Grace, Grass and Towels #5

June 2009

Fireplace, crumbled

Fireplace, crumbled.

The prep work began today with workers smashing the outside back of the fireplace with sledge hammers. Frito hid in a tunnel, Tortilla hid under my desk and brave Leila watched at the window. I’m wearing a neck brace as a result of my slow smarts on stump removal.


This day left kitties and humans scared and off their feed. The side garage door is now the only entrance/exit to the house that once was.

Prep for new room

Prep for new room in back.

Workers dug through our yard with a backhoe to add pilings for the new construction. They discovered the cement outside our front door floated over an empty cavity caused by erosion. How long have we been walking on air?

Years ago, when moving boxes filled our rooms, I opened the side garage door and barely avoided stepping on a hefty black rat snake sunning itself on the cement.

We captured the snake and released him in woods near our house. A few years later, I discovered a mother black rat snake nestled cozily among several unhatched babies in an open bag of dirt in the garage. A country neighbor offered to keep the nest until the babies were born and release the family. It wasn’t too much of a surprise when a black rat snake slithered gallantly through the yard canyon as the workers dug away the front cement sidewalk. This one, wounded from the backhoe, didn’t survive.

Frito and Leila watch

Frito and Leila watching for snakes, cups and birds.

When a water pipe broke, I sat amidst the boxes, planning strategies on how to function through the night. The electricity died when we turned on our sweeper as workers used an electric pump outside. With some cooperation from the workers, I learned how to reactivate the house electricity using the electric box in our garage. Fresh water flowed out of our faucet about two hours later. Resilient kitties pounced at the screen, playing with the cups the workers put on the outside window ledges.


Silence brings peace. We learned today that someone we know died; my swimming experiences reassured me of life amidst the sorrow. I enjoy swimming solo in a lap lane. Due to the crowds, I shared a lane, which felt oddly comforting.

My sunglasses mesmerized a boy in swim diapers, and two brothers helped me smile with their play at swimming laps. They donned goggles and kicked off in a big splash, then only made it halfway down the lane. They were soon creating waves for their Mom, baby brother and younger sister.

The house water flow see-sawed again today, reminding me of the ocean tides. Watching waves crash on sand and rock, soaking in sun and salty air comforts me. For now, I choose to travel with photographs. I brought several books on the ocean home from the library. I am mourning life that was. I’ve slippered and stomped surrounded by walls of Navajo White and Stonehenge Shadow for 11 years.