Saturday, March 5, 2016

Up and down at Falling Downs

The other morning the Farm Manager comes down the stairs, and catches the cat up on the cutting board.

Not only is the cat on the cutting board; she's licking the butter knife!

This immediately raises a number of questions.

How long has the cat been chilling out on the cutting board?

How long has the cat been licking the butter knife?

Not sure how much it matters... we've probably got immunity to every cat-borne disease imaginable!

It's a good thing!

Funny thing about these old farm houses. Even though the Falling Downs homestead is of a relatively modest size, it's got a front staircase and a back staircase. The front staircase is kinda fancy. Nicely turned newel post and all that shit, whereas the back staircase is kinda plain.

We use the back staircase pretty much 100% of the time. It's just way more handy.

So I was in the basement a little while ago, mainly because the spring melt is upon us, and I was checking on the water level. Ya, these old farm houses tend to get wet in the spring. Anyway, we're good so far, but as I was moving some of the cardboard boxes out of harm's way, I happened to look into one and holy shit, there's a bag of weed!

Must have been there for a year or two. Maybe even three or four... but sealed up tight with not a hint of mildew!

What a happy surprise!

For my whole life I've usually just lost bags of weed, never found them. Even as a 15 year old, living with Mom and Dad, I'd lose my weed. You'd smoke up, and then you'd get all paranoid, and then you're like, "oh fuck, I better hide this baggie real good to make sure Mom and Dad don't find it."

If Mom and Dad ever found it, they never let on, but one thing's for sure; I never found it again.

No, I remember to this day hiding my weed in the most creative hidey spots. The fold in the bottom of the living room drapes. Who the fuck would ever find a bag of weed there?

Ceiling tiles were good too. I remember I used to keep a stash in the ceiling of the staff room at the K-Mart at Stone Road Mall, back when I was a department manager there. Same deal; one day you confidently tuck your baggie back in the ceiling, next day it be gone! Who the fuck would ever find a bag of weed in the ceiling of the staff room at K-Mart?

Ya, who?

I don't know, but when I went to retrieve it, NOTHING!.. is it possible that Mom and Dad have something they'd like to tell me? Or that shifty-eyed old fart in the men's wear department at K-Mart? Fifty years after the fact?

I digress. There's a bunch of paintings in the attic in very ornate frames, of people who look like nobles from the era of empire. The British empire. We figure those were the original homesteaders here. After all, we bought the place from the 90ish spinster daughters of those original homesteaders.

The original pioneer log cabin, vacated when this pile of bricks was put up circa 1914, sat empty till it was bulldozed in the 90's. There's still a mound of mossed over logs under a tree in the side pasture that marks the spot.

The way the deal went down in the pioneer days was like this; job one was killing off the natives or herding them onto reservations. That cleared the way for your huddled masses from Ireland/Scotland/England, who had been cleared off their land during the "clearings," to come over here and start new lives.

Once these folks got a bit of traction, they moved out of their dirt hovels and log cabins and built themselves some nice brick homes. These folks were by nature "upwardly mobile." They'd have to be. Otherwise they would have stayed in some shit-hole Belfast/Glasgow/Liverpool slum and drank themselves to death.

But no, the ones who got over here obviously had enough get up and go to get over here. And when they finally got round to building their real brick houses, they'd put in two stairways. A fancy one at the front for the beautiful people, and a plain one at the back for the servants.

And they did this even if they never had and never would have servants. It was an aspirational staircase.

Once they had that two storey pile of bricks with the servants' staircase, they were  ready to sit for a professionally painted portrait portraying themselves as landed gentry. It was their reassurance to themselves that they had "arrived."

Anyway, I'm gobsmacked by the good fortune of finding a bag of pot when I'm not even looking for it! How often does that happen in your lifetime?

Like, never!

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