I suspect some people think I lead the life of leisure here in the cottage. Work a little in the morning, maybe go out to lunch, nap in the afternoon, maybe go out to dinner. Today was a day to put such notions to rest.
The day began with the dog groomer, who arrived about 8:30. Because I can hardly get Sophie to the groomers and her thick coat, plus her impatient disposition, prevent me from doing a good job with that hybrid and thick fur, I use a service called Pet Staff—it used to be Whisker Washers, and I like that name a lot better. Sophie is so excited to jump into that little trailer, doesn’t mind the bath, the grooming, any of it, and loves the attention.
While she was in the trailer, workmen from the gas company wandered into the back yard and looked astonished when I asked if they would work there today. They’ve wandered in, looked the situation over, and left so many times I never know. Today, they were working. Two men spent long hours digging in the area Jordan had carefully mulched. When Sophie came back, I had to keep her inside, though she occasionally barked her displeasure at their presence.
In the afternoon, I looked out and they had a huge pile of dirt on the patio. I asked if they planned to leave it, and they said yes. Communication here is always a little difficult. I don’t know if they are reticent or don’t have much English. I explained that wouldn’t work, with three dogs, one of them sparkingly clean. I wasn’t sure the message got across, but when they left, the pile of dirt was gone, and the area where they’d dug at the corner of the cottage was neatly patched over. They worked quietly, except when I napped at which point they activated some machine that had a distractingly regular thump.
Meantime today was the day our neighbor, aged ten, was going to do a dry run to see if he could wheel their mower around the block from their house directly behind us to mow the back yard which will probably take ten minutes. With the groomer in the driveway and the men working, I didn’t think it was a good day for a trial. Sam will come tomorrow, but I fear the men will still be here. Yes, Jacob could mow, but we don’t own a mower, and Sam’s family does.
Meantime I was not idle. I was merging corrections from the editor and two readers into one, I hope, coherent manuscript. Today it mostly involved deleting and replacing punctuation, which is tedious at best. I spent roughly six hours at it, did twelve chapters, and told Betty tonight that I knew now how she feels when she’s practiced for hours. She’s a professional organist and plays for weddings these days, so she too puts in long tedious hours. I am almost done with the manuscript, after which I will have to read the whole thing again to see if it holds together. And then maybe read it again.