I left the bank, where I was getting new debit cards after someone stole my numbers to buy a few 100 dollar gift cards at a big bath towel store. I swiped on the heater after a few minutes, but nothing came out, nothing, not even a whir. Switch, relay, fuse, module, resistor, fan motor, wires? None of that matters when you are driving through Pennsylvania, through the lake snow states, through the arctic prairie chill of northern Illinois, then Wisconsin, and finally Minnesota.

When I had all the parts out and awoke to the probability that looking alone would not solve the problem, I chose to put everything back so that, heat or not, at least we could drive the van.

That's when "Crystal" appeared, with her gold glitter eyeliner and bleach blond hair. "Whacha doing, fixing your car? What's your name (Joe)? Is this your building (no)? What's wrong with it (I'm sorry, but I have one hour before the sun goes down)? Do you have a few bucks I can borrow?" I've seen her around, never been sure if she's a prostitute or a druggie from our local methadone dispensary, or both. I imagine her and her friends smashing my windows for the tool box, jack, or some other thing.

I got everything back into its place just after the sun dropped below the trees, with nothing solved but the knowledge that I can get to the part that might be the problem and how long it can take to do so in pleasant weather. Tomorrow it will be warm and rainy, and on Monday the cold returns. The probable part will need to be ordered and the trip? Next week.

Pincushion in the morning sun.


  1. Feather comforters and hot water bottles and flasks of hot coffee??

  2. Yeah and those hat things with furry ear flaps? (ref. 'Night on Earth' New York)

  3. your pincushion photo is remarkably beautiful.

  4. Thanks Dash.

    Marie, Dad in law wears those.


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