Opening a boat storage compartment

Opening a storage compartment.

Cold and clear this morning. I did the double jacket and fuzzy hat trick and stayed warm on the walk with Rosie. Crunchy ground and the moon was up in the western sky, ready to set for the daylight.

Last night I woke up in the wee hours–a frequent occurrence, actually–and I started thinking about Reynolds Price and his home. Reynolds was a home-body, and a book that Alex Harris and Margaret Sartor did records the contents of his place shortly after his death, which was ten years ago on January 20. Doesn’t seem that long ago to me. In the dark, I was recalling the essay at the end of the book that recounts Reynolds and presents some of the tracks that Harris and Sartor took in the project. It struck me that it was worth reading again. Their trek is somewhat similar to mine this month, and though I’m not dead yet, I am taking the pictures of the house and its surroundings. I’m capturing my own traces, I guess.

Reynolds was a much, much more introverted and indoorsy fellow than I am, for sure, but it is sweet to think of him today. Harris wrote that Reynolds “had earned his nickname ‘the great indoorsman’ by experiencing … quintessential views of nature through his windows and on this and other walls of his house.”

Arlene gave me the book for Christmas in 2019. It was a very good gift. I hold a special place in my heart for Reynolds, and I don’t exactly know why. He wasn’t a close friend, or even an acquaintance for that matter. But as a presence, he was “there.” He was, I think, a person with whom I could have been a friend.

There are actually many of those.

Costco day today, and a bit of running around to fetch things not available at Costco. Arlene tells me the forecast practically every morning, and it looks like cold and snow and ice coming our way. I expected Costco to be a nuthouse, and it was busy, though not crazy-busy. It could be that the pandemically worn folks of Durham are ready even for the excitement of cold and icy misery in the dark, so they’re not particularly panicking. At any rate, the fridge is full, and we have plenty of meat. That was a prime directive from my bride: “Get lots of meat.” I got pork, lamb, and beef in Costco portions, so I have to get home and cut them into more reasonable dinner portions. I bet we’re good for a month, and February is short anyway. We already had plenty of chicken. I also splurged and got some Italian cold cuts, in particular Genoa salame, which both of us really want to have again. It’s in a pre-cut package, but that’s okay, I suppose. I still would like to go to a shop to get a real hunk.

I finished up the framing and hanging of the Ruth Orkin print from Florence in 1951. Arlene says it remind her of us. Goggles on, Ruth’s girlfriend who accompanied her in Florence waves her hand, mouth open and smiling with excitement. A young man, presumably Italian, drives. He’s also got goggles on and is smiling. The car’s top is down, or rather completely taken off, as probably was the case in 1951. A great picture for automobiles and the excitement of youth.

It’s up on my wall. I also hung the “LANDMARK DESTROYED” flyer of unknown origin telling the tale of Professor DeLong’s crazed destruction of a chicken coop. The study is shaping up.

The ebb-and-flow of projects from the family offspring made an impression on activity at the homestead. Derek came out to rip out the decking on the boat. He’s got plans, and I’m standing aside to let him noodle about it. I gave my sage advice on measurements and planning, but the course of the renovation on the boat is his and Aaron’s to make. I think they’ve got some sound and good plans to make it a really nice little fishing boat.

I was thinking this morning that I wanted to really “do a Bernadette” on the number of pictures for today, but I decided midday that the goal seemed rather false. Thirty-six would be nice, sure, but if I am shooting for the number and not the experience, it’s probably bad. I’ve typically taken more pictures than I actually slapped up on the website anyway, and just doing the number for a photo quota seems rather petty and useless. So, it’s just take-one-when-it-feels-good today. That’s probably a good measure anyway.