After almost two months of sickness and discomfort from Lyme disease Jeanne is back on her feet feeling normal again. We are on the boat this weekend as well, and that is a really good thing. As short as summer is in Vermont it’s a shame to waste any of it, and we hope it lingers well into September so we can enjoy the lake a little longer.
Fall and Winter are not far off in any event.
The top of our woodpile is now arms’ length high, I measured it to be five and a third cords, plenty for us. Most of the firewood is nice and dry, perfect for the woodstove when it comes time to start burning it. Meanwhile we’re enjoying summer’s peak just before Labor Day arrives. Oh, the fatalism of Vermonters in summer.
Now that we are two months past its meridian height and the Sun sets before eight o’clock in the evening our bodies are reacting to the waning light. I’ve noticed a little weight gain – only in myself of course – and have to watch my appetite. It’s a (losing) challenge to keep from reaching out for more at meals or idly opening the refrigerator door every time I wander through the kitchen. Its the hibernation instinct’s siren song: Fatten up Bruno, fatten up, snow is coming!
Appropriately, it’s also Sweet Corn season. The ‘secret’ of grilling corn-on-the-cob: Shuck all but two layers of husk off the ears and cut the silk back to just hide the ends, then soak in cold water for at least an hour. Grill to perfection in twenty minutes over medium heat. Turn often. Does corn ever pack on the fat! – especially with butter. Pass me another.
Friends came over the other afternoon, Rodger and his wife Susan joined by our neighbor Daland, for refreshments and dinner. Rodger installs solar systems and said that he could evaluate our properties for solar arrays, which he did. Daland and I hadn’t known much about the process and found that it is pretty complicated and may or may not be what we should try. Siting of an array is important but soil make-up is critical, a detail that surprised both of us. Solar arrays are being touted as the answer to our energy needs and they are springing up all over Vermont. Both Daland and I are interested in contributing to the alternative energy effort and to help pay our own electrical bills. But the payoff time is considerable and government subsidies come to an end in 2016 so it’s unsure what we’ll do. I heard on public radio that electrical energy can now be produced from waste heat, the science of advanced thermocoupling. Maybe we’ll be getting power from our wood stoves next!
Up on deck the sun is burning down, Jeanne is polishing stainless and Lake Champlain reflects an almost cloudless sky on this windless afternoon. So lucky we are to be here.