We had another frosty sunrise today. We get most beautiful glittery scenes on the way to the bus stop. These nights I wake up in the middle of the night to see Andy at the window, shining his flashlight on the thermometer outside. Then sometimes he leaves. He tends to pipes, turns on water—long enough to reassure himself that they won’t freeze. Most of our freezable building pipes have been drained, but we leave the cleaning sinks on as long as possible—always trying to spiffy up the last of the gear.
It’s hard to believe how efficient that 32 degrees mark can make us. We bustle even faster, just like the squirrels. Which is a little surprising to me, because I never think of squirrels as moving slow. But it is as if they’re on caffeine right now; dropping the pinecones out of the trees, tormenting Denali without even having time to pay attention to her.
We have no more staff, very few paddling guests, and mostly weekend cabin guests—pretty quiet compared to a month ago! So, while I’m cleaning the last of the canoes or tents, public radio podcasts keep me company. This dandy podcast invention has had a major impact on my life. Last week I learned about Pentecostalism affecting politics, about a remarkable guy in Harlem working to enrich the brains of 0-3 year olds, about women at war, along with insights from a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan dropping bombs on insurgents, about Einstein making his greatest discoveries as a daydreaming telegraph worker. When I get to town and talk to people I talk about my podcasts as if they are my experiences. It is sort of bizarre.
My incredible parents are here, helping us in our final dash. It’s fun to have them around as they paint and clean with cheerfulness, my mother still plans dinner and makes blueberry peach crisp that makes Andy say “How do you do it Jane?.” Defrosting refrigerators, scrubbing carpets, laundering curtains. The frost reminds us that the darkest months are approaching, and then will come the time to rest.