When I was a kid, my familyâs house was on two acres of wooded land. There was a creek that divided the land into roughly equal acres. The creek had cut a deep cleft into the land over the millennia, and so I had a deep wooded valley almost directly behind my house to play in.
When I was a kid we had real snow. Not the pale imitation of snow we get these days, that dusts yards and is scraped up by plows and sucked up by snow blowers before it has a chance to accumulate. It was snow past my knees, sometimes snow to my hips, with a crispy surface that held you for several seconds before shattering and letting you fall through to the cold, fluffy accumulation below.
When I was a kid, weâd amuse ourselves by making snow boulders and then rolling them down the hill â extra points if yours made it all the way to the creek AND hit the ice hard enough to break through. Rolling a snowball down a hill isnât like what you see in cartoons. The result isnât an evenly rounded boulder (frequently with Wiley Coyoteâs or Sylvesterâs arms, legs and ear tips sticking out. The end product is more like a slice off a jelly roll, flat on both sides with visible layers showing the advancement of accumulation. Sometimes a stray stick would be sticking out the side, and you could see leaves and some stones caught between layers. Because the compact coil of snow usually developed unevenly, it tended to fall to one side before it ever got to the creek, laying there like a tree stump, with annular rings revealing its age. Only the most fortunate of rolls would result in a snow boulder that would hit the creek, break the ice and wedge itself half in/half out of the water, like a quarter stuck halfway into the piggy bank.
Iâm not a kid anymore, but the principle is the same. Life gives a push, and then things run out of control for a while. The job situation remains unchanged. Iâve cancelled my vacation plans for August because of uncertainty and lack of cash. I am committed to driving cross-country to Seattle with a girlfriend next week to attend the AVMA convention, but I truly canât afford it and Iâm going to have to figure out how to reimburse her quickly for the cash outlay sheâs made to reserve rooms. Work at least has agreed to pay for the convention itself, since I need the C.E. credits to maintain my license. Iâm on my own for the rest of the expenses, though.
And now the Little Grey Shit is in the hospital. Surgery was yesterday to biopsy liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine. I have an obligation to take care of her and make sure she gets the best medical care warranted for her as-yet undiagnosed problem. But I havenât got the money.
Iâm supposed to leave Tuesday evening for the cross-country drive. LGS will probably be released at about the same time. The Prof is going into what he fondly refers to as âhell weeksâ during the time Iâll be gone, when summer semesters overlap and heâll be teaching a double load. I donât know what kind of attention LGS is going to need, but hopefully sheâll be able to be left alone most of the day. If not, Iâll need to find a place to board her. More money gone, if that happens. More money gone if sheâs going to require follow-up therapy.
The water heater has been threatening to die for months. I believe that it made good on its threat yesterday. More money gone. The condo association is looking into deck replacement for those who need it. We need it. More money gone.
I know what the “lucky” snow boulder feels like, stuck half in and half out of the water, like a quarter stuck halfway into the piggy bank.