The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch

So... here's a story I found myself telling a friend today. I'm not quite sure why.

When I was a child, a squirrel died on the roof outside my bedroom window, and I then spent several seasons watching it make its slow progress towards its dusty skeletal fate.  I'm not sure why this memento mori didn't traumatize me more.  Or more obviously.  

Maybe because my grandfather once took two birds who had flown, fatally, into the house's windows and entombed them in state in the freezer.  They were obviously in love, you see, and deserved some Shakespearean dignity. I'm not sure how we finally convinced him to end their cryogenic vigil.

Or maybe because my grandmother once found a freshly dead mole and gave it to me to examine (I was 7 or 8, so "examine" looked remarkably like "play with") while we made a tombstone and wrote eulogies for its funeral. The whole neighborhood's children attended; its final resting place is by the Spanish Steps in Washington.

 My family: bacterial hygiene = 0, anthropomorphic romance = 10.

E: "I can't go on like this." V: "That's what you think."

So, trying to drive up Farfara Way seemed fairly low key last night until I hit a patch of black ice, spun my wheels, and then slid, inexorably, 30 feet down the steepest part of the slope with neither brakes nor steering wheel producing the slightest change in my backwards plunge. Slid, you understand, slowly and terrifyingly back over the very same slope that the Barge had handled with nary a qualm just ten seconds earlier. I came to a slow stop 1/3 of the way up the drive, said, "Oh HELL no," and abandoned the car there.

And this is also what it feels like to be a Tar Heel fan right now.

A distressed coach, but a fascinating pedagogical model

I should say that I'm more willing to abandon the car on the drive than I am to abandon the Heels, ever.

A mere portion of the driveway at Farfara

A mere portion of the driveway at Farfara

So I took out the toboggan that we now always keep in the trunk (this is all still part of my larger college basketball metaphor, you understand), loaded it up with my computer, my purse, my textbooks, and our CSA farm box, and began slowly, Lucky-like, dragging it up the icy hill. Happily, we keep a flashlight in the car. Unhappily, it was dead. So up I slogged in the light of the cold, cold moon.

This was all well and good until I reach the top third of the Way some minutes later. Here, the snow had completely thawed, making sledge-dragging an exercise in more than usual futility. I sighed, heaved the bags and boxes into my arms, and flung the toboggan into the nearest ditch. Onward the trudge.

Stuck between Tasso and Tolkien

I'm not going to name any names, but *someone* is now too well fed to wriggle over the mass-market paperbacks and explore behind the bookcase.


She honestly struggled for several minutes, all the while casting reproachful looks at my laughing face. Eventually I had to go and unwedge her. Her face said, "If you didn't have so many BOOKS this wouldn't be a problem." "Wow," I replied, "You really are D's cat."

Yes, that was my imaginary argument with my cat. And D.