Tom Sawyer was wrong. What can I say – he missed an opportunity. Remember the very early pages where he is whitewashing a picket fence? A punishment for him and so he tries to hand the task over to others? Mistake. Lesson for me this week: enjoy the utter simplicity of running that brush one way, then back again. The journey.
I couldn’t do any of that today. Early in the day I dusted off Rosie and set off to campus.
Damn cold out there! Deceptive sunshine of a Wisconsin winter(like) day! Still, it is a beautiful ride! If I hit the hour exactly right, I avoid the toughest traffic. It is like a sail along a vast and empty byway into town. Surely one of the last of this year’s rides. And one of the most satisfying.
Fine. The day passes. I’m anxious to get home. If it was cold in the morning, it’s colder now. I ride Rosie around a different edge of the lake.
Lovely colors. Cold in the thighs.
I pull up the dirt driveway of the farmette. Leaves scatter. I love the way the motorbike suddenly hits the woodchip stretch that leads to the garage shed. It means I am home.
Ed’s there with a can of paint.
It never got anywhere near 48, he tells me.
And yet he’s done a huge amount. The east side is nearly all yellow!
I put away Rosie and we drive in the warmth of the Red Hot Lover to the café. The car's old, but it can still spit out the heat. A beater with a heater, Ed will say.
I’m sorry I didn’t help paint toward the end. Running the brush, back and forth, dabbing at the deeper crevices in the cedar boards.