Life is Soup

I should explain that I really like soup. One of the best things I’ve done in my life was to marry a soup artist. I have a pint of soup for lunch most days, and even when I think about trying not to, that first warm trickle down my throat each day elicits a moan of pleasure from me as it has been doing for decades. May it continue for decades to come.

Today my life had a lot of ingredients that are typical of soup, some good, some not so good, but the aggregate cooked down, bottled up, and heated and sipped made me say ahh.

To begin with, I got a call from my neighbor who felt good enough to walk today. He’s been through several bouts of cancer, and at age 71, he has had difficulty walking on the leg the cancer attacked the last time. He is determined and has improved to the point that we can go a couple of miles. Our discussions are far ranging and never at a loss for topics. I’ve learned things because of these walks I’m sure I’d never have otherwise.

I had a book to give him, and was wondering how I was going to carry it up to his house. I have a Kelty day pack I’ve owned for decades that has been a constant companion on many a long and short trip. A strap recently pulled off, and I reluctantly called Kelty and arranged to have them look at it for possible repairs. They’ve seen this pack on several occasions and have done a marvelous job of keeping it going for me. I was reluctant to send it to them because a) I hate not to have it, and b) one of these times I’m afraid they’ll tell me it is too far gone to repair. My old friend!

Alice was dustmopping as I was getting ready for the walk, and she went out onto the porch to shake out the mop. She came in with a box that she’d found on the porch. Inside was the pack and it was as good as new. Besides fixing all the burst and frayed edges, they replaced the shoulder harnesses with more modern solid ones to boot. I almost had tears in my eyes… my old friend was back and better than ever. I slipped the book into my pack, slid the pack on my back, and headed down the road.

roadcopper.jpgThe roads are starting to lose their snow and ice covering now, to the point that much of the road is showing gravel. And what should happen on today’s walk but the first piece of road copper of 2011 was found. And what a beauty it is. It will be added to my growing collection once we are done trying to determine what this one is. I think it looks like a pelican… what do you think?

bucket.jpgAfter the walk I came inside and announced that a headache had become part of the day’s ingredients. I took some ibuprofen, a bath, and a nap, which often works. I felt better when I woke up, so used that energy to walk out to the maple orchard and check my tap. I was greeted with the undeniable thunk of a drop hitting the bottom of a pail when I got out there, and when I lifted up the cover, the tap was wet and there was a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the bucket. The only way to know for sure whether this was sap or precipitation, was…

tasting.jpg…the taste test. My friends, it tasted sweet. Now, I wouldn’t say the sap was pouring out of the tap, but I am thinking seriously about tapping the rest of the trees in the next few days. Then the fun starts. It is often a month of daily effort; sometimes little effort and sometimes lots, but it doesn’t let up until the buds form on the trees. A good time of the year to be outside, and I am lucky enough to be out there.

One final ingredient to today’s soup is Maxalt, a product of Merck Pharmaceuticals. When the ibuprofen didn’t work, I stuck a Maxalt under my tongue and enjoyed the almost immediate results. Headaches of this magnitude sometimes take a while to completely shake out of my system, but I think I’m on the right road now. And after all, the headache is just another ingredient. I like soup, and I like life.

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