I wake up, look outside and tell myself – only a few more days of this. And that's a few days too many.
Not wanting winter anymore, I feel cheated and cold when I step outside and feel the bite of an arctic wind. At least I think it's arctic. Anything now below freezing I count as arctic.
I had wanted to mend the dirt driveway at Ed’s farmette today, but the ground is a solid brick of ice still. And so instead, we head out to Menards, to study tiles.
Why tiles? Well, there is this regulation that does not permit the oven to be within a certain proximity of wood. Including the frame of a window. Because the stove is going to be quite close to a window (weird, I know) we have to cover the frame up with a barrier. Andy suggested tile.
At first I think – plain white. Let’s not be fussy here. But we then find something unusual at Menards -- tiles that aren't exactly tiles. Thick little bits of something.
We read the box label. They appear to be stone slabs from Turkey. Cheap marble. Kind of cracked at some edges, but with character. $5 for a stack of nine. (One has to wonder – why nine?) And I’m thinking -- these will work so well with my four tiles that I bought on random four trips through France years ago. Souvenirs, you might say, from tightly budgeted trips. So maybe I could insert them amidst the thick slabs of Turkish whatever? Wouldn’t that be cool?
We buy the Turkish slabs and the grating and the sealant and my oh my, this tile thing is certainly a PROJECT. Still, it's only a modest project and if Andy approves, we’ll have a stove backsplash that looks like this:
We stop, too, at Sears, to pick up a land-line phone. And while there, I make my way to the TV section, to admire how cheap big TVs are these days. When I bought my 19 inch flat-screen five years ago, I winced. Now, you can get a screen in multiples of mine for half the price. I nudge Ed toward a zesty looking 32 incher. Shouldn’t we upgrade the tiny set? But Ed's skeptical – is there something you especially want to watch that warrants the added cost? I admit that there is nothing. We move on.
At the farmhouse, Ed works on running a phone line to the living area. I volunteer to plant the tomatoes for the season.
Ed’s tomatoes vary from year to year. Sometimes they grow in abundance, someday they’re inconsequential. This year, I’m there to help.
And finally, we unpack the Menards mouse traps and though I am so very tempted to set them up immediately, I force myself to put them aside. Maybe they should wait until the dust settles. Who cares if there are mice here now. The house is still uninhabited. Besides, we haven’t agreed as to who will carry a caught mouse out to the fields. I’m okay with seeing a mouse, but I’m less okay with toting one around, dead or alive.
Ed continues to work with wires, but I head back to the condo in plenty of daylight. I want to do my tax returns. It's my gateway to real spring.