I pulled into Dodon,
with a sense of loss was welling over me.
30 minutes of daylight…
A reputation for arriving on time…
If there was any chance at redemption,
it was clenched tightly in my hands …
Homemade chocolate truffles.
Up the porch,
through the mudroom (boots slipped off),
and into the kitchen,
I see Polly,
with bright eyes and a ready smile (as always).
Truffles at the ready,
and prepared with an apology,
my mouth opens,
but the sight of an unfamiliar face
corks up my words.
I swallow the apology,
shift the truffles to my left hand,
and shake with my right,
Amanda… Polly’s daughter.
Still concerned about my tardiness,
and preoccupied with sorting my thoughts,
my wits are non-existent,
and my sentences, though rather simple, are all mixed up.
Polly and Amanda, who are now side by side,
have the same bright demeanor, and nearly identical eyes,
which sparkle with life, and distract me from constructing a single respectable sentence.
The mudroom door creaks open,
and Polly acknowledges Tom’s presence,
snapping me out of my stunned state.
Tom, in his one piece worksuit and a smile on his face,
stands with legs shoulder width apart,
in a posture that says…
time for work.
I introduce the truffles,
fit my apology in,
and then we’re off to work
Today’s agenda…wood clearing, and vineyard equipment shed.
Tom went over the basics on how to use a tractor,
and we attached an auger (to dig holes).
I drove the tractor to the vineyard, (The vineyard map!)
and Tom met me with the Jeep (trailer attached).
We cleared debris,
and loaded the trailer with wood stove sized logs
until it was lunchtime.
Polly, Tom and I were at the top of the vineyard ridge…
wondering where to put the equipment shed.
After some measurements,
we considered our options.
-Catty corner with the vineyard (like this)
-Cut into the tree line to make it straight (like this)
Tom and Polly discuss,
and think it looks odd angled with the grape vines.
Then, they turn to me,
and ask for my opinion… since I’ll have a stake in it too…
Straighter is better. We all agree.
So, we decide to make room for the shed,
which will nestle snuggly into the woods,
and (should) last for years.
Despite it being the dead of winter,
images of the heat and humidity of summer flood my mind.
The trees surrounding the shed will offer a cool refuge from the sun.
Tom starts the chainsaw,
While Polly and I tug at wild vines,
lug bunches of wood,
scrape up intrusive rose bushes,
and drag dead trees.
With so much vegetation intertwined,
it’s a puzzle trying to peel it apart.
A large part of the afternoon was dedicated to clearing,
but we managed to start on the shed.
With an auger, we dug (3) holes,
and planted (3) poles,
before the sun called it a day,
forcing us to coincide.
Back at the house,
a brick oven was at full heat,
family was arriving for the holidays,
and pizza dough was slowly rising.