Friday, February 26, 2016

Early, Early Spring in the Neighborhood

There's still snow in them thar hills AND lots of it.  That is good.  

The past week, however, we've progressed from big patches of snow to mini remnants AND to dusty dirt roads.  

That's pretty good 'cept for the dust, a rather uncommon phenomenon in February.

Anyway, I'm happy about all that snow in the mountains, and I've been more than pleased with the dry, warm weather which has allowed us to get a jump start on cleaning up for when the real North Idaho spring comes. 

We're supposed to have rain tonight and not the best weather for the next week, but this week has given us enough of a boost to face whatever lies ahead---for a while anyway. 

This week I've been able to clean out some frozen flower beds and rake up some winter residue, along with watching little green things pop up in the pots at the greenhouse. So, it's been pretty satisfying. 

Yesterday, though, involved a couple of pieces of bad news.  We learned that the cedar rows which provide privacy and a pretty backdrop to the big flower beds in the front lawn will have to have ten feet cut from their tops. 

Too close to the power line.  

There's not a lot we can do about the upcoming chainsaw job except to accept it.

I told the representative from Northern Lights yesterday that we're realistic but hardly jumping up and down with joy.  

The trees were here when we came ten years ago, so someone of past ownership planted them in the easement that runs along our road.

Since the company representative's visit yesterday, I've been doing a lot of rationalization and visualization of just how bad it's gonna look.  

What's left will still block off the road view, but I'm guessing esthetics will take a big hit.  

Kind of a hard week, when we consider our tree of all trees, the God Tree, went down, and now the ornamental row will look mighty different. 

Again, we sincerely appreciate the challenges involved with rural electricity; it's just disappointing. 

I also learned yesterday that my nice 3-in-1 lens for the Canon camera has a major problem and needs to go for repair.  In addition to the time it will take, the price tag for repair will be substantial too. 

So, the little point-and-shoot or my other normal lenses will be getting extra use over the next few weeks. 

Definitely a bad news day on those two accounts, but, as we know, it's all relative. 

While I was getting the bad news about the camera and the trees, Bill and his friend TJ were up in Gold Creek visiting Rusty and Linda Fitchett, of the "Salt of the Earth" Fitchett family. 

Two days ago, Rusty and Linda lost their home to an all-consuming fire.  They heard something in their basement early in the morning and soon realized it was engulfed with flames. 

They were able to escape in their pajamas and with their pets.  Fortunately, Rusty had a cell phone in one of the cars, and, as Bill sez, they're country folk and the keys were in the vehicles, allowing them to stay warm. 

Bill added that the visit was marked by laughs one minute, tears the next.  

Do we ever know that feeling!  

The plight of the Fitchetts came close to home, not only because they're people we admire and respect but because we also experienced the loss of our home from a fire in the 1980s. 

People have asked what they can do to help.  I don't know too many details yet, but I'm guessing the folks at Co-Op Country Store, where Linda has worked for years, can help with some ideas.  

Bill did note that Rusty, a lifelong logger, had three chainsaws in the house---the basic tools of his trade, so I know those will need to be replaced. 

Anyway, the Fitchetts have always been a positive, contributing force in our community, and I'm sure, as we saw with our own tragedy, the community will help them put their lives back together. 

That said, when I think of a camera lens needing repair and the upcoming necessary pruning of our ornamental trees----yes, it was a bad news day here at the Lovestead----but in the grand scheme of things, it could be a lot worse. 

This last Friday of February looks like another beautiful day in the neighborhood where I snapped a few photos while taking the doggies for a drive yesterday. 

Enjoy.  Happy Friday. 

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