Stationary Engineering : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread

Well, something about the Spring air is making me think about you a bit more of late. I took a look over the accumulated Daily Tales at the greenspun website - I've dropped quite a few words on you, haven't I? I do still hope you don't mind. And it's fun to see the trail of thinking you've "led" me through - "magnetized" is probably a more apt description. Did you plan this, even a little bit?

Upriver was fun today. I'm moving into more in-depth conversation with Richard, the caretaker. He's been up there for three years. No car. No phone. He's got the electricity from the Pelton wheel, and a solar panel - but just enough for a radio and a mini-tv. It's a pretty special place, when you get right down to it - not too many hot springs around that one can just hang their hat by and call "home".

Today we had to get into some serious talk about what he thought of me spending more time up there through the summer, since I want to be there as much as I can. (I'd love for you to be able to visit later on when we get some time) We've all been dancing around the idea of my being more involved with the land, but I don't really want to tie myself into it til I have some space away - mainly, I want to get the first stage of the arboretum dug in and then take a breather.

Richard apologized for being so rusty in the communication department, though I think he does pretty well. We have a very plain talking way between us, and I like it. He told me he's talked more to me than anyone else for a long time. He was Carol's partner 18 years ago, and they have a daughter together. I'm not sure of his whole story - he's quite private. I'd guess he's in his 50's, but he's been around. Lived in Vegas. He was a commercial fisherman for a time, and he's real handy with motors and valves. Being a geo-thermal hot spring, there's a lot of plumbing, so he stays pretty busy.

I notice that when you're exploring what a country person thinks about something that involves you, the talk tends to gravitate toward practical matters and how to accomplish tasks related to you both. If the practical things seem glitch-filled, that usually means it doesn't feel good for you to get any closer. If the practical matters seem mutually beneficial, that suggests the deal is a go.

We talked about where I might stay if I were to hang around more. That talk led to location, and that led to water. We meandered through thoughts of hot water lines, and hit on the bright idea of finishing the big 2 inch line he'd just been digging in and extending it a bit further down to the pad where the new kitchen is going up.

The new (and soon necessary) line would have to pass right by my current site (where my cute little Shasta Trailer sits, under the summer afternoon shade of a huge walnut tree)...If I get hot water, then I get a radiator piped into the trailer. If I get a radiator, then I can stay warm and winter seems more practical. And I don't have to think about firewood.

Richard smiles as we talk through the laying out of it all, and says thanks, I'd helped him get some direction because no one talks projects through with him like this and it really helps him. "Stationary Engineers" he calls us. "We'll get along just fine..." I think he's right. "Armchair builders". Heck, that's the great thing about language - if you can talk something through with someone, most of the time you don't even need to actually build it. Funny how that works, isn't it?

But I've always maintained that the best thing about being deep in the land was that it kept my mind occupied. I can do a lot less damage to a woodpile than I can to a community. A lot less. And really, I love working land. I like planning things, and making a few of the best ideas come into being, and then I like using what I've made, and enjoying the fruits of my work. I like how strong I feel when I spend time outdoors. I like simple tasks that take all day, sometimes. I just like good work. I suppose this is pretty old fashioned, isn't it?

Are you put off by how much I work? Do you think it's unhealthy or unwise of me? I know it's hell on the man-catching - I've been thinking of crafting some sort of alter ego that doesn't have a hint of productivity or life-mission about her, and seeing what that changes in the fellows I meet. I probably won't do it, because I can't keep made-up stories straight for anything. But it's kind of fun to imagine a life free of purpose. I'll have to think more about that.

In any event, I'm getting a little worried for the prospects of my big-city life. I'm getting the smell of dirt again, and I'm having a hard time staying away. How did/do you manage it? Aren't you hungry for ground? Darn it, but I really do think I'm a country girl at heart. Dang! And I look so good in a little dress and high heels, too.

Oh well. I guess I'll just have to rely on my high-flyin friends to keep a vibrant social scene warm for me, and then coax me out of my trees now and then for a week on the town. hint...


I planted a Chinese Magnolia today, and a Russian and an English Hawthorne. I also started the gingko grove, planting several around the clearing for a yurt on an aldered ledge where the old post office used to be, almost a century ago. The ground was easy to work. Everything was to hand - compost, soil, mulch, buckets. The rain blew up and down, pushing me in and out of the greenhouse between tree planting. It was perfect planting weather. The trees were so delighted to be in the dirt finally - I swear I can hear them singing!

But today the part I *really* enjoyed was cleaning up. Silly, I know. But remember when I told you about my challenge with white carpets and city life? Well, today I'm covered in mud and I just go over to the hose that constantly runs water and hose off my gear without worrying where any of the dirt is going to get to. Muddy gloves, muddy boots, slicker and pants - just hosed and shaken and done. That's so cool! You just can't do that in the city. Dirt is always a management production .

Like you say, it's the little things. Still.


OK - time to close this down. Gosh, you must be busy. I hope I didn't hurt your ears with my caterwauling into your phone yesterday - god knows what notes actually made it through to your side, but I just couldn't resist. I hope you got a smile from it.

love and hug,


PLUR. Remember PLUR




-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002

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