Friday, September 4, 2009

Susie is coming

(A mosquito on human skin.  Don't worry Susie, the mosquito that carries yellow fever will arrive in Ithaca due to global warming, but not for another three decades.)

Tomorrow my sister-in-law arrives from Cleveland for a 3-day weekend.  You all know what this means, right?  It means that my wife can not possibly be on the phone with her sister in Ohio, because her sister will be in New York.  The significance of this is that I could cut firewood this weekend in safety.  You will remember that my wife insists that I take the landline phone with me, which has an intercom feature to the house.  If I get in trouble, cause there are some "widow-makers" out there in the woods, I am supposed to call the ex-ER nurse for help.  Normally when I try this safety feature, the line is busy because my wife is talking to her sister in Ohio, so I would bleed to death, or whatever.

But my sister-in-law will not let me cut firewood this weekend, or mow the lawn, or weed the garden, or do any productive work.  She is coming to have a good time in Danby and, dammit, we will show her a good time. 

I have many activities planned; I hope she likes them.  First, we are going for a frog walk late Saturday morning.  I have a nice variety of species on the property, and they are quite interesting.  Then, we are going to work on our tree identification.  My sister-in-law only knows a few trees, but we have several dozen tree species native to the Danby area.  I have an extra field identification book, Susie, so don't bother to buy one in the airport. Saturday night will be very special.  I found a dead raccoon by the side of the road a couple of days ago.  Because Susie is an Operating Room nurse, I thought she might enjoy comparing the internal anatomy of this common mammal to that of humans.  Should be very instructive, and the raccoon was not all that bloated.  Sunday morning, we go birding in a nearby swamp followed by a breakfast at Dan's Diner, where eggs, bacon, grits, and home fries only contain 52 grams of fat.  This "fuel" will give us plenty of energy to take a leisurely hike through Poison Ivy Hollow in the evening.  Just before our walk, I will show her the site where our gas station used to be before it burned down, and we will visit the abandoned IGA store a short distance away.  It is fun to look through the big window at the IGA; I can show you where the ketchup used to be stocked on the shelves.

Best of all, you don't need to bring anything special, Susie.  I have plenty of calamine lotion, tick repellent, and iodine for scratches.  Then, at the end of the day, we can sit in our woods and enjoy a nice cold V8 together, and see who can find the Big Dipper first.  I can hardly wait to begin!