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This “going” to work five days a week is an interesting twist in life. I love the store. I love cleaning, restocking,  and greeting customers. I love the products and my bosses. Being out of my world, my office retreat for the last eighteen months, is a transition. The life I lead a year ago, writing my book in solitude, is so immensely different from the social, interactive life I find myself in today.

The house seems a bit foreign when I come home. My five roommates have spent the day here without me and battled through whatever it is they do all day. I used to know exactly what they did; individual tours of the outside at precisely timed intervals to drive me to the brink of insanity. No sooner would I let one in, or out, another would saunter to the door. Tonight, there was a small, soft, very wet mole in my bedroom. It was freshly deceased, but it did make me wonder about its final hours. The rugs are scattered and curled, so I know Alice has patrolled the perimeter and keeping the world at bay.

Image 21

Choko, aka Snotty Cat, aka Dr. Biscotti. The ever hopeful and happy lone male in our household.


Dahlia lives in her own world where she takes pleasure in every waking and sleeping moment.

Image 8

Cranky old Belle. Everyone lives in fear of her…


My “velcro pet, Alice ‘n Wonderland


The elusive Casey Jones aka Skeedledy Dee, this is a baby photo when Hannah first admitted she had adopted this cat three weeks earlier…

My last customer of the day tried my nerves. He wandered in at 5:20 as I was about to hit the end of the day report on the register. (We officially close at 5)   He said his wife told him to meet her there. I was happy to stay. He sampled and wandered and the clock ticked. Finally he said he had to run to pick up his son at daycare. I cheerily said he and his wife could stop by tomorrow. By now it was 5:45 and the wife was still a no-show but he wondered if I might stay and wait for her. “No, that’s what cell phones are for, idiot. You tell her you went to pick up the kid! Seriously?”  Of course, that part of the conversation only went on in my head.

So maybe it took a year of hiding to make me more patient and kind to those whose lives are so rushed and scheduled, they can’t even be polite.

I was happy to climb the stairs to my office and gaze out upon the fading snow and blooming mud. I used to spend hours looking out these windows, not leaving the house for days at a time. A year ago, we were further along with the snow melt but it was still cold. I was just starting on my road-reclaimation/front yard destruction project.


I was able to fill all my wood heating needs this winter from this project. It took some doing and towards the end, the wood was fairly green but I didn’t buy a stick of cord wood this year. Last year I bought five cords at an average price of $235 per cord.

The project has brought light into the front yard and the opportunity for a woodland, naturalized garden along the road.


It has also rewarded me with my very own Skidder for the moment. In case you grew up under a flat rock like I must have, a skidder is essential in working a wood lot. I think mine is quite fetching, though the mud it creates is mind-boggling.



I still can’t seem to gear up to get too close to the beast. It belches smoke and eats up the ground. I  know the earth will heal itself, the mud will recede and this rocky outcropping on the back side of the mountain will be more glorious for the effort.

What a difference a year makes?!


8 comments on “End of the day…

  1. Touring NH says:

    I have to say, you were much more patient with the customer than I would have been. Closing time is closing time! The yard is coming along great. Good for you not having to buy any wood this year. I wish I could say the same!


  2. Nilla says:

    Love reading your stories! Stay warm and happy!


    1. Thanks Nilla! Weather is turning finally.


  3. Steph says:

    So, Mrs. Bunyan, What is it you are planning to plant in your new garden? I’m sure you are planning wonderful things to be enhanced only by your wonderful oils and vinegars…. More recipes on the way, oh boy, cant wait!


    1. It’s Ms. Bunyan and thanks! 🙂

      Second cooking demo this weekend so lots more recipes on the way.


  4. $235.00 per cord seems awfully steep to me, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to buy any. I’m also a great lover of solitude but I think you can get too much of even that sometimes.


    1. Thanks Alan, I agree, too much of anything is not a good thing. Finding a balance is key.


  5. mariekeates says:

    It’s quite an adjustment going back to work after being at home for a while isn’t it? One thing I’ve learned from being at home is I’ll never be bored when I retire 🙂


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