Monday, July 28, 2008

Power Grid

The excavator was at the Farm again last week, which we now understand translates to “Uh, oops.”
This time, instead of uncovering a wayward water line, he was able to locate a barely buried electrical line someone with a desire to see the property go up in flames had used to run power from the pole at the trailer to a shed located on the property. Since the shed had a breaker box and I had tried to use one of the plugs to run a table saw several years ago with little success, I was aware of the presence of some weak and waning electrical current but have to admit I was unaware of the etiology of the electricity. I had warned the contractor a while ago about the possibility we should give the “call before you dig” number a ring, but since (like the water line) the burying of bare Romex© to create a power source is not what one would call textbook, the “call before you dig” people were unable to help us.

Under ordinary circumstances, I do not believe locating the line with a piece of heavy machinery would result in dramatic consequences. Let me stress: under ordinary circumstances.

In this case, the uprooting of the line caused a power surge which was not appropriately thwarted by the breaker at the power pole. The trailer, and more significantly, its four canine inhabitants, lost power when the surge popped a fuse about the size of my forearm located on the transformer.

The trailer lost power around 9:30 a.m.Demonstrating keen intuition, K came home after her morning appointment, arriving at 11:30 a.m. to a slightly stuffy trailer with four dogs who were more than ready to clamber into the car for some air conditioned relief. On my way home at around 1 p.m., I called Steve and asked permission to use his house as a canine staging ground so K and the kids could get some air conditioned respite that was not fueled by unleaded gasoline. Of course he quite graciously agreed. To thank him for his tremendous act of charity, only one glass figurine hanging just outside his front door was shattered (sorry, Steve! – I promise to replace your glass hummingbird hanging thingy soon as I find a suitable replacement).

By 4:00 p.m., the big guys in the big trucks had come to replace the big fuse and we were back onto the power grid.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dreaming with a Broken Heart

I dug a hole last week. A big, deep hole, and I laid Azure in it.

And since last week, we have tried like hell to learn to live with the big, deep hole she left in our hearts.

I have spent the past two days tearing through my CD collection looking for the perfect song to put with these photos. Among the candidates: “Joyful Girl” by Ani DiFranco, “Round Here” by Counting Crows, and “Drunken Angel” by Lucinda Williams.

As it turns out, Azure was highly photographed. She was always into something, giving us cause for exasperation and jubilation. I have long maintained that while we, the bi-peds, are pretty unremarkable, the krewe makes us vicariously interesting. Azure, meanwhile, tipped the scales from amusing to downright zany.

As her final act of defiance two weeks ago, she ate the seat out of her favorite chair, the ugly green/brown plaid one featured in many of these photographs. When she had dug out all the stuffing and the springs were erupting from the chair's innards, I asked K if she thought I should drag it out for the trash company to haul off. Azure continued to use the chair, shooting us annoyed looks as the springs poked out and she tried to twist her body and avoid the non-cushioned parts, so K said to leave it be.

I hauled the chair to the “curb” Wednesday after I buried Azure. Like Azure, it turns out it held a conspicuous place here at the Farm.

No one has tipped over the toy box for a week now.

When I empty the vacuum canister, there isn’t hardly any toy fluff.

Phone conversations are not punctuated with the rattle of a puzzle ball richocheting off the trailer walls.

The food Mercy tosses out of her bowl in protest of her anti-allergy diet sits waiting for us to sweep it up, since Azure doesn’t scavenge behind her any more.

We no longer keep a two-baby-gate pile-up at the bedroom door, because Azure was the only one who would challenge the single-height barrier.

Until it was time to wash sheets today, no one had “torn all the covers off the bed.”

The three dog beds in the living room remain completely intact.

We have not plowed through a dozen pig ears, pork rolls, and stuffed Kong © toys or a jug of animal crackers in the past week.

For the first time in a long time, chaos has not been the order of the day.

So why do we feel broken into a million pieces?