Thursday 10 July: Possum on the Porch

This morning the girls got up early to go to San Antonio with Greg’s mom.  Anna went out to the clothesline to get a shirt, and saw a possum curled up in a corner of the front porch.  The dogs, previously silent about the intruder, began to bark about it once Anna came outside.  Anna wisely made them sit and stay, then came and told me.


We brought the dogs inside, and Greg used my dogwood walking stick to dislodge the creature from its corner.  It did not want to go; it hissed, and held onto the Hardy plank with its front claws.  Finally Greg managed to scrape it off the porch, escorted it across the yard, and saw it on its way into the wooded lot beyond the fence.


The possum did not appear injured or sick; I think it just really wanted to be on the porch.


After the girls left with Ann for San Antonio, the exterminator came.  (Ann later told us that this man is a distant cousin, as are many people in town.)  For the last part of his treatment, we had to leave the house, so Daniel and Greg and I loaded up the dogs, cat, and guinea pig into the Suburban and drove to Luling to run a few errands.  Castro’s produce shop had okra today, and I bought some.  Now I can try Brian Tucker’s recipe for gumbo, which he has brought to many a karate Shiai.  Brian graciously shared his beautifully detailed recipe with me over a year ago, but I have never yet had a go.


Back at the house, Greg looked for the source of the leak under the kitchen sink and discovered that the entire plumbing apparatus was pretty much hanging by a thread.  In fact, once he examined it he couldn’t understand how it had held together so long, unless maybe it used to be propped in place by a two-by-four.  He disconnected the whole doomed caboodle and took it with him to Apple Lumber to buy replacement parts.


The two sink drains now emptied directly into the bottom of the cabinet, so I washed dishes in dishpans, then poured the water out into the dirt yard.


The guys took their load of scrap metal to Ehrig’s Scrap Yard and got $95 for it, roughly two-thirds of what Greg paid to dispose of the tires.  Greg divided the money with the kids, since they helped earn it.


After lunch Greg and Daniel returned to the home site, and the rest of us joined them once the girls returned from San Antonio.  At one point Greg got up on top of the scrap heap on the trailer and walked on it to press it down, looking like a man trampling a load of hay.


Today we worked in a barn area and actually found some potentially useful, or at least interesting, stuff:  a door weight, a plowshare, a piece of iron shaped like a horse, and a lawnmower blade that Daniel can use to make a knife.  I was happy to wear my new leather gloves from Duluth.  It is a little creepy moving around in an old, dusty, shady barn, with dirt daubers’ nests overhead and lots of potential hiding places for scorpions and snakes.


Under the carport at the rental house is a long, vinyl-covered bench.  This evening, while I made dinner, Greg stretched out on this bench for a rest.  He was too sweaty and grimy to lie down on our bed, and as he still had a karate workout ahead of him, there was no point in taking a shower.


Greg and Daniel conduct their workouts outside in the fenced yard, while Ready looks on with interest.  I don’t know what particular technique they focused on tonight, but they came in covered with sweat, grass, and humus.

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