Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Saturday Morning post! Well, big deal. Evidently, I missed a few days there, which I don't believe has happened since I was in Hawaii running a marathon in the rain (that is, last month's marathon in the rain.) It's too bad, too, as I had all manner of sense and nonsense to report...

I like to ease into my mornings, lest I tire myself out too soon before the day is out. I get up, have some coffee with the family, catch some Zoboomafoo or Curious George, maybe a little Sunrise Earth, and then I'll get a run in, post to the blog while the other Ditchmans are at Jazzercise, get a little office work done, and head out after the traffic starts moving again. That's my typical routine, which makes me happy. It's a great life. Especially the part where I come home and have a beer and tickle the kid.

This week we had a good customer, ex-military, who demanded I show up early. All these ex-military types, getting up and getting to work before dawn, I can't argue with them -so the routine was out the window for a while. Not that I'm blaming the military, mind you, (if they sleep, the enemy arrives at night!) there were other, extenuating circumstances.

I had to cut some concrete and pour a few footings, and though we are the Ditchmans, I'm trying to put my ditch-digging behind me, so I hired Jose. Jose is my neighbor and our daughters are just about best friends. He's an American, if you're curious, and specializes in all things hard: concrete, rock, stone, pavement, etc. Jose gets started early; a crack-of-dawn type, who leans out the door at 4:30AM to check for rain. He's a good man, too. They all brought me up to their level. I would bring them down to my level, and they would appreciate it and perhaps get more joy out of life, but they would be dragged kicking and screaming, and who wants to hear that at five AM? Besides, this week's early morning noise was scheduled to be the concrete cutter. If you hear that screeching chalkboard sound rattling you out of bed and shattering your fillings, blame Jose. I wanted to start later.

And then it rained, which screws up everything, of course. And it was a cold, hard unexpected rain that felt like the gods had taken a sack of pennies out of the icebox and were pelting you with them for sport. Trees were being felled and glass was breaking all around us in this sudden storm. Jose and his men labored merrily through it all. I fumbled high and out of the way on another part of the project. I won't bore you with it, but it involved magnets.

No one knew the storm was coming! All the forecasters: "Surprise storm!" which just goes to confirm that they do all their meteorological research out at the track with a band of chimps. I'd been checking the weather all week, and there was nothing on the map. And then it slams the southland and there's snow and sleet everywhere. It's beautiful, now, and I see snow-capped peaks from my office window. It feels as if we live at the foot of the Sierras, which is nice, and I'll spend some of today outside with the Little Ditchman, digging some ditches of our own in the backyard, hoping for a sunset the likes of which we had the other day after the storm. All the realm of digital photography swoons:

And at night: croaking frogs!

My apologies to all those people with whom I have favors to address. Ever had one of those days where you get home for work and check yourself in the mirror and see the sleep still in your eyes? Happened to me the other day. (Why didn't anyone tell me?) I believe there's been only one day so far this year that was unencumbered by work or some sort of unmissable social event. I suppose we've been toiling overtime to make up for the calamities at the end of the year last. Anyway, I'll get right on it, and then Mrs. Ditchman will head off to work and hand me the little one who bleats, "Color with Daddy! Color with Daddy!" Life is swell. This year: no more favors. I just can't handle the pressure and I've got too much coloring to do.

(The view from our suburbs.)