Burning Bushes and The Good News

A full moon is lighting up the night sky, highlighting the gathering clouds. It’s cold right now, but the temperature will rise as a series of wet, windy storms blow in. I’d prefer the cold to the wind, but we don’t get to choose these things. The last couple of months have been tough, and now we’re heading into the home stretch. Hell, it might even be December already.

Happy Holy-Daze!
Jesus, the “holiday season” freaks me out. I know I’m not the only one, but up here it sometimes feels like people actually enjoy this time of the year. When I was living in Los Angeles there was no question that people were suffering – it was all around. By late November, people started sitting on top of forty story buildings, just thinking about things. There is a lot to think about… too much. That’s one thing that has always freaked me out about the holidays: you plod along through the year, barely making your ends meet, and then right when everything gets the tightest – when work is slow, the weather is biting, and fresh food is scarce – you’re expected to scrape up a bunch of magical, extra dough, crank up a phony smile, and buy a load of folks gifts that cost too much, and that they probably don’t even want. This is completely institutionalized, sterilized, and encouraged. Support the wars, buy as much junk as you can afford, and put the rest on your credit card. Happy Holidays! Even eggnog won’t save my soul this year.

I am only explaining to you the way things are, not how they should be, or how I wish they were. Tomorrow I will be waking up early to pull at-risk plants and tools under the carport, and to tack a Tehama County-blue tarp over the hole in the side of the house. Jesus, I might actually start praying to the guy whose name I’m always invoking, if this keeps up.

Eucalyptus Monday
On a high note, I drove out to Corning the other night, to purchase some Eucalyptus firewood from a guy advertising on Craigslist. He was a devout “Judeo-Christian” (his own description) saving up to travel to Israel, so he could fight along side the Israelis. I filled the bed of my 1989 Toyota pick-up with wood cut to size and it only set me back fifty bucks. The wood isn’t precisely seasoned, and so it was heavy, but the truck managed to get it home, and there I unloaded it into a would-be avalanche style pile. This morning the exhaust is coming out from a few different gaps in the tail pipe and muffler. It’s an interesting phenomenon; right now my plan is to ignore it, for the most part. If I start to feel light-headed as I’m driving home I’ll be sure and pull over, or flag someone down.

The Eucalyptus wood is laden with natural oils and tends to burn easily and give off a lot of heat – my kind of wood.

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Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.