Monday, January 30, 2012

"God made rain, but the devil perfected mud!"

 aka Ol' Dry Diggins, but not always!
Finishing his story, Uncle Mark tended the mules, and then heated a blanket for himself and retired upstairs.  I was left to sit up with Lidge and keep the heater stoked.  Outside the storm continued.  The sleet came down fitfully against the window, and periodically a gust of wind would find its way down the stovepipe and the old cast iron heater would belch smoke from around its’ damper and its’ red hot lid.  After a while the rough plank roof began dripping and leaking like a sieve, and one by one a strategically placed company of pots and kettles joined in a chorus of plops, plinks, and piddles, as they filled quickly with their captured leakage and began to splash rhythmically on the rip sawn floor.
   Around two o’clock in the morning, I stoked the fire and reheated Lidge’s brick.  Lidge was resting peacefully, but his face was still hot and he was sweating profusely.  I dried his face and adjusted his blankets.  Clearing a spot on the frosted window I squinted and peered outside.  The storm was relenting and I began to see some stars.  I warmed a blanket for myself, kicked back in my chair and leaned against the wall.  I remember watching the firelight from the damper, dancing on the wall behind the stove, and then the cobwebs came and the darkness took me in.  OBIE’S QUEST   

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