I took my latest walking stick on its maiden stroll this afternoon. I’d run to the unemployment office first thing today to turn in some papers, and sign some others. My wife wasn’t feeling well, so stayed home. Considering that, I lingered in town only long enough to turn in a job application and then returned home. She was asleep, so after letting her know that I was home, I laid myself back on my own humble “pallet”(mattress on the floor) to nap some, as well. I’ve got my dad’s old iron bed frame in the basement that I keep threatening to strip and paint, but never have. I also have a waterbed frame that I could easily cut down and use, but I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to sell it. So, for well over five years now, I’ve been “sleeping on the floor,” so to speak. Our little dog likes it that way, for when my wife occasionally brings her upstairs of a morning, the little squirt can jump up on the mattress and make a nuisance of herself.
After a surprisingly long nap, I arose to see quarter-sized snowflakes falling on the skylight. I knew that wouldn’t last long though, and sure enough, they kept getting smaller until, within a couple hours, they were the size of grains of sand and blowing sideways. I’d planned on doing a bit of work outside today, but with the “humidity falling” in solid form, I decided to stay indoors. I did a little research online, sorted papers in my office and loafed in the TV room with the dog and my wife.
Taking the dog out at 4:30, I figured that I might as well get the mail before it got any colder and darker. Putting the dog back inside, I grabbed my newest walking stick from where it was standing by the porch swing and headed out the driveway to the mailbox. I’d cut it this spring from a fork I’d trimmed from one of our crepe myrtles that some “experts” said wouldn’t grow this far north. The bark was trying its best to slip so, despite that I would have preferred to have left the bark on, I went ahead and peeled the stick. All it took was finger-nails and fingers to expose the bright white wood underneath. Interestingly enough, within minutes, it began to turn a toasty brown. I put it in the back of the truck, under the tonneau, where it baked all summer. Late this fall, I took it out, smoothed it up, coated it in a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and rubbing alcohol, and put it under the tonneau again. Last week, I finally got a proper-sized black rubber cane tip for it and stood it by the swing after putting the tip on. Eventually, I plan to use it with Possum Knocker to serve like two ski poles when I venture down the log road into the holler behind my house. (That’s “hollow” for you city folks.)
As might be expected, it served its purpose well as I trekked the short 200 foot driveway and crossed the road to the mailbox. They hadn’t done anything to the road yet, so I was sorta glad to have it as I traversed the icy asphalt. Turning back, I noticed that the breeze had not allowed there to be the bare patch of pine needles under my white pines that the birds sometimes find attractive in such weather. In fact, the birds were nowhere to be seen. Neither were the deer, who had been out in droves this morning, feeding before the foul weather hit. As I retraced my steps in the snow, the eight feet between cane marks showed that I really wasn’t depending on the cane in the driveway. My duck-footed tracks indicated both my odd bone structure and my excess weight.
Getting back to the house, I stood the walking stick inside the door, so I could get a picture for those rare folks that are interested in such things. For those who notice its surroundings, the home-made door in my home-made house contains a few pieces of stained glass. They’re from the front door on a Victorian home that was being demolished in Marietta, Ohio about 35 years ago. A coworker wanted the large piece of etched glass that made up the rest of the assembly, so we were both happy.
I’m in for the night; I hope you are, too. Now, I have to think of an appropriate name for this southern friend to Possum Knocker. I’m leaning toward “Bubba.” LOL © 2014