Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Rotten Week

Thursday. My small kiln over-fires a bisque load. It wouldn't be too serious except that it contains the vases I really wanted to complete my display at the Carp Farmers' Market, which is opening in a week. This is my trusty, 30+ year-old Alouette kiln. Built by Eric Jackson, a true Free Spirit, who I always remember as telling me once: 'Everywhere I go, a slow truck is following ahead of me'. He built many excellent kilns and we potters were all sorry when he quit and took up motorcycle maintenance. Now I can no longer get the little metal prongs that support the mini cone in the kiln-sitter, nor can I get a new kiln-sitter. Today's kilns are all computer-controlled and the old manual technology is gone.

I heated the vases and dipped them in the glaze and fired them and they look OK but can't be sold because not enough glaze got on and they are rough. Sigh.

Friday. Everything set up at the Market - my booth looks great but needs those vases - and I'm feeling pretty good. I see on the news that we are to have high winds but it doesn't impress me. At supper time it's pretty gusty out there but I'm not concerned. At 9:00 pm. the power goes out. Ok, I'm impressed. I step outside and whoa, the wind just about knocks me off my feet. Rosie the dog won't go out... now I'm concerned. My roommate and I play Scrabble by the light of an old oil lamp and try to ignore the bangs and cracks and crashes and other horrible sounds coming from outside.

Saturday. In the morning there are trees down everywhere. There is one leaning over the driveway, one leaning ready to fall onto my hydro line at the next possible opportunity, one crashed down into my Crabapple garden, a huge Pine which was the visual corner of my Hillside garden is roots-up, the top of another huge Pine is flat across my septic field, and, scariest of all, the top half of a large Cedar is hanging over the driveway on the power line.

I am impressed, concerned, and dismayed. First question, who do I call?

Sunday. Power still off. Trees still down. Roommate and I go for a walk in the woods and it is clear, I no longer have trails. So many trees, old, dead, live, young, healthy, pines, balsam firs, spruces, all crashed down every which way. On my neighbour's side at least 12 of his wonderful 160 year-old Pines are down. One of mine, which had a diameter at the base of over 6', is roots-up with a root ball  at least 12' high.

Many of these trees were personal friends. I know they are only trees, but I feel bereft.

Monday. Can't really work at anything. Trying to call tree companies, finally get through to Hydro to schedule a crew to get the Cedar taken off my line. Too dark in the Studio to do much of anything.

Power comes back on at 6:00 pm. I was just putting some cold drinks I had gotten as part of our take-out KFC supper in the (warm) freezer, thinking they would stay cool in there for a few minutes, when the compressor came on. It took me a few seconds to realize that not only was this unexpected, but also it meant the power was back on.

Cedar is still hanging on the power line. I don't want Rosie going anywhere near it, but just try to keep a young energetic Border Collie away from a spot on the driveway.

Tuesday. Hydro says a crew has been dispatched. Worked in the pottery and got some stuff finished.

Trying not to look at the mess all around me.

Wednesday. Culvert Man comes and digs up the driveway and installs a culvert. The driveway has been acting as a dam and not only is the area on one side consistently flooded (bad for Pines), but also when the water gets too high it washes across the driveway, leading to potholes, crevasses, mud swales and other vehicle-devouring artifacts. Dog wades around in the now-muddy water, drinks the stuff, and shakes herself dry all over Culvert Man. He laughs. I wash dog.

Thursday. 8am. Large Hydro truck arrives and tells me my power is going to be off for a bit. Since I was expecting this, having asked to have it turned off so the tree people could do their work, I'm not surprised, but it did seem an odd way to phrase it.

8:05 am. Second large Hydro truck arrives. Says, 'you asked to have your service temporarily disconnected, Ma'am?' We are standing around wondering why there are two trucks when a third one arrives. The Hydro men gather to confer.

8:10am. A large Davey Tree Experts truck arrives. Hardly room in my driveway for all this truck power! The Hydro guys sort themselves out, one telling me to have Davey Tree etc. call them when their work is done, one leaving, and the last one getting themselves into place to remove the hanging Cedar.

Davey etc. are three young guys who attack the various arborescent insults and reduce them to logs, piles of branches, and chips. Cheerfully, and with dispatch.

4:00pm. Fallen and leaning trees in the garden and driveway all gone. Davey Tree Experts experts all gone. Hydro gone. Power back on.

Life is good.

Friday. Finish setting up my booth at the Market and it looks good. Need fresh flowers in the morning, and must finish my poster for that blank bit of wall.

Poster needs words to tie it to Mother's Day. Print some large letters on the computer and go to glue them on. Oh, too big. I get the x-acto knife out to trim them. First one, no problem. Second one, no problem, done this a million times. Third one, knife skids across the metal ruler and slices into my left thumb. Blood everywhere. Ran into the house and held my thumb under the cold water. I'm holding it closed and  the cold water is slowing the bleeding but I'm feeling kind of queasy. My roommate (wisely) insists we go to Emergency.

I told the nice Doctor that if he was going to stitch it I would need an anesthetic or else I would scream and scream. I still vividly recall getting another finger stitched years ago, without freezing, and how much it hurt. He laughs and says that because I cut it horizontally he figures his special glue strips will hold it, but I have to promise to keep it dry for 10 days. I promise, fast.

Nice week, huh?