You know the rest. But first:

Yes! Friday afternoon, on our return from Portland, we heard Goldie singing the “I laid an egg” song. First time! This chicken is she who has the charming voice of a rooster with a sore throat, but still. I’ve learned to trust this song, and there they were. Two eggs! One crushed, but one lovely specimen. Of course, they might have been courtesy of Grace, but that song? On Saturday we found another, and are hopeful that the long pause in production is over.

Mitch came over on Saturday to help Larry with the tangle of downed trees by the barn. He’s a wizard with the power saw, and the boys spent the morning lumber-jacking. Results:

More firewood and several huge burn/chip piles of branches. They left three stragglers standing because of the red breasted sap sucker Mitch id’ed working the trees.

And now we come to the second phrase in the title’s quote: He taketh away. I, having spent the morning doing inside chores, opened the door to the storage space in the garage, and found the pipes for the tankless water-heater happily dripping. The floor flooded, along with the stash of exotic alcohol (what is Manzilla La Gitana and why do we have it?) Costco supplies of paper towels, and etc.

I immediately turn this sort of emergency over to whatever men may be on hand, and in this case, there were two of them available. They did what they could, turned off the system, helped move all of the sopping etcetera out into the main body of the garage, thereby blocking access to refrigerator and freezer, of course, and went off to move the bee hives, or whatever else they had been doing. Sigh. It’s Saturday. The plumber’s shop is closed. They will put us on the list for Monday morning. Can I call this an emergency? Yeah, no. We will just do without hot water for a day or so. Didn’t we just have a water emergency a couple of months ago? We’re fine.

Backing up, we had spent a couple of days in our apartment in Portland, and I was able to spend time with Chicks at a happy hour and movie. Our designer had scheduled a crew to hang our “art” which had been in storage, and it was fun to revisit the old favorites. Not all of our collection will work in this new space, so we’ve brought a few things back to the farm to enjoy here. And now I’m back to where the Lord givith:

For some month I’ve been unable to find a book that I loved. Didn’t like Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us, Kristin Hannah’s The Women, Jilly Cooper’s 915 page epic Riders (actually read all of that one as it’s so famous). Anyway, there, in Portland, was a cardboard box of my books from grad school in North Carolina. My books! Andrea Barrett, Rick Bass, John Barth, Charles Baxter! Barrett and Baxter were both on the faculty of my school, and all were examples of great writing to study. OMG. I’ll be good for months. Years. Yes, of course, I will have read them earlier. No worries.

Now I’m back up to the present. The weather is lovely, the daphne is blooming and that lovely scent fills the room with clippings. The daffodils are in bloom. I have a massive week-whacking chore waiting in the chicken’s run, but can’t do that without the man here to start my f-ing machine. The power cord of which is built for longer, stronger arms than mine, so oh well. Where is he? you may ask?

He has driven the truck, which happily started this morning, off to the recycling stations around town, to Wilco for more chicken feed, to Safeway for sundries, and should be home in time to take me out to lunch at his golf club. Some of the things you can’t/don’t want to do when you have no hot water: take a shower. Wash your hair. Run the dishwasher. Yes, I can still cook, but am laughing at how many times I turn the handle for water and nothing appears. Have to turn the cold water faucet, dummy.

I can still iron, though. Make a cup of coffee the old-fashioned way and sit on my porch swing enjoying the peaceful, quiet morning.