Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life Beneath the Trees

It was -14 last night, and our furnace hasn't worked in days. It's a technicality. We haven't needed it but we paid $600+ for it and it should work, if only for the next owner. We called Gary yesterday but he couldn't get here until this morning. He's such a nice man. We enjoy his visits, as well as his work to keep the Tinpalace in working order.

Gary arrived about 10:00 am and tested the furnace. The problem is that this new furnace runs on DC power (12 volt) and in the last month we've not had enough sun for the solar panel to keep the batteries charged. We bought a charger but apparently it is not up to the task of recharging our deep cycle batteries. It has been gray, gray, gray, ever since Christmas. Just as a relief from the gray, and because I am tired of the cold, I'll stick in this photo of some beach towels which a summer visitor hung on our clothes line.

Gary left and went to the neighbour's. I went out to start the truck to go grocery shopping. Truck said "Ugh" and wouldn't start. Gary came out of the neighbour's and I threw myself on his mercy. Bless him. He got out his jumper cables and jump started our truck.

I let the truck run for a few minutes while I dumped the black tank and fed the birds. I park under a tree where 1000 sparrows convene daily to discuss world politics and the price of copper on the Asian market. You may read this as the hood of our black truck gets completely, totally covered in bird poo every day. Birds come from miles around to crap on our truck hood. Ever so often I go out with a bucket of water and the squeegee, climb up on the bumper, scrape the hood down with the squeegee and rinse off the poo with water.

But on days like today, when it was -10, there was no way I was climbing around on the bumper and messing about with water. I went to town with a ton of poo on the hood. This always elicits ribald comments from the locals, but I just tell anyone who points out that I am driving a shit-mobile that I park in the chicken coop. I suppose I could say I'm going organic and will plant my hood acreage in the spring. It's my Ford chia pet! Throw a little chia seed on it and who knows what might happen?

After spending the hard-won pension funds in the grocery store I stopped at the auto parts store on the way home and bought a new, larger charger so there will be enough juice to run the furnace. Now we have a surplus of chargers, but the first one will plug into the cigarette lighter in the truck and charge its battery without having to pop the humongous hood.

Small women and big trucks are not a good match. I can't even pull the hood release out, let alone open the massive hood. I want a motorized roller skate, one where I can reach everything. Once we are resettled in the new trailer in Summerland we are thinking of trading the truck for a small car.

In the meantime, if you see a wall of bird-poo advancing at 50 kms an hour through town, it's only me!

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